Holiday Letter 2017

Another Christmas has come and gone – this one so quick I’m left dizzy in its aftermath. Didn’t finish the Christmas baking. Didn’t finish the cleaning and reorganizing I’d hoped to accomplish. Didn’t do any writing, as planned, with a solid week off from work. But now, I’m taking a moment to sit down and attempt to catch up at least a little, before I take my daughter to the threshold of hell the mall to spend her Christmas gift cards.

One item I manage putting together every year, even if all else is falling apart around me, is the annual family Christmas card. I’ve been doing it since 2000 when Jack was born. It’s always a photo of the 3 kids. It’s the one thing I’ve been able to commit to doing, for some odd reason. Sometimes I have the fortitude to write out a holiday letter, but I prefer keeping them more on the humorous side because I really don’t want to sound pretentious.

One year when the kids were little, we did a Christmas Photo Rejects page in place of a letter. It included all the horrifically bad photos I took throughout the year while trying to get just one where everyone was smiling. Another time we did a multiple choice quiz format, with ridiculously over-the-top answer choices (all of which were false). This year, I decided to write the holiday letter from the cat’s perspective. After all, we’ve had Scratchy longer than any other pet (13 years so far) and he has seen it all. I managed to mail most of them out, but not all. So if you didn’t get one, here it is:

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{Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this holiday family letter belong to Scratchy the cat, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Sirois family themselves.}

                        Christmas lights border clipart1Christmas Cat clipartChristmas lights border clipart1

Ho, ho, ho, Crazy Cats & Daddios. If you don’t know me, the name’s Scratchy. I’m the hottest tuxedo cat you’ve ever seen, a mature 13 year old currently on my 14th life (cuz 9 lives are for suckas). I’m so ballin. I like honey-seared salmon, napping in assorted boxes, introspective window gazing, and the occasional game of cat & mouse, no strings attached. Looking for someone as tall as the kitchen counter with a basic understanding of locks. Can you can handle 6 lbs. of street-wise swagger? Swipe right & HMU. Or don’t. Especially if you’re a lady who eats Science Diet prescription cat food – really not interested in cougars – Oh, wait… (Holiday LetterHoliday letter. Not Tinder profile. Holiday letter.)

As I was saying, those who don’t know me, really should. Those who do know me won’t be surprised to see I’ve finally taken over penning this lame holiday letter my humans send out each year (you call them the “Sirois family,” I call them “jerks who couldn’t possibly fill my food bowl any slower.”) I figure, hey, it’s 2017, it’s about time you see things from the cat’s perspective. Of course if I really had it my way, this would be delivered via passive-aggressive sticky notes all over your house, but the humans have instructed me to play nice. Bottom line? I get to type something besides my usual (llllppppppppppppppppppp) while the woman does “work,” and that’s the cat’s pajamas.

Speaking of, the woman of the house (Martie) is elated over finally getting her first meager payment for some of her published rubbish writing, but everyone around here knows I’m the real poet. Thank God she still leaves the house every M-F to go somewhere called “school” where I assume she plays all day, judging by how exhausted & disheveled she looks upon return. As for the man of the house (Matt), he could use an occasional reminder to come down from his high horse. He’s been doing this thing for Amazon.com called “working from home” over a year now, and it’s really just not working out for me. He’s a little too happy about something that in no way benefits me. I mean, aside from the available warm lap for my napping schedule, there’s not much else his presence contributes to the feng shui of my house.

2017 started out pretty humdrum, but somewhere around mid-January everyone began getting all depressed over the election of some guy at the top. For the record, during times like these, I’m first to admit it’s difficult keeping one’s opinions to oneself. Look, I’m a hip guy; I’m all for the legalization of catnip, but the minute they start talking about civil rights and equality for dogs, that’s when my claws come out. Those dogs already chase and chastise us, and now the humans are gonna close down the neighborhood dog park – get this – they’re gonna close down the dog park for renovations. Why do dogs even need a “park” in the first place? Let me tell you about my species. We know how to conduct ourselves with class when roaming the neighborhood, but those mangey mongrels don’t, and therefore, don’t deserve an entire park full of renovated play equipment. They need to be kept on leashes, and short ones at that! Oh, well. I suppose I shouldn’t talk any more politics. The humans have told me to keep this light and avoid being catty.

Still, in the spirit of unbridled candor, I feel compelled to share with you that in February, the trans, non-binary youngest human, Charlie (who the human family refers to as “they/them”) attempted to exit their lane and encroach upon mine. Not cool, cat. Not cool. They came down with an apparent catastrophic case of pneumonia that coincided with their 11th birthday. (Aww. Poor kid. Hey, listen hard and you might hear the delicate strings of my tiny violin – I’m playing it slowly as we speak.) When that kid’s one particular coughing fit tried to one-up me, when it sounded worse than my most epic hairball hack ever? Well. “Hold my beer,” I said. Let’s just say we had to have a little come-to-Jesus meeting. “Look, kid,” I says, “here’s how it is, see? You got the market cornered on all things gender; I own all the shares of pity-parties, got it?” Recently the youngest human has begun middle school and is doing well so far. Says it’s better than elementary school. Go figure! They’re enjoying playing this wretched apparatus musical instrument called a saxophone for 6th grade band, but really, I think it exists to drive me out of the house.

