Friday, December 31, 2004

Lola and the Tree

30 degrees
Overcast, calm winds
10-18 inches soft snow on ground

I think I may celebrate New Year's Eve by taking down the tree.

Normally, I like to keep my tree up well into the new year (see previous entry) but poor Lola has been in exile in the back rooms since we put the tree up. I'd like to get her out among the general cat population again.

Besides, she has been having way too much fun in the back rooms. Cats have inhabited our storage rooms for years without wreaking the havoc that this one small black cat has done. Earlier this week she demolished a cat toy--a ball of fluff wrapped with tinsel--leaving skiffs of soft yarn everywhere. She has chewed holes in the cardboard cat scratcher I put back there.

Then she discovered my box of crochet yarn, high up on the shelves near the ceiling. It started with a few balls being unfurled down to the floor. I would re-wrap them and put them back up in the box. After a couple days of this, however, I just cut the yarn off and put the balls that had made it to the floor back on another shelf. Then, today, I went in to check on the cats and found an elaborate macrame construction that spanned two rooms and incorporated eight or nine balls of yarn.

I know that as a Gemini, she has a lot of energy and seeks intellectual stimulus, but you'd think having Pickle and the three other boys back there to play with (or torment) would be enough focus for her energies.

I had *hoped* that--being as she is now a year-and-a-half old--she would have given up on her kittenish ways. Or at least moderated them somewhat. Last year she was merciless, climbing the tree like a monkey and trashing the ornaments every night. I tried putting a second tree (our old one) upstairs with cat-resistent ornaments in an attempt to lure her away from the "good" tree downstairs, but she treated both as excellent cat toys.

Having one Christmas and a year under her belt hasn't made any difference. I set the tree up downstairs, well away from the windows to discourage her from using it as an elevator, and waited to put ornaments on it until I was sure she would leave it alone.

Such a vain hope.

For the next couple days I had to re-position the branches every morning--fluff the tree back out--from where her slight weight had bent the branches in her climbing. An indication of what I am up against: I put *one* decoration on the tree--a small foil star on the very highest spire. And for three days running, the top branch was bent over and the foil star found varying distances from the tree come morning.

So Lola went into the back rooms before I dared put anything fragile on the tree...

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