Yul Puts the Yule in Christmas

By Cole

The no-kill joint where I grew up always had so many animals, holidays were like any other day for us. This is my first Christmas in my own home, and nothing could have prepared me. Actually, nothing could ever prepare anybody for Christmas with Yul.

It’s tradition that Cats Working cats have their own Christmas stockings, and Karen makes them special. She embroidered this one for me herself:

Because Yul was adopted from the joint on December 21, 1996, his stocking got last-minute iron-on letters, but this year, Karen gave him an upgrade:

Now all our stockings are beautiful and Santa Kitty can’t miss them.

I thought getting my own stocking was great, but it was only the beginning. Karen decided to go all out and put up the big Christmas tree. She loads it with sturdy cat ornaments, which started when a previous cat named Rex playfully smashed nearly 2 dozen glass ornaments his first Christmas and pooped tinsel.

No more tinsel. Now we have garland.

At 13, Yul remembers lots of fun Christmases, so he couldn’t resist supervising assembly of what would become our shiny 7’ tree-shaped cat toy…

“The screws for the stand must be in here somewhere.”

After Yul showed Karen where to put every branch, he was proud of their accomplishment.

“See? It’s as easy as licking your whiskers!”

Next came the ornaments. We cats each get our own special ornament (me, too!), and Karen hung them all together, right in front…

Clockwise from top right: Rex, Fred 1993, Yul 1996, Cool Cat Adele, another Adele, and Yours Truly 2009 in the center.

Here’s the tree when Karen and Yul were finished decorating…

Yul got really excited when he found THIS ornament, a favorite of his…

Fat Cat

Actually, there are 3 identical Fat Cats on the tree. Karen placed 2 near the bottom because Yul will stop at nothing to get what he wants. Adele tells me he has tipped the tree over in the past. It took Yul no time to claim the object of his desire…

And to decide that Fat Cat looked hungry after several years in storage and offer him a square meal…

Meanwhile, Karen was arranging silk poinsettias in a pewter pitcher on the kitchen table. Yul loves flower arranging, so that’s what he tackled next, giving the festive centerpiece his own personal touch — literally…

Yul says flowers are best admired up-close and sideways.

From one of my favorite observation posts — a beam across the living room — I politely admired the decorations on the balcony. Unlike Yul, I don’t have to get paws-on to appreciate things.

Once she had the house all decked out, Karen went shopping and brought home a whopping early Christmas surprise. Let me preface this by saying that our blue 4-tier kitty perch has been a fave of mine since I overcame the new-cat jitters and started hanging out downstairs with everybody. It’s about 5’ high, so no one can sneak-attack.

Unfortunately, sharing the perch became a turf issue with Adele. Things improved a little when Karen returned downstairs the kitty condo where I holed up for my first 3 months here. Adele was happy to get that back and has been gracious about sharing it with me…

But Karen thought everyone might be happier with another high perch. Naturally, Yul was on it before she could even remove the price tag…

Yul says, “First cat to shed on it owns it!”

From our old perch, I watched Yul demonstrate how to climb into the “crow’s nest” through a little hole in the bottom.

Yul says, “Nothing to it. Piece o’ tuna, Kid!”

Adele had to try it next. “Seniority,” she told me.

I’m chomping at the bit (uh, at the bottom) for my turn.

Finally, nobody was around and my big chance came to check out the crow’s nest for myself. I’m King of the New Kitty Perch!

Wow, this is a lot higher than it looks!

Karen moved the old perch to the other end of the room. Adele and Yul seem to prefer it there.

Sometimes they look like an old married couple, don’t they?

The new perch is now sitting next to my favorite chair, but I share it with everybody. It’s the only way to survive around here.

Yul says, “Kid, first kitty come, first kitty served.”

As we anticipate the arrival of Santa Kitty, Yul keeps fiddling with the tree, rearranging ornaments, garland, and lights…

“All the best decorators know that a few ornaments on the floor and droopy garland lend casual elegance.”

Sometimes, Adele doesn’t appreciate Yul’s efforts and lets him know in that no-nonsense, direct way I recognize all too well…

“Ow, Adele! Get a manicure! Your talons could use a trim!"

