Practicing Safe Christmas

Before Himself and I moved in together, I lived in a wee apartment with Child A. Because it was so small, when Christmas rolled around I borrowed a small, artifical tree from my mom because it worked in the little space. 

I had also, the previous summer, acquired my first ever cat. She was also tiny and fit well in the apartment (although that was not actually a criteria in acquiring her).

Having never owned a cat before, there were a few things that I did not anticipate.

For example, the interest a cat would have in a Christmas tree.

To a cat, a Christmas tree is just a climbing structure that has been upholstered with cat toys. Which the cat must think is the height of civilized convenience.

Once it was clear that Topaz had a distorted sense of entitlement as far as the tree was concerned, I simply laid down the law.

Topaz, being the clever cat she is, looked at me long enough for me to think she’d gotten the message.

But …

This gentle-but-firm delivery of the Rules of the Christmas tree went about as well as you’d expect.

It seemed I hadn’t made myself clear.

But NOW things would go as they were meant to.

Which eventually resulted in the invention of the world’s first…

Remember to be prepared. When you don’t have a Christmas tree condom is when you’ll need it most.

Then you’ll have to improvise something out of a wedgewood blue sheet and chip clips.

And we all know how well THAT sort of protection works.

Programming Note: Remember the Stupid Tax? No? Then head over to Mommy LeBron’s place, Rage Against the Washing Machine to read it.


Filed under Illustrated Post

41 Responses to Practicing Safe Christmas

  1. Hahah! I think I need that for my kid. Last year we found tons of odd random things hanging from the tree every morning…stuffed monkey…tampon…soother…diaper…cheese slice. It was like Santa came every morning to bring us early christmas presents.

  2. Do they make Christmas tree condoms for the whole house? Because I think I could use about 30 of those. But not for my cat. For my kids.

  3. Great, I had decided to outwit Calpurnia Jean and get her used to the whole “tree in the house” thing by using the small tree for “Baby’s first Christmas.” Place your bets now that “a conversation will ensue.”

  4. Lol, that’s awesome. We had a very similar experience in our tiny 750 square foot apartment. We ended up spraying the bottom of the tree with lysol, hopeful that the scent/taste would deter the cat. You know? I can’t even remember if it worked! I think it did. Totally brilliant, don’t you think, to spray something flammable onto a Christmas tree? Yeah – we’ve since learned to practice safe Christmas. That totally wouldn’t fly now, especially since there’s a firefighter to remind me when I’m about to do something fire stupid. 🙂

    “Nakified?” It’s going in the word repertoire.

    And when I see your awesome drawings? I totally hear archaic video game music playing in my head. 🙂

  5. If you look at it from the cat’s point of view, pretty much everything you’ve put up that looks like that WAS for them, so why should this be any different? Also, when you give your kitty a talking too, she hears those noises like Charlie Brown’s teacher makes. As far as I can tell, the only words cats actually know are 1. Their names 2. TUNA and 3. TREATS and number 1 is optional depending on the circumstances.

    • Our cats are bizarre. Nimbus, the far more evil destructo-cat, NEVER terrorized the tree as badly as Topaz did.

      And yes – name recognition is totally and completely optional as far as a cat is concerned.

  6. Shelly

    That was hilarious! We had a dog who literally ate the lower half of our tree one year – ornaments, tinsel, branches … you name it! After that we switched to the table top model for a few years!

  7. I really thought you were onto something.

  8. Not only do cats get into trees, they also have a penchant for cacti.

    I had a cat (emphasis on the word, “had”) who liked to tackle our tree full force, and then go eat all the cactus plants in our own first apartment.

    And they call these wee beasties intelligent, sigh….

  9. I adore these. 🙂 I notice that when you become frustrated or upset? You immediately revert to your trampy skirts. I’m sure there’s some kind of psychological observation that could be made here…but I only have a bachelors…so I’m not qualified to make such an observation. Ahem. hehehe

    What is odd? Is that for as destructo as Gandalf is? He has not violated the Christmas tree much this year.

    *knocks on wood*

    When I was a kid, my mom had these cascading glass bell ornaments (big bell with descending smaller bells inside…) as a Cat Detection System. Kind of like a car alarm for cats. Worked about as well. We ignored it unless we heard a crash.

    • Hmm…interesting observation. You could be onto something about my increased need for inappropriate attention when I feel my control over the world slipping.


      And you have a cat named Gandalf?? I LOVE that!

  10. liz

    I just tweeted this.

    Also, you are being trampy with your skirt, but if you really want to tramp it up, your stick figure needs hoohahs.

  11. Yeah, definitely the main reasons I don’t have a tree in my apartment are Honey and Jack, the two cats that own this place.

  12. Cats are weird. When Louis was small, he did exactly what you have going on here. As he got older, he just hid behind the tree. Now? He pees on it. One time. Each year. I even wait to put the “real” Christmas tree skirt on because I know he will whiz on the tree once first.

    I am seriously considering a fake tree next year. Because a toddler AND a cat with a real tree? I have pee and needles everywhere. Not really the Christmas ambiance I was going for.

  13. KLZ

    Once I started reading this and saw pictures I thought “I wonder if Lori will get a longer skirt.”

    And then I was disappointed when you did. Who knew?

    So I was really appreciative when you went back to your trampy ways.

  14. I have 4 cats now. Originally I had 3 cats, including 2 different ones from the 4 I have now. The original cats were fascinated by the trees every Xmas, but never climbed them, just batted the hell out of any ornaments they could reach. Now the one remaining old cat is utterly disinterested. The three newer, much younger cats find the tree frightening. It SPARKLES!!!!! Flashing lights are terrifying to cats apparently.

  15. I need one of those Christmas Tree Condoms. Where can I get one?

    Please tell me they aren’t stashed behind the drugstore counter. It’s always so embarrassing asking for that stuff.

  16. Hilarious! I don’t have a big tree for this precise reason.

  17. LMAo. Must have taken you forever to draw those pics.

  18. Dogs don’t climb trees.

    They won’t even pee on the fake ones.

    Most of the time.

  19. I knew there was something our tree was missing! Damn puppy would probably eat the tree condom though.

    I love that you had a longer skirt, but then went back to your somewhat trampy stick-figure ways once you were angry. That might be something to explore when you have some free time, if those two things are connected in any way.

    If you had Nimbus at the time, you could have catapulted him at the other kitty. Then again, maybe that’s not such a good idea….

  20. Mary

    This is hilarious. I used to have a cat that did the exact. same. thing. I gave up having a Christmas tree for a few years because it upset me out too much to come home every day to the tree falling over and the lights needing to be rehung. Sort of ruined my Christmas spirit. I don’t have that cat anymore, so I can enjoy Christmas trees once again. Although I certainly didn’t think it was funny at the time, I got a good laugh out of this as it does seem much funnier now.

  21. Man I love these diagrams of yours.

  22. I am dying.
    I’m not sure what pushed me over the silly cliff, the kitty’s ears pulled back against its head, the use of the word nakified, or you in your trampy skirt holding the kitty by the neck.

    Oh, how I love it when you use visuals. 🙂

  23. OMG, love this! I’m allergic to cats, but DH is a harbinger of strays. When I met him he had a dog, 3 cats, birds and fish. When we got engaged, he was down to just a dog and a cat, and that damn cat climbed all over the Christmas tree.

    So glad trampy Lori found a longer skirt. Now she just needs to get a couple more (or do laundry) so she can wear more than one per post. Or throw on her ninja pants.

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