This month I am going to take a detour. Instead of telling you how I acquired the next cat in line, I want to tell you how we celebrate Christmas with our cats. I do believe cats love Christmas and can sense our excitement about the holiday. They also really enjoy all the boxes, tissue paper and wrapping paper that comes with it.
When I only had one cat and later two, I would bring them to the local veterinarian to meet Santa and get a photo. As my numbers grew, I would take those that had never gone before. Eventually that got to be too many so my Mom’s friend who has a Santa costume for visiting local charities, agreed to come over for photos. Then a few years ago, I was bargain shopping the day after Christmas and I spotted a Santa suit. Luckily, my husband is a good sport and he agreed to wear it the following Christmas and continues to do it every year. The nice part about that is the cats know it is him and are much easier to get photos on his lap without bloodshed.
Another thing I do with the cats is an Advent calendar. In the United States you can buy ones with a piece of chocolate for every day for children, but none for pets. I looked online and I see in the UK and other places they sell pet ones with treats. I made my own out of mini muffin pan with 24 slots. I had my husband cut out 24 circles ( I am a lefty and cutting is a challenge) then I numbered them and filled each slot with treats. Every day we open one, but I must keep it hidden or they will empty it all at once.
We also write letters to Santa. That is more for human amusement. I post them on Facebook and my blog. I also have a glass top over the wood on my table so I place them under there for visitors to enjoy. One year the insurance man was reading them and asked me how old Joanie was? I told him she is a cat, which probably made more sense being that the letter said, “ Dear Santa, I want treats, treats, treats and treats.” And Stinky usually asks Santa for a new name, but that has yet to happen.
All the cats also have their own stockings that I have been collecting over the years. I buy those after Christmas too. I just put a little something in each one. Our cats are very lucky to have a Grammie that buys a gift for each kitty and wraps them individually. I usually buy a few items that can be shared like new cardboard scratchers and bags of treats.
As for decorations, we have a fake tree and I have very good kitties. It is a skinny tree so maybe that is why they don’t try to climb it. I am also lucky that I don’t have any cord chewers. I only use unbreakable items, wood, plastic, crocheted, etc. I have a few breakable ones I display in the dining room which is the only “no cats” zone. I actually encourage my cats to play with the ornaments. I crocheted some catnip balls that look like ornaments, but they rarely even take those. I guess my kitties do really deserve gifts from Santa for being so well behaved.
We do have a gathering on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day so the cats are locked in the bedrooms (with litter boxes) for their safety. Other precautions include a no poinsettia rule and no ribbons/bows around them. I wait until they are locked up to add the bows and I am sure to tidy up before releasing them when company leaves.
I love to dress my cats for the holidays too, most of them are not thrilled, but they tolerate it - as long as they get paid in treats after the photo shoot. We have an assortment of props like Santa hats, reindeer antlers and elf ears.
I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and a happy, healthy 2016. And don’t forget, cats love Christmas too!