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Preparing Christmas

by Pam Shirk, North Carolina, USA


Yes, it's that time of year. Pam's got the antlers, wearing them to the store and making the kitties wince every time they look at her. Rob tolerates my Christmas Kitties sweatshirts, antlers, and jinglebells. I usually don't wear them all at once. Honest.

We brought in the tree yesterday, after a heated debate about if we should even get one, considering the de-decorating squad now owning our house. I won anyway, and we went to this really neat tree farm and found our tree.

Mandy wasn't too thrilled to be riding in the back seat, hemmed in by an eight foot tall tree, and even less so when one of us (looks up at the sky and whistles innocently) made a comment about her being a whimp when she couldn't help pull it up between the seats. I told Rob not to say such mean things about her.

We decided to put the tree in a corner of the room this time so that there will be two walls to prop it when PC and QC decide to climb up it. I had Mike lay an old sheet on the carpet and the tree was slipped into it's stand. The kids decorated the tree while I went online. Rob was supposed to decorate the walls, but he's declining the honor this year. I'll think of something to get him up there. He did put the lights into the window, though. The Shirk house is almost ready for the seasons.

So what does this have to do with the great de-decorator? Well, after trying desperately to remove all the cards I've got taped to the entertainment center, he's been spoiling for a battle that he can win. And he's got help.

Penelope has really settled in since we brought her back. She developed a sense of humor, and has re-discovered play. The nearest cat to her age is PC. They sound like a herd of wild elk running from the wolf pack at two in the morning. They sound like wild horses the rest of the time. Penny and PC have made up their differences and decided to make the season more interesting.

Not that the other cats aren't helping. Merlin found a bag yesterday. It had a hole in the side near the bottom. Merlin decided he liked that way of entering the bag than the big hold up at the top. After almost five minutes of laughing, Rob removed the bag from Merlin's head so that he wouldn't fall off the table thrashing the bag around. Merlin dived back into the bag via the smaller of the two entrances. He took it slower this time and got up to his shoulders in before he panicked and tried to free himself from his constraints. In other words, he got stuck. Rob removed the bag again and had one of the kids take it outside to the trash can.

Tanada has decided that Penny isn't after her Purrpaw after all and is letting her be in the same room with her, on occasion. She and Berfert had a staring contest early this morning. It wouldn't have been so bad, but Tanada was perched on Rob's hip, and Berfert was perched on mine. I was awakened by 20+ lbs of cat kneeding my hip and purring. Tanada wasn't so kind. She hissed at me and swatted at Berfert, missing him and almost removing the blanket from my butt. Berfert rode out the storm, purring and looking like an angel.

QC has been fitting herself into all the festivities. She hasn't climbed the tree, yet, but then she may just be waiting to see if the birds come out on their own. It's only after days of stalking the tree that she gets fustrated and goes bird hunting up the branches. I can wait.

This morning I got up early, checked my blood sugars and decided that I needed a snack. I walked into the livingroom and saw that the Christmas tree was shaking slightly. Shaking my head and deciding that maybe my sugar level was lower than I thought I walked into the kitchen and got myself a snack. As I walked back, an ornament flew through the air, landed in the center of the room and rolled near my feet. I picked it up and checked it out. Well, it's hard to damage a plastic bulb. (The tree only has half the usual number of ornaments on it as I had the kids pack the breakable ones up)

I squinted at the tree walked back to my bedroom, and got my glasses. I put them on and snuck back to peek into the living room. I was right, the bottom two feet of the tree was totally bare. Some one, or thing, had removed all of the ornaments from the bottom two feet of the tree. And I could guess who. I took one step out into the livingroom, just as PC walked into the room from the kitchen. A bulb was in the process of rolling across the floor. PC couldn't have removed it, but who did?

I was staring, puzzled at the tree, when Penelope poked her head out of the branches about a foot above the ground. PC has a partner in hoolicatism.


Editor's note:

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