My cat has taken up residence in the box that harbors my (fake) Christmas tree.
Actually, the tree harbors it no longer, as my apartment is now officially decked with boughs of holly. So many, in fact, the Dave has begun to question whether my holiday spirit is too strong for him to tolerate. He was even a little embarrassed for me to light up our Christmas tree for fear the neighbors would think we jumped the gun.
Besides Dave’s naysaying, Christmas decorating comes with a slew of obstacles. Well, really just two: Lola and Hobbes. Together, they’re a tag team of holiday terror, batting around ornaments that haven’t yet been added to the tree, eating half the garland strand before I notice and pull it from their intestines, and chewing ever so loudly on the tips of the artificial tree.
This year Lola carried out all the duties on her own. I wondered where her partner in crime was until I went to put the Christmas tree box back in storage and instead found it as the new home to Hobbes. It was adorable when we started, but now it’s day two. I’m starting to think this is some sort of Occupy movement. Is my cat against Christmas celebrations? Is he fighting against the consumer-focused aspect of the holidays?
I never knew he was so political.
There was only one other time that Hobbes took up residence in a box. It was a banana box – one of those great rectangular ones that are relatively shallow and have a hole cut into the top of them. I had finally gotten around to emptying items from it that I never really needed to have in storage in the first place and instead of taking the box right to the trash, I let it dwell in my living room for a day. When I finally went to take it to the garbage, I found Hobbes inside, the curve of his rotund paunch resting ever so gracefully against the thin wall of cardboard. We thought he would eventually move on, but he didn’t. Every time we passed through the living room, he was inside.
Since we couldn’t bring ourselves to throw away his favorite toy but also didn’t want a banana box hanging out in the living room, Dave and I decided to decorate it. We sat down one night and painted the box brown, with blue waves and fish on the bottom half. We secured a pole to one corner of the box and hoisted a handkerchief to the top, thereby making Hobbes the captain of his own sailboat.
My favorite was when he stood up in the center of the box where the rectangular hole was and it looked like he was sailing the seas. I’d have given him an eye patch if he weren’t so squirmy.
The problem with the Christmas tree box is that it’s just so darn big. I really can’t justify redecorating it and keeping it around; it’s enormous. Plus, why get him all excited only to throw the tree back in and haul it to the basement in a few weeks?
Still, I’m not sure I have the heart to evict him. I might fashion it into a canoe. Or I could make it simple and hoist a banner that says “Occupy Christmas” across the top of the box.
Let’s just hope the neighborhood cats don’t catch wind and come join the cause. ♣♣