The cat is coming for Christmas again. The butter is going in the cupboard for sure this time and all of the ornaments were attached to the tree with pliers. The tree itself has yet to be secured to a ceiling hook.
It’s hard enough for a household that includes a full time feline to cat-proof for Christmas, but I really need a check list for Clinck’s visits. No doubt the poodles would be happier if we just left him in the guestcat bedroom. But where’s the fun in that?
So, no tinsel on the tree for him to eat. Check. No lilies or other toxic plants. Check.
Like many cats, Clinck’s a plant-eater. Witness the battered and chewed Aralia that went off to the compost heap this morning, the victim of one too many weekends with Clinck. Cats are carnivores right? It seems they’re willing to overlook that dietary fact as they beaver away at the world’s apparent surplus of houseplants.
No chocolate or other goodies unprotected by impenetrable packaging. Check. Appoint Dad to snap up all the ribbon that comes off the presents. Check.
Not a Christmas goes by without at least one Quinte area cat needing emergency surgery to remove a length of irresistibly yummy ribbon from her insides. Now Clinck is the live-in mascot at our veterinary clinic, so surgery wouldn’t be too hard to organize, but if I take him back to Hillcrest after a ribbon snack my name would be mud. I can borrow him for weekends to fill my craving for kitties, but on Monday morning, he better be glowing with health. Maybe I’ll monitor the ribbon situation myself, Dad’s eyesight’s not so good anymore…
Turkey leftovers go right in the fridge around here. Safe food handling practices are not the issue. Have you ever seen what turkey dinner does to Clincks? Not pretty. We’ll also have to make sure no one lets him escape through an open door. That would be hard to live down come Monday. I hope he doesn’t get locked in a closet again or stuck under the old woodstove or let into the same room with the dogs.
Maybe we should just have Christmas at Dad’s this year.
Good luck and safe holidays to all you fulltime cat owners — it’s a tough job, but so worth it.
Dr. Fiona Gilchrist
Hillcrest Animal Hospital, December 2011