I don’t care what implements of torture you use — squeaky mice, feather ticklers, New Bark Times — no one is going to get me to buy Christmas presents for our pooch.
Likewise, I will not cave to the pressure of pet parenthood and procure Chi-chi-chi-chia Cat Grass as a yuletide gift for our resident kitten, either.
Ok. Ok. So I bought her a holiday costume that will make our furry Felion look like a tiny reindeer (should she retract her claws long enough for me to Velcro the thing around her noggin and snap a picture) but that’s really a present for me. I draw the line at presents for pets.
Not when the pair we harbor will have spent the majority of the month of December ransacking the house, toppling the tree and unwrapping the presents they find underneath.
Sure, pets are an important part of our household, but I’m not showing my love for them by hanging a tiny red mittens or faux fur green paws next to the kids’ stockings and filling them with raw hide and catnip mice. It’s just too dangerous. One might end up mixing human and animal treats.
I kid you not, there are dog treats out there dressed up as chocolates and gingerbread people that would fool any dedicated sweet tooth.
Don't believe me? Check out pamperedpawgifts.com and get a load of their "Wolfhound Clusters."
I am the grinch. I know.
My sister, on the other hand, is the kind-hearted animal lover who, as Santa Claws, has been known to wake up early on Christmas morning and brave icy temperatures just to bring horses at her favorite riding stable a few Christmas carrots. Not to mention shelling out big bucks to bring our dog a raw hide bone that would choke a brontosaurus.
She would also be the one who is genetically programmed to seek out and purchase the most annoying toys for the non-furry creatures in our household for whom she plays Auntie Claus. Since she has no children of her own she has the advantage of ineffective retaliation.
I'd especially like to thank her for the sweet little cheer leading doll that mechanically bleats out something I can't quite understand but think may be a little “blue,” if you know what I mean.
I don't know.
I DO know, however, that as The ParentTM, not to mention Younger Sister, it is my job to complain bitterly about the gifts and to try and persuade her to seek out educational toys. ... Quiet, non-messy educational toys.
You know. ... To make my life easier.
Of course I roll my eyes a little when I see the full-sized keyboard, complete with disco, hip-hop and a-tonal jazz presets.
You would, too, if for the next six months or until the batteries prematurely stop working (or inexplicably disappear all together) the only noise you hear will be wafting out from the toy synthesizer.
She never fails. As the kids unwrap the precious contraband, I can see on my sister's face that she's thinking the same thing.
All season long she plots. All season long I ponder what she's plotting.
But all that's on the outside. On the inside I'm thinking ... I would have bought that nightmare of a gift, too, if I were Auntie Claus.
We all have our roles to play. Mine, until the sun shines on our Christmas morning, anyway, will be practicing my game face for what she'll come up with next. I'm pretty sure I'm ready.
But if the gift du jour turns out to be a pipe organ for cats that plays 'Who Let The Dog's Out," she's toast next year.
I may even have to offer her a delightful little truffle, strangely named "Wolfhound Clusters."