A letter to Santa from your pets

Dear Santa Paws,

We have been very good this year. There was only that time we knocked over that plant over back in March (it was never going to make it ‘til summer anyway, with Mom’s black thumb). And in our defense, we didn’t know it wasn’t OK to unravel the toilet paper (why make something so fun off-limits?).

Since we have been perfect angels otherwise, we would like:

– Some new toys to chew and chase:
We pets don’t need anything fancy. For Dog, please bring a rubber Kong toy. He loves to chew it, chase it, and work hard to get the yummy peanut butter filling out. It keeps him busy (and out of Cat’s way). Dog also likes puzzle toys – they keep his brain sharp so he can learn new tricks! If that is too much trouble, a simple rope toy is good, too – Dog loves rope toys to play tug-o-war and keep his teeth clean.

Cat loves puzzle toys, too (and can do them better than Dog). And some feather or jingle bell toys would be nice, too!

– Christmas cookies:
We love cookies! Our favorites are … all of them. But those human cookies make us sick (shh! Mom doesn’t know we snuck some once!). We like cookies from the pet store, or the homemade kind. We even found our favorite recipes for your convenience:

Cat treat recipe:
10 oz canned salmon (undrained)
1 egg, beaten
2 cups whole wheat flour
Miniature cookie cutter

Pulse salmon in a food processor until finely chopped. In a large bowl, combine the salmon with the egg and the flour until a tacky dough forms (add flour as needed to make dough firmer; add water if it’s too dry). Roll out the dough on a floured surface until it’s about ¼ inch thick, then use your cookie cutter to cut out treats. Bake the treats on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes (or until they’re slightly browned and crunch). Allow to cool before serving, and keep in an airtight container for up to two weeks.

Dog treat recipe:
2/3 cup pumpkin puree
¼ cup peanut butter
2 large eggs
3 cups whole wheat flour
Miniature cookie cutter

Beat pumpkin puree, peanut butter, and eggs until well-combined. Gradually add in 2 ½ cups of flour, beating at low speed until just incorporated. Add an additional ¼ cup of flour at a time until the dough is tacky, but not sticky. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface a few times, then roll it out until it’s about ¼ inch thick, then use your cookie cutter to cut your treats. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until they are golden brown. Let cool before serving.

– A walk for Dog
Dog doesn’t need anything to unwrap, as long as Mom and Dad take him for a nice long walk! A trip to the park or a dog-friendly patio would be fine, too!

– A tree that Cat can climb
For some reason, Mom and Dad got really mad at Cat for climbing the Christmas tree. So, Cat needs a tree that is OK to climb! It’s fun for Cat, plus provides a safe space to hide when Dog gets a little too rowdy (and cat trees are good for climbing and jumping, which is good exercise – and after those cookies, Cat needs exercise).

– A new bed and blanket
We love getting new blankets! It’s so fun to burrow and roll in them, and even chew and lick them.

– Some new threads
It’s really cold outside! Our fur does the job, but when we go out in the snow, an extra sweater would be pretty nice. Also, we saw Mom and Dad wearing some really cool pajamas, and I saw that they make the same pajamas with four legs – we love matching with the rest of the family!

– Toys to play with Mom and Dad while they’re at work
We would love a camera and treat dispenser that Mom and Dad can use while they’re at work to talk to us and give us treats for being so good while we’re home alone! Dog really wants an automatic ball thrower, too, so the fetch never has to stop. And for Cat, an automatic, interactive laser toy would be the cat’s meow.

But really, Santa, all we want is to be with our humans. We don’t need toys and treats when we can get unlimited ear scratches and belly rubs!