Guest Post: Christmas Wrapping the Cat by Stephen Kozeniewski

KozeniewskiBraineaterJonesDabbers, please welcome Stephen Kozeniewski back to the blog, author of Braineater Jones, a zombie mystery noir with more than one twist. You can catch my review of Braineater Jones over HERE and my interview with Stephen over HERE. Today Stephen is here to share some very funny, and perhaps incriminating, pictures of his cats. Oh, and yes, we will try to talk about his books a little too.

I was in charge of Christmas wrapping the cat….and other impossible feats by Stephen Kozeniewski

Anyone who knows me even slightly knows of my immense love of cats. Specifically my two cats, Nibbler and Felix.

An Eternal Love

In fact, my Facebook profile photo is of me and Nibbler right now. Nibbler is just over one year old and still in her cute stage. This is somewhat offset by also still being in her “pooping outside the box” stage, but I digress.

Felix just turned ten, so for the vast majority of his life, he was an only fur-child, and was treated as such (and grew used to such treatment.) In fact we largely justified the second cat because we felt like he needed a playmate.

And why did our dear, beloved feline need a playmate? Well, true enough that my wife and I both work, so Felix was spending eight hours or so a day finding things to knock off of shelves instead of cuddling with his owners. So part of it was to keep him from getting bored (read: destructive.) But a second, and perhaps larger segment of this concern was the entire 22 lbs of his bulk.

More Of Me To Love
More Of Me To Love

Yes, our dear, sweet Felix is larger than most cats. And dogs. And some of the sportier European sedans. We hoped a second cat would encourage him to exercise a bit. You can imagine, I suppose, what it’s like trying to get a cat the size of a car tire to do something he doesn’t want to do.

Nevertheless, three or four times a year we go through the futile exercise of trying to dress him up for various holidays. Most times we manage to furtively jam a costume onto him and take pictures until one, usually by accident, turns out.

Rudolph was the hap-hap-happiest reindeer.
Rudolph was the hap-hap-happiest reindeer.

I think when Susan asked me to write this guest post about “Christmas wrapping the cat” she meant it as a metaphor. You know, like “don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater” or “the better angels of our nature.” Little did she realize, I suppose, that I actually DO have to Christmas wrap the cat every year.

Last year was the worst. I got a wild hair up my ass that we should have a professional photo done for the Christmas card. I take 100% responsibility for this one. The problem is that Felix does not care for other human beings. Not a one of them. And you remember what I said about trying to get 1 ½ stones of cat to do what he doesn’t want to do.

Literally, all we had to do was get Felix to sit still for long enough to get one decent picture. My wife and I were dressed up, and we decided to eschew the entire reindeer costume in favor of just the jingle bell collar, hoping it would calm him.

It did not. He did not care to sit still for even a portion of a second as our photographer friend attempted to take picture after picture.

At 220 lbs (according to my driver’s license) I should, theoretically be able to calm a cat 1/10th my size. Not so. In fact, in the following photo, you can see how badly he shredded up my hand:

Photo Credit: George Griffo (
Photo Credit: George Griffo (

KozeniewskiBillyAndThenCloneasaurusSo, yes, sadly, for me Christmas wrapping the cat is not a metaphor, but, in fact, an annual chore that results in holiday cheers of pain and colorful ribbons of blood, usually my own. Thanks to Susan for having me and I hope you’ll all check out my newest novel, BILLY AND THE CLONEASAURUS, which somehow I haven’t managed to mention this entire post, so I’ll just jam it in here at the end.

Stephen – thank you so much for stopping by the blog and sharing your fat, ornery cat story!

Places to Stalk Stephen Kozeniewski

Manuscripts Burn (blog)





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