Over the years I have learned to my cost that all things Christmas are brilliant entertainment for cats. This can often lead to disaster and embarrassment and I am wondering if I should just book my fury friends into a cattery for the duration. I won’t though as I would resent the cost. As the evenings grow shorter I am contemplating the drama ahead and wondering how I can keep my little darlings under control.
One of my cats has got a thing about wrapping paper. As soon as I unroll a section to wrap a gift he will pounce suddenly and attack it. This usually leaves me with paper that is torn to shreds or at the very least full of puncture holes from his claws. He also loves the decorative ribbon and so that usually gets chewed too. It can take me three of four attempts to complete a single gift and locking him out of the room is not an option. He will simply scratch the door off its hinges or go and destroy something elsewhere in the house out of spite.
As soon as I start cooking the turkey the cats are there begging and I have to endure their winging for the duration of the baking. Then, once the turkey has emerged from the oven, I have to find somewhere to put it until I am ready to carve. One unguarded moment and the turkey will be toast and it is a big thing to conceal. I remember one fateful Christmas when my mother thought it was safe to put the turkey on top of the eye level kitchen units to rest. She was later horrified to find that our darling tabby had managed to claw his way up there and half the turkey was gone. Both of the breast portions were hacked and chewed and we could not serve the bird. The only other option was spam so the cat had a much better Christmas than we did!
I am not safe even when the food is finally on the table. One of my cats has perfected the technique of opening the dining room door and once in the room can be on the table in seconds thrusting his head into the nearest plate. Very embarrassing when you have visitors!
The ultimate nightmare! Baubles are cat heaven and as soon as I start hanging them they are batting them about with gay abandon. Some always get smashed which is annoying enough but nothing compared to when the cheeky animals try to climb the tree. A 7ft Christmas tree crashing to earth is not funny especially when it happens in the middle of the night and you think you have been invaded. Every year I decorate that tree fighting off the cats and then survey my work wondering how long it will remain intact. It doesn’t normally make it to day two and despite copious damage I am not going to replace it until it falls apart because I will be even more annoyed if they wreck a new one.
I have come to the conclusion that the best solution is to go away at Christmas. I won’t need a turkey or a tree then and I will so enjoy getting one over on the felines. They can stay at home and eat cat food for a week whilst I live it up somewhere else!
Sally Stacey is a keen writer and business owner who divides her time between writing and running her bridal shop.