Christmas 2010 with the crazy cat


Graci hangs out under the Christmas tree

It’s Day 3 and the Christmas tree is still standing!

That might not sound notable to people who have not met our crazy calico cat, Graci.

We inherited Gracie in October after a friend passed away and we’ve been trying to adjust to the 2-year-old Kamikaze cat that raids the garbage for cotton swabs to dip in her water dish, along with both dried corsages from my son’s wedding.

Did I mention she’s deaf? Yup, you can yell all you want and she doesn’t hear a thing. For real. Not deaf, like a husband who doesn’t want to hear. She really can’t hear.

So, in the beginning of December we began to debate in earnest about whether we should put up a Christmas tree. My husband didn’t want to, but I said I always had a cat and I’ve always had a tree.

Here’s the secret: Don’t decorate the bottom three rows of branches. Our artificial tree has lights and some are burned out, so I supplement the tree with more white lights. I didn’t put those lights on the bottom so the tree is completely dark. I didn’t put ornaments there either. It’s kind of ugly, but it’s better that way.

As I moved up the tree, only the non-breakables are within cat’s reach. I had one stuffed ornament with tassels. That proved too exciting for the crazy cat that has made her home under our Christmas tree.

 All the breakables and heirlooms are at the top.

 So far, so good.

Some other tips for helping your pet to survive the holidays:

Don’t use tinsel. Cats especially are attracted to it and can ingest it. This really happened to my cat when I was a child and we had to take the cat for stomach surgery. Luckily she pulled through and we nursed her back to health with warm baby food and then warm canned cat food. You think cold cat food stinks? Wait till you smell the stuff that comes out of the microwave. It’s much better for everyone to skip the tinsel.

 I don’t use garland either. See reason number 1. Bead garland works quite nicely, thank you.

Make sure you know where your pet is when you are opening the door for company. It’s easy for them to slip out in all the fuss. If your pet likes to hover at the door, it’s OK and safer to lock it in a room, preferably one with a litter box.

I won’t go on. Here are some tips from the Humane Society of the United States.

One last one: Don’t leave candles unattended. If you need to ask why, you shouldn’t have pets.

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