Notice the tail sticking out from the tree, notice Sophie’s look…
We had discussed not getting a Christmas tree this year, and I thought I had wrapped my mind around the idea. We just knew that Shiva would make it her mission to destroy every bit of Christmas joy that we brought into the house…it’s just how she rolls. The closer we got to December, however, I felt the call of Christmas so strongly. I have never not had a tree for the holidays, and I would be darned if I was going to let some wacky bipolar feline steal my Christmas Spirit. We were going for it!
We went to our favorite tree lot to pick a Fraser Fir at the Birmingham Zoo, then set it up and covered the water in the tree stand, hoping to deter the cat from drinking tree water. Shiva, ever the curious one, came to investigate. While she walked under and around it, she seemed more interested in sitting in the sunporch windows to watch the bird feeder than in wreaking havoc with the tree.
Next came the lights, and we prayed that there would be no repeat of the cat and Christmas lights scene from Christmas Vacation. Seriously. Again, she investigated and then went on her usual tears around the house and with pestering Sophie.
Next came the ornaments, many of which are precious to me because of the memories that they hold. I had mentally prepared myself for the aftermath of a Shiva-inspired Christmas tree crash to the floor, ornaments flying everywhere. Knowing this cat like I do, I put nothing past her evil powers. If she wanted the tree down, that sucker would be toast.
Ta-DAH! So far, so good.
Once the tree was finished, we watched and waited, ready to chastise our pretty little Grinch. We heard the sound of her playing with the jingle of the bells around the tree skirt, but that was it; Shiva didn’t touch one ornament or climb one branch (though she did attempt to gnaw on a low lying limb once). Could it be? Does our little demon seed have a heart after all? Does she understand how important Christmas is in our home?
All I know is that Shiva has softened some more in the months that she has been with us. Don’t get me wrong- I still wouldn’t want to meet her in a dark alley, but she continues to show a sweeter side along with her murderous tendencies. She is very intelligent, seeming to understand what we say to her (and talking back to us with attitude). She knows when she’s done something wrong, even if she doesn’t care. For some reason- lord knows what- she knows that walking under the tree is okay, but destroying it is not. Whatever the motivation, I’ll take it.
“Welcome Christmas. Bring your cheer,
Cheer to all Whos, far and near.
Christmas Day is in our grasp
So long as we have hands to grasp.
Christmas Day will always be
Just as long as we have we.”
“I’ll get you yet, my pretty…and your little dog, too!”