Ever since I was a child, I have enjoyed bird ornaments on my Christmas tree. It was a sad year when my mother told me that my favorite bird ornaments were too tattered and worn to put on the tree. As an adult, you can easily tell which ornaments on my tree were gifts because they are not any kind of animal, bird, insect, or fish. Yes, we decorate our tree with various critters — moths, robins, flamingos, dragons, zebras, trout, dogs, cats, etc. We also place gift ornaments on the tree, but they clearly expand the theme past its representation of the natural world.
Our cats have primarily shown no interest in our tree in recent years until Gracie. She was shyly curious, and we usually discovered her nighttime naughtiness when we got up in the morning. This summer, as my husband mowed the grass and tended the backyard, we found several ornaments that she had carried out through the dog door. It seems that her antics were broader than we had first known.
Last year, as we took down our tree, I found a perfect cat bed hollowed out within the branches. Like a deer laying in grass leaves a depression, we found a cat-sized depression about 2/3 of the way up the tree. Gracie! Nami is too elderly to care about scaling the tree, but we were on to Gracie. This year, I finally put up my breakable ornaments, knowing that the tree won’t fall over when she roots around in its branches.
We put our tree up for two weeks before Christmas this year and will take it down quickly. We limit the amount of tree-time mainly because of our parrot, Sugar. He has a history of plucking all the leaves off our artificial trees or plants, so we don’t want our Christmas tree up so long that he plots its demise. As I took ornaments out of boxes this year, I found some that were pretty beat up last year. One went back on the tree, and the other went in the trash.
I figure that Christmas is for everyone, even our cats. They need a little entertainment from the winter doldrums, too. I don’t hold it against them if they play with the ornaments. They don’t need to last forever; they just need to delight us and bring us fond memories. Sharing our holiday with the cats brings us much amusement during the dark days of winter. I think Gracie had a good time this year!