Some of you might remember that about a year and a half ago, my daughter rescued a kitten, which was eventually named Amelia. Last year we opted to forego putting up the Christmas Tree, as it was no match for an eight-month old kitten. We’d hoped that Amelia would settle down enough to put up a tree this year.
We still aren’t sure it will work.
We put the tree up on Sunday, which was a very curious thing for Amelia. She watched the process (it’s an artificial tree), and once the tree was fully up she tasted some of the lower branches a bit. The squirt bottle told her that was not OK, but she spent a fair amount of time just sitting under the tree. She loves to be under stuff – blankets, towels, etc. – and I think the looming tree above gave her that same sense of security. Or something. In retrospect, I think she was just biding her time.
On Monday, she began to play with the tree skirt. Sliding on it. bunching it up, trying to crawl under it.
On Tuesday, our other cat noticed the tree and the two of them did some fighting under / around the tree.
By Wednesday (yesterday), Amelia seemed pretty sure the tree was really a giant plaything, erected just for her to explore. As I sat and knit, I caught her playing with one of the branches – she was laying down, grabbing the branch and pulling it down, then releasing it so it bounced back up into place. Great fun! Though it did mangle the branch a bit.
(Caught red-pawed in the act of playing with the tree)
The squirt bottle told her this was not OK. Not deterred for long, she then proceeded to use the area under the tree as her personal, interactive playground. She has a crinkly ball that she loves, and it is apparently perfectly suited for a romping game of stealth attack as Amelia slides across the floor, attacking and swatting the ball. When the ball got too far from the tree, she would simply pick it up and carry it back under the tree. Rather cute to watch, but annoying because she would occasionally “forget” the tree itself is off-limits. And I’m a little concerned about the tree skirt.
(Taking a break from playing; notice how scrunched-up the skirt is.)
We haven’t put any actual ornaments on the tree yet, as it’s undecided whether her interest in the tree will accelerate or remain at this level. For now, I keep straightening the skirt and branches back into place, and she keeps messing it all up again. I’m thankful that for now, at least, she hasn’t seemed interested in climbing the tree.
(keeping an eye on her crinkly-ball)