There was something missing this year from Rep. Loretta Sanchez's (D-Calif.) annual email holiday card, and it wasn't just the paper and ink.

It was Sanchez's white Persian cat, Gretzky, who died earlier this year at the age of 19.

During his life, Gretzky belonged to a class of congressional pets who have become synonymous with their owners. Among them, Sen. Kent Conrad's (D-N.D.) bichon frise, Dakota, and the late Sen. Ted Kennedy's Portugese water dogs, Splash, Sunny, and Cappy.

Gretzky posed for nearly a dozen holiday card photos alongside his mistress, agreeably donning everything from sunglasses to a tiny cheerleading uniform (both shown here) to help Sanchez's supporters and friends get into the holiday spirit.