Thursday, December 3, 2009

Ornament Down!

Last night we lost a few ornaments. Exactly 3.5 were somehow knocked off their "safe" and "high" perches on our tree, and neither Nathaniel or myself can claim responsibility. Part of the snowflake and its metal tree hook have yet to be found.

My morning stumble towards the kitchen to make coffee seemed initially uneventful; until I noticed the cats.

For some mysterious reason, both Anabelle and Tabbitha were lined up next to their respective food and water bowls, looking up at me with unblinking eyes. Their look cried, "We didn't do anything, we swear! We are good kitties!" But I knew different.

It was oddly reminiscent of one morning, five years ago when Tabbitha waddled into our North Carolina bedroom, happy, cheerful, and talkative...? Yes, Tabbitha was meowing away, purring when we rubbed her back, and doing her best to enter our good graces.

"What have you done this time?" my husband asked the cat.

While walking towards the kitchen and living room to start breakfast I called back over my shoulder, "Honestly Nathaniel, you are too hard on that cat. She's just happy to see us!"

And then I spotted the downed Christmas tree just as Nathaniel called back, "Let me guess... she knocked over the Christmas tree, right?"

Fast forward five Christmases, and he still doesn't let me forget that fateful day. In his eyes, Tabbitha will forever be the cat that singlehandedly took down our tree. And that was AFTER we had placed 70 pounds of weights over the base.

Wow.

That is some cat.

And like it or not, she's still fascinated by the twinkling lights and shiny ornaments on our tree. Add in Anabelle, who is only celebrating her second Christmas, and we've got a recipe for disaster. Trust me.

So was I surprised to see the two kitties at their food bowls, behaving perfectly with nary a growl or hiss for the other?

No.

I was shocked, however, to find our tree standing straight, tall, and happily - upright.

And then I saw the ornament.

Correction: ornaments.

Exhibit A. The snowflake-that's-still-missing-parts-and-one-gold-hook
Exhibit B. Shiny red ball with a bit of incriminating fur left over from the culprit
Exhibit C. Gold ball that somehow made its way all the way from one side of the tree to the other side of the Ugly Green Recliner
Exhibit D: Not-so-shiny red ball, found behind the Ugly Green Recliner.

I looked at my cats, trying my best to make the guilty one blink. And, in typical cat fashion, they both looked back. Unblinkingly.

I knew this was going to be a problem, so I pondered the issue.

On the one hand with Tabbitha, her past behavior would indicate a propensity towards the Christmas Tree. However, she's rarely gone for the ornaments themselves, instead preferring the entire tree. And besides, at a whopping 19.??? pounds, I doubt that she could A) jump high enough to knock down the ornaments B) jump high enough to knock down the ornaments without knocking down the tree or C) land so softly after jumping so high as to not wake Nathaniel or myself from our slumber.

I present to you Tabbitha, our House Monster, in relation to the tree.Let's face it: Had she decided to "go for it", neither the ornaments or the tree wouldn have survived. They all would have been goners.

And then there's the Mini Monster, Anabelle. Where to begin? We already know that she loves toy mice, fish, and birds - really anything the size of a tennis ball or smaller. And she's light and agile; weighing less than nine pounds, she's got the power-to-weight ratio that even Lance Armstrong would kill for. Nimble, quick, and not afraid to pounce, Christmas Tree ornaments could quickly become her new favorite toy.

Plus, she loves hanging out and investigating the tree. (And yes, that is a hippo ornament on the upper branches...Who doesn't have a hippo ornament?)
Meerkat or kitty? Or both?

And she even tries to "blend in" behind a branch or two...What cat? Does anyone see a cat?? Perhaps she thinks that if she doesn't move, no one will see her...

Eventually her curiosity was piqued...one ornament clearly became two...and then three...and before she knew it, she couldn't stop herself.

But the worst evidence of all? Leaving the scene of the crime!Only the cow bore witness to her antics.

But in the end, nothing was broken (though I'm still looking for bits of the snowflake that remain mysteriously vanished). And I've realized that Tabbitha - in spite of her past behavior towards the tree - is not the culprit. The final clue came when little bits of glitter were found on Anabelle's paw. If that doesn't scream 'Snowflake destroyer!' I don't know what does.

But in spite of the downed ornaments and potential for broken tree, I wouldn't change anything. In the end I've got two great kitties - One House Monster and another Mini Monster with a Tree Ornament Addiction. And with the holidays just around the corner, having the tree up - ornaments, sparkling lights, and all - just adds to the festive atmosphere.

Plus, let's face it: each year we loose an ornament or two...or more. I am prepared.

Now, we'll just have to see how much longer until the entire tree comes down. I'd better keep Mr. Cow on the look out - just in case. He may be the only witness if he survives the ordeal.

Until then...I've got one House Monster staring menacingly at the tree, and another Mini Version looking intently at the ornaments.

I think its time to add another 25 pounds to the base.

At least.

14 comments:

ADC said...

Tabbitha could definitely take that tree down. But they are sooo cute.

Trigirlpink said...

I am just DYING over here. So frickin' funny. AWESOME PHOTOS. I'll be sending this to my friends who are cat owners. CLASSIC.

God damn it.. I don't have a shark or a hippo ornament!

Pedergraham said...

LOVED this post. Loved it!!! Esp. the part about Lance Armstrong envying the mini monster's ratios!

runningyankee said...

better than CSI :)

BriGaal said...

Too funny!

Molly said...

LOL! Like I said, they just want to be forest kitties and be one with the tree :) Love the photo that puts Tabbitha's size in contrast to the tree!

Maria said...

you have the funniest cat stories ever! i'm sure this will be an eventful holiday season for you!

TriGirl Kate O said...

Your tree doesn't stand a chance! I hope you've played it safe and have a fake tree otherwise you'd constantly be mopping up the water from the stand (or the cats would be drinking from it--that's what our do...)

Roo said...

I just love that they have a little party in the house while you're sleeping! Hopefully they never figure out how to get into the wine.

Marit Chrislock-Lauterbach said...

Totally a fake tree :) I'm too afraid of the concequences with a real one. I know Anabelle would get sap all over her paws and then track it everywhere. And you had better bet that I'm watching that wine :)

Greg Remaly said...

the HM makes that tree look really small...i can't believe shes's 'only' 19.7 pounds.

ojs said...

That's hilarious how you documented the crime scene. Looking forward to seeing you, Nathaniel, and the kitties this weekend.

Heidi Austin said...

hahahha i would just be happy the tree is still standing :) crazy cats!

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