Yuletide Letter 2018

Winter Woodpecker: Ink & Watercolor

Winter Woodpecker: Ink & Watercolor

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

Ignatz

Ignatz writes his Ninth Holiday Letter

December, 2018

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…

We welcomed in the New Year with our traditional cracked crab dinner, enjoying the clean air after last year’s Wine Country Wildfires. Daddy was still working at home, most of the time, as his office wasn’t ready until August.

During January, Mummy took off to meet her friend, Valerie, to watch the US Nationals Figure Skating Championship, in San Jose, for a couple of days. The rest of us were fine to watch it on TV. She said she enjoyed the skating and got to join Pam, an old friend, to watch some of it.

Mary & Pam at the US Nationals Figure Skating Championship

Mary & Pam at the US Nationals Figure Skating Championship

Remember little Frankie, the very sick kitten Mummy fostered and nursed back to health? We got a report from his “forever family”, and he’s doing great. We’re all happy Mummy didn’t keep him; he was even too much for Ginger!

One day in February, we all piled into the car and headed for San Francisco. Penny and I whined the whole way there, to no avail, while Ginger sat on Mummy’s lap and enjoyed the scenery. When the car finally stopped, we hoped we were back at home—but no—we were carried up to the seventh floor of a hotel. By then, even Ginger was freaked out.

Ginger in the City

Ginger in the City

The next day, Mum and Dad got some papers together and went to the USCIS building, for Daddy to take his US citizenship test. He had studied hard and got all the questions correct, making him eligible for a swearing-in ceremony later in the year. Good grief! It only took him 30 years to apply for citizenship!

After getting home, we were all set to enjoy some peace and quiet when a lot of men in heavy boots came in, making horrid noises with saws and hammers. Mummy was having her bathroom remodeled, so Penny and I spent a lot of time hiding. Ginger was OK until the really loud crashing began, then he retreated to the top of the cat tree, for safety.

Mary's new Shower, with Gibbon!

Mary’s new Shower, with Gibbon!

Mummy began spending more time with the shelter cats. It seems she’s volunteered to keep the ringworm-infected kitties company, as they have to be isolated for a month or two, while they undergo treatment. It’s OK as long as she doesn’t bring home any worms. Ewww.

In April, Mummy and Daddy packed again and went to Oakland, leaving us home with our beloved friend, Chris (thank goodness). This time they were attending Daddy’s official swearing-in ceremony as a US citizen. Now he has two passports; American and British.

A New American!

A New American!

Fortunately, at the end of that month, the noisy workers finished the bathroom and packed up their stuff, just in time for Mummy to go to the hospital for another new knee. She was back home the next day, doing lots of complaining, but felt better in a couple of days.

As Mummy had to stay upstairs for two weeks, to recuperate, her niece, Gail, came from Minnesota to look after her. We helped too, by keeping her knee warm and monitoring her physical therapy. I also had to go to the doctor, for a check-up, and you know how much I love going there!

Ignatz helping Mary to recover

Ignatz helping Mary to recover

In June, Mummy was fit enough to go out for physical therapy, but as she got into the car, she tripped and fell right on her new knee, splitting it open like a peapod and making a mess on the garage floor! An ambulance quickly took her to the hospital to put her back together again, like Humpty Dumpty.

The rest of the summer was less eventful, as we enjoyed exploring the garden and relaxing. On July 4th, Mummy and Daddy took a trip on the Wine Train and celebrated the holiday, which was Daddy’s first as an American.

Ginger relaxing in the Japanese Garden

Ginger relaxing in the Japanese Garden

Mummy turned 70 in August. (What’s that in cat years?) Her high school had had their 50th reunion two years ago, and, since the whole class was turning 70 this year, they decided to have a party, in Minneapolis. She and Daddy were gone for a week, while Chris spoiled us at home. They said they had a lot of fun with the “old” classmates, Mummy’s family, and a trip to the country to see her friend Jeff’s farm and glass studio.

Mary & Jeff, at his studio

Mary & Jeff, at his studio

They also visited the Minneapolis Institute of Art, and the American Swedish Museum, telling us later that it was one of the best holidays ever.

Mary at the MIA

Mary at the MIA

Sadly, in November we were forced to stay inside the house for twelve days, because Mummy said it was too smoky to be outside. Boooring! You’ve probably heard about the deadliest-ever wildfire, which raged about 185 miles from us. We feel so bad for the people and animals.

A Smoky Sun, during the Camp Fire

A Smoky Sun, during the Camp Fire

Finally it rained, helping to extinguish the last of the fire, and to clean up the air here. Now we can go out again, but we’d really prefer if it weren’t so wet…

We hope you have a great 2019!

Love, Ignatz, Penny & Ginger

WoodpeckerBorder18

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