The Tree is Decorated

Cat in tree
I’m sure MiMi just wants to straighten the ornaments.

Our Christmas tree is an understated item that tucks into one corner of our family room. It may not be large, but it meets several requirements. First, it fits in a room that doesn’t have much room to spare. Second, it won’t catch on fire. Since the woodstove is also in that room, that’s a good thing. Third, it’s pretty easy to deal with.

You’ve likely guessed that it’s an artificial tree. We’ve had our share of fresh cut trees and a few tiny live trees that we hoped to plant in the spring. “Fresh cut” often seemed like cut-last-July and the live little guys never lived long enough to make it into the ground. In addition, we have a dog and two cats who visit the tree, so one that doesn’t involve water and electricity is nice. When we had fresh cut trees, the female dogs drank the water. The male dog added water. The cats climbed, and bapped, and pulled, and poked and removed ornaments for sport. I thought a small artificial tree would discourage climbing, but no.

We decorate in layers. The lower three feet, a.k.a. easy for cats to reach and in the wag-zone of the dog, is plastic balls wrapped in silk-like thread. A few of these get repurposed as cat toys every year, but that’s OK.

The top of the tree is full of “special” ornaments, many of which are featured in the gallery. I wanted to give you a little background on the beloved pets that some of these ornaments represent, but that would problematic for several reasons:

1) The post would be close to 1,000 words about our current and previous pets. While I know some wouldn’t mind, I’m not sure it’s a good idea to introduce them all in one fell swoop.

2) The post may not be able to escape the gravity of the editing room floor. The Mrs. and I have never achieved a consensus opinion on a few of these pets. This stems from incongruent memories like those of a cat who could do no wrong (in her mind) and a cat who, for years, waited outside the bedroom door and bit my ankle every morning. Those, by the way, are the same cat.

3) There are too many stories to tell. No amount of praise would be enough to highlight the inherent goodness that was Oreo. If I were to limit his story to 150-200 words, I’m sure I would be sent back to the drawing board with orders of “more, more, more.”

Take a look at the gallery. The captions are meant to explain the essence and chronological order of each animal. You’ll note that there is no ornament for Maddie. That’s because Irish Setter ornaments are hard to find, and frankly, the jury is still out on her.

42 thoughts on “The Tree is Decorated

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  1. We have had non-live trees for quite a while and a couple of years ago purchased a taller but slender one that would fit just right in a corner. We like it, and that’s the advantage of having a tree that can go up on Thanksgiving and come down on New Years. Your ornaments definitely tell the story of your family pets. Very sweet. I’m thinking I need to look for a rabbit ornament. Maggie is the family dog who is large and in charge right now so she definitely needs her own ornament. :-)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Good luck finding a rabbit ornament. I’ve tried. Our company used to be located near an eclectic little pet-stuff store. That’s where I found those ornaments. Even with the narrow artificial tree, we wait until about two weeks before Christmas to put it up. Earlier is just daring the cats to be naughty,

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Dan, thank you for sharing your family treasured ornaments. Each and every one tells a story. I’m sure we’re not privy to all, but we can guess and imagine which is wonderful. A lovely post today, Dan. XXXOOO to Maggie-so comfy & sweet. Happy Holidays to you and your family, Dan.

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      1. I love family decorations. So full of life and tradition. My tree is full of them back from my very first ornament from the year my husband and I were married. Can’t wait to read more about yours, Dan. Blessings. :)

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks John. The WordPress gremlins had a field day with my post last night. Sent the email and social media notifications immediately on a post that was scheduled for today. Then, published the post today without any notifications.

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  3. I loved this!! We have all kind of dog/cat ornaments, too, and I treasure those. We only had Daisy (our Spitz mix) knock the tree over one year. The cats were more entranced with the tree skirt so that lasted only a year. A tree with meaning is the best kind of tree. Awesome tree, Dan.

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  4. You have NO idea how I needed to see this post, Dan. I have tears in my eyes. WE are not able to put up a tree for we have some um rather rambunctious cats that will and do knock over trees. We have tons of cat ornaments in boxes downstairs to go on the tree so seeing yours really put tears in my eyes. Your sense of humor was just the medicine ordered that I needed today. THANK YOU!! You are SO funny! I’m still chuckling. I’d say your home is a well lived in one, filled with so much Love. The pictures of your cat IN the tree are hysterical for only another cat owner would see how funny that is. Cats are a trip and a half! LOVE your tree and I really really LOVED this post. I’ve been so busy cleaning getting ready for the small amount of decorations we do put up our house does not look like Christmas yet except for the ribbons on our outside lights and the wreath on the door. Thank you again for this post. (((HUGS))) Amy <3

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Aw thanks so much Amy. My daughter now outlines a tree in lights, on the wall and hangs special ornaments from that. I knew my cat loving friends would understand MiMi in three. Others have suggested that I simply “keep them out” as if that’s possible.

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      1. LOL People who do not have cats don’t understand cats are unique and definitely are NOT dogs that you can say STAY to. Cats will do what cats will do, no matter what YOU say. LOL Too funny. I like your daughter’s idea about outlining a tree on the wall. Still wouldn’t work in this house. I have jumpers and I mean jumpers. A wall? Piece of cake especially if there is something on that wall that wan’t before. Tee hee ….. I GET THE CAT THING! That is why I am laughing so hard!!! <3

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  5. Charming story . Our cat , luckily and miraculously , doesn’t show any interest in the tree . Cats in Christmas past have thought it was a scratch toy put up just for them . I feel for you with the animals .

