No Tannenbaum

No Tannenbaum

091207-tony-the-christmas-miracle-2There was a time when Tabby’s Place had a full-size Christmas tree in our lobby, all aglitter with sparkly bits and bobs and luminous light.

There was also a time when pterodactyls soared above the earth.

And then came the Community Cats.

Oksana rests up for leaping later.
Oksana rests up for leaping later.

In fairness to Community Cats past and auld lang syne, many felines were able to coexist with the tree. (Exhibit A: Tony, in the thumbnail above.)

But sometime c. 2009, there was an insurrection.

We should have seen the early signs. Sometime around Thanksgiving of that year, I came upon Jonathan deep in conversation with the late Lily. Perched atop a lobby table, Lily was chewing the hat of some sort of straw pilgrim. “Lily,” Jonathan explained soberly, “this is why we can’t have nice things anymore.” Lily stared into Jonathan’s eyes with deep understanding, then relieved the pilgrim of the burden of his head.

The pilgrim, alas, was only the first victim. Many nutcrackers would fall in days to come. Many pine needles would be stripped. And many, many, many non-food items would be eaten.

Wise humans know when they’re beat. The tree came down, never to return.*

Mario the Italian Christmas Creamsicle Cat
Mario the Italian Christmas Creamsicle Cat

Nowadays, all sparkly bits and bobs are at least 10′ off the floor now, such that any cat who reaches them has fully earned his right to eat non-food items. Despite these limitations, our Duchess of Holiday Delight, Sharon, has managed to make the lobby a festive and fabulous place replete with Yuletime joy. Martha Stewart, eat your heart out.

And even with the decorations out of their reach, the cats are clearly amped-up with holiday cheer derangement. Boots, the greatest of all tree-eaters, is salivating at that vaulted garland. Oksana is hurdling back and forth over the baby gate into Jonathan’s office like ten thousand lords a-leaping.** And now that Mario‘s moved into the lobby, every day is going to be the Feast of the Seven Fishes, with struffoli everywhere and Dominic the Italian Christmas Donkey booming overhead.

It’s a free-for-all.

Fortunately, though we may no longer have a full-size Christmas tree, we do have a free supply of something greater, dare I say something Yulier: grace.

In the holiday season as in every season, the cats are as wild as they wanna be. And we, with eyes asplendor, are their happy, grateful servants.

He don't need no stinkin' sugar plums. Boots dreams of non-food items.
He don't need no stinkin' sugar plums. Boots dreams of non-food items.

*Breaking news: Some brave or feckless human whose name rhymes with Flangela has placed a small Christmas tree in the Community Room. It has fiberoptic lights that cause it to look both festive and radioactive. Other humans may or may not have attempted to throw this tree away for the crime of being “ugly.” Stay tuned for if when the cats decide to annihilate it.

**Yes, there is a baby gate on the door to Jonathan’s office. This is ostensibly for the purpose of containing Colleen, who eats a prescription diet, overnight. However, it is actually for the purposes of giving Oksana a hobby.

5 thoughts on “No Tannenbaum

  1. Ahhhh, those community cats! Remember the night two kittens who shall remain nameless (wasn’t it Murray and Rangpurr) destroyed everything in the lobby including the adorable photos of their fellow Tabby’s Place inmates? Who needs to wait for Christmas! Anyway, I can’t wait to meet Mario and whoever else wants to set-up shop with the wonderful, awe inspiring community cats of Tabby’s Place!! (We need more kittens!)

  2. It sounds like the Tabby’s Place furkids have been following my “furson” Toby’s method of celebrating Christmas. The most recent year we put up a tree was 2002 when Toby was six months old. Said tree was up and decorated for a grand total of 36 hours. Then, after hearing some sort of noise (in the middle of the night) in the living room where the tree was I went out to check on what was going on. There were ornaments scattered everywhere – except on the tree. A closer inspection revealed a now only partially decorated tree with lower branches looking more like the arms of a scarecrow. About a third of the way down from the top of the tree was said “furson” Toby with a facial expression something like “Hey Mom – look what I did!”. He had climbed to the top and started working his way down knocking off EVERY ornament along the way. Shortly thereafer he climbed to the top of the drape on the sliding glass door once too often. Down came Toby and the drape. Dean and I just looked at each other and said “vertical blinds”! The following year we put in new flooring and windows over the Christmas holiday – and yes, vertical blinds too! Toby is now 11 years old and we still do not use the name Toby and the words Christmas tree in the same sentence!

    Happy Holidays from Toby’s Loving Mom and Dad!

  3. Love these Christmas stories – oh, Toby, you are a cat after my own heart! Our Danny used to bite the plug off the Christmas lights (when they were not plugged in…no danger) and so we never had lights on the tree after about a day! I miss those days and I miss my boy…

    Wait until you meet Mario – he is a LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE!!! I think he should be in my Christmas stocking (hint dear husband).

  4. The picture of Jonathan discussing decorations with Lily made me smile for days! I think many of us cat lovers have memories of coming into the room and suddenly realizing those extra decorations on the tree are your cat’s long tail and glowing eyes – right before it starts to topple!

  5. I feel your pain. I stopped doing a tree when my first adopted cat Mitch was a kitten, he threw the balls under the couch…..15 per day. 5 years later I decided he is old enough and who do you think picks and eats the snow off the branchs……….ex Tabby’s Place sweet girl Chickadee!!! Cats are never too old to demolish a xmas tree I suppose.

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