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Three topics in search of a point

I was supposed to spend this morning having donuts and mimosas with Corinne and Sarah and their respective adorable children. (Don't worry, we weren't going to share the mimosas with the children.) I say supposed to, because they both bailed on me. Something about "croup" and "bronchitis." You know, if you don't want to be friends with me you can just say so, no need to come up with these elaborate lies. Besides, who needs friends when you have decaf gingerbread soy latte? Not me, that's who, so take that.


When I unloaded the Christmas decorations this year, I discovered that our tree skirt was covered in Callie's fur. Then I cried a lot. Then I decided that the cats loved sleeping under the tree so much that there was no reason they should not continue to do so, even though they are at this point quite literally ashes to ashes. Hence:

That's Callie on the right and Pix on the left, and I think they are quite happy there. Mia finds it all a bit disturbing. Do you think I should put bows on them so they look more festive?


Finally, Mia is getting a dog for Christmas. A stuffed dog. When I went to get it, I could not decide between the two top contenders, so I brought both home to make Chris choose. He couldn't decide either. I feel like it will be more special to Mia to have one dog rather than two, so like it or not one of those bad boys is going back to Target, and you are going to decide which one. Here they are, click to embiggen.

Doggy on the left is Dog #1, doggy on the right is Dog #2, vote for the one you think we should keep.

Comments (134)

yep, the cats under the tree may be my favourite Christmas photo EVER. slightly macabre on the surface of things, but when you look a little deeper, it's all about having the ones you love near and dear and a little part of things in their own way. seriously.

happy holidays, Beth. and...not a question i've ever asked before, but where'd you get those kitty caskets?

I vote for doggy #2.

And, yes, you kind of smell.

Mmmmm... gingerbread latte. I may have to sneak out and get one... thanks to our local Starbucks that has a drive-thru.

And I vote for Dog #2. He's just adorable. :)

hey, have you decided against a kitten?
Mia's at a good size for that.

By the way, it's definitely Pup #2.

I vote for doggy #1. I want to snuggle him! :)

doggie #2 would probably show less dirt over the years. and yet, i'm drawn to doggie #1.

i'm voting #1



Dog #1!

I like doggie #2 b/c its more original looking... although doggie #1 would go with more of Mia's outfits and be easier to tell if it needs to go to the doggie groomer (i.e. Mr. Washing Machine) or clean... shoot I see your problem in deciding...

I flipped a coin... #1 it is.

Oh, Dog #2. So cute!

Doggy #2 only because my boys have a couple just like it.

doggie number 2 needs to go.
and not to be mean, but do you really want the toy to NOT show dirt? wouldn't that mean your kid could potentially be walking around with some filthy toy? i mean, i know you'd be awesome and wash the thing regularly but i figure, easier detection of nastiness is better than, uhm, not so easy detection of nastiness. my two cents.

Doggy #1.

#2!#2! And not at all because it looks a little like my doggie. Nope, not the reason at all.

I'm partial to blondes, so...#1 it is.

Doggy #1 will need washing much more frequently than Doggy #2. (Just like white cars need washing more frequently than black cars.)

That said, I think doggy #2 is cuter anyway.

Doggie #2 reminds me of our dearly departed Loki, our doberman, whose ashes sit on my nightstand all year long.

Number one, number one! So cute.

It's funny how grief can hit you in spurts. My aunt died from brain cancer in September, and I've been fine, but I couldn't help but break down at the Christmas card her family sent. It was so sad not seeing her signature.

Doggie #1 is my favorite! =)

Dog #1!!!

Speaking of crying over things that are ashes, two of my coworkers and I burst into tears during our holiday celebration this afternoon. Odd.

Happy holidays!

Dog #1 all the way!

I'm sure Callie and Pixel appreciate their new homes under the tree. It just wouldn't be Christmas with out them there, would it? :)

I vote for doggy #2.
(says the cyber granny with bronchitis!)

Admittedly, the cat ashes under the tree kind of creep me out, but I have never had a pet, so who am I to say anything?

I say go with Dog #1.

Firstly, a date with Starbucks has to be much better than an outing with real people. But then again I am a huge addict and have a real Starbucks problem (just see my post today for proof!).

Secondly, I really like your photo of the cats under the tree. I definitely think holiday bows would be a nice touch.

