Christmas is obviously a wonderful time for the whole family but I am convinced that it is cats which benefit the most from the season of goodwill. The festive season gives our feline friends absolutely everything that they crave – tasty food, new things to play with and endless opportunities to annoy their owners. Or is that just my cat?
Paolo is an independent soul whose attitude to me oscillates somewhere between indifference and complete disdain. Unless he wants something of course! Then he will employ every means at his disposal to interrupt whatever I happen to be doing. This usually means a lot of winging and wining but Christmas is a whole new ball game – literally.
A Smashing Time
Paolo likes nothing more than playing with the baubles on the Christmas tree and sometimes manages to pull the entire tree over. My carefully selected decorations often end up smashed to smithereens. Over the years I have noticed that his level of interest in the baubles is always directly proportional to his desire to attract my attention. The more I ignore his plaintive wailing, the more baubles bite the dust.
I attempted to overcome this problem by featuring less baubles on the tree and replaced them with birds, bows, stars and angels but then he just started pulling at the tinsel instead!
A Bad Wrap for Cats?
The Christmas tree situation is annoying but not nearly so provoking as Paolo’s obsession with wrapping paper. Every time that I try to wrap up a gift, he will leap onto the paper and puncture it with his claws. If he gets really excited, he will rip and chew it until it looks like it has been through a shredder. He can be peacefully asleep on the back of the sofa for hours but when the wrapping paper comes out he always springs into action.
Paolo also loves to chew twine and ribbons and so it is absolutely impossible to wrap anything whilst that cat is in the room. Shutting him out while I do the wrapping doesn’t work either. If I place the gifts under the tree when I have finished, he simply waits until he can gain access to the room and then attacks them without mercy.
Bringing Bad Behaviour to the Table
I am also forced to take defensive measures when it is time to serve the Christmas dinner. Paolo thinks that it is perfectly Ok to jump up onto the dining room table and will often do this without warning and with great gusto. The result is a white furry thing ploughing across the table, cleaning out everything in its path on the way through. It is very embarrassing when one’s family ends up wearing their roast dinner. Do other cats behave this way?
My cat’s behaviour is genuinely appalling with the result that I rarely experience any feelings of goodwill towards him. However, I still often feel the need to purchase him a Christmas gift. Gifts for felines? Madness! I kid myself that I buy these presents in order to provide him with a useful distraction to save my tree, my gifts and my turkey. But the reality is that I adore that mean, conniving and self-centred little horror bag!