the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Heavy Petting

Your pet can take a photo
with Santa at PetSmart!

I don’t know if I will make this a tradition of actually writing about every single person I make my “Blog Crush of the Day,” but tomorrow my crush will be the ultra-popular Laurie of “Crazy Aunt Purl.”  For some reason, I have always been attracted to someone very different than myself.  Laurie is a Southerner who writes a knitting blog.  On paper, I have absolutely nothing in common with her — which perfectly explains why I am fascinated with her. 

Like many women, Laurie loves her cats.  She even writes about them today.  I’m always making fun of her cats.  I’ve never had a pet, so maybe I just can’t relate.  I’ve always wanted a dog, but never had the chance to own one. 

On TV, I’ve been noticing advertisements for PetSmart, which is touting itself as the best place to buy your pet a Christmas gift.  I asked her this question, and I want to ask you the same:

“I’m curious, as a pet owner, do you actually give your dog or cat a Christmas or Hanukkah gift?”

In the past, I might have thought you were odd if you said “yes,” but I think my views are changing.  If someone is so loving with their pets, maybe this person is as giving with everyone, including her friends and family. 

Still, be prepared for my mother to make fun of you when she reads, “Of course I give my poodle a gift.”  

My mother will probably say, “Those blodgers are crazy!”


  1. Bre

    Dude, my dog gets her own stocking (by the chimney with care)and several gifts wrapped under the tree. Can you tell she’s my mother’s substitute child?

  2. Two Roads

    When I owned 2 cats (now deceased and no I didn’t bury them at the pet cemetery.) I would give them special food as a “gift” on holidays. So instead of the dry food they would get everyday, on holidays they would get the nasty smelling but yummy tasting to them canned cat food. That was about as gifty as I could get for my animals other than the occasional cat nip toy or balls. My cats enjoyed paper bags, shoe strings, balloons and feathers.

  3. deezee

    Ditto on stocking for my dog. He’s the most loyal man in my life. I make sure to reward him for his affection. (now get your mind out of the gutter.)

    On his birthday, he gets scrambled eggs for breakfast and probably spends the rest of the year trying to figure out what the hell he did to deserve them and how can he do it again!

  4. ACG

    I love my cat, but no gifts from me… unless an unlimited supply of food, litter, scratch pads count.

    My parents always get him a gift or two for Hanukkah, but thats just a thinly veiled gift for me (so I have one less bag of food to buy).

  5. tamarika

    I give my cat(s) a special treat and sometimes a gift. I always prepare them their own stocking for Christmas. Yes indeed, I’m one kerrazy blodger!

  6. Orieyenta

    My cat would stare at me like I was meshugannah if I gave him a Chanukah gift.

  7. CiCi

    Yes – we give the cats gifts. There’s a stocking for each one, and they got a robotic sharper image cat toy this year. We put a lot of time into choosing their catnip toys – we have to like the looks of them and they need to be crinkly for them.

    The cats are the substitute children & grandchildren in my family. They don’t generally talk back, cost less than a teenager, keep you warm at night during the winter, and provide hours of entertainment.

    So yes – they get gifts – they’re worth it. 🙂

  8. Irina

    We actually DO get our cat a “gift”. It’s usually a can of some really fancy cat food (Queen of Sheba); we wrap it up, put a bow on top and give it to her. She loves playing with the bow and the wrapping paper! : ) (And no, I’m not divorced, and I only have one cat, not ten).

  9. s@bd

    Am not a pet person.
    Have no business commenting.

    (too late)

  10. Lord Chimmy

    One year, by accident, no one got the dog a gift (he gets one or two every year). That was the first time I ever saw a dog totally beside himself in disappointment. I’m telling you…we will never forget the dog again.

  11. Bice

    I would get him a gift but my dog ‘Detox’ is a Jehovah’s witness so he doesn’t celebrate Christmas.

  12. plain jane

    Bice is hilarious!

  13. Neil

    Yes, this Bice does seem very funny. And so does this Mist1. And, frankly, I don’t like it. According to Bloglaughs, I am something like the fourth or fifth funniest blog in the universe, and now others are here making better jokes. I’ve seen “A Star is Born.” I know how it works. First, they are all friendly, but soon THEY are the fourth of fifth funniest blog in the universe, and I’m just remembered as Mr. Sophia Lansky.

    Please persuade Bice to stop blogging. There is no more room in the Blogosphere.

  14. SFGary

    American obsession with pets and the large industry that feeds it, like the TV ads(!)on pet food, is probably yet another reason the terrorists hate us…

  15. CP

    I buy my cats and dogs 8 presents each for Channukah. My one pup even had a dog-mitzvah. One of my cats appears to be an atheist though and wouldn’t partake in the barking of the Torah.

    Poor misguided kitten.


  16. Churlita

    I can’t afford a pet, because I have children. My kids probably consider me their pet – and yes, they give me a Christmas gift.

  17. Miss Syl

    My cat is an atheist, so insists on nothing for Chanukah. However, she respects my beliefs, so every night of Chanukah when I come home, I always find a little present waiting for me from her. Strangely, the present always seems to look like a hairball.

    Take my cat. Please.

