Back in mid-November 2005, I had no idea what Christmas was all about, so huMum sat me down one night and told me a little bit about Jesus, but I don’t think she believed the stories regarding the miracles. She said that Christmas was his birthday and it was celebrated by some humans as a way of honouring him. This confused me as instead of giving presents to Jesus, humans gave presents to each other. Then she told me that even anipals received presents and that Jesus had died 100s of years ago! Sigh, maybe one day I will figure it out but can someone explain who Santa Claus is if Christmas is supposed to be about a birthday party for Jesus?
Days later our lounge room was filled with bags and bags of ribbon, beads, baubles, bells and everything was white or silver. HuMum begged me to stay away while she began to make bows and double bows, some with just a little bit of red and all tied with tiny silver bells. Must admit these bows were a work of art and maybe this year when we put up our tree I will convince her to take a picture of it for you. I spent most of this industrious week sitting on the back of my favourite sofa intrigued with how her dancing fingers could create such wonderful decorations. They looked like the best toys a cat could have and I so desperately wanted to play with them. When she finished, each night, she packed everything up into boxes that, no matter how hard I tried, I could not find their entrance. She laughed at me in the morning when she found that I still had not managed to open one box and told me they were cat proof!
Bad move huMum haven’t you learned never challenge your Jessie! I will discover a way to make all these baubles, beads, bells, ribbons and bows mine!
At last it was December 13 and huMum struggled into the house with a big box. Out of this she constructed the most incredible tree. It had a silver stand and branches but all the needles were black! In all my Google searches I had never seen a black pine tree, except dead ones! Was my huMum a crazy witch? Should I be scared? Is this why she chose me, a panther cat?
HuMum told me to be patient and, if I was very good, she would let me help her turn the lights on. I returned to the back of my sofa to watch her fashion a masterpiece. First of all she started with metres of fairy lights and then every bow, bauble and bell, plus the strings of pearl beads were carefully placed on and around the tree. I was fast asleep by the time she had finished but, when she nudged me awake, it really was a magnificent sight to behold. HuMum called me over and put my paw on the light switch and, voila, the tree came alive. We both sat on the floor in front of it, eating our supper snacks. I was just awestruck and huMum let me wander around the tree but every time I went to touch a bell, bow, bead, or bauble she used the most dreaded word in the human vocabulary “no”!
If I wasn’t allowed to touch then I was off to play with my hoodies and huMum could go clean her teeth, put that night gunk on her face and go to bed. I’d see her later when I’d done my Neighbourhood Watch.
Three of my hoodies asked why I was so late, so I explained about our Christmas tree. They didn’t believe me so we crept up to our front window and their ohs and ahs, when they spied it twinkling through the front window, where music to my ears.
Dismantling of the Tree
I arrived home at about 4:00am just when the birds were starting to wake, checked that my bowl was really empty and then, out of the corner of my eye, I spied the sparkling tree. HuMum had placed the tree between our front window and the big sofa. An incredible flash of inspiration overtook me! The lower limbs of the tree were hidden by the sofa and were not easily visible to biped humans!
I’d have to work fast as huMum usually stumbled out of bed at 7:00am and I didn’t want to get caught with the evidence in my possession. Quietly I started to pick off bows, baubles, bells and one section of pearl beads. The quandary was what to do with them? The baubles and bows were definitely too large to swish with my tail under the sofa. Oh dear, had I bitten off more than I could chew, was this challenge too big for me to accomplish? Another flash of inspiration! HuMum had accidentally left the garage door open and in the garage was my old litter tray which I didn’t use any more. Bingo! I could hide my trophies in the litter tray and cover it with one of the leaf trash bags stored near it!
Looking at the clock I had half an hour before huMum stirred. I grabbed a bauble, a bow and wrapped the beads around my tummy by rolling myself over and over them. Quietly I squeezed out my cat-flap and deposited the first load in the litter tray. It took me five speedy trips but, finally, hiding the proof of my de-fleecing the tree of its bottom layer of decorations was accomplished and I had five minutes to settle my breathing and calm my pounding heart.
To be honest, three days later when my theft of the decorations was discovered, I had completely forgotten about being so mischievous. So it was very easy for me to innocently wash my face as huMum ranted and raved about what a ghastly girl I was and how she would never forgive me for vandalising her tree! I was woman-handled and firmly placed on my naughty chair and told not to move until she’d found her decorations! Fine! I turned my back and curled in ball to nap. I felt no guilt whatsoever!
Eventually, after looking in every cupboard and under every piece of furniture in the house, even pulling out drawers, huMum moved to the garage and there she found my stash. Half an hour later, out of one eye, I saw that the tree was restored to its previous beauty so I gave a small and pitiful miaow. I could tell huMum was trying hard not to laugh and I knew I was definitely forgiven when she picked me up and let me lie half over her shoulder in my favourite position while she scratched my tummy.
I must admit, after that exercise, we did have daily tiffs about the odd one or two baubles I managed to swipe off the tree to play with during the night. Every morning she’d patiently restore them to their rightful place, tying them on tighter!. By the time Christmas day arrived I was bored with our tree and did not miss it when it was put away. Each year since then we have had our clashes over the ornaments but it has become part of our Christmas tradition!
Nap time, bye-bye for now!