Ho Ho Ho. Christmas is almost here! Many of us are decking the halls, breaking bread with friends, and having a gay old time. Our pets, however, don’t really understand what’s going on. All they know is that things are a bit different around the house and they’re not sure why. Some pets respond by retreating to the bedroom or hiding under the sofa, but many want to be right in the thick of it all. In fact, I’ve heard tales of pets who like to wreak a little havoc this time of year. So let’s sit back and enjoy the woes of other pet owners, while our own perfect little darlings curl up on the sofa beside us as we’re sipping egg nog in front of a roaring fire.
Amanda’s cats have adopted an unusual holiday tradition. They have apparently decided her Christmas tree needs a little sprucing up (sorry, bad pun) so they keep stealing the family’s laundry and putting it on, under, and all around the Christmas tree. They even steal towels off of the racks, open dresser drawers, and raid the hamper for more um, decorations. Just this morning she woke up to six socks, a shirt and a potholder hanging on the tree.
Dave and Paula’s two cats normally do not mess with the tree, but this year Haley was up in the tree, and Cleo started shaking the tree, trying to get Haley out of it. The shaking is what got their attention, not the fact that there was a cat midway up the tree trunk.
Last year, Lori’s six-month-old kitten took down a six-and-a-half foot live Fraser fir. It only had the lights on it, no ornaments yet thankfully. This year the cat must be waiting for the sparkly, breakable (fun) things to go on before she bothers taking it down.
Some people have figured out ways to outsmart their pets, or at least try to. Charlene has rigged up a system to screw their tree to the floor so the cats can’t knock it down. She says she got tired of playing “pick up the Christmas tree” multiple times a season. Denise added a hook under the mantle last year to secure the tree after their kitty knocked the entire tree down and broke a few ornaments. That little tactic isn’t totally working, so Denise covered the bottom with foil to stop the cat from climbing it, but she just finds a way to jump over the foil and climb to the top.
And it’s not just cats that are messing with the trees. Several years back, Christi came home to find that her two Boxers had knocked the tree over and pulled off half the lights, crushing several ornaments. Julie’s dad’s Lhasa Apso, Aspen, relieved himself under the fake tree right after her stepmom sprayed the tree to smell like pine.
Naughty Bits and Pieces
My friend and editor Julia was getting ready for a holiday party when her cat Rocky played a little trick on her. As she stepped into the shower, she noticed her shampoo bottle had been knocked in the tub and a big glob of shampoo had spilled. Rocky was sitting on the toilet (he likes to keep her company when she showers), and when she bent down to dissolve the shampoo so she wouldn’t slip, the ornery little bugger bit her right on her keister!
One evening Emma had a holiday feast all set out on the table. Once everything was perfect, she went downstairs to call everyone to eat. When she came back upstairs, Baxter, her Basset hound, was on the table. He had all four feet in four different side dishes (one being the sticky candied yams) and his head was buried in the turkey. Nothing could be saved – everything on the table had been stepped in or eaten out of.
That was the day Emma discovered a local pizza joint delivered on Christmas. And no, Baxter didn’t get in trouble. That was his last Christmas with Emma’s family and they had already promised him he could eat anything he wanted. They had hoped, however, that he would have waited until they all had a little something to eat before he got busy.
Jo’s cat Merlin used a holiday-scented bowl of potpourri as a litter box right before company came over. Donna W’s cat made off with a giant turkey one Christmas, and they still can’t figure out how. Cindi’s golden retriever, Cleo, chewed all of the gifts under the tree. Kim’s cat keeps tearing the gift tags off the presents. She even tried the kind that peel and stick on but the cat is peeling those off, too. Donna C’s kitty, Jinx, yanked the shelf-sitting Santa off the fireplace and amputated his leg. Sorry, Santa!
So, do any of these holiday hijinks resonate with you, or are you one of the lucky ones that breeze through the season with no pet-related mishaps? Is your pet going to get a lump of coal or a bag of CANIDAE treats in their stocking? If you have a funny “naughty pet” story to share, we’d love to hear it. And Happy Holidays to you all!
Top photo by Rick McMaster/Flickr
Middle photo by Andy Miccone/Flickr
Bottom photo by Jacalyn Engler/Flickr
Read more articles by Langley Cornwell
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