A slightly different and longer version of this post was published originally in December 2012, just a few months after Kitties Blue and I started blogging. Two readers commented on that post. Knowing most of you have never seen this, I thought it would be a fun way to start the holiday season.
Our very first kitty, Skooter, loved Christmas more than any of our other cats past or present. He enjoyed decorating, the thrill of unwrapping gifts and playing with the discarded paper and empty boxes as well as with his new toys.
His favorite pursuit, however, was sleeping beneath the Christmas tree. In those days, we still put a real tree in the foyer each year. Skooter had constant access and spent most of his days and evenings beneath the tree with lights warming his fur. As novice kitty caregivers, we never considered this could be a problem even when we were both away at work all day.
Look at that sweet and innocent face. Who would ever expect this adorable kitty to get into trouble? As Tom always says, “What could go wrong?”
The ornaments from the bottom of the tree were always on the floor, which I now know to expect. I didn’t have any expensive ornaments in those days, so ornaments were rarely broken. It was just a pain to continually pick up and put the ornaments back onto the tree.
And nothing did go wrong, until one fateful night as guests were coming up the front walk. They could hear us from within the house as we were in the midst of yelling at Skooter. The nine-foot-tall tree was teetering, and Tom and I were trying to prevent it from crashing down. Our big boy had caught his head in a string of lights as he was sprinting from beneath the tree. In his desperation to run upstairs prior to interlopers entering his house, he struggled to get away with those lights wrapped around his neck. As we tried to assist him, the tree was on the fast track toward the floor.*
Being younger, faster and nimbler in those days (1990, I think), Tom and I caught the tree just before it hit the rug.
Even after that near CATastrophe, the tree remained in the foyer and at least semi-upright for several more years. From then on, it was attached to the stair railings with bungee cords! This wasn’t a full-proof method for protecting tree and ornaments as the kitties were able to tip the tree and partially dislodge its base from the floor. But the tree never again came close to crashing!
As I collected more expensive and breakable ornaments (many as we have traveled in other countries), it was necessary to move the tree. It went to the living room behind closed doors. As I am capable of breaking the glass ornaments without any help, the tree-pouncing pusses no longer are required to provide their expertise. I also gave in and purchased an artificial tree. The opportunity to sharpen claws on the trunk was lost forever.
Please don’t feel too sorry for Kitties Blue, however, or turn me into N.U.C.A.T. We have an artificial tree with unbreakable ornaments in the dining room. They can whap, bat and jostle the ornaments to their heart’s content with no fear of reprisal. I just collect them off the floor before I go to bed each night and put them back on the tree in the morning. After all I can’t deprive them of their holiday fun!
* No cats or humans were harmed during the fiasco, but a few ornaments did not survive.
He is the opposite of our Peanut (RIP 19 in September) she really did NOT like Christmas. It interrupted her strict routine of being spoiled and left alone to snooze, and she hated smoked salmon too * sigh *
Sounds like Scooter had a wonderful time at Christmas! We had to secure our (artificial) tree to a wall unit as both Eric and Flynn liked to climb it. Flynn used to shoot up the middle and that wasn’t a problem. That came when Eric tried to haul his 23 pounds up and something had to give!
Skooter sounds a lot like Whiskers, he loved sleeping under the tree.
That was a funny story, glad kitty and the tree were safe. I put all fun stuff on the bottom for my kitties to play with, they love Christmas too.
That’s the first I’ve heard of needing to bungie-cord a tree in place. It was a very creative solution.
Wonderful story that will warm the heart of any cat lover remembering similar adventures..! 😉
Skooter — what a rascal! And what a happening! Thankfully none of us have had any run-ins with the tree. We like to sleep underneath it, but that is all. And of course Mom and Dad don’t put any ornaments near the bottom — NOT COOL! We hope that this Christmas goes by without a CATastrophe. Sampy sends a kiss to Astrid for every Christmas ornament in the world, and we all send lots of love.
P.S. Mom says that yes, that is her foot in the photo on our blog today with the cat slippers. The other slipper that isn’t pictured has the other half of the cat body on it. They were a gift from Mom’s dad and stepmom last Christmas and are her favorite slippers ever!
Skooter was quite the character…kinda like our Scooter that came before. Fortunately, we’ve never had a tree come down, though Ernie has broken a few branches in our current tree. He thinks he can climb it.
Sweet memories… That’s a beautiful story ! Purrs
That was such a great story and Skooter sure had it all figured out in the fun department!
Mom leaves ornaments off. Just lights now.
We enjoyed the story of Skooter and the tree! We’ve only had trees up a few times but Mommy expects some to be on the floor in the morning!
love the mischievousness of cats
We still put up a real tree every year and our Mama puts all the decorations (breakable and not breakable ) on it on account she usually ends up breaking one or two ornaments a year (usually the ones she loves most!) so she doesn’t really need our help at all! Thanks for sharing Skooter’s story. He sounded like a sweetheart 🙂 Love to all of you and to your Mama too.XO
the critters in the cottage xo
We love this story! Mom said Skooter looks like her old cat Dixie. Skooter’s love of sleeping under the Christmas tree reminds Mom of her cat Mischief. He loved to sleep under the real tree and she knew he was there ‘cuz he snored! Mom no longer gets a real tree ‘cuz we would attack it. However, she does have lots of pretty lights and things up for us! 🙂
Mom usually puts unbreakable ornaments on the bottom half of the tree – so when I knock them off there’s no mess!! love, Toby
What a neat cat and a sweet story! Oh, those things we did before we knew better. I grew up with a fake tree and had a real tree once in this house, but I don’t have any cherished decorations nor desire for a tree, but I did provide my cats with sections of tree trunks and branches to scratch so that’s probably a good thing!
Having a separate tree for the cats is a great idea.
Sweet cat 🙂
We don’t have a Xmas tree any more so Athena hasn’t encountered one yet.
Athena and Marie
We like to whap the ornaments off our tree too much for Mum’s sanity!
Luv Hannah and Lucy xx xx
Way back in the mid 80’s, I put up my last tree. This was the first full year after my son died and I was really missing him.
A friend had given us a kitten that their Siamese cat gave birth to. She was my first Tortie we named Mica.
Well, after Mica started climbing the tree and breaking all my glass ornaments, I took it down.
I decided I didn’t need a tree in the house because I didn’t want my beautiful cat to get hurt or for me to get mad at her for doing what she came naturally to her!
Now I have three cats and one is crazy about plants and flowers so I don’t even keep those in the house!
The few times my human has had a tree up, she always makes sure to put the non-breakable ornaments at kitty height. That way nothing valuable gets broken. At least not by any cats!
Ahhh yes, the yearly move from sanity…(Really?), into crazy Christmas mode, MOL!
We nevfur have had a real tree here, but we know about the topple effect, the tree climbers and ornaments found months later during cleaning sessions, OMC!!
Cant say we have had kitties try to take the lights with them though, Wowee! Though a beaded ribbon garland has fascinated all my kitties and I can” tell how many times these rascals of mine have pulled it and tried to take it to the other side of the room, MOL!!
I love memories like the ones you describe here. So many of our fun holiday memories involve our furkids. There are many, and each one is so vivid in our hearts. Thanks for sharing this. Holiday hugs. I will email you this weekend; it’s still in Drafts! ~xo~