Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Kitten Under (In) the Christmas Tree

I have psychosis which defines as, “any severe form of mental disorder, as schizophrenia or paranoia.” What mental disorder I have is questionable, what is certain is that whatever it may be, it's severe. How do I know I suffer from such affliction you may ask? It's simple. I put up a Christmas tree. Why did I put up a Christmas tree? Was it to celebrate one of my favorite holidays? Was it to enjoy the warm twinkling of the lights? NO! I put up a Christmas tree because I didn't think it was fair to ask my new kitten, Seti, to miss out on the joys of slapping ornaments, climbing to eye level with me or (his favorite) attacking the tree skirt and dragging it to the other side of the room. Textbook psychosis.

I first became anti-put-up-Christmas-tree when Friday was young. Christmas is Friday's favorite holiday. It contains all his favorite toys: bows, paper and, of course, trees. He decided the tree made a killer cat fort. It's an ancient fake-tree (I shudder to think what sap from a real tree would do to his thick fur. He bleeds me for brushing him; cutting little clumps of sap-soaked fur would be like voluntarily entering a torture chamber.). At least seven years ago, Friday climbed to the top of the tree for a nap. There's still a bald spot. I'll never forget walking through the living room and being possessed with the feeling that the tree was looking at me.

Once, he used the tree to hide cookies he stole from my grandfather. Who knew cats like Gingersnaps? As I prepared to put a large package behind the tree I noticed the cookie stash. There was a whole cookie, a half a cookie and a pile of suspicious crumbs. Grandpa shouldn't have fallen asleep and left his snacks unguarded around such a sneaky thief.

What have I learned from my years of living with Friday during the holidays? As I scoop the tree skirt up another time I sigh and realize I've learned nothing more than to bend the ornament hooks down really tight and pray no one chews on the light strands. Still, watching the cats play with the decorations makes me feel better about not having cable. There's nothing on more entertaining than a cat at Christmas!