Wednesday, January 5, 2011


It’s all put away now. Every bauble, bangle and bead. Every sparkling ornament. The tree and its skirt. The wreaths and their holders. The last of it was packed yesterday, under the intense supervision of my two cats.

Their eyes never wavered but they never interfered. Well, at the last, when I was wrapping the iridescent beads in tissue paper, Guinness could stand it no longer. He leapt onto the strand but abandoned the chase as I placed the package into the storage box.

I did have to wait until they tucked themselves onto the TV room couch before taking the red feather trees from the mantle. One cannot ask creatures to violate the laws of their own species.

The first year I had a tree and cats, the cats knocked the tree over twice. Thereafter, I wired successive trees to the wall and sprayed the plastic branches with a harmless but effective deterrent.

But the cats seem to have matured and/or aged. Sprayed but unwired, the tree remained unscathed through the entire 2010 holiday season.

One ornament bit the dust – a silly bear made out of musk ox hair that I bought when on assignment in Anchorage, Alaska. Guinness may have knocked it off or it may have fallen on its own. But when I found it on the floor the second time, I left it there. Fair game for either feline or gravity.

So with nothing broken, nothing even damaged, I must acknowledge the great forbearance of both Herbie and Guinness, great and greatly self-disciplined cats.
Thanks, guys.

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