It’s Boxing Day. And Sam Sam wants to celebrate with one of her favorite activities: boxing!
While our friends in the UK, Canada and elsewhere in the former British Empire actually celebrate the holiday, we at CatSynth in the United States just love the name. But we have long been curious about its significance and origin. From Wikipedia:
There are competing theories for the origins of the term, none of which are definitive. The Oxford English Dictionary gives the earliest attestations from Britain in the 1830s, defining it as “the first week-day after Christmas-day, observed as a holiday on which post-men, errand-boys, and servants of various kinds expect to receive a Christmas-box”.
The term “Christmas-box” dates back to the 17th century, and among other things meant:
A present or gratuity given at Christmas: in Great Britain, usually confined to gratuities given to those who are supposed to have a vague claim upon the donor for services rendered to him as one of the general public by whom they are employed and paid, or as a customer of their legal employer; the undefined theory being that as they have done offices for this person, for which he has not directly paid them, some direct acknowledgement is becoming at Christmas.
We at CatSynth with everyone a very happy winter holiday season, whichever holidays you celebrate! Sam Sam likes to celebrate the holidays relaxing with her favorite Christmas-themed toy.
For us, Hannukah ended a little less than a week ago. Here is our eighth-night photo with our musically themed menorah.
On the winter solstice, we were out at a show that is featured in our latest CatSynth TV – more on that later. As for today, Christmas, we are going to make like Sam Sam and relax. And later maybe have Chinese food and watch a movie 😺
Sam Sam has decided that the space under the studio console is an excellent napping spot.
This is where the Nord Stage lives when not gigging, and my main Pro Tools HDX station for music recording and CatSynth TV post-production. I am loath to move her when I find her there, so I usually just wait a little bit. After all, even napping cats rarely stay in one place for long.
If the studio looks a bit messy and chaotic, that is because it is. Between gigging, travel, and probably too much gear, it has been hard to keep in order during the second half of the year. The latest dismantling was for my recent performance at VAMP, which came before I had replaced everything from my New York trip. The Nord keyboard usually makes it back in place quickly, sometimes it takes the ever-expanding collection of synths a little while longer. Hopefully in the next few quieter weeks will get it organized and better than ever…
It was one year ago today that Sam Sam came to live at CatSynth HQ, and we are wishing her a very happy first Gotcha Day (adoption anniversary)!
A year ago I was still in the early part of my grieving process for Luna, who had passed away just a little over a month earlier. Getting another cat was always the plan, but not quite so soon. But our friends Michael de la Cuesta (of Vacuum Tree Head) and Karen de la Cuesta told me about this sweet cat they needed to rehome – her longtime human had passed away a year earlier, and she needed to leave her current home in southern California. I, of course, said yes. So on December 7, 2016, she made the journey north to San Francisco and stepped in HQ for the first time. Not surprisingly, “Sam Sam” was a bit shy and skittish at first, spending most of her time under the bed, sneaking out periodically for food, water, and the litter box. But bit by bit she came out her shell and blossomed into a wonderful companion. She is quite talkative and outgoing now – even a bit sassy at times 😸
She delights many with her unique markings and quirky antics.
Happy Gotcha Day, Sam Sam! We are so glad you came to live with us, and we hope to spend many years together 💕
Early Saturday morning, I embarked on another trip to New York. As it is late November, this trip requires a winter coat. While it was sitting out, Sam Sam came over to investigate.
She was fascinated by the wool coat and immediately started purring up a storm and kneading.
The soft woolen surface clearly brought out some kitten instinct in her. While Luna used to purr and knead soft things frequently, I haven’t seen Sam Sam do that as much, and not to the degree she did in the presence of this coat.
One of the hardest parts of leaving on a trip is leaving my cat. Fortunately, we know that Sam Sam is good hands, being lovingly looked after at CatSynth HQ (and probably spoiled rotten). I look forward to reuniting with her in a little over a week.
Hours after this post was originally written, a new downtown San Francisco temperature record was set at 106 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.
I love heat. Indeed, my ideal temperature is higher than some friends and colleagues’ comfort zones. But this is too hot for even me. Which means it’s a bit unbearable for poor Sam Sam.
She has been strategically lying in spots that are shaded, as in the photo above where she is lying underneath a small table and a mounted crash cymbal. She does love her sunshine, though, so keeps going back to the window to bask for a few minutes.
As the temperature continues to climb inside of CatSynth HQ, I have also set up space with a towel and cold pack for her.
The heatwave is expected to diminish a bit tomorrow. In the meantime, I suspect we are going to be taking it easy for the remainder of the afternoon.
Sam Sam loves being brushed. She also enjoys boxing. Sometimes the two activities come together when she plays “Swat!” with her hairbrush.
Sam Sam is a more rough-and-tumble cat than Luna and the swat game is part of her unique style of play. You can see a bit of her in action in these “Live Photos” from our iPhone and iPad.
For those who may be wondering about the “Motion Stills” stamp on those videos, it is an iOS app made by Google to export Live Photos from your iPhone or iPad to video platforms like YouTube, Instagram, etc.
It’s Pride Weekend here in San Francisco 🏳️🌈. But since we have a busy several days, indeed a busy month, we are taking a bit of time this Sunday afternoon to relax. It’s also a great opportunity to play with Sam Sam. Here are some recent photos of our playful and funny feline companion.
Sam Sam can be quite expressive, even a bit sassy, when she wants something. She loves attention, food, getting brushed, and playing. She is always asking for attention and play.
Even when others in CatSynth HQ are trying to work.
The astute observer will see graphics for our various mobile apps on the screen, as well as a photo of Luna.
As it is Pride, here is an obligatory rainbow filter on that first photo of Sam Sam (which is one of my favorites).
We hope you all are having a nice weekend, wherever you are and whatever you celebrate.