We are not pet parents. Yes, we love Orkid, but when it comes down to it, she's still our pet and not our child. That doesn't mean we don't indulge her on some stuff or take care of her or things like that. But we don't do birthday parties for her, we don't include her in our Christmas letter, and if for some reason we did some kind of picture for Christmas, she would not be included.
We also don't buy her presents, either for her birthday or Christmas. Sure, we might pick up toys here and there at various times of the year if we see something we think she might like, but she's actually got so many toys at home that she doesn't really need any more. And besides, we know she'll be getting new toys every year.
One of my friends gets Orkid a pet stocking every year that's filled with various cat toys. Because I'm terrified of the ones that look anything at all like a real mouse, the husband usually has to weed through the stocking and throw out the ones that could potentially scare me if she were to bring it up to bed or leave it lying around for me to step on. Generally, anything that's a darker color is a problem, whereas she is able to keep her bright pink and bright blue ones.
Well, this year, she got toys from two other people, not to mention the "accidental" presents she got.
One of our friends got her a sailor necktie which is really cute. It looks like the one pictured below, except that it's white.
We put it on Orkid, though not without some effort. She is not the kind of cat who likes to wear apparel, so I had to constrict her mouth and paws so she couldn't bite or scratch while the husband put it on her. Once it was on, she didn't seem to mind, and she did look very cute in it.
This same friend had gotten Orkid a Santa hat last year which we'd never gotten around to putting on her. We tried this year - and again, she is not the kind of cat who likes to wear apparel. It took constricting her again to get the hat on her without any harm to either the husband or me, but as soon as it was on her, she freaked out at the little white ball on the tip which was now dangling in front of her head, and she ran into the other room. It didn't take much for her to wrestle the thing off her head, and then she stared at it from a distance like it was going to leap up at her. We've put it in her toy box so she can play with it if she wants to.
Orkid also likes to play with the ribbons and strings and curlies that might come attached to a gift, so we usually let her play with those after we've taken them off the gifts.
Here's a picture of her on Christmas day as she's lying on the couch, after we've opened our gifts. You can see the Christmas stocking she got this year from my friend, and the husband is holding the cat teaser with the red furry chaser that has her attention. She absolutely loves that thing, and you can see the bits she'd already yanked off. And you can't see it very well in the picture, but she has her sailor necktie on, as well as various curlies that we tucked into it.
A recent discussion with some friends led to talk about the weird places cats sometimes like to sit. The computer chair that I have has a rather wide backrest, and Orkid loves to climb up there and sit. It's not very wide but she fits ok. She does, however, like to wrap her front paws around it with her claws out, and she looks like she's hanging on for dear life.
Here's a picture of her sitting on the backrest of my chair.
Here's a close-up of her. She doesn't have her claws quite dug in as much as she sometimes does.
Because there are so many things in the stocking, she doesn't get them all at once. She'll usually get a couple when it's new, and then the rest get put away, to be doled out to her over the course of the year or longer, depending on when we think about it. When she does have toys out, we do have a "toy box" for her. It's just a cardboard box that's big enough for her to root around in. Everyone once in a while, I'll go through the house and pick up her toys and toss them in the box. She can jump in there, and sometimes, she just plays in the box itself, but otherwise, she can grab whatever toy she wants to play with and bring it out of the box. It's funny sometimes to see the things she wants to play with. She'll have her favorites for a while, and then sometimes, we'll see something that was brought out that she hasn't played with for a while, and neither the husband nor I took it out of the box for her.
See, I've gone full circle to Boxing Day! :)