Adventures of Chloe and Oscar: Oh Christmas Tree

It’s been a while since I last posted! I’m in my last year of graduate school and no matter how much I try to prepare ahead of time, I always feel like I’m scrambling to finish things. It makes me quite jealous of the locals (Chloe & Oscar) when they get to nap all day. Not a lot has been happening with Chloe and Oscar. They’ve just been living their little cat lives and participating in the usual 5:00 a.m. treat demands. However, that all changed when I put up my Christmas decorations.

As most cat owners know, a Christmas tree is one of the most irresistible things on a feline’s radar.

Something about them just sends off a beacon that says “Destroy Me”. My cats like to bring their own blend of mischief to the table when it comes to decorations. They don’t necessarily try to bring down my two Christmas trees (they are smaller than a normal tree but still satisfactory targets), but they like to chew or mess with the ornaments only when I’m near them or in the same room. It’s totally a game for them. I’m impressed with how well and deviously they are able to get a rise out of me. There is also the matter of presents. Bows are their absolute favorite. We’ve already had casualties. Even when they are attached to the present, these little heathens like to try and rip them apart. Again, they are masterminds with Chloe being the leader.

I have a taller bookshelf that I have made a small display of decorative Christmas trees. Chloe has figured out how to get up on the top of the bookshelf through obscure ninja skills that I had no idea she possessed. One of my new decorative Christmas trees must have looked like a perfect victim because it soon met its demise. Thank goodness for hot glue because I was able to fix it and restore order.

However, the topic of Christmas decorations does bring up a concern that pet owners should keep in mind as they decorate for the holidays that they celebrate regardless of if that holiday is Christmas. Certain decorations pose a risk to pets. For example, Christmas ornaments have pieces that can be broken off and consumed by pets. It’s important to keep that in mind because it could make them sick. This is not to say that you cannot decorate, because decorating is a lot of fun. However, sometimes we have to be a little creative and outsmart our little (or not so little) companions.

One final conversation topic I wanted to bring up concerns pets, strays and weather conditions. Over Thanksgiving, a stray cat was found at a friend’s residence. We were not actually sure if she was a stray, or a pet that just got lost. However, she was the sweetest thing. If I had more room and did not already have two cats, she would have been coming home with me. She was the type of cat that would let you pick her up and carry her around like a clutch purse. Unfortunately, my friend’s family did not want to keep her and they were not obliged to (one of them was allergic to cats). However, as humans, there are still things we can do when we find an animal in this situation to help them get to a safe home or shelter. In Indiana, this is especially important because we tend to have unforgiving winters. Animals are not always able to find safe places to keep warm. So if you happen to come upon a stray pet that is super friendly and trusts humans, it’s always a good idea to take them to your local shelter because they can at least check for a microchip in the pet. It also saves them from having to brave against intense weather where they do not have access to food or water. My friend’s family took my advice and built a temporary shelter for this cat out of a cardboard box that was filled with towels and blankets. This way she at least was sheltered from the cold. Essentially, it acted like a little hut that a feral cat colony would use (in case she actually belonged to one of the surrounding houses and found her way back home). These are difficult situations, but by putting forth some effort, you can do a good deed that contributes to society in a positive way.

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and Happy Holidays! Be sure to check out upcoming events with Texas Humane Heroes and the wonderful pets they have up for adoption!