The Plot to Capture Santa

Our cat Trixie sits under the Christmas tree while holding onto a shoestring

Someone isn’t happy she didn’t get the pony she asked for. Fortunately Trixie doesn’t know Santa only comes once a year so she is lying in wait in vain. While her skills with the lasso are not to be underestimated, you have nothing to worry about Santa, I’m quite sure she’ll have calmed down by next year. I’m pretty sure. It’s certainly possible. I’m sure you don’t get to be Santa without knowing how to get out of being tied up. Right?

A Game of Strings

Our black cat Emma sits beside a shoestring, waiting to play

One of my favorite pictures of Emma, taken last summer. We discovered early on that she loved playing with strings, when she was young if you sat on the ground and dragged an old shoelace around you, she’d circle you until she was exhausted. Later she’d learn to predict your actions and try and jump over you to cut the string off at the pass. Throughout her life you’d find her sitting by one of her shoelaces, not wanting to miss out on the chance at a game of string.

String got more complicated when we adopted Boo as he also loved to chase them but with the exuberance of a young cat, something Emma didn’t always appreciate. I’d sometimes play with both of them, a shoelace in one hand for Emma and a shoelace in the other for Boo. If two-handed string was an Olympic event the gold would have been ours. Eventually though Boo would want to play with whatever string his big sister was playing with, so it was fortunate they learned to play together.

In the picture Emma is sitting at the entrance to my office, at the end of her life this is where she chose to hang out most of the time (not in the doorway, though, just a bit over to the left). She didn’t have the energy to play string towards the end, a clear sign of how sick she was getting. Sometimes she’d chew on it if you laid it across her paws, especially a ribbon from one of the Christmas presents.

When I look at the picture I’m struck by how lovely she was and the beautiful life we lost. But I’m reminded too, of the beautiful life we shared.

Emma and Her Bib

Our cat Emma with her mangled bib draped over her front legs, taken in February 2008. Original: _MG_9893.cr2

Back when we first discovered some bumps on Emma’s chest, she was rewarded with a trip to the vet and got the affected area shaved so we could treat it. She was also awarded this lovely bib to make sure she didn’t aggravate the area. This is what the bib looked like after two weeks, as you can see Emma didn’t think it quite the state of high fashion and often removed it on her own (the picture there shows the bib when new). I didn’t photograph the underside, even though it looked much worse, as some of that damage was done by Sam during their roughhousing.

Emma has been a rather shy subject so I’ve ended up with more pictures of Sam than of her. The only way I got her to sit still long enough for me to drape the bib over her legs was to play String with her (you can see the shoestring under her foot and trailing out of the bottom left corner of the picture). She stopped for a moment trying to figure out why the string had stopped moving while I moved the bib and snapped her picture. You can also see part of the shaved area on her chest.

The bumps went away with treatment and now we’re in the slow process of waiting for her fur to grow back.