From a photograph by Solomon D. Butcher of four daughters of rancher Joseph M. Chrisman, at their sod house in Custer County, Nebraska. From left to right, Harriet, Elizabeth, Lucie, and Ruth. Photographed in 1886.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Cats and Christmas Trees

An evergreen feline attraction



Casper and some of his seasonal cat toys


I've had quite a few cats through the years, and they have all liked the Christmas tree.

Skittles is technically Isaac's cat, and she is the exception to the rule. She was about six months old at her first Christmas. She must have been outside when we started putting up the tree, because we had a good start on decorating it before she discovered it.

As soon as Skittles came into the living room and saw the tree, she jumped right up into its branches. I guess she thought it was a real tree. "NOOOOOO, Skittles!" we all shrieked in unison, as the tree began to tip over. Terrified by the whole experience, she ran from the room, and she has ignored the tree ever since. Trauma is not always a bad thing.

Happy, our old tom that we lost summer before last, was a terror with the tree when he was little. Until we got Happy, I still had several dozen 2-inch red satin balls that I liked to hang on the Christmas tree every year. They had been on the Christmas tree in the church when we got married.

During Happy's frisky kitten years, those red satin balls were his favorite. He loved to ricochet one across the room and catch it again by sinking his claws into its threads. When he got one of those balls, it had to be retrieved rapidly, or it would be too torn up to put back on the tree.

Later on, Happy lost most of his interest in the ornaments. He just enjoyed sleeping on the quilted tree skirt. He followed the rule, "If you like it, take a nap on it."

Casper is enjoying his second Christmas this year. He has only climbed up into the tree once this year that I know of. Dennis doused him thoroughly with water from the squirt bottle, and he rapidly exited the tree. I haven't seen him even attempt to climb it again.

Like Happy, Casper is very fond of lying underneath the tree. He checks out the interesting "toys" that hang from the bottom of the tree, and then, he usually takes a nap.

Caspar has several favorite ornaments that I pick up and rehang every day. He prefers the little stuffed, furry things over hard metal or plastic ornaments. He likes to sink his teeth into them and give them a thorough kicking. I hope they survive the season.

Christmas tree ornaments

4 comments:

Mark said...

My wife's gigantic cat also likes to sleep on the tree skirt. Like you say, most anything that catches his attention ends up as a good place to take a nap.

Genevieve said...

Hi, Mark. Our cats like to sleep on anything that's new and more or less soft. Or anything that's in a new place and soft will also do for a nap. It's all about the novelty of sleeping in a new spot, you know.

Michelle-ozark crafter said...

I can remember being woken from a sound sleep by the crashing of our Christmas tree when I was a child. my very ornery cat had climbed it in the middle of the night. My dad was not happy at all! LOL!

Genevieve said...

I'm sure it's especially hard to keep the cat out of a real Christmas tree. :)

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CONTENTMENT: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry, live simply, expect little, give much, sing often, pray always, forget self, think of others and their feelings, fill your heart with love, scatter sunshine. These are the tried links in the golden chain of contentment.
(Author unknown)

IT IS STILL BEST to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasure; and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong.
(Laura Ingalls Wilder, 1867-1957)

Thanks for reading.