It’s that time of year, folks. The time of year when I must enter the annual battle between the pets in the house and the Christmas decorations. Anyone who has pets knows exactly what I’m talking about here. Animals, who lay on, crawl through or knock over any Christmas decoration that impedes their path and owners who pull out their hair as they try to rescue the bulbs, lights, statuary, greenery, ect. which hit the deck under furry paws.
I never worried about this in the days BDC (Before Dogs and Cats.) But it began with our first housedog, Patch, who was fascinated by the Christmas tree. She would shove her doggy nose against the bulbs and she apparently didn’t like what she saw because she would bite those glass Christmas bulbs until they popped and glass scattered everywhere. I would hear a glass ball explode and race to the living room in time to see her delicately spitting the shards out of her teeth.
“You’re gonna die if that stuff gets in your innards,” I would threaten, but she was unaffected. She would simply turn back to the tree, selecting her next victim. She is the reason I learned to put the stuff on the bottom that I really didn’t care about.
The next dog we got, Ammie, was much more interested in the texture of the artificial tree. For some reason, she felt the most inward portions of the tree were best, so I would have the thrill of walking into the living room and watching the tree doing a crazy, drunken dance because Ammie was under it, chewing on the under branches.
Our current dog has continued the Christmas “dance with disaster.” She is particularly fascinated with anything wooden (those ornaments are now at the top). In addition, flashing colored lights have a bad effect on her. She barked non-stop for the first two weeks after I hung the flashing lights in the window last Christmas and then she solved the problem by chewing the whole string in half. I told her that if there was any justice, her eyes would have lit up like the Christmas lights, but apparently, there is no justice for this, because she survived her electrical Russian roulette.
Cats are much more likely to climb the tree, but in my house, they quickly decide that the Christmas scarf under it is their own private bed. Hosmer, the cat we have now, cannot be stopped. I’ve put things in front of the tree and presents where she wants to lie. She merely cleans things out and lays there anyway. She also likes the nativity barn and has never heard that there was no room at the inn, because she has been known to push out the Christ child so she can lay inside.
Gifts are another issue, since I have learned not to put them under the tree. The cats will claw anything soft open. I awoke one morning to see the cat peacefully sleeping on a pillow I had handmade for my mother, the shreds of the paper wrapping surrounding her on the floor. The dog was even worse, since one year I awoke to find a half dozen presents torn open and a box of chocolates (which had been wrapped in plastic as well as wrapping paper, open and gone. She had smelled the candy and torn through the gifts until she found it. I suppose I could consider myself fortunate that she found it after destroying only half a dozen gifts!
Any hopes that I had that this year would be calmer have been destroyed already. The cat has succeeded in crawling over a line of ceramic Old World Santas to take up her regular abode under the tree and the dog has already knocked over the large ceramic camel and two wise men in my nativity set. A star appeared in the east and the wise men came, but they reckoned without the giant dog who knocked over their camels and sat on the Christ child! Everyone have fun putting up your decorations and have a joyous season!