March 12, 2013

Cat Tales: My Christmas tree has gone to the cats

By Carol Mills
Staff Writer

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — Several years ago, I bought a 4-foot Martha Stewart Christmas tree on sale at Kmart.

It was really pretty. It had the permanent white lights on it, red berries, and was dusted with snow. I used to set it up on a cabinet in front of the bay window in the living room. I used to put on another string of white lights, another string of red ones, and a set of mixed colors that gradually went from dim to bright, giving a soothing effect on the person who was looking at it.                                   

The cats thought it was pretty, too. Of course, they climbed the tree — that’s what cats are supposed to do. They broke a few balls along the way, but so did I when I decorated it. Finally, a few years ago I found some mixed colored balls that were shinny but unbreakable if they fell off the tree. Every day during the Christmas season, I would come home from work and put all the balls they had knocked down back on the tree.

After this past Christmas, I made a vow to buy a new tree for next year. I couldn’t find one as pretty as the old one on sale so I will have to buy one before next Christmas when the trees are in stock.

Since the cats were already playing with the old tree, I took all the lights, except the permanent ones, and decorations off and sat it on the floor in front of the cabinet it was on. I gathered up some of the cat toys and hung them on the tree so they could play with them. When I get home from work, I pick up the toys they knocked down and put them back on the tree. They have so much fun with their own tree, especially the younger two, Peanut and Little Orphan Annie. They chase each other around the tree, play peek-a-boo, and climb to their hearts’ desire.

That is a good way to recycle an old Christmas tree.

I have another cat, Little Willie, that thinks the tree is real and tries to eat it, though. Although cats are carnivores, they have cravings for live green plants that helps aid in their digestion. I’m going to grow some inside cat grass for him. I might find some grass outside peeping through the snow to use until the inside grass grows tall enough to cut. They all love the cut grass and will fight over a bowl of it. They usually regurgitate the grass, but that’s healthy because it cleans out their digestive tracts.

I also have a cat tree, that is made of wood covered with rug material that goes all the way to the top of the ceiling that has three or four perches. All the cats love to play on it.

Next Christmas I will have to string lights on my tree and the cats’ 4-foot tree — that is if it’s still standing.