Yuletide Letter 2020

Three Waxwings on a Holly Tree (Alternative to a Partridge in a Pear Tree): Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum); Corel Draw; Copyright © 2017-20, David O Hodgson

Ignatz writes his Eleventh Holiday Letter

December 2020

I’m sure everyone reading this knows that most of 2020 was unlike any other year in our lifetimes, even for some of you who were born in the previous millennium. However, from a cat’s perspective, it’s been a great year.

In the middle of March, Daddy started working from home and Mummy couldn’t go visit those other cats at the shelter, for 4 months. Sometimes Daddy would give me special treats, like ham or shrimp, when he fixed his lunch. And Mummy spent a lot of time in her jammies, watching TV, providing a warm lap for us to nap on.

Ignatz & Penny Enjoying a Lap

Even Mummy got tired of that routine, and got the brilliant idea to put a harness on Ginger and take him for walks around the neighborhood. No, Penny and I weren’t jealous, because we’re not interested in going beyond our front gate, and having Ginger gone for 45 minutes was a welcome break from his occasional bullying.

Ginger in his Fashionable Outdoor Clothes

Ginger even became famous for a few minutes, when he was featured on the local news’ “Dog Walking Forecast”. It was on World Cat Day, so an exception was made for another (better) species.

Ginger’s 15 Seconds of Fame

In July Mummy went to Cousin Anne’s, to help Anne after knee surgery. We missed her so much, even though she came home smelling of Lucee, Anne’s kitty.

Anne’s Kitten, Lucee

The Humane Society of Sonoma County is where Mummy volunteers and, incidentally, where Mummy and Daddy adopted me from, over 10 years ago. Each year they have a big fund-raising gala, and Mummy makes jewelry to donate for their auction. Because of COVID-19, this year’s event was virtual, and Mummy’s jewelry raised over $1,000, which will help homeless kitties, like I was. OK, maybe some dogs and rabbits, too.

A Sample of the Jewelry that Mary made for the Auction

Fire Season started with a literal bang this year, in mid-August, as we had the most terrifying thunderstorm any of us had ever seen (even Mummy, and she’s from Minnesota). After that, horrible wildfires raged all over the Bay Area. Mummy said, “Let’s move to Oregon,” until they caught fire, as well. We all still love living in Sonoma County, but the fires are very stressful.

Fred Binns in Changi Gaol

My mother’s first husband, Fred Binns, in Changi Gaol, 1943

Fred Binns, the first husband of Daddy’s mother, was interned as a POW in Singapore during World War II. During that time, a fellow prisoner painted a wonderful caricature of Fred, which was eventually passed down to Daddy. In September, Daddy posted the painting on his blog, and identified the artist as Des Bettany. Subsequently, he was contacted by Des’ son (who lives in Australia), asking for permission to copy the painting to the Changi POW Art website. You can see the result at:


For Thanksgiving, Cousin Anne and Lucee visited us for a sleepover. Luckily, Lucee stayed in the guest room, although Ginger managed to visit her a couple times. He claims she’s fun and cute. Hmmph. The humans enjoyed a nice dinner in Sonoma, while we waited to see if they brought us something good from the restaurant.

Daddy continues to work from home, which seems to suit him, since he’s lost about 35lbs (16kg) since the start of the year. He says that he feels more energetic than he has for about twenty years! His waist size shrank from 44″ to 32″, so he had to buy a lot of new trousers!

We wish you all a joyous New Year, and a less tumultuous 2021!

Love, Ignatz, Penny & Ginger