Giving my cat a Christmas present is what I imagine it feels like to give your human child one: There’s the excitement of picking out the gift, then the high of watching the recipient open it, followed by the creeping disappointment that sets in as you watch them fall in love with and then become totally disinterested in your lovingly chosen item in approximately six minutes. I live for this thrill!
If there’s anyone deserving of a gift this holiday season, well, it’s your pet. Your first question is probably why, which is legitimate. Why would you want to drop money on yet another loved one during a season where your time, available credit, and space in your suitcase feel especially limited? But let’s invert that question: Why not? They are the one to whom your gift will mean more than anything in the world, the one who will otherwise receive no presents if their name happens to slip your mind. And, if you’re buying a present for your in-laws who make you want to take to the sea, why not pick up a ginormous bone or catnip-filled banana for your cuddly sweetie whom you see every day?
Science of Us senior writer Katie Heaney, who has multiple wrapped presents for her dog Rindy under the tree, put it succinctly: “I love her and she’s such a good girl and she deserves to have something new on Christmas like the rest of us!!” Next week, Rindy will be receiving a highly rated Outward Hound Hide a Squirrel Puzzle, which is apparently a HOT item this holiday season, as Cut contributing writer Kelly Conaboy is getting her dog Peter, who is also an incredibly good boy, the same thing.
“I buy him a present mostly just because it’s fun for me to pick something out, wrap it, and put it under the tree,” she said. “He doesn’t really care or know what Christmas is. And if everyone else is getting a present, I think he deserves one, too. Really, he deserves it even more than everyone else. He’s the best.”
While Intelligencer writer Brian Feldman originally wanted to get his dog Catherine a menorah for Hanukkah, he “[does] not trust her to handle an open flame,” so he opted for a subscription to Bark Box.
“I had a coupon for a first free month of BarkBox that expired at the end of November, and the occasions lined up,” he told the Cut. “But I did feel obligated to get my dog something for the holiday, and instead of eight days of presents I thought 12 months of toys was a good substitute.”
While we clearly have a lot of dog-owners at New York, all pets deserve presents — fish, cats, bunnies, snakes, mini pigs — all of whom are deserving a gift that required ten minutes of your time and perhaps 20 of your dollars. To decide what to get this year for my cat Paulie, an anarchist momma’s boy, I’m taking inspiration from what he frequently occupies himself with: literal trash. His favorite “toy” is a kale stem; his favorite bed, a plastic bag; and his favorite mid-day activity, taking a refreshing dip in the toilet. Therefore, I think I’ll be buying a catnip-stuffed chili pepper to pay tribute to his love of vegetables, and perhaps a very large water bowl in which he can dip his filthy paws. While he’d be just as delighted with a twist-tie from a bunch of Swiss chard, Paulie needs to feel special this holiday season, because he is my special trash son.