We’ve written here before about Scratch’s odd habits and various issues. One thing that his Prozac hasn’t changed is that Scratch is convinced that he’s a mighty hunter and that his prey is everywhere. He will attack the stuffed toys that the dogs leave everywhere and randomly grab them, shaking them fiercely as though he’s killing them.
He’ll jump suddenly in the air turning and growling just a bit and attacking an invisible foe. (Usually it’s a dust mote that only he can see.) The best part is that when he does this he usually stops when he’s done and sits there for a little while with his mouth open, fangs showing, and trying to look fierce. It’s like he saw an episode of a sparklevamp movie and thinks he’s a character. Naturally, this cracks us up.
As some of you may remember, the first year that we put up the Christmas tree Scratch immediately went to work conquering it. Not only was he absolutely sure that by climbing it as close to the top as possible he was dominating it, he also would spend hours carefully removing any ornament he could, either while sitting on the floor, sitting on a chair, or from within his perch in the tree itself. It is nice to know that we’re not the only people who have this problem.
This is probably a good time to tell those of you who don’t know that I have a Christmas ornament… problem. There are certain makers and kinds of ornaments that I love. I have collected many of these ornaments over the years and our tree is decked out in a ridiculous amount of crystal.
That being said, we realized pretty quickly that if we didn’t find a way to firmly attach the ornaments to the tree Scratch was going to make our lives very difficult and very expensive, in very short order.
Geoff and I usually leave the tree up for the whole month of January and then put the ornaments away and stow the tree in the storage bag in the basement in the beginning of February. We’ll do that this week. We did notice a few days ago that one of our “sacrificial ornaments” had wound up on the floor, magically unbroken, but that the top had gone missing.
Here’s the thing, when you’re dealing with a little
hellraiser hunter like Scratch you always have to have some ornaments that you’re willing to part with. Otherwise he’ll just go at the tree until something important breaks. So we wire the important ornaments to the tree and then leave a couple sacrificial ornaments unwired so that he can go after them and feel like he’s accomplished something. Cat psychology, we has it.
So far, this scheme has worked for a couple years.
This morning as I was laying in bed I rolled over onto something prickly and pokey. I fished it out in the dark and blearily moved it around until I could get enough light to figure out what it was.
The mighty hunter had managed to get the top cap and loop off of one of the sacrificial round glass balls on the tree and then he had carried the top all the way downstairs to our bedroom where he had buried it under the blankets and between the pillows. I can just see him now, victoriously parading down the steps, tail up high, his little golden prize between his teeth.
He’s going to be very sad when he discovers that the ornament is back on the tree, there to taunt him for another day or two, before it all disappears back into the guest room/basement until next Christmas.