Below is our annual holiday letter, written as usual by our most senior cat, Ignatz. [I’ve allowed comments on this page, so please feel free to add your response below.]
Ignatz writes his Eighth Holiday Letter
Dear Family and Friends,
Greetings from our house to yours. We hope this holiday season finds you healthy and happy. Here are the highlights of our past year…
For last year’s Christmas Dinner, Mummy and Daddy went to Aunt Alice’s and Cousin Anne’s, as they have for many years. We cats weren’t invited, which is fine with us, since there may be dogs there. (Penny was happy to stay home, as shown below.) Sadly, it turned out to be their last Christmas with Aunt Alice, as she passed away in May. We will all miss that kind, sweet lady.
We had so much rain early this year that it ended California’s long drought. I suppose that’s good news, but it wasn’t much fun in our “catio” when it was wet and cold. The opossums that lived under our deck (below) weren’t happy about it either, although Mummy provided them with blankets and warm meals every night. Several members of our opossum family lived under our deck for a couple of years, but in September, they moved on, without leaving a forwarding address.
Besides being the landlady for the opossums, Mummy continues to care for the kitties at the Sonoma Humane Society. She now visits the cats in the hospital, as they await their health checks, or to be reclaimed by their owners. In the beginning, we couldn’t understand why she had to seek out more cats, when she has us three lovely felines at home, but I suppose I can’t complain too much, since I’m an SHS alumnus myself.
In April, Daddy finally applied for his US citizenship! He’s been here thirty years, paying taxes without representation, so soon he should be able to vote.
Mummy and Daddy haven’t traveled much this year, because Mummy’s old knee had given out, but I’m not complaining, because we don’t mind having them around more. On May 16th, she went to the Kaiser Hospital for one night, got a new knee, and when she came back, she was carried upstairs to stay for two weeks. Daddy took care of her, bringing her meals up on a tray, and we loved having her as a human hot water bottle and “helping” her with her physical therapy. She’s much better now and is looking forward to having the other knee replaced next year.
By August, Mummy was feeling fitter, so she decided to foster a 4 year old kitty who had had her front leg removed, because it was badly broken. Mary Louise (below) spent almost two months with us while she recuperated, resting in the studio. We weren’t too happy about it, but she didn’t cause any trouble, staying away from us. When she went back to the shelter, she was instantly adopted. Thank goodness for that, because Mummy and Ginger were getting ideas about having her stay permanently!
Since the humans of our house thought that Mary Louise’s fostering went so well, they decided to take in a kitten, in September. He had been found alone, in a field, malnourished and dehydrated. The kitten was described as, “Healthy 4 week old kitten, needing 2 weeks of fostering”, so what could possibly go wrong? Oh, boy, little Frankie was sick from the first day (below), and didn’t recover until the end of November. Every day, Mummy took him to the SHS medical staff for treatment and fluids. His little body temperature was too low, so Mummy and Daddy held him close to their chests to keep him warm. We weren’t happy about that part; it was better when he was in his room, on a kitten-warming pad.
By the beginning of October, Frankie was feeling well enough to come out of the studio, which was even worse for us (below). Penny hissed at him, I growled at him, and Ginger wrestled with him. He just wouldn’t take the hint that we weren’t interested, and kept pestering us.
On the evening of October 8th, Mummy was baking muffins when she smelled smoke. Daddy said that she’d probably burned them. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the muffins. It was several wildfires, burning out of control, with 60-80 mph winds (aftermath below). The fires were about five miles from us, but the smoke was hazardous for over a week, so we weren’t allowed out to our catio. Some people died, and many cats were injured or died in the fires. We were ready to evacuate if necessary (as many people were forced to), but fortunately, we didn’t have to. Nonetheless, Daddy’s workplace (Keysight) was in the middle of the fire zone, so he has been working at home a lot recently!
Mummy had a lot to do to take care of Frankie (and us) but she went to the shelter when she could, to look after the kitties burned in the fires (as shown below). They are all recovered now, but some don’t have homes to go back to, so are being adopted by people who can care for them.
Happily, Frankie returned to the shelter permanently at the end of November, and was adopted by a nice couple who love him very much. Again, Mummy and Ginger thought we should keep him, but Penny and I were adamantly against it.
Daddy has continued to add posts to his personal blog at least once a week. He tries to include at least one drawing or photo in each post, although I’m a little disappointed that so few of those include me!
Mummy and Daddy had a delicious Thanksgiving dinner in Sonoma, at the El Dorado Kitchen (again: see Thanksgiving in Sonoma). They brought us turkey and short ribs, in “kitty bags”. We have much to be thankful for: we still have our home, and each other. We are all saddened by the tragic destruction caused by the wildfires, but perhaps we can help some of the people who weren’t so fortunate.
We hope you have a great 2018!
Love, Ignatz, Penny & Ginger