  18. laurie

    My cats like ‘toys’ such as barettes, and bottle caps and twist ties. They have a lair somewhere in the house (hidden from me) which contains lots of these items plus emery boards and half-eaten post-it notes.

    At Christmas, I buy them catnip and let them get high. Last year I had just gotten divorced so I was maybe disillusioned and also psychotic, and I let my cats eat an entire halibut steak with a side of fancy feast.

    The very most embarrassing thing I do is come home on Friday nights and dump their whole toy basket out on the living room floor. I figure if it’s Friday for me, they should get a Friday feeling, too. Then they play with one or two toys and go off an try to find an emery board or barette to menace.

    But whatever. Those cats are the sum total of my divorce settlemnt, so if they want halibut on Christmas THEY GET HALIBUT. You know?

    Also, blog crushes don’t have to perform… favors… right? Because I am saving myself for Chief Bratton. You understand.

  19. V-Grrrl

    Neil, if you had a pet showering you with unconditional furry love, you wouldn’t be wrapping your legs around scratchy sofa cushions at night nor would you be seeking validation from Bloglaughs, Technorati, and other blog pimps. I’m just sayin’ pets are cheap therapy.

  20. echo

    We always give our two cats some special food for Christmas and a little toy or two. My husband grew up without pets and always thought I was a freak when it came to pets. Now that he has them, he’s a different man. I think if you got a pet you’d be posting pictures of it all the time.

    We have friends that are Orthodox and they have a cat that keeps kosher.

  21. Dagny

    My cats usually get a new toy during the holiday season. They also get one on their birthdays.

  22. Two Roads

    Neil, listen to V-Grrl. She is very, very wise.

  23. Megan

    My dogs do get a gift for Christmas. You’d be surprised how excited they get when you put a wrapped gift in front of them and let them “open” it. It makes me happy to see them happy.

  24. Tatyana

    My comment is for Lauries (thanx, Neil, for introducing her, now we can sidestep yoiu and talk knitting):

    Laurie, look atthese crazy people.

    And they charge 130 pounds for their mittens!

  25. Jennifer

    My cat has her own stocking.


    Is that weird?

  26. Neil

    I changed my mind again. You pet owners are a bunch of crackpots.

  27. Rhea

    I got my first dog about a year ago. I adore him, but I am wary of friends who accuse me of treating him like a person, or even — God forbid — like my child. So I do not get him Hanukkah presents; in fact, I didn’t even get him a present on his birthday! I am not treating him like my child, for godssake. My lover, maybe, but not my child.

  28. psychomom

    As a reward for wearing the reindeer antlers. Taz gets a special treat on Christmas and usually some new (tennis) balls under the tree.

  29. laurie

    OMG Tatyana that is THE BEST LINK EVER. Did you see the size of those knitting needles? You can use them to knit and then stilt walk later….

  30. Shirl Grrrl

    I love my dog but I’ve never given him a Christmas or birthday gift. But he gets a Christmas present every year from my best friend’s dog. My fish don’t get gifts either. I’m so mean.

  31. Neil

    Question from Pearl in email:

    Neil, what happened to today’s post and comments.

    Did you get reprimanded by Sophia ’cause you’d aired too much laundry, and you were kindly asked to remove it?

    Answer: No comment.

  32. missmckay

    one year my mom bought the dog a HUGE leg bone of some dead animal. it must have been a cow, because that sucker was humongous. the butcher wrapped it in clear plastic wrap and my mom put a big bow on it. the funny part was that the dog was afraid of it. we kept trying to put bone and dog together for a picture and she would have none of it. she kept running away.

    that’s a good christmas memory.

  33. psychomom

    I still think you are special.

  34. Tatyana

    Laurie: those needles are multifunctional, for sure; the most useful object for your home! make perfect gift!

    Apart from mittens that cost 130pounds (sorry, only $$$signs on my keybrd)

  35. melanie

    I have NO pets, but that is a great idea!

  36. Eileen

    My dogs each have their own stocking. I accept we are odd. What I find interesting is how many other people buy our dogs gifts. We get them in the mail from various relatives and what not. Quirky.

  37. Dagny

    I’m with Laurie. Great find, Tatyana. I’ve started to make a list in my head about all the things that could be done with those needles.

  38. The Cynical Girl

    I have four cats who are junkie addicts and can’t resisit catnip infused pummel pillows.

    You’re damn sure they get holiday presents.

  39. Postmodern Sass

    I gave my dog a cat for Christmas, once.

  40. Maia Caron

    My little King Charles Spaniel gets her own stocking and wears the red silk bow, the reindeer antlers at Christmas, all the humiliating stuff. Of course dogs and cats should get presents–they’re fur persons!

  41. Mist 1

    The cat gets kitty treats. He gives them right back. I get to clean the rug.

  42. Linda Freedman

    If my psychotherapy practice of a few thousand patients can tell us anything, it’s that most people (who see therapists) wouldn’t DREAM of leaving Fido or Puff out in the cold on the holidays. They get the best presents and yes, they’re wrapped.

  43. sarah

    I’m way late on this, but yes; i buy my pets a gift. And wrap it! And expect them to be excited.

    It may be time i get back into a relationship!

  44. Steve

    All three of our dogs get gifts every Christmas. And they know how to open them.

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