We just weren’t fast enough, so Gracie had to step in and get things started. We’re usually quite prompt putting away our Christmas tree. Sometimes we’d do it Christmas evening or the day after. At most, we’d wait a week. This year, though, we were not so uptight, and then we all got sick. First, my husband, then I had a cold/flu; somewhere in there, my husband had a long business trip. Somehow, we were late taking down the tree.
I told myself it didn’t matter; who really cares? Come to find out, Gracie cared. Deciding that this task was right in her wheelhouse, she began to systematically help us. Every morning we would find a swath of Christmas ornaments on the floor.
She may have started out with the ones on the bottom row; we kind of expect that after all these years with cats. Soon, Gracie began pulling ornaments off the middle and near-top branches, too. She was pretty athletic in her expeditions around our tree — I can’t believe it didn’t fall over.
When we finally took it down, my husband pointed out areas where Gracie had built herself nests in a couple of areas near the tree’s top. Wow. It was her first Christmas, and she went all out! We didn’t hang up our precious and breakable ornaments, just in case she got rowdy, and that was a good decision. After removing her favorites, she carried them upstairs and around the house where she could canoodle with them privately.
This wouldn’t have bothered me, except that her favorite ornaments were all birds, many with natural feathers on them. As I look at our parrots, I wondered if she thought of them as she plucked the ornament’s feathers and bit into their plump little bodies. Or perhaps, the way they taunt her, she thought the ornaments were to be used as voodoo dolls. I’m still not sure.