I always get presents for the cats at Christmas. I'm conflicted, but not a complete jerk, and frankly it's fun to help Santa out. They get some kind of shiny, chasy toy or some battery-powered thing which moves about by itself and holds their attention for five seconds.
This year have a ferret (long story). This is our Christmas with Lucy (the ferret) and so, of course, she had to be made to feel part of the family. I found some squeezy toys at Target in the $1 bin (I'm sentimental, but, as you may recall, conflicted) — the sort of thing that she instinctively drags around with super-ferret strength and hoards and hides in various places around the house.
Nothing she can grab with her teeth is safe: socks, toothbrushes (the abandoned kind, not those in current rotation), even shoes. Any open dresser drawer is a sanctuary. If only she'd put in the sock drawer ... but instead I find some beanie baby in there, and socks in a corner of an unused closet.
This year I set up my wrapping station in the large, open room where we sometimes let Lucy roam for a while every day.
Last night in my wrapping frenzy I could not find her toys. This sort of thing happens every year. Or often I think I got something, and didn't. But somehow because it was the one thing I had got for Lucy, it seemed a particular shame.
So imagine my surprise and delight this morning. A Christmas Miracle! Well, not really. Lucy had done what children have done since the beginning of time: she had found the stash of unwrapped gifts, located what was hers, and took them out to play.
I found two of the three (uh, I think) toys in my sock drawer (of course). The third is still out there some where.
Lucy was naughty. But it was nice.
+John C Abell