A Christmas Miracle: A fully decorated tree in a house full of pets

Published 11:47 am Wednesday, December 20, 2023

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They said it couldn’t be done.

They said our best efforts would end in tears.

They even called us deluded rookies.

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But we showed ‘em. At least so far….

Let history record that Paul and I erected our Christmas tree on December 10th, decorated it fully two evenings later, and, as we synchronize our watches (or phones—who wears a watch anymore?) for Christmas week, I am bloated with pride to report that our tree has remained steadfastly standing in a house of two dogs and five cats. And bonus points abound since two of those cats are experiencing their first Christmas, ever. 

We’re not complete idiots: we left the bottom third of the tree nearly bare, with only unbreakable baubles in empty spots, the other empty places filled with cream-colored, silk rose blossoms. And it’s not as if the cats are well-behaved—both Georgie and William, whom we took in last year as rescues, are very young and equally rambunctious. Indeed, Georgie was grabbing ornaments before I got them out of the box and running away with them.

But standing in all its glory, our tree is, as ever, tucked into the corner nook where the stairs make a left-hand turn onto the landing and is anchored securely against the banister using fishing line and a bungee cord. Aluminum foil is taped to the wall behind it.

A spray bottle of water (decorated with Christmasy stickers to appear festive) stands at the ready on the coffee table, within easy reach to spray a stream of water at mischievous actions.

Orange rinds, which have been reported to keep cats away from scratching furniture, are scattered among the folds of the tree skirt.

Paul takes the first shift, from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., and I take the following shift until 6 a.m. when it’s time to go to the barn. Night vision goggles mean I can leave the lights off and, HA! See like a cat in the dark. Free-basing coffee has enabled both of us to be sleep-free for the last 2 weeks. 

It’s a win-win. Except for the dogs. I caught Poppy trying to email Amnesty International for sanctuary.

Just a few days to go and we will emerge victorious!

O Tabbypaws, O Tabbypaws…