Sunday, December 13, 2009

It Couldn't Last

I truly did have my Holly Jolly on yesterday. I baked. I knit unto others. At one point, I swear to you that I was humming Jingle Bells and meaning it!

As darkness fell and day turned to night, I was feeling pretty satisfied with myself. Never before in the history of Noel As We Know It has there ever been such a fine example of holiday cheer. I half thought I might compose a carol for myself just to commemorate the occasion.

I felt justified in setting the knitting and baking aside for a while. A girl can only be a paragon of All Things Merry And Bright for so long. I settled myself in for some TV and computer games. Lockup was playing out before me and I was kicking pixels like a champion. Life was good.

And then the Christmas tree came to life.

First, I heard the jangle of precious, irreplaceable ornaments chiming frantically against one another. The rustle of genuine, imitation pine boughs was discernible as well. I looked up to see the mighty plastic pine shaking like a tree possessed.

This might have been frightening and a sure sign of Zombie Tree Syndrome were it not for the big orange tail sticking out from under the lower branches. Frankly, I'd rather have a possessed tree intent upon eating my brains. That I could handle. I've been preparing for this eventuality for years.

But a cat in my Christmas tree? That is a disaster for which no one can plan.

The Absurdly Gi-normous Kitty has shown interest in the tree, but never anything that worried me. This is our second Christmas together and I never once thought that he might try to kill an imitation pine. But he was pretty fired up for most of yesterday and, rather than wind himself down, he got worse during the evening. There was running. There was skidding. There was prancing upon counter tops and the chasing of his sister. He'd stop and pant for a while then get right back to work.

But he stayed away from the tree. At least he stayed away until he'd run out of things to attack and I wasn't watching him. Then he made his move. He was deep inside the tree and heading north before his plan failed. He fell from his perch in a shower of ornaments and scampered from the room, leaving chaos in his wake.

I suppose the damage could have been worse. Take a look. It's not so bad, really.

See that branch at the bottom? The one that looks like it is bent into a gi-normous cat butt shape? And will never bend back into tree shape?

There is now a gaping hole in the tree where the branch doesn't quite fit and I've moved it to the back where it won't matter so much. The decorations on the bottom of the tree are all "decoy ornaments" and placed there specifically to distract kitties from the more fragile ones near the top. We are calling this a minor disaster rather than an outright catastrophe.

We are also armed with a squirt gun and spraying the beast every time he so much as looks at the stupid tree from now on. Hopefully, he'll have forgotten his need to conquer this interloper by tomorrow because I don't think I can call in sick to protect my tree.

Meanwhile, my holiday spirit has taken leave once more and I fear for the completion of that second fingerless mitt. I managed a few rounds today, but you can't knit a thumb gusset and still keep watch over the Christmas tree. You need a free hand to hold the squirt gun, after all.

The AGK is on notice. Santa is watching him. If he continues along this path of wickedness, he will leave Mr. Claus with no choice. And it won't be coal in his stocking. Nothing so nice as that. He will wish for coal.

Because bad kitties get puppies in their stockings.



Anonymous said...

Heh. I'd like to see what AGK thinks of a puppy. Methinks the canine wouldn't stand a chance.

Did you ever hear Paula Poundstone talk about her cats? She used a squirt bottle just like you to discipline them and then felt guilty when they ran to her for protection against that mysterious stream of water that was annoying them.

Jeanne said...

Too funny.

Zander is the reason I no longer put up a tree. When he was a kitten back in '98, I put up my very first tree. I shut off all the lights, plugged it in, and marveled at the sparkly beauty of my very own tree!

This lasted all of maybe 15 minutes. There was a sudden blur of orange and white that hurtled past me as he launched himself skyward, all four paws spread-eagled, and planted himself mid-tree, pulling it over on top of him.

That was that. Nowadays I console myself with the neighbor's displays.

trek said...

Empty threat there, Sheepie. AGK knows you are not going to give him a puppy - no matter how bad he is.

Now, you've got me to thinking, though, are there any one-handed knitters??

Julia G said...

We used to have to tie the top of our Christmas tree to the curtain rod, which was pretty securely anchored and did the trick. On the other hand, I seem to recall that the AGK did a number on your curtain rods already!

Mel said...

Yay! Puppy!

Kath said...

Aaaaaannnndd this is why I don't have a Christmas tree! Because I have a climber/jumper/all-around destruct-o-kitty who takes great pleasure and joy in these sort of things. Count yourself lucky that the water squirts work, 'cause they never did for me. :/

Betsy said...

Perhaps you could knit AGK a lump of coal (free pattern Knit Picks) and fill it with catnip...I think that would send a fine mixed message, don't you?

Mia said...

I'm so sorry.. but I just can't stop laughing hehehe. I can picture it like I was there ::laughing:: and that's pretty much why I went with the 2 foot high fiber optic tree this year - and no fancy wrapping.

... still laughing..

Cursing Mama said...

When Benny got all riled up earlier this fall I thought it was a "phase" however he has only gotten more riled up and is driving everyone crazy in these parts - could this be a disease of particularly large felines?

Beth said...

I'm with Mel - puppy! A pug puppy would look really cute sticking out of the AGK's stocking. And pugs stay small. I think actually smaller than the AGK.

Elaine said...

One of my favorite Christmas pictures was one of my lovely tree, resplendent in white lights, pearls and all crystal ornaments.... you couldn't miss the sweet orange face sticking out from between the branches! Will never know how she did it without breaking or even displacing a thing.
(My verification word was : menowi.... how appropriate is that!)

Anonymous said...

We no longer have a Christmas tree thanks to Rico. You may remember a picture of a certain someone crawling around IN our tree a couple years ago.

Knitting Linguist said...

Snortgiggle. I'd like to see that!

When we brought our tree in for Gwilim's first Christmas, he thought it was his very own pine-scented litter box. We had to put little toothpicks all upright in the pot (it was a potted tree) to discourage him from utilizing it as such, too.

Karen said...

Oh my AGK is in for it if Santa brings a puppy. Of course so is the tree.