The young human female they call Kate turned 15 in March and more recently, after her 4th summer volunteering as a T.A. for youth theatre camps at Raleigh Little Theatre, she entered her sophomore year of high school. She just made A/B honor roll. I should know; naptime always pairs well with repetitive human activity done on bed called “homework.” Also this year, the middle human child began droning on incessantly about wanting to go out and do something called “drive.” Like, all the time. On the one paw, it’s good because it gets everyone out of my house. On the other paw, however, there’s nobody around to beg for a fresh layer of Cat Chow. That’s important. I must have a fresh layer of Cat Chow every 15 minutes lest I succumb to famine. Alas, I suppose the kitty litter isn’t always cleaner on the other side. Kate is also very eager to turn 16 so she can get a job. To buy me treats, I presume.

Things took a melancholy turn in April with the sudden death of my long-time companion, the one the humans call “dog,” a.k.a., Athena. The humans were devastated, moping about and crying for days on end. (Drama queens, I tell you, the lot of ‘em.) I mean, okay. I’ll confess. I got all up in my feels and I did cry for a New York minute, but then realized I was now king. I began my rightful reign by claiming the adult humans’ bed as my personal throne. There, I curled up and balanced my delicate ch’i on the southeast corner where I slept for weeks. It was a blissful two weeks. That is, until he came.

Deuce. His name… is Deuce.

He arrived in April at approx. 3 months old. He arrived a tiny, timid, shaking bundle of American Staffordshire Terrier mixed with Boxer, and he hasn’t left yet. “Cute,” I thought. “The humans have taken in a foster. How noble,” I thought. But now it looks as if the clumsy dimwit is here to stay. I haven’t the slightest idea what my humans find so delightful about this creature; he just keeps growing bigger and ganglier, and despite all the clever tricks he’s managed to learn, I’ve yet to observe any improvement in his manners, housekeeping, or his (a-paw-ling) attempts at self-care.

The humans say dogs are the best form of home protection. Though Deuce has now quadrupled in size and weight, those massively frightening fangs sitting just beneath his sagging jowls would suit him (and us all) better if he would stop wagging his tail and smiling so damn much. Also, he’s an incredible resource sucker. He drains the water bowl, lays sideways in bed forcing the man and woman to cling to opposite edges of the mattress all night, and he hordes prime real estate with his morning yoga stretches on the sunny patch of the carpet.

The summer came and went, and so did the eldest human child they call Jack. In addition to having a year-long job so far, and a girlfriend of almost as long, Jack seems to have also been struck with a strange human affliction called “senioritis.” This is characterized by a decline in general motivation and performance. (Note to self: learn to replicate “senioritis.”) Despite this, he is still somehow managing a 4.36 G.P.A., and has applied for early decision to NCSU (North Carolina State University), to the highly competitive College of Engineering, Dept. of Biomedical Engineering. He says it’d be cool to design robotic prosthetics, but I know he really means, “it’d be cool to design new robotic toys for Scratchy the cat.” Because NCSU’s College of Engineering is so competitive, with only about 2k admissions out of 7k applicants, the parental human units are a bit nervous. Oh yeah, I guess I should mention Jack was awarded the Service Excellence Hero award at his place of employment this month, where his picture will be on display for a year. But back to me…

In November I decided to declare that the annual Thanksgiving nap shall be extended through Christmas day.

And that brings us to December – my favorite time of year – because the humans put up a festive feline fir, right in the middle of the living room, all for me! January’s just around the corner, and I already have my New Year’s resolution. I plan to convince the humans to build a sushi bar in my front yard (though I understand you call it a “koi pond.”)

Speaking of Christmas trees, I have work to do. A mere wall separates me from shiny breakable objects and dangling baubles for batting. Today, the tree; tomorrow, the WORLD. And on that note, I’ll close out the year. As you can see, all the humans continue residing in the Land of the Lackluster. And that presumptuous, parasitic puppy is still here. I guess I know what to ask Santa for.

Oh, that reminds me: if you’re looking for any Christmas gift ideas pour moi, you shall stand in good stead if you just give me boxes. I’m totes serious. No, really. I don’t need chiming balls, catnip mice, stupid cat puzzles, or brain teasers. Your idea of “cat toys” does not amuse me. (You can’t tell me that Q-tips, hair ties, and that piece of the milk jug lid that rips off are not classic cat toys). Still. I’d prefer boxes. And then I want more boxes. Boxes inside of boxes. Got it? Did I mention boxes? Boxes. (Or honey-seared salmon.)

Meowy Christmas and Happy Mew Year,

Scratchy signature with ears

Scratchy the Cat

and my humans: Matt, Martie, Jack, Kate, and Charlie

(and that dastardly dog, Deuce) 

Scratchy front yard 1

Moi. 

Deuce stretching in bed

 

Deuce yoga stretch 1

Deuce yoga on ottoman

See what I mean about the yoga?

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The Humans, May 2017

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One thought on “Holiday Letter 2017

  1. hopkinsd says:

    Thank you for the sweet letter from Scratchy.
    It was a great way to get to see how everyone
    is doing. So proud of Jack my cousin is trying
    to get into the same program, and we are waiting to hear. Best of luck to both of them.
    The kids are handsome and beautiful as well
    and why shouldn’t they be, they come from excellent stock. Take care and hope all your dreams come true for the new year.

    Like

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