Decking the halls

I woke up this morning to a clear and cloudless sky, and the air so bitterly cold that it almost hurt to breathe. We don’t get days where the temperature is in the 20’s here in Sacramento very often, so it’s always a surprise when they roll around. The backyard was glittery with frost and I had to rig up a makeshift ice scraper out of a few stiff pieces of paper in my glove compartment before it was safe to drive my car (it’s always preferable to be able to *see* out of your windows when operating a vehicle).


When we put the tree up, the weekend after Thanksgiving, we fully expected that it would be sporting kitteny accessories within an hour of being assembled. Rupert has, until now, shown a disturbing excess of determination when it comes to getting into things / on things / under things, to the point where we had already resigned ourselves to leaving most of the decorations packed away for the year. All the little nativity sets that normally get set up on the piano, and the awesome Lego castle advent calendar that I got on eBay last summer, have to wait at least one more year to come out of the box, because small things tend to get batted onto the floor, or carried off and hidden, or simply have this tendency to spontaneously develop toothmarks . The garland we normally hang around the columns in the living room and over the doors will not be making an appearance because a certain young gray tabby cat has recently figured out how to get up onto the little shelves.

So when we decorated the tree, we went through the entire box of ornaments and pulled out only those that we were quite certain were not breakable, and we refrained from draping it with the usual garland of beads (see this entry for reasons why), and when we were done, we stood back and watched the kittens and…we waited. The kittens came over to investigate the tree. Ingrid took a thoughtful nibble on one of the branches. Rupert batted at some of the lower hanging fruit. That night, they ‘liberated’  a small stuffed unicorn, which has spent the past two weeks being chased madly all over the house and several days later, they removed a small wooden snowman and then carefully ‘hid’ it behind the quilt rack. But aside from that, they mostly left the tree alone. We started to think that maybe, just maybe, we had erred a little too much on the side of caution. We started to discuss whether it might be okay to test out a few of the slightly riskier ornaments, just so the tree didn’t look quite so bare.

And then this morning, as we were eating breakfast, I heard rustling in the branches and glanced over, and then burst into laughter and Rupert’s little head popped out, halfway up the tree. As I dashed off to get my camera, he climbed up even higher, and then popped his head out again, reaching out to poke experimentally at an ornament.

2009-12-08 RupertTree

Good thing we didn’t end up putting anything breakable on there after all.

‘Tis the season for Holidailies

2 thoughts on “Decking the halls”

  1. oh my! What an adventurous cat you have. We had a kitten who would climb our tree one year. But he was teeny tiny. He was so cute peeking out of the branches.

  2. I admire your smarty-pantness about cleverly keeping your best things away from your best cats! This picture is priceless. BTW – your writing is so enjoyable. I am so happy to have found you on Twitter – and then your blog. Thank you for sharing. What happens to the novel that you wrote during the nanananamomo event? Is it posted somewhere for reading?

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