On Monday morning, the first thing I heard from Cheyenne’s mouth with resounding clarity two levels away was, a very loud, screeching, overemphasized, and clearly enunciated – “MOM!!!!” Then I heard her heavy, stomping footsteps on the stairs coming in my direction. When she arrived at the top of the stairs her voice went up a couple more octaves and she said, “MOM!!!! The stupid cats ruined the tree!! They destroyed it! I hate them! We need to get rid of them! Sell them! It’s not fair that they ruined my tree! ARRRGGGH!”
I let Cheyenne dig out all the Christmas decor and the tree the weekend before Thanksgiving since she was going to be with her dad over the Thanksgiving weekend. She put out all holiday tchotchkes and had Mike help her set up the tree. She did not put any of the decorations on the tree as we don’t like to do that until after Thanksgiving, but she did spend plenty of time putting things all around the house. She was invested in the holiday decor and come Monday morning when it was clear that the cats had spent their overnight hours deconstructing the tree, she came a bit unglued. Indeed, she was on the verge of tears.
I hoped as I plodded down the stairs behind her that she was exaggerating the level of damage done, but upon seeing it myself I concluded she had pretty accurately captured the tree’s status – it was ruined. They completely destroyed the bottom third of the tree. Then it was me who screeched, “ARRRGGGH!”
This is the second tree taken down by the cats. The first tree, a very expensive tree that I had for years, was destroyed in 2011. The replacement tree, which was about half the cost of the first was damaged in 2012, but Mike jerry-rigged it to make it presentable. It still looked presentable this year when it was put out. Alas, it only lasted a day.
Because Cheyenne was so distraught over the senseless killing of yet another Christmas tree, I took to the internet to find ways to keep cats out of trees. I found a number of interesting ideas, but I settled on the noise motion sensor and blast of air products. I thought buying a new tree would be futile if I could not keep the cats out of it. I spent $50 for my tree defense arsenal.
I also did something that is almost unheard of for me, I went out on Black Friday to get a new tree so we could have it set up before Cheyenne got home. Mike and I went to Menards to look at the trees they had on sale. I was shocked to see what a zoo Menards was. They did have some good sales going – but I guess I just expected that most folks would be other places. Boy was I wrong!
Mike and I finally found the tree we wanted at the Moorhead Menards – which was far mellower than the West Fargo Menards. This tree, the least expensive one we have had to date, has a different structural design – a design that Mike thinks the cats will be less able to damage. We set it up today even though we have not yet received the tree security items I ordered. Mike is confident that the tree will be safe as it is. I am doubtful. If I wake up tomorrow and the tree is ruined you can bet that the first thing Mike will hear from me is, “MIKE!!!! The cats ruined the tree!! ARRRGGGH!”
I am just crossing my fingers that the tree lasts until my tree security items arrive. They should be here in a few days. Until then, I am hoping for all of our sakes that Mike’s confidence in the long term viability of the new tree is well-placed.
The only up-side of this whole cat-astrope is that Mike drug the damaged Christmas tree, now referred to as the cat-mess tree – out to the deck. It will now be the birds Christmas tree with birdseed ornaments and popcorn. The cats’ loss is the birds’ gain. The cats can watch the birds frolic in it from the sliding glass door. Perhaps they will be so busy doing that they will stay out of the new tree – perhaps.
Day one thousand two hundred and forty-five of the new forty – obla di obla da