Don’t take your cat for granted

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Sir: Bruce, you are wasting time shooing the cat from the tree. If he is being good, let him lie under it. Use cat-proof ornaments, nothing breakable, and it will save expensive emergency trips to the vet.

If your cat is under a year old, he will not be content to just sit under the tree, over a year, yes. It is new and exciting to him too. Remember, he is like a little baby with sparkling eyes, oohing and ahhing at the pretty lights and seeing all the potential new cat toys just dangling there.

Also I don’t recommend using those ornament hangers that look like fish hooks (possible vet bill waiting to happen); try to find ornaments with short string loop hangers.

My youngest cat, Dubie Doo, we had the tree put up the first year of his life against my better judgment. The decorating was wrecked in three days. I had it hooked to the wall so it doesn’t tip as most experienced cat owners do. He climbed that thing up and down so fast our eyes got dizzy. My husband and I laughed so hard we had tears in our eyes.

The other cats, the “good” older cats that sit under the tree and steal the occasional ornament, were very offended after the first hour and literally were giving me the look as a group saying, “Are you kidding me? We did not get to do that! Aren’t you going to stop him?”

You know, like how you raise the first kid compared to the later ones.

I hear that you have a pre-lit tree. My cats over several years bent down the lower branches repeated on the bottom two layers. At first, I could fix it with pliers and bend it back up, but the stupid hinges are garbage and will only take about five fixes per branch, after that they droop straight down. Once this happened, I got two more years out of the tree by wrapping the lower branches with a gold satin duvet cover I had purchased at a second hand store.

This worked until the year of Dubie. The tree came down after day four, and I bought a giant Christmas plant for a high shelf instead. However, I took the best Christmas photo ever and sent it to all my friends and family.

Remember, cats have feelings too and the love they give in their little tiny bodies, the laughter they create, and all the snuggles and kisses, warm purr serenades to help the adults and children sleep soundly are worth all the vet bills and food. And when those tiny babies of love leave your life because their little bodies have worn out (lifespans not the same as ours) and you have to give them back to God, it hurts really bad when you see that little tiny light go up to the light and leave their bodies and you have left in your arms the lifeless body of one of the best friends you will ever know and took for granted, you will regret saying that you called your cat Satan or called his beautiful little lifeforce sparkle in his eyes “the fires of burning hell” even though I know you were joking.

And shame on city council for putting a limit on the number of pets and friends we can have. And shame on me for so many things I failed to do and see in time, or hid in fear of the understanding of it.

Love comes in many colours, shapes, sizes, forms and the spirit of the divine hand of love comes from above and is reflected in many hands, hearts, paws, beaks, claws, and the window of the soul will always be in the eyes.

I had a cat that licked my tears when I cried because she knew I was sad, and she was trying to comfort me, and she patted her little paws into my face, and she was months from death herself.

I had a cat that protected me when he sensed that there was a bear in our bush one year by darting erratically in front of my feet with raised fur when normally he just liked to follow companionably.

I had a cat that protected another cat from euthanasia because he felt it was not her time to go, and he would not let me near her.

I had a cat, my matriarch, who took in every cat I took in and mothered it, trained it, and gave it the occasional swat if it was misbehaving.

I had a male cat who protected a male kitten in a tree from a neighbouring tom who wanted to kill it.

I had a pack of cats who formed a circle on the bed around the one who was sick and dying and they all started purring to comfort it and took turns keeping it warm or grooming its fur, just like people pray.

Carol Evans Henley

Chatham-Kent

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