Attention Pet Lovers. You must read this post. Somehow I get the feeling Barbara Wright was trying to tell me something about kittens, but I'm not sure I got it. Read on and see if you can decode her secret message.
Keeping the Tinsel Out of the Cat
You cannot keep a kitten out of a Christmas tree. Christmas trees are every kitten's Everest. They must climb it, and no amount of blockading will keep them out. People who think they've solved the kitten problem will invariably wake up at 3 am to a loud crash. There is only one surefire way to keep a kitten out of a Christmas tree and that is a locked door…unless your kitten has lock-picks. Then you're doomed.
All pets are curious. Bring something new into their home, and they want to be involved. I've found that my dogs are content to keep me company while I decorate, but the cats want to be all up in my holiday business.
For my adult cats (because you cannot keep a kitten out of a Christmas tree), I usually don't decorate the bottom two layers of branches on my tree. To a cat, the dangling ornament on the tree will look exactly like the dangle-ly toys made for cats.
Besides keeping the lower branches free of ornaments, I try to make any ornaments that may be in reach the unbreakable kind, such as these cute tiny presents. Most pretty ornaments I've seen in stores are made of plastic now anyway, so even if kitty does get involved, you won't have any breakage.
If you have a kitten, however, you may want to leave all breakable ornaments packed this year because YOU CANNOT KEEP A KITTEN OUT OF A CHRISTMAS TREE.
My dogs are more curious about things that smell nice in the house. They want all of the holiday dinner and they want it now. I try to keep in mind that people food can make my dogs sick, and some foods (like chocolate) are toxic. This doesn't stop with food, I'm afraid. A curious dog (especially a puppy) will be tempted to try anything. I avoid putting scented candles or cinnamon pine cones anywhere a dog can reach them…or where a cat can knock them into the dog territory.
This extends to plants and flowers as well. Holly, mistletoe, and poinsettias can make animals sick. From what I've read, this is really only if the animal eats the plants in large amounts, but still, you don't want to be making an emergency pet visit around the holidays, so my advice is to buy fake plants. Even then, I keep these away from my youngest cat because she likes chewing on them.
I try to decorate far from where my pets are interested in hanging out, places where the cats never go and the dogs cannot reach.
The best gift you can give your furry friends this holiday (and every day) is patience. They're going to be curious about what you're doing, but if the decorations in their reach are safe to explore, and your pets are anything like mine, they'll get bored quickly.
Except for kittens. You cannot keep them out of a Christmas tree.
Who has the funniest holiday pet story? Leave it in the comments and you could win this fabulous pack of pet toys! It's a toy turkey, roll, corn, potato, and broccoli. Perfect for dogs, and if your cats are like mine, purrfect for them too! I'll pick one winner that Maria will announce on Dec 24th.
Bio: Barbara Ann Wright writes fantasy and science fiction novels and short stories when not adding to her enormous book collection or ranting on her blog. Her short fiction has appeared twice in Crossed Genres Magazine and once made Tangent Online's recommended reading list. She is a member of Broad Universe and the Outer Alliance and helped create Writer's Ink in Houston. The Pyramid Waltz is her first novel. It's sequel, For Want of a Fiend, comes out May 13, 2013.
Don't forget, you can leave a comment on any previous DIY Christmas 2012 post for a chance to win the prize on that post. Who knows? You might get lucky.
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There are more great posts to come. All contests end December 21, 2012.