I love decorating for Christmas and can’t imagine a home without a Christmas tree in December. We have an artificial tree that we put up the weekend after Thanksgiving each year. And each year someone asks me how I manage to keep the tree standing and decorated with all the cats in the house.

I’m lucky. That’s the only truthful reply. Oh, I can tell you that you should put the tree up a day or two before so the cats can climb and explore to their hearts’ content. Or so you can shoot them with the spray bottle every time they get near it so as to deter them before it’s decorated. But I don’t do that.

Another suggestion I could pass on is to anchor three strands of fishing line from the ceiling to the top of the tree to keep it from toppling over. But I don’t do that either.

Nope, I just put up the tree and hope for the best. My sole concessions are to place the ornaments I really don’t want batted around on the top half of the tree and avoid placing lovely rollables on the bottom section. And I never use tinsel. That’s it. That’s what I do to protect the tree, the ornaments, and the fur kids.

Strangely enough, after the first fascination with the tree while we are setting it up, the cats generally prefer to just sleep underneath on the tree skirt, rather than climb the branches. They also think it’s a fine place to hide and use for a base for attacking the other cats. Occasionally I find ornaments on the floor, casualties of a particularly wild run under the tree. But they leave the tree itself alone.

Well, except the other night when Zeke decided to be adventurous. I was awakened by what sounded like a wind chime being wildly shaken in my living room. I don’t have a wind chime – especially not in the living room!

I sleepily made my way downstairs hoping the tree was still standing and what did to my wondering eyes appear, but a red and white tabby half way up the tree. I said, “Zeke, get down from there!” in my sternest cat reprimand voice. And Zeke, being the one who usually listens (the only one!), tried to get down. Unfortunately, his back legs were tangled in the lights and he wasn’t going anywhere without help.

While I untangled Zeke from the lights – not an easy thing to do when the cat in question is convinced he’s in BIG trouble – the rest of the furkids circled the tree.

“Oh, look, Zeke’s in the tree!”

“That looks like fun – and do you hear the lovely noises the tree is making?”

“Oh, yeah! Sounds just like cat toys to me. Let’s join him!”

 I glared at them and exclaimed, “NO! No cats in the tree!”

Apparently my cat reprimand voice was working well, because after one attempt by the Storm kitten to sneak by and climb the tree, they all settled back down to whatever pursuits had occupied them before Zeke’s predicament. The tree is still standing and I haven’t heard phantom wind chimes again.

With two more weeks to go before the tree comes down, I can only hope my luck continues.

(--> Cat Tails, Pg17)

2002 lisa s vasa


(Please note that you will see a number of photos of our cats and kittens that I've taken outside in a natural setting. The LostWoods cats do NOT go outside unsupervised! When we do go outside for pictures and occasional adventures, there is always one person and usually two watching them closely. We do have an outside, fully enclosed run to which the older cats are allowed access, but even then we check on them often.)

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