Hi, I’m McCartney. A three-month-old male orange tabby kitten and I am vying for a spot to tug Santa’s sleigh! The competition with other kittens this year is fierce, but I have a lot to offer. I live for being around people, even the big ones. The mere sight of them makes my spirit bright! Tail up, purrs raging, I’ll adorably pounce in what looks like a high-octane dance when approached. Uncontrolled rubs when petted, and intense headbutts are guaranteed. Don’t let me get started on playtime! My hunting, chasing, and stalking of toys are a tour de force. Watch out Rudolph because my speed for a laser toy pointed my way will upstage your dashing any day!

Alas, I was recently notified that my application was deferred due to being way too much fun. Apparently, I’m a bad influence on the reindeer because they would much rather party with me, than focus on leading the way to the next child’s chimney. On the strength of my magnetic personality, and my unstoppable desire to prance to the sounds of bells, Santa’s elves have encouraged me to reapply. Once I add maturity to my charm, I’m a shoe-in to be among the ranks of Santa’s reindeers. And, perhaps even outshine Rudolph’s red nose, laughing all the way! McCartney ID# A06024 is available for adoption at the Santa Monica Animal Shelter and adoptions are by appointment only by calling the shelter at (310) 458-8595. You can learn more about McCartney online at smanimalshelter.petfinder.com

PET TIP OF THE WEEK: DECIDING IF A PET IS THE PERFECT HOLIDAY GIFT

Gifting a pet for the holidays can seem extra special for animal loving friends or family. There are many ways to determine if a pet is an appropriate gift, and also other options to gift experiences with pets that are just special.

Investigate whether your recipient has expressed a serious interest in adopting a pet. This interest should be sustainable and include a commitment to being a responsible pet owner.

Inquire as to what type of pet they want, age, disposition, and size. Each pet has their own unique requirements. A pet’s type, age, temperament, and any behavioral or medical needs may require your recipient to have extra time, money, and resources readily available to them.

Find out if they are looking to adopt immediately. While people may want pets, sometimes it’s not just the right time.

Before Christmas, planning a trip to the Santa Monica Animal Shelter by calling the shelter and making an appointment at (310) 458-8595, can help you to make a definitive determination that they want a pet now. And, if they fall in love with a pet that they meet, you may be able to gift them a pet that their heart is already set on.

Adopting a new pet takes time and resources. Make sure that your recipient has a schedule with extra time. Consider gifting accessories with the pet like bedding, toys, food, a paid first visit to a veterinarian, a month of pet insurance, a gift certificate to a pet care company, or even a pet trainer.

When you are ready to adopt the pet, choose to adopt from an animal shelter, rescue group, or someone you are familiar with so that may offer you the pet’s history. This will help your recipient to be prepared to address and meet their pet’s specific needs.

If a pet is not the right gift, there are many other options that can fulfill their love and desire to spend time with animals. You can sponsor a shelter pet in the name of the recipient, provide them with an application and information about volunteer opportunities at an animal shelter, take them on a day trip to an aquarium, zoo, safari park, or all of the above!

Whether you gift a pet, or an experience with one, determining which is the right fit can help to ensure that your recipient has more reasons to enjoy a happy holiday season! .

Pet of the Week is provided by Carmen Molinari, a long-time volunteer at the Santa Monica Animal Shelter and founder and CEO of Love At First Sit, a pet care and dog training company in Santa Monica. Learn about her, pet tips, and Love At First Sit services at loveatfirstsit.net