Christmas Tree


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. 

Skooter Christmas 1

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?”

Skooter Christmas 2The 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.






Christmas is coming, the cats are already fat and sassy, and I am featuring our large (nine-foot) Christmas tree for today’s Caturday Art Blog Hop. We have three trees. This one is in the living room behind closed doors as it has all my glass ornaments on it. The second is the one you see to the left and behind this tree. It is on the other side of the pocket doors in the dining room. The kitties have access to that Christmas tree as it contains unbreakable ornaments.

The third tree is called Twinkle’s Tree. Twinkle is one of our angel kitties who lost her life to a car. Twinkle’s tree started as a two-foot tall, table-top tree but has grown over the years and is now a four-foot tree, also with unbreakable ornaments. It would be impossible for me to deny the kitties access to a tree dedicated to one of their predecessors.

All our Christmas trees are now artificial. It is less expensive, more convenient and avoids allergic reactions by the kitties and me. And Tom avoids the hours of watching me traipse through tree lots and farms searching for just the right tree.

ChristmasTo create the art today, I added a radiance filter in PicMonkey and a frame in PiZap. I didn’t want to do too much to disguise my beautiful tree. Here’s the original photo. It is easier to see the smaller tree in the dining room behind the pocket door windows in this photo.

When it comes to decorating, it is all about the lights to me. Our house has lots of leaded glass windows which refract the light and send it dancing all through the house.

We are joining Athena and Marie’s Caturday Art Blog Hop. It’s a fun way to explore your creativity, and I highly recommend joining. To submit art of your own or view the other submissions, click on the badge to the left.

Tomorrow is Sunday, and you all know what that means: Time for selfies and our weekly blog hop. It might be fun to submit a selfie wearing your favorite holiday apparel. This is, of course, is not a requirement but merely a suggestion. Hope o see you then.


A Digression: After Christmas Bowl Games

After Christmas has passed I have more free time to relax. I spend lots of it sitting in the living room enjoying the tree while Dad Tom is watching Bowl game after Bowl game. When I was a teenager, four Bowl games (Rose, Orange, Cotton and Sugar) were contested. That was it…the end! This year when they continued to go on and on, I asked Tom how many bowls there are now. He said that he thought about 20.

Not wanting to be called out if this figure happened to be wrong, I decided to check Google to find the correct answer. So here it is: 35! (See note at the conclusion of this post with regard to the 2023-24 season.) I honestly can’t believe it. That’s a total of 70 teams, many of them unranked. The only reason I can think of for so many of these games is to line the sponsors’ pockets. Although, I am certain, participating in one of these games is quite a badge of honor for the players and their parents. I hope I have not offended anyone with my mini-rant. And anyway, I obviously am not writing a post about football.

Tree Watching

So back on topic: I watch the tree. Its lights and shining ornaments can be mesmerizing. When in the living room I am usually catless. Giulietta, however, and her sis, Fiona, sit on the other side of the door. Giulietta scratches on the door while Fiona whines. Unlike the other siblings, Mauricio and Misty May, they are nearly always together. I do sometimes separate them, as I am known for granting Fiona special privileges. She is such a good kitty and minds me quite well most of the time, so I will sneak her into the living room with me. Last night she hung out under the tree, but normally she is curled up next to or on top of me. And we nap!

Yesterday morning she joined me in bed, as I got up a little later than Dad Tom. After he fed the kitties, Fiona came back upstairs. She always sneaks up on me stealthily, and we have some alone time. Only occasionally, she sleeps on the bed so this is always a treat for both of us. She gets lots of one-on-one petting and rubbing without any of the other Kitties Blue butting in, and I get the warm fuzzies since she specifically sought me out.

In the spring and summer I occasionally let her off the screened porch and into the yard with me. You can read more about this in my post, “Cats in the Garden.”

Fiona & Thelma/Louise 

special treatment: grey cat on couch back


Fiona resembles our previous cat, Louise. But, for some reason, I often call her by Louise’s sister’s name, Thelma. I can think of two possible reasons. Both names end in “a,” or because Thelma and Fiona share similar personalities and mannerisms. Fiona is only slightly more vocal than Thelma, who only talked at night after we went to bed. We would hear her downstairs in the foyer having conversations with toys or shadows or dust bunnies.We never really knew or discovered to whom she was speaking or what she was talking about!

And Thelma also was a stealth cat, having learned to approach without her bell making any sound. I miss both Thelma and Louise bunches and am glad Fiona often makes me think of them.

grey cat and black cat - special treatment

Louise and Thelma

In Conclusion

Last night was the Cotton Bowl. I spent the duration of the game in the living room alone, admiring the tree and doing a computer-generated puzzle of Mauricio. Fiona chose to nap on the dining room table with Giulietta.

But, as I finally finish this post (more server problems), Fiona is sitting on my lap purring and not even trying to touch the computer. Good kitty!

Note: For the 2023-24 Bowl Season, there were 60 bowl games: 43 in Division I, 4 in Division II and 13 in Division III. Yikes!



Blue Christmas Tree 2012

Blue Christmas Tree 2012

As promised, here’s a photo of this year’s tree. I finally finished decorating it yesterday and then started baking some goodies. Tom’s watching football and wrapping his gifts…an entire day early. And we have been working on our annual holiday letter, “Blues’ News.”

We didn’t want to rush into anything this year just in case the world ended on the 21st. The only unusual thing going on here on the Winter Solstice was a day of snow flurries!

I have decided to take all this lateness in stride just like the kitties. The only time they get upset about something expected arriving late is when breakfast and dinner are not served at the accustomed hour!