And thirdlly, it's hard to make a decision about the dogs knowing that one poor puppy has to go back to the store. But at least that store is Target, right? I vote for Dog #2, because he is probably less likely to show how dirty he will soon become at the side of a small toddler.

They're both adorable, but I like doggy ... ack it's hard to make a decision! But I'm gonna go with #2. I totally get how you and Chris couldn't decide!!

doggy #2- he won't need nearly as many baths as dog # 1 and I just bought his brother for my daughter. She is almost 5 and refuses to play with baby dolls, all of her babies are animals.

The real answer is give her both doggies. She's an only child. That is what you do.

I had a non-fat de-caf pumpkin myself this morning. mmmmmmmm...

I vote for the dark dog, no.2? I think it'll stay clean looking longer.

So sweet. I love the cats under the tree, I really do.

Also, I vote for Doggie #2. I like rottweiler-looking dogs, and figure a stuffed one is the closest you'll come to that big of a dog, no?

Maybe when they decide they are done being mean to you, and you meet real people, you should make them bring you a latte...

Awww... kitties under the tree...

Doggie 1. What are all those other people thinking? If Doggie doesn't get dirty, how will you know it's been loved enough to need a bath?

totally dog #1.

Doggie 2! And I know what I'm talking about as it is Dog Central over here.

Also, I love that the kitties are under the tree. Not weird at all - very adorable.

We're not sick! (Knock on wood) Come over! It's just a short little plane ride to Chicago...

love the cats sleeping under the tree and doggy #2

I cremated my dog when she died. I'm glad I did. I will always have her there, but I don't know if I would put her under the tree.


Dog #2...very cute!

dog #2 looks like my dog foster so I'm voting for that!

And when she spills on it it's less likely to get dirty.

Mmmm...starbucks...would love that right about now.

I imagine the kitties appreciate you thinking of them & remembering the good times they had napping under the tree.

Doggie #1. I like him. He's cuter.

I like # 1 because it looks like my bad boy, but #2 would be easier to keep looking clean.

Embiggen? A new word for me to remember.

I vote for Dog #1 and Dog #2 so neither will be lonely. Do they bark?

I think about my kitty who lived to be 17 and has been gone a few years now. We've had many cats come and go since then but I still become a little sad when I think about our Squeaky.

Keep #1.

I also vote for #2 because it won't show as much grime. Also, I love Rotties.

Keep #2 He kinda looks like my dog.

Dog #2. He looks fierce.

I vote for the coffee!

I think doggy #1 is very, very cute but I vote for also very cute doggy #2 because (a) did I mention, he is cute? and (b) #1 would look dingy when he gets dirty whereas #2 won't. So this is a vote for doggy #2.

And coffins under the Christmas tree may seem a little weird at first, but I really like the sentiment, so slap some bows on Callie and Pixel and let 'em celebrate with the rest of the family. Merry Christmas!


I vote for doggie#2 and festive bows.

the kitties scare me.

doggy one...looks so playful and kiddy friendly. latte


By the way, the Christmas card came, Mia is just lovely!

My vote is for dog #1.

They're both adorable, but I'm voting for #2.

I vote doggie #1. When she does spill something on it you will know it needs washed.

Dog #2.

Doggie #2 should be found under the tree.

I love that your kitties are a part of your Christmas this year.

I don't think bows on the kitty boxes will help. I imagine Mia's disturbed because they are moved from their normal place, and bows aren't gonna change, she'll wonder why she can't open them along with the rest of the presents!
If the doggies were for me, I'd choose #2, but I think Mia needs doggy #1.

I voet for Doggy #1!

Doggie #1 ... much more huggable. Plus, the eyes in the other one get lost in the dark fur.

I'm sure that another loving family will adopt the other one in the near future.

Dog #2. Totally. And it's not just because my dog is black. Nope, that has no bearing on my opinion at all. Nosirree.

And do those boxes open? If so, you might want to wrap them with ribbon just to prevent Mia from, you know, letting the cat out of the box.

I want to help choose, really I do...but everytime I make up my mind I change it back to the other one. okay, dog #1..but can #2 go to a friend so it doesn't have to go back to the store all alone....

Well, I like the white one best, but I think he MIGHT need a friend. You know, so he won't be the only dog in the house.

return #1 keep #2.

And the kitties under the tree? Very, um, well, not sure what the right word would be. Reminds me of Anne Lamott keeping her mother on a shelf in the closet all wrapped up nicely.

