Hi, Squeaky the cat here. You know I like Christmas time. This is because I get to climb the Christmas tree Laura puts up every year. I also love the smell of fresh pine upon awakening as I walk into the front room to plan my daily climb. However, it bothers Laura because she doesn’t share my passion for climbing trees. Yet, she keeps putting up a real Christmas tree every year knowing full well I’m going to climb it. So what does she expect, for me not to climb the tree? Get real! Cats were born to climb trees, it’s in our genes.
Now since I am a tree climbing expert I’d like to explain the similarities and differences between Laura’s Christmas tree and the tree in the front yard. The similarity is both trees have wooden trunks which are best for sinking my claws into when climbing. The difference about the outdoor tree from the Christmas tree is, the outdoor tree is several feet taller and has a thicker trunk with no branches. This allows me to climb right on up to the branches within a few seconds. This comes in handy when I have to flee from a dog chasing me.
On the other hand, the Christmas tree trunk is shorter and skinnier. Plus, there are a lot of branches sticking out in an unorganized pattern from bottom to top. This slows me down because I have to squeeze myself through the branches while going from side to side during my climb. Not a good thing when I have to climb fast before I’m caught by Laura.
Also, another difference between the outdoor tree and the Christmas tree is, all the perfectly arranged presents around the base of the tree. Laura always makes a big deal about wrapping the presents in green, gold, and red paper.
Every year I watch with amazement as she counts the presents and places them into different piles according to size and shape. She then makes out the name tags… then measures and cuts the wrapping paper… and then spends at least two hours wrapping everything. I get tired of watching and go take a nap instead of waiting for her to get done.
Later on when I wake up that’s when I go back to attempt my climb which requires stepping on the gaily wrapped presents to get to the tree. Of course, my claws will occasionally cause a few slight rips in the wrapping paper which makes Laura have a fit and yell at me. Well, sorry! I’m a cat who climbs, what does she expect?
And did I mention that Laura’s Christmas tree has a lot of big round shiny and lighted balls that spin around and play music hanging on the branches. Plus, there is also thirty six sweet smelling red and white stripped wrapped hooked canes hanging on the branches. Sure it looks pretty, but it makes it difficult for me to see the trunk size through the branches in order for me to map out the fastest route to the top.
The other problems are that no matter how carefully I climb the tree, the lighted balls, and those hooked canes bang into each other and make noise. This brings Laura running into the front room faster than my being chased around the backyard by Rex. I usually only get about half way up the tree before she has her hands poking through the branches trying to pull me off the trunk.
Even though I know that her arms are being scratched by the branches, I still don’t take kindly to being yanked at and I just dig my claws in deeper and hang on. This makes her mad and she calls me a ‘damn cat!’ Well, because I’m not a damn cat, I just end up clinging on tighter than a feline holding down a mouse. So between her pulling on me as I’m hugging the trunk, the tree starts shaking. This causes the balls and canes fall off the tips of the branches and make a clunking noise when they hit the carpet. This by the way reminds me of a story I once heard Laura tell Elizabeth while they were hanging the shiny large balls.
Laura said when she was a kid, all they had were three boxes of round glass balls, and that her momma wouldn’t let Laura and her sisters’ hang them on the tree. This was because she and her sister’s dropped and broke too many balls. I guess they were told to stand back and be quiet.
Now, let’s get real. You got four little human’s standing there wanting to help their momma put those shiny balls on a tree, but are told no. Can we say a disaster waiting to happen? That would be like taking an open can of our cat food and setting it down in front of Rex and telling him, “No Rex, you can’t eat it!”
Of course Laura said she and her sister’s wouldn’t listen and started picking up the glass balls and it wasn’t long before one broke. Then her momma would get mad and yell ‘you damn bratty kids, leave things alone!’ She would then call for Laura’s dad to come get the kids out of the front room. Her dad would yell at Laura and her sister’s to go to their rooms and stay there. Good thing Laura doesn’t do that to Elizabeth and David.
So anyway, here I am still hanging onto the tree trunk in a battle of wills with Laura. It’s my will to hang on until Laura lets go and it’s her will to knock me off the trunk to crash to the carpet below. Finally, I give in and release my claw grip and start scaling back down to the bottom. Laura lets go and pulls her arms out and I know she’s going to swat me when I get down. However, she won’t get down on her hands and knees to swat at me under the tree because of all the presents.
So to avoid getting swatted I maneuver around to the back of the tree. This makes my escape easier because there’s only one row of presents I have to run over. Despite that, Laura still tries to kick me. I feel a swooshing of air above me as she misses me every time. She also doesn’t chase after me, but instead stays behind to hang up the shiny balls and canes I knocked off. Oh well, no harm no foul, as the tree survived for another day of climbing, or so I thought.
Later on when it was safe to venture out from behind Laura’s waterbed into the hallway, I see all the presents stacked up on the couch. When I walk into the front room I see Roger wrapping some kind of wire fencing around the edge of the tree stand. After he’s done, Laura wraps a green cloth around the fencing and then stacks the presents around the fencing leaving no space at the top of the pile and the bottom branches.
So, the next time when I tried to climb the tree, I couldn’t get close to the trunk. I even tried climbing onto a branch but the branch was too thin and I could not stay on. Sadly I thought my climbing days were over for the year. However, I got another chance the day after Christmas.
With the presents gone, I went up to the fencing and was able to jump up onto a bottom branch closest to the trunk. Since no one was home I took my time climbing which caused minimal tree shaking. Most of the canes had been eaten by Elizabeth and David and the few that were left stayed on the tree. Also none of the shiny balls fell off. I felt so free and vindicated when I reached the top.
The following year when it was time for the tree to go up Roger brought in the tree stand and placed it in its usual spot by the front room window. I sat in anticipation waiting for the beautiful Christmas tree to make its glorious entrance. Instead, Roger carried in a white box with a picture of a Christmas tree on it and sat it down in the middle of the room.
He then took out his folding knife from his pants pocket and cut open the box. I was expecting that the stuff inside was going to be tree lights or more of those shiny balls, but instead he pulled out a long green metal rod and anchored it into the tree stand. Laura then began pulling out these long green things that look like straightened out toilet bowl brushes she called branches and stuck them into the small holes in the metal rod.
When she was done I could not believe my eyes, it was a fake Christmas tree! Roger then wrapped lights around the tree followed by Laura doing the same with a shiny rope. Then everyone hung the shiny balls and striped canes on the branches. I was dumbfounded. How in the cat world was I going to climb this thing? Cat claws don’t hook onto metal. And forget about climbing onto one of those flimsy fake branches! They would bend from the weight of just one paw!
I was just beside myself with the humiliation of being defeated by a fake tree. And the sad part is my human family never put up a real tree again. Some Merry Christmas! What a farce! Oh well, at least I still have the tree outside, the carpet and furniture to scratch.