The best thing about preparing for Christmas is the knowledge that your cats are sitting there, watching your every move with a view to climbing that tree and working out how to play with the decorations on the ceiling once your back is turned!

(oh, by the way, Spike is a new addition, about a year and a half old, same as Storm but sort of tortoiseshell/tabby not all black like Smokey and Storm).  They are all looking forward to Santa Paws.

So I get the decorations out of the attic and bring them down to the front room and there they all are ..... watching! "What's he doing?”  “Dunnoh.”  “Sticking things on the ceiling.”  “Why doesn't he put them down here where we can reach them?”  “They're gonna be hard to play with up there.” “Let's see, on to the couch, up the curtains, yeah it'll be alright".

They are all up and one falls down, Storm is straight on it like a flash, but I grab it off him before too much is damaged and put it back up.

Next comes the tree. Up to the loft again (yeah I forgot to get it down with the decs. – age - it affects the memory [ see A.A.A.D.D. Age Activated Attention Deficit Disorder ] and yeah, alright I use an artificial tree. None of those pine needle dropping, smelly, prickly, real ones for me!  Oh no! I use one of those metal and plastic jobbies that looks like a loo brush gone wrong and you have to unpack it, put it together then unfold all the branches and after Christmas instead of recycling it, you have to fold it up, take it apart and pack it away again for next year. You know, I just don't know why I bother!

So I take it down to the front room and 'THEY' are all still there, still looking at the glittery things on the ceiling wondering what I am going to do next. So I unpack it, and half the plastic needles fall off all over the front room floor and I ignore that (so do they, they just sit there wondering if there's a meal in this somewhere, apart from Smokey who seems to be afraid of everything and darts out through the cat flap smashing the door in the process - another job for the glue gun!).  I put the tree together and instantly Storm takes an interest.  He loves to climb up in the conifers out in the front garden and sit on the top of them.

Pulling Storm out of the branches I start to decorate the tree.  Now this requires a couple of things.  First I have to get into the Christmas spirit.  I am having real problems getting into the Christmas spirit this year (on account of being made redundant twice this year) so I get into the Christmas wine instead.  Second, I have to have some Christmas music, so I boot up the computer and go to some funny Xmas songs and talking of plugs, where is the plug for those Christmas lights?

With the music playing in the background and half a bottle of red later I start to decorate the tree, complete with feline audience.  First go on those lights, then come the bells and the baubles.  Spike seems particularly interested in these.  I step back to admire my work, trip over Storm and fall onto the cat pyramid (cat scratch post), squash it flat and spill my drink (almost sacrilege).

Having up cleaned the meshh and finisshhed the spirit of Christmas, next comes the cotton ball snows and bilver seads. Then I start carding the hangs on a string of piece.  Is there another bottle here somewhere?  Spike, stop pawing that Christmas tree bell! Storm, get down off those curtains! Smokey, LEAVE THAT TURKEY ALONE!!!



Richard Carlyon (UK)

 You can read another of Richard's great stories here:   

And Storm wrote his own diaries here:


Dogs Come when Called

"Dogs come when called. Cats take a message and get back to you."

"Of course, every cat is really the most beautiful woman in the room."

Edward Verrall Luca (essayist)

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