Brandy is a cat with finer tastes. As the confirmed only child in our household now, she not only has 100 percent of my the attention of my husband and myself, she also has our “Cat Finances” cornered. It’s all Brandy, all the time, and she regularly reminds us that this is the way life ought to be.
While our families pester us for our own “Hanukchristmas” lists, weeks overdue, our Internet browsing always turns to goods that would please our often benevolent mistress. I can feel my mother-in-law giving us the side eye from thousands of miles away, when she opens the email asking for all manner of cat accoutrement. It’s become a running joke that the cat tower we ask for every year keeps getting bigger and pricier. “The only way to stop the extravagance from mounting is to BUY IT,” purrs Brandy.
A work email went around the other day asking what we’d buy for ourselves off our wish list if nobody else bought it. Responses included designer bags, clothes, and cooking classes. While I thought about saying, “massage” or “lamp” so as not to once again be THE CAT LADY, I remembered that it’s the holiday season and lying is bad. So I flew my cat-flag with pride and told the truth: cushy heated cat bed.
Needless to say, my husband and I are humans of few wants. (Most notably I asked for a case of French’s Yellow Mustard — I’m sorry/not sorry, Japan can’t do yellow mustard.) Keep the Netflix streaming and the fridge stocked with cheese and we’re happy. Really, nothing gives us as much joy as seeing Brandy happy.
So with our “Cat Finances” having a little extra wiggle room for the first time in years — not to mention the residual guilt of moving her from balmy Hawai’i to chilly Japan — Brandy is taking full advantage of us.
Here is a sampling of her wish list. I’ve warned her that the “Hanukchristmas Fairy” might not be able to fit all these presents in her magical yacht, but to that Brandy only sniffs and replies, “Her problem, not mine.”
This catnip is the s**t.
Usually Brandy is interested in catnip or a catnip toy for about half an hour then she loses interest for good. Not so with Dr. Pussums’ ($4.99-$11.99). I brought her back two “Small Sacks” of Dr. Pussums’ catnip the last time I was in Maine (where the company is based) and it was LOVE.
The simple, stylish, sturdy sack became her new best friend. Even now, three months later, she bats it around daily. When she’s not batting it around, she holds it in her paws and snuggles it. It’s by far her favorite toy/security blanket.
Dr. Pussums’ secret? It uses the choice parts of the catnip plant, the buds and leaves, no fillers and no chemicals. According to Dr. Pussums’, its “curiously strong” catnip will “stay fresh for about three years” after which the company recommends planting your cat’s toy “allowing any left-over seeds to germinate.”
Brandy wants us to stock up on Dr. Pussums’ toys. She’s a bit of a hoarder. They may last for a long time, but with so many “shabby chic” toys to choose from, why not have some variety?
I’m convinced Imperial Cat cardboard scratchers (starting at $12.98) are the greatest scratchers ever made. They are long lasting, eco-friendly, come in numerous colors, sizes, and shapes, but most of all they seems to “shed” less.
Any cat parent is familiar with the little scraps of cardboard littered around their cat’s scratcher. Those little scraps pile up and make their way into your bed, your shoes, your hair. And while the Imperial Cat scratchers don’t eradicate those scraps, somehow how they are significantly reduced. Wonder of wonders.
Plus they make giant, climbable, scratchable cat furniture (starting around $25) like this:
Brandy had a little whale-shaped Imperial Cat scratcher ($21.50) for a while, complete with little cubby to climb into, but alas it could not make the trip across the ocean. Funny how that works.
This year she has requested an upgrade. Either the chair and ottoman set above ($49.99; giving her the most comfortable seat in our home) or this monster of a scratcher ($127.82) to take up our whole living room/kitchen area
Which by the way, at a height of 5 feet, 9 inches would put Brandy in perfect “dive bombing” position over my head.
But we do have our eyes on this eco-friendly tree from Pet Pals Group.
At about $180, it’s a bit of a splurge for us, but the thought of Brandy roosting in that little basket makes it totally worth it. However, if any of you are looking to splurge BIG TIME on some furniture for your cat, check out the customizable Cosmic Tree Deluxe Condo from CatsPlay. At nearly 6 1/2 feet tall with a price of $1,499, the Cosmic Tree is pretty intense, dude.
If your kitty is anything like Brandy, over six feet tall is “nice.” But if you really want to give your cat a perch deserving of his or her status (above you), you can’t go wrong with this Katimanjaro Kitty Gym ($429.99) that’s over seven feet tall.
Or this 7-1/2-foot-tall Virgie Cat Gym ($399.99).
“Go big or go away,” says Brandy.
Brandy is cold and grouchy.
Since moving to Japan, she is experiencing real winter weather for the first time in 11 years, and she’s not pleased. While I crank up our apartment’s wall heater as high as it can handle during the day, with Brandy happily snoozing in bed directly underneath it, I suspect she’s a little too chilly at night. Sometimes I catch her glaring at my husband or me as if to say, “My paws are cold. You’ll find them on your neck tonight. I hope you’re happy.”
Enter the heated cat bed. If I get her nothing else on her Hanukchristmas list this year, it will be this Warming Cat Bed ($69.95-$89.95) from Hammacher Schlemmer.
Soft, warm but not hot (102 degrees), and cozy (she loves covered spaces, the cover is also removable), this little bed might be exactly what Brandy craves on those cold winter evenings.
I’ve always wanted an oil painting of Brandy, something I can hang over our mantle (if we ever have one) and start a conversation about over cocktails. Brandy feels her visage deserves a prominent place in our home too.
I’m pretty taken with Pet Portraits by Melanie & Nicholas. ($392-$10,996, based on exchange rates on Dec. 12). They create the kind of stunning oil paintings grownups have in their homes. The portraits are refined, life-like, dignified.
Of course, this is the photo I’d want them to turn into a painting. It may not exactly be “mannered” but it is the quintessential Brandy:
Oh Brandy, how we adore you.
What’s on your cat’s wish list? What is your cat crossing her claws for? What are you saving up to splurge on? Tell us in the comments.
Read more gift guides on Catster:
Read more about Louise’s life with Brandy: