Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Uptake...Slow...Me...

I was driving to school this morning, tooling southbound along the Maine Turnpike as I do every day, when I noticed something.  It rather took me by surprise.

There were no leaves on the trees.

That makes sense.  It is December.  The leaves turned all kinds of pretty colors and plummeted to earth a while ago.  It's not like it happened overnight or anything.  Nor is it the sort of thing that I failed to notice when it was occurring.

But, somehow, it didn't really register.  Nor did my flipping of the calendar page.  It is December.  Really, honestly, December.  I am eating leftover Thanksgiving turkey.  I am counting the days until my next vacation from school.  December...

Every year, I swear to myself that I am going to be more observant.  I promise that I will not be shocked when holiday time rolls around.  I go to great lengths to watch the television commercials change from "buy more sunscreen" to "no one will love you if you don't buy them presents."  I see it, but I don't believe it.  And I'm taken by surprise every single year when it hits me.

It is this time of the year that I realize I won't be knitting gifts for everyone.  That's OK.  There's nothing wrong with that.  Not everyone needs a hat.  Even if they do, they can always go get one.  But it still feels like defeat when I have to acknowledge my lack of knitting superpowers.  I'll keep plugging away at what I've got going and finish what I can.  

Then I will make the inevitable promises to myself to do better next year.  I will swear on a stack of Vogue Knitting magazines that I will use my summer vacation responsibly and that this sad state of affairs will never happen again.  

There is time enough for all that promising of stuff later, though.  For now, I must think thoughts of holiday bling.  Shiny things must be brought out to sparkle for the short time they are seasonally appropriate and lights must be tested for their twinkle-a-bility.  It's a busy time.

I must also deal with that big green thing in the other room.  Putting up the Christmas tree is always something of a drama and never really goes well.  The color coded tags fell off long ago and I never remember to label the branches like I say I'm going to.  The whole thing will be assembled upside down at least twice.  Then there is my complete lack of Symmetry Sense.  Invariably, I will cluster twenty ornaments in one spot and then spend two days rearranging them into something more even.  Except that "even" is a relative sort of concept and really depends upon where you are sitting.  I'll be tweaking the baubles and whatnots until I take the thing down on New Year's Day, if the truth be told.

There is another thing to factor in this year as well.  I have been telling the Absurdly Gi-normous Kitty all about Christmas for a couple of weeks now.  (even if I hadn't really processed its actual proximity)  He has heard all about how we do things over here and how he's really gonna like this holiday.  

But we haven't really had the Tree Talk.  I am a bit nervous about his reaction to a large green presence with shiny things hanging from it.  I am a veteran when it comes to cat-proofing a tree.  I know my stuff.  I tie the thing to a heavy piece of furniture.  I put the more sturdy (and disposable) ornaments on the bottom for the enjoyment of frolicking felines.  I do not put lights on the bottom of the tree for fear of random chewing.  I've got a plan for everything.

Except the AGK.  He may foil my most masterful safety planning.  We really do need to have a talk about this.  We should sit down this very night.  Christmas trees are for enjoying and for sheltering presents.  Not for swinging.  Or eating.

We need to talk.  


He's sort of busy these days, though.  He probably won't hear a word I say...


Is it considered "festive" and "in the spirit of the season" to erect a barbed wire fence around the Christmas Tree?

SA

16 comments:

Mel said...

As long as it's glittery barbed wire, I think you'll be fine.

Jeanne said...

The year Zander came home as a kitten was the first year I'd ever had my very own tree.

It lasted a week.

After he attacked it and pulled it over onto him twice, the tree was dismantled (fake) and has been in the box ever since because it seems I always have a kitten of some sort on hand.

My advice: scatter the cat caves in a seductive manner as far from the tree as possible. Nothing wrong with a fence....

Melissa said...

You might be surprised - my kitty of mass destruction has steered clear of the tree, and it's been up since Saturday.
Where can I get one of them tunnels??? You could reveal to me said NAME of dollar store and I could see if they have them in NH and stock up so if AGK needs more, you will have back up!

trek said...

Spray paint the barbed wire in festive tones of silver and gold and call it "good".

Word Verification: ovartion (verb) - when a crowd rises to its feet and applauds wildly for the division of chocolate into two equal portions, one for immediate consumption and one for later consumption, of course, not for sharing.

Kath said...

Yeah, I had to make a choice - Christmas tree or Cat. The decision was obvious. But I do hang icicle lights along my balcony railing and it looks quite nice! Think of it this way - you'll have a very interesting holiday season!

kmkat said...

A former neighbor who had 5 (or was 6?) sons told me that they used to put their Christmas tree in a playpen to protect it from the wee ones. Not sure if that would work with AGK -- can he jump that high?

Beth said...

December snuck up on me, too, and each day is speeding by. I'm with kmkat - the playpen or baby play area (what are those plastic fence things called?) sounds like a good idea.

Yarnhog said...

I suppose a child gate wouldn't work against a cat, would it?

I don't knit gifts for other people either. I knit for myself, and then I ooh and ahh and act surprised and pet the yarn and admire the stitches.... It works for me, okay?

Julie said...

Some kitties can handle having a sparkly, shiny, tree in the house; not mine. You may remember Rico in the tree the last 2 years; this year we get to add a toddler to the mix!

My verification word seems appropriate - wowee :-)

Karen said...

You do not want to know what dogs do when a tree comes into the house. We cage the tree.

Cursing Mama said...

We are lucky - Jack & Benny usually behave themselves with the trees (yes, there are 2). My sister however has a teeny tiny cat (like 3 pounds tops) and her cat is stealth enough (and small enough) to climb up into the tree and lay in its fake pokey branches - which is fine & dandy until he tries to exit. She now keeps her tree all decorated up on the back porch. That would be outside, behind locked glass doors. Do you have a balcony Sheepie? I would be prepared.....

Donna Lee said...

My cats usually play with the tree until the ornaments and lights go on. Then they leave it alone. They have used the lower branches for springboards to jump on one another and then I have to cut those branches off.

Anonymous said...

Small house + (2 dogs + 1 cat)= tree stays in attic.
Verification word: What is the opposite of AGK? dinkie

Berta

Teri S. said...

I think we've decided to dispense with the Christmas tree this year. Given Bosco's propensity for climbing window screens, chewing anything cord-like or box-like (all the presents would be opened before Christmas morning), and generally acting like a crazy cat, the tree would last perhaps a day and the ornaments an hour. I haven't figured out a good tree alternative.

Good luck having the tree talk with the AGK. I agree with Jeanne that perhaps scattering several cat caves about just might entice him away from the tree.

April said...

Charge up those camera batteries - I think you're gonna need 'em.

erasmus (aka jiva) said...

lemons. All over the tree. Cats hate em.