As the yuletide season nears its crescendo and 2011 draws to a close, Steve (my human) and I would like to extend our best wishes for a wonderful and peaceful Christmas holiday, and for a healthy and happy new year. This past year has been pretty, shall we say, challenging… but, hey, aren’t they all?
And, for your holiday reading pleasure – and some good laffs – here’s the “Christmas” section of the “Holiday Fun (& Danger)” chapter from The World Is Your Litter Box…
Christmas: The mother of all holidays... a time for joy, goodwill, and complete madness. This is a holiday that is nothing but fun for cats. The Christmas lights. The presents. The tree. The tinsel. The ornaments. The egg nog. Deck the halls indeed!
Although many stores start selling Christmas stuff in July, or so it seems, most humans start their serious Christmas shopping the day after Thanksgiving (although, for extra thrills and chills, some masochistic humans wait until December 24th). This means the Christmas season lasts around one month – one full month of crowded malls and post offices, angry drivers duking it out over parking spaces, mind-deadening Christmas music, maxed-out credit cards, and endless unrealistic TV commercials showing rich people buying each other plasma TVs and other expensive presents that normal mortals can’t afford. Why do humans put themselves through it? I don’t know.
But forget them. What about us cats, you say? Just what’s so special about Christmas from the feline perspective?
Well, fellow reveler, let’s start with that most traditional of holiday traditions, the Christmas tree. A week or two before Christmas, most humans bring in a fir or pine-type tree from outside and decorate it with lights, tinsel, candy canes and ORNAMENTS. These colorful shiny balls may possibly be the best thing about Christmas – the way they dangle and glisten so invitingly, just begging to be batted at. Who can resist? Not me, that’s for sure. Or you either. And why should we? After all, if our humans were truly worried about damage to their ornaments, they wouldn’t hang them in such a tempting location. So don’t be bashful, fellow sultan of swat. Whack at those ornaments until your heart’s content. And hey, if you happen to knock a few (or several) off the tree, don’t sweat it. It’s Christmas!
Then there’s the yuletide thrill of climbing the Christmas tree. However, a word of caution here. A few years back, I shinnied up my tree all the way to the top. Just as I was getting ready to do my impersonation of the Star of Bethlehem, my massive kitty girth upset the fundamental balance of gravity and the tree topped over with a resounding, tinkling crash (those ornaments DO break if they hit the ground hard enough). Naturally, Steve was pretty chagrined... although, deep down, I think he thought it was pretty funny.
It’s also great to sleep under the Christmas tree. You can even pretend you are a present if you like. And there is nothing like a refreshing drink of cool, pine-scented Christmas tree water to really get you in the holiday spirit.
Another great thing about Christmas is the presents, or, should I say, the ribbon and wrapping on the presents. The amazing thing is, fellow cat, that after all the painstaking planning, the stupefying shopping and the manual dexterity-challenging wrapping of gifts, the actual present-opening ritual is over in a matter of minutes, leaving an orgy of detritus for you to play in. Oh the joy of taking a flying leap at a mountain of crumpled-up wrapping paper, the glee of scattering colorful ribbons and bows around the living room, the unparalleled pleasure of climbing into new, unexplored empty boxes, the ego-flattering self indulgence of posing for photographs amid the rubble. And because your human won’t want you to feel left out of all the gift-giving – and receiving – they will probably buy something nice for you. In my house, it’s usually just a trifle like catnip or a cat toy, but hey, it’s the thought that counts, right? Besides, on top of all the other previously-mentioned delights of Christmas, an extra present is merely icing on the cake.
And of course, when the merriment finally comes to an end and your human is cleaning up the wreckage, there is nothing better than a contented-cat snooze in front of a roaring yuletide fire.
NOTE #1: Many children-humans break or become disinterested in their Christmas presents within minutes of receiving them, thus leaving them for you to play with and break further, if you so desire. Also, be sure to investigate the presents given and received by adult humans. Most likely, you will find some nice new clothing to curl up and sleep on.
NOTE #2: Sparkly and inviting as it may seem, DO NOT EAT TINSEL.
NOTE #3: Some humans will become very angry when you knock ornaments and other objects off the Christmas tree. Many will even create an ornament timber line, that is, they will only hang ornaments in positions above your reach. DON’T LET THIS STOP YOU FROM HAVING YOUR GOD-GIVEN RIGHT TO BAT AT CHRISTMAS ORNAMENTS. If ornaments are placed beyond your reach, climb up the tree and rock it back and forth like a bear at
. This will surely cause a few things to fall, or at least tumble to a place where you can get at them. (For ways to combat your human=s anger over broken Christmas ornaments, see chapter entitled “How to Get Away with Unacceptable Kitty Behavior.” Yellowstone National Park