    Liked by 2 people

  6. One of my last stops before I call it a night, Dan. I know, a true friend visits first. It is funny, if a post comes in as I eat my breakfast I am “on it.” If it comes during the night before I wake up I don’t see it right away. Not sure when this posted since the time stamps don’t recognize my own time zone. :)
    I love pets. I love your Maddie. My brother’s docile and sweet tempered golden retriever named Hamlet reminds me of your Maddie.
    I enjoyed your cat ornaments and the funny discrepancy story between your least favorite ankle biting cat and the wife’s version of a favorite, “could do no wrong” cat. :)

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    1. Thanks Robin. There was a WordPress error with this post, so the email went out long before the post was published. In any case, I don’t care when people read, if they read and especially if they comment. I just love this community and the support I’ve received from people like you.

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  7. Dan, I must confess to the bad, murderous thoughts that your first two pics provoked in me. Just the THOUGHT of nosy cats climbing in my gorgeous, painstakingly decorated-to-perfection tree!? *makes choking gestures* But don’t worry, this is why I don’t have any cats. Though I will admit that aside from what’s going on in it, MiMi is adorable in that opening pic. There, I said it. ;P

    I enjoy seeing things that people collect, and pet-inspired ornaments are just as good a collection as any! Especially all the tuxedo kitties. And Maddie, omigosh, what a big baby she is! You have to find her an ornament, Dan.

    As for Oreo….. I think we both know why your wife was his favourite. He probably liked Rod Stewart.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Wendy. I’m sure Oreo liked Rod Steward, The Munsters, flat Coke and Scooby. I know he loved fires in the woodstove and watching Big Cats of the Serengeti on the Discover channel. He was an imp (I think my wife would have to agree with that) and I will tell a few more stories about him in the future. As for cats climbing your tree, sorry, it’s a thing. My daughter’s cats toppled her tree last year. This year, she strung lights on the wall in the shape of a tree.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Good for you, Dan! The tree being up and decorated, I mean. Not so much having to deal with unruly pets. ;P I’ve had cats all my life, and I know it can be a challenge to, ahem, discourage their interest in this new giant plant in the middle of the living room, but they learn pretty quickly. (I do tether the tree with out-of-eyesight strings in case they “forget” in the middle of the night.) If the kitties were spotted ON the tree, well, they’d be fleeing for dear life in about two seconds. (I know, I’m a big meanie, but they get the message, and I can tell from the way they wind up in my lap about five minutes later that there aren’t exactly any hard feelings.)

    As for the type of tree, I’ve done both. Each has its advantages, obviously. I appreciate the convenience (and, over time, affordability) of an artificial tree, but I also like the smell and look of a real tree. As for ornaments, ha, well, you won’t find any angel cats, but I’ve accumulated enough ornaments over the years to decorate a small forest. It’s a real contest each year to see which ones will make the cut — one that’s often determined in part by which box I happened to open first. As long as our Lord is front and center, the rest can be a mix of classy and silly. And lots of lights! I’d almost forgo ornaments for lights, personally.

    Anyway, I hope you’ll give MiMi a pet for me, and Maddie a scratch behind the ears, and that you and the wonderful Mrs. A have a truly merry Christmas. :)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Paul. I like your approach, but since I deal with cats who can do no wrong, I can’t use methods that involve: water bottles, squirt guns, yelling, name-calling, loud noise, thrown objects, insinuations of badness or anything approaching an evil look. Pets. hugs and scratches all around. I’m sure we’ll run into each other again before then, but I hope you are leading up to a very merry Christmas and I like your choice for front and center.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Mimi really got me laughing! I have two feline girls, Mona Lisa and Miss Vicky. They have always been pretty good with the tree. Mona Lisa likes to chew on the bottom branches (it’s a natural tree, she is obsessed with everything green). At this point, they are nearly 12, they would never try to climb in the tree.

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  10. What a wonderful way to honor the pets you’ve had.

    We’ve had an artificial tree since our daughter was diagnosed with acute asthma. Since hers is both allergy, and exercise induced we advice to not to have a “real tree” anymore along with a myriad of other things in the house.
    I have to say though aside from missing the smell of a fresh pine tree I don’t miss the falling needles, watering the tree once decorated, and the fear of it drying out and catching on fire.
    Our current tree is pre-lit. I LOVE IT! No more tangled lights strands, and a couple of hours spent wrapping the tree in lights.

    Thankfully #1 Grandson has been really good about being gentle with the ornaments, and asking before touching it…mostly. :) It must be both scary and delightful to have MiMi climbing the tree. Delightful hearing the little jingles, and clinks of the ornaments as the tree shakes, and scary thinking the tree is coming down! :)

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Thanks. Our tree is pre-lit and I do appreciate that. MiMi doesn’t weigh enough to topple the tree, but she is capable of dropping nice ornaments to the floor. On the other hand, she loves Christmas. This is one of my “sad MiMi” photos https://flic.kr/p/7tdjyW I’m glad your grandson is being gentle. Problem free is the best way to go.

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  12. Loved the way you decorated the Christmas tree. I’m decorating the Christmas tree since 2011 when I and Sarah got married. We follow different religions, but I always give her the freedom to follow and practice her religion the way she wants it. So, we bought the Christmas tree (you’ve seen the pictures), Christmas star on the window and so on. I also accompany her to Christmas mass in the church right behind our apartment and I enjoy it. Listening to stories and preachings from the Bible. I feel most of the stories and preachings are somewhat identical in every religion. I don’t compare it, but I see a pattern in it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is very nice Sharukh. Your tree is beautiful this year and I’m sure Sarah appreciates your support. My wife and I follow different religions, although perhaps with more in common that you and Sarah. There are many similarities among all religions and I enjoy learning about them. I have always enjoyed your posts on the various celebrations in India. I hope your holidays were happy ones.

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