Fa, la, la, la, la…la, la, la, MEOW!

The holiday season in households with feline friends is one of joy and happiness. However there are a few steps that must be taken to ensure this is the case.

1. Set up lovely, fragrant 6-foot evergreen tree in prominent spot in the living room.
a. Attach said tree to wall with heavy duty wire and nails. Ensure nails are securely imbedded in wall studs. Plaster can be replaced and repainted when season is over.

2. Once a day make sure to water the tree, so as to maximize it’s life span and minimize fire danger.
a. Water 4-5 times a day, because pitch-flavored water is apparently a feline delicacy.

3. Hang strands of multicolored lights on tree and around doorways and windows for maximum festive effect.
a. Ever seen a cat with a laser pointer? Think of light strands as thousands of miniature laser pointers taunting and teasing precious purr-buddies.
b. Blinking, flickering, and chasing lights are like laser lights on speed. Keep well out of reach.
c. This means don’t bother hanging them at all, as no place is out of reach.

4. Spend time as a family choosing meaningful ornaments with which to decorate the tree.
a. Make sure none of the ornaments are breakable. Nothing fabric, paper, glass, ceramic, homemade, or edible.
b. Nothing plastic, wood, painted with toxic paint, coated with glitter, and or scented. Because it is all edible.
c. May as well just use catnip ornaments in the first place.

5. Place ornaments carefully on the tree with an eye for a symmetrical and aesthetically pleasing finished product.
a. Place ornaments only on the upper half of the tree, on the three sides that are exposed (since one side is firmly against the wall, remember).
b. Make that the top third of the tree, as apparently cats can vault higher than previously seen when properly motivated.
c. On the quarter of the tree nearest the window, only decorate the topmost branches. Window sills make convenient launch pads.

6. Wrap packages in brightly colored paper and intricately tied ribbons that would make Martha Stewart proud.
a. Use ribbons no more than 2 inches in length, as anything longer, when swallowed by kittens becomes a ball of death in their stomachs and intestines…or must be pulled out of the throat and gullet in one long, stomach content-soaked strand.
b. Wrapping the cat tree in festive paper because it’s cute and matches the presents under the tree is only cute until the cat mistakes the real presents for the cat tree and can’t figure out where the door is. Hey! I’m getting a sweater for Christmas!

7. Spend time enjoying your decorating efforts, curled up on the couch, laptop in hand, basking in the holiday glow.
a. Don’t forget to take your Valium cocktail and blood pressure meds because screaming at your fur-babies nonstop for two hours about staying out of the tree and away from the presents will try every ounce of patience you have and make you wonder why in the world you decided that two kittens would be a good idea.

8. With all the decorations tempting the fuzzy little monsters 24/7, they will need more rest than normal. These moments of rest will be few and far between. Make sure to provide them plenty of uninterrupted nap-time. See illustration below of the proper way to renew and revive for the next round of decoration destruction.

Shannon