Number Two. That dog reminds me of the one my oldest son wagged around for years. He (the dog) still sits sits in the boy's closet. Every time I see him (the dog) it makes me cry.

I like Doggy Number 2

Poor kitties! Nice place for them to rest, though. I vote for doggie #1. Merry Christmas to everyone in the Rude-Fish household.

Doggy on the right. I have a white bear and its impossible to keep clean, and I'm an adult. Child + White Stuffed Toy = Sad doggy bouncing around the washer and dryer on a regular basis.

I'm a Lab person so #1

#1. I feel your sadness about the kitties. I have a snow scene with fur on it from a kittie we had 8 years ago. A little more falls off each year. I refuse to vacuum or scotch tape it off.

Kind of funny how much kitties love Christmas! Between sleeping under the tree, swatting ornaments, and knocking over trees when dad's have not fishing wired it to the wall. :-)

Hugs to you for the memory of cats!
And I vote for Doggy #1.

Doggy 2!!

i vote for numero deuce...ya..i tried...#2

So, I guess it's cause I'm not a pet-person, but, um....the dead cats? Kind of creepy.

Dog 1 is far sweeter even though it would show the dirt. A toy cat would be even more sweet though...

I vote for #1.

Doggy #1!

I vote for Dog #2, but instead of returning Dog #1 you can give it to Toys For Tots.

I'm glad the kitties have a place of honor under your tree, just be careful when you are opening packages on Christmas day.

Doggy #1

Dog #1. He's sweeter, plus Dog #2 is clearly sleeping with Dog #1's bitch.

This is much tougher than voting on your outfit for date night.

I'm going with pooch #1.

Definitely #2 - gorgeous and practical (i.e. won't show toddler dirt)

#1 is my vote!

gingerbread milky coffee? BLECH! You starbucks people are GROSS.
Coffee and baileys is about as wild as I get and even then I prefer it in hot chocolate or tea.

p.s. dog 1

Doggy #2 gets my vote because of his two-tone fur.

Doggie #1, all the way

First of all, the cats under the tree made me sad, too. Made me think back to all my old kitties... Thanks for sharing.

And, I vote Puppy #2. (Of course, a REAL one would be much better!)

I like doggy #1!

Dog #1, completely, all-the-way.

I vote for pup # 1 -- he looks like he needs a cute little toddler to own him.

However, she had TWO kitties, so having TWO puppies for Christmas would be fitting. I say keep 'em both. And let her name 'em.

When I saw the boxes I immediately thought OH NO what if Mia got into those. What a mess and OMG! Thats why we never kept dad around the house. OK getting morbid....

Doggie #1 photographs better so definitely #1. Gotta think of preserving all that cuteness for posterity.

Doggy #1 is more likely to be hypoallergenic....So, maybe that one....

Love the fishies between the touch!


I love that you put your kitties under the tree. I hope it's not too sad for you to see them there. It's darkly funny, though....sadly. Is Mia really disturbed by it? Does she understand what they are?

You have to keep both of them because now they have a home and you will only hurt their feelings by returning one.

(because we all know stuffed animals have feelings, right? right?)

#2! #2! #2! If #1 ends up winning can I bring #2 home with me? I'm in love with him already!

i vote dog # 2. happy holidays.

keep doggy no. 2

No. 2 gets my vote. More character!

I vote for Doggy #1.

#1 looks like a sheep so I would say #2

Oh, and I think NOT holiday bows for the cats. I think that would make them look like gifts, which makes me think of opening the boxes, which is disturbing. I think keep them more like they represent cats, less like they represent presents. You could decorate each with a small photo of the cat, perhaps, to emphasize their presence.

#2 You could give the other one to toys for tots or some other fine charity. Or just some kid on the street. Just a thought.

Dog #2 for sure

It's weird how greif hits you out of nowhere. I got all teary this year when my step-sister gave my daughter a "book" of lifesavers. it's the same gift that we got every year form her grandma who's been dead for a couple years now. What a weird thing to bring back the memories...

Keep them both! What? That wasn't an option? Crap. I guess keep #1.

And I like the downsized fish better.

I've been reading you blog for awhile and I LOVE ya!!

I would choose Dog #2 only because my son has a stuffed dog that he takes everywhere and it started off being a light color and now it has so many stains on it!!! Of course he loves it and can't be replaced with another. Both are adorable though!!:) Have a Merry Christmas!!

