Did you just finish decorating your Christmas tree — flashing lights, golden ribbons, gingerbread men… — when suddenly you felt an insistent glance and a furry presence behind you, and remembered you had a cat too? No problem, there are still some things you can do to repair, but forget the spectacular eye-catchers and high-impact focus. Nothing can really be as you imagined, if you intend to save your masterpiece — unless you don’t get rid of your meowing guest or get used to the idea that it will somehow be part of the tree decoration. Merry Christmas, anyway.
Dr Leonie Richards, Head of General Practice at the University of Melbourne’s U-Vet Veterinary Hospital, says cats and Christmas decorations have always been a recipe for mayhem. He says it’s generally kittens and younger cats that are mesmerised, and recalls once treating a cat that used to play with the loose change on its owner’s bedside table and accidentally swallowed a five cent piece. “A Christmas tree is the same principle — all those shiny balls and lights and tinsel, it just looks like one big playpen for them.”