Christmas brings interesting changes to our home, not all of them bad. Of course, like all cats, I am suspicious of most changes and so I have mixed feelings about this holiday.

Lizzie SchiffhorstOn the one paw, I like the music and the colorful decorations. But I am not fond of the busyness.  The lights and ornaments are fun, but I don’t see why a perfectly good tree would be cut down and brought into the living room, just where I customarily do some of my most serious rubbing.

There are at least 49 percent more visitors at this time of year, which means 49 percent fewer naps.  Yet I have to admit that most of these visitors are cat-lovers and so I get some attention from them.  My staff - or “family,” as I should call them - are smart to cultivate such friends, some of whom bring me toys.  Now most of these toys are silly and not worth my time; but a few contain catnip, which I can never resist.

The main problem I have with Christmas is that it is supposed to be such a peaceful time, yet it is anything but peaceful in my home. Not only is furniture moved but new noises make my morning meditation almost impossible.  It can be a challenge to locate a quiet, sunny spot where I can escape the hustle and bustle and do what I do best, which is to enjoy the contemplative life.

Another problem with Christmas is that it brings some cooler air, and of course I like warmth.  Why else am I in Florida? Too many days below 60 degrees Fahrenheit are simply unbearable. Still, the quality of the light in winter as it pours through the windows is appealing. So, even here, there is a good side and a bad side.

My favorite thing are the boxes that arrive since they are often a treat for me, even when do not offer any appealing aromas. And I can sense a lively spirit in the air during the holidays.  I find myself secretly enjoying the vibrations of happiness and love that fill the house. So, all in all, I like Christmas more than I appear to.  It takes some getting used to, but the good will helps to overcome all the inconveniences.

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M. Elizabeth Schiffhorst, known as Lizzie, lives with two writers in Winter Park, Florida: Gerald Schiffhorst, author of Writing with Cats; and Lynn Butler Schiffhorst, author of a series of cat-filled stories that are published in the 'Articles' section of the website.

A Cats Purr

"Cats make one of the most satisfying sounds in the world: they purr ...

A purring cat is a form of high praise, like a gold star on a test paper. It is reinforcement of something we would all like to believe about ourselves - that we are nice."

Roger A Caras

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