I'm all about the peppermint mochas this time of year. Yuuuuummmmyyyy!!!

I vote for doggie #2.
Doggie #1 is pretty but not very practical. White puppy + sticky girl = BIG MESS.

Merry Christmas Beth, Chris and Mia.

I'm not sure if it's too late to vote or not...but I'm going with dog #2. Nothing against dog #1...I just found #2 a little more doggish. Hmm...wonder why?

And I think bows would really add to the kitty caskets ~ I'd probably skip any kind of bells, though...that's freaky.

oh. both those doggies are so cute - how are you supposed to choose!?! I vote for the black and brown one. For some reason I feel he has more character. And also, it won't be as noticable if mia gets avacado or grape juice or something else bright and colourful spilled all over it.

Doggie No. 1. ;-)

As for the cats, I just hope Mia can't actually open the boxes. That could get, ummm, interesting...

I think it's very sweet that you put the cats under the tree. Of course, I am sentimental like that.

It is hard to choose, but I'm going to vote for Dog #1.

I vote for dog #1!

I like Dog #1. Although both are cute.
Cats under the tree is a great idea. There is fur on my tree skirt from my old cat who vanished without a trace over the summer so I totally get it.
Merry Christmas to the Cactus-Fish Family!

#2. Super snuggly.
And so sad about the kittie memories. But at least they're still enjoying the tree.

Doggy #2. He may not ended looking as dirty as #1 after a few months play.

Please let us know what Mia names her new pet!

doggy # 1

I vote for #2!

I think the kitty boxes are great. My cat passed away last year as well, but decided on having her ashes spread instead of keeping them - it would be too hard for me to see the box everyday, but I keep a picture of her peeking out from under our tree.

awww the kitties do look very happy under the tree.

Please keep both puppies. You cannot adopt one and then bring it back. That is mean. They are already friends.

Give her one now, then give her the other for her birthday.

I like #1 - but the poster above is totally right #2 will stay clean longer! And if, the puppy really catches on and she starts dragging it around and refuses to give it up for a bath in the will be much less disturbed if you can't see the gross-ness. We have 2 very light colored bears at our house...and I am getting good at getting sneaky to get them into the wash.

Dog #2

Merry Christmas!

I like Doggie #2. Reminds me of my own darling doggie. And I feel your pain on the departed loved ones. I put up a tree for the first time in several years, and when I pulled out the decoration box I found a sack of little stockings I had made for my pets years ago, and realized most of them were no longer with me. I just clutched them and cried. And gave extra hugs to all the ones who've come since. Sniff.

I vote to keep #1!

Totally #2

Help! Help! I'm not sure where we're meeting!

Check your e-mail. I sent you my cell-phone number

I'm so sorry about the kitties. I like that you have them under the tree. I still get eye-blinky when I pull out Bert's ornament. And he really liked this one wooden santa we have so I always think of him when I see it.

Doggy #2--stays cleaner longer.

Doggy #1

What a fabulous idea with your kitties! Our cats just love it under the tree. Now they can still be a part of your Xmas celebration.

Merry Christmas to the three of you!

Dog #1! I think that's sweet, having the cats under the tree like that.

Dog #1. MrMan recently got his first (stuffed) dog and is loving it, though we can't seem to settle on a name.
Mia is not the only one disturbed by your tree skirt ensemble.
Re. paragraph one: have you tried their eggnog latte?

That is a hard one... I think white is cuter, but 2 will proably look better longer. good luck!

Merry Christmas!

I like the dark dog.
Merry Christmas.

Keep #2...won't show the dirty little fingerprints, not that Mia ever has dirty hands :)

And I love where you placed the kitties, we still hang a stocking for our baby dog and take his ashes with us when we travel.

Dog #2.

The number 1 pup is more girlish ,number 2 better suited for a little boy,im picturing number 1 with a pink collar/bow on for Mia.Merry Christmas to your beautiful family!!!Lab or rottweiler?

Sweet cats.

I vote for #2.

I vote for dog #2, but only because you made me. If I was Mia's mom, I would let her have both. Why can't she have 2 dogs???

doggy #2 gets my vote :)

Mommies and mimosas sounds fun, count me in. We just moved to a new area and I have no mommy friends yet to do that with, how do you take that step to make good mommy friends? I haven't figured it out yet...

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So the Fish Said...

Whoever you are, now I place my hand upon you, that you be my poem, I whisper with my lips close to your ear.

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