We got our Christmas tree yesterday, from the neighborhood lot down the street. We brought the little noble fir home, gave it a couple hours soak in a bucket on the front porch, then set it up in the corner of the living room. But something was missing. No, not ornaments, though we didn’t decorate the tree until tonight. Notably absent from the proceedings were the McKittens. In past years, one or more of our three cats would keep the tree company as we set it up, and for hours afterwards. Yesterday saw some polite sniffing of needles, but no lounging beneath the branches.
Tonight, the trimmings came out: strings of lights and red wooden beads, colorful stars and hearts, sparkly snowflakes and icicles and my favorite felt Santas. Again, something was missing. Sergei came to check out the ornament box, but paid no attention as the baubles were draped on the tree. Lyra perched on the back on the closest chair, but made no moves on the tree. And Sasha, a plant-loving cat, spent most of the evening asleep on the top tier of his relocated cat tree.
I should, perhaps, be grateful that our cats are all grown up, and pose not the slightest danger to our tree. But, as I chuckled at a photo of a young cat draped around the base of his first Christmas tree like an orange tabby tree skirt, I found myself wishing that our cats were still at least a little enchanted by the tree. I miss their feline delight in the trappings of the season.
It’s time, I guess, to break out a new catnip candy cane.
I still put the less precious/ breakable/ chewable ornaments near the bottom of the tree. You never know…
We’ve never before bought Christmas presents for our cats. We buy them toys, but not for particular occasions; we hand out new toys when the cats have destroyed or gotten bored with the previous ones. Until this year, we left town for Christmas, and the kitties spent the holidays in the loving care of their catsitter, Auntie Lynne. We always arrived home to find that Lynne had brought the cats a new toy or two to entertain them while we were away.
On Christmas Eve, while we were out for a walk (in the snow!) to pick up coffee beans for Christmas morning, we stopped in at our neighborhood pet store to pick up new toys for Sasha, Sergei and Lyra. We settled on four small toys: a 7″ catnip-filled fabric candy cane, a rattle-bellied, long-tailed suede mouse, an atomic bouncing ball, and a catnip-filled fur toy with feathered tail.
On Christmas day, after Paul and I had opened our presents, we passed out the new toys to the cats. This wasn’t the sort of handing out of presents that one does with people; rather, I tossed each toy across the floor or into the air, and let the cats play with the one that attracted them. Lyra batted and chased the little knobby ball, Sasha grabbed and wrestled the candy cane, and Sergei tossed the fur and feather toy into the air again and again. A few minutes later, I noticed Sergei chewing on his new toy. And there seemed to be a problem with its feathers. I picked up my camera…
What’s Sergei doing with his toy?
He’s caught — too late to prevent the defeathering.
Within 10 minutes of receiving it, Sergei had chewed three feathers off the tail of his toy. The remaining two feathers, while mangled, remain attached a day later. And Sergei loves that toy just as well with two feathers as with five.