Sunday, December 02, 2007

Lenny Potatoes: Tannenbaum Assassin

Keifer Sutherland once famously sacrificed his body to protect the world from the terrorist Tannenbaum.

One of our cats has chosen to do the same.

We set up the Christmas tree yesterday and just left it bare for a day to give the cats time to assimilate to it. Did they ever, as in they:

  • Used it as an obstacle to obscure themselves from one another and chased each other around it. ("Tearing around the Christmas tree/Have a happy holiday ...")
  • Batted the branches.
  • Ate the needles.
  • Played with any boughs that fell off.
  • Lounged on the skirt as if it were a cat bed.
  • Stuck their heads in the water cup for a drink as I tried to water the thing.
  • Sprinted the length of the couch and leapt into the tree before falling to the floor.

That last one was Lenny, doing his best Keifer Sutherland. He did it yesterday, then repeated the stunt today after we'd hung the first round of ornaments, three kinds of plastic orbs we bought at IKEA a few years ago. They're simple, cheap and won't cause us any sadness should we lose any to a feline-related attack.

Sadly, not only do we have no visual or video evidence, but I have not seen either attack directly. Each time, I've been across the room with my head down, only catching a glimpse out of the corner of my eye. I have a feeling, though, that if I sit there and stare at the tree for a few hours, Lenny will deliver. All this from a kitten who's been afraid to go outside when we've strapped the harness on him and held the door wide open. (And then today, while Casey was talking to me as I stood on the porch having shoveled the walkway, he made a break for it, getting his front paws onto the concrete before she corralled him.)

All of this is causing problems, of course. Do we forgo our favorite ornaments this year and simply go with basic decorations that we're willing to sacrifice to the felines? Do we try to put some of our nicer ones on the top half, hoping that the tree remains standing at the least? Do we drastically rearrange the living room, moving the corner section of the couch from next to the tree to the other end, completely ruining the layout for a month but at least removing the closest and most obvious launch pad from within range of the tree? I haven't talked with Casey in a while to see how they've behaved since I left, but this may be a very IKEA -- and Target -- Christmas this year.

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