Now there are lots of presents under the tree, and Yul says some have my name on them. What could they possibly be?

Yul says, “I peeked, but it's fun to keep the kid guessing.”

Adele and Yul tell me the best is yet to come. On Christmas morning, we will open our presents, have a breakfast of Fancy Feast® Elegant Medleys, get stoned on ‘nip and nosh on Temptations® treats while we watch Video Catnip. It’s the feline version of It’s a Wonderful Life.

I feel blessed that Karen recognized my potential and selected ME — not a cute little kitten, but a grown-up cat with some emotional baggage — from my dozens of cellmates, and gave me this wonderful life. So I’m leaving all the mischief and destruction to Yul because he’s well-known for it and I don’t want to blow it.

The whole gang at Cats Working — Karen, Adele, Yul, and I — wish all our readers a Merry, Coley Christmas!

Yul needs to show me how to wear this thing with panache.


19 Responses to Yul Puts the Yule in Christmas

  1. Bob says:

    Meowy Christmas to all of my furry friends at Catsworking. It looks like Santa’s helpers have been hard at work there decorating Karen’s place.

    I have just uncovered a little tidbit that Cole, Yul and Adele will be interested in. Feel free to take a hop over to my site and check it out.

    Wishing all of my friends feline and otherwise a Very Merry Christmas and all the best in the New Year.


  2. catsworking says:

    Yul is more like the Devil’s helper sometimes, Bob. I watch Karen decorate, and then Yul comes right behind her and UNdecorates. How he has survived all these years without her killing him is proof she’s got the late Pope John Paul beat when it comes to deserving sainthood.

    We hope you and Darlene have a Merry Christmas too!

  3. Adele says:

    Cole, it looks like your first Christmas at Chez Wormald will be a very happy one. As he’s probably told you, my Alice is quite smitten with Yul. She loves all the pictures of him, and she firmly believes that he can do no wrong. Alice says Yul is just trying to be helpful by rearranging everything, and she points out that, without opposable thumbs, sometimes a kitty’s plan of helping goes awry.

    We’d like to add our holiday wishes to all of you and to all of Cats Working’s readers, both feline and human.

  4. catsworking says:

    Adele, Yul thinks he can do no wrong either. We know he really does have good intentions and a heart of gold, which is what usually keeps him out of the dog house. Apart from our initial meeting, when Yul chased me across the living room, which caused me to leap onto the vertical blinds at the sliding glass door and shred them beyond repair, he’s been very good to me. I think his acceptance is finally beginning to rub off on Adele.

    We hope you and Alice have a great Christmas as well.

  5. Greetings.and Thanks for the welcome…..I love all Cats! the Photos are great and very failiar to me. I have 4-in and 3 strays .continued.my entire life.(taking care of strays and home Cats rain snow sleet and shine! Merry Christmas to all!

  6. Greetings.and Thanks for the welcome…..I love all Cats! the Photos are great and very familiar to me. I have 4-in and 3 strays .continued.my entire life.(taking care of strays and home Cats rain snow sleet and shine! Merry Christmas to all!

  7. Zappa says:

    Hey kitties!! Congrats,Cole on your first Christmas in a house!!You guys have so much stuff to destroy I am jealous.My mom insits that we are Buddhists at Christmas time.She says that we must embrace the holiday spiritually and not with material things.Thats a crock of cat litter if I ever heard one! I think she doesn’t want me pooping tinsel,either.

    Meowy Christmas to all of you and the Human as well

  8. shouldn't says:

    seeing cole with his new family just made my holiday!

  9. catsworking says:

    Zappa, Merry Christmas right back at ya. You’re right, sometimes it does feel like a minefield around here. When we’re not dodging decorations, it’s piles of Karen’s books and papers everywhere. Living with a writer isn’t easy. Yul loves to rifle through the upright files in a holder on her desk. A few weeks ago he pulled the same move with her paper bag collection on the pantry door and broke the plastic holder right off. Now there’s nowhere to stack the bags, no new holders to be found, and Karen’s none too pleased.

    Shouldn’t, I’m so glad you liked my story. Your praise just made MY holiday!

  10. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from me and my bunnies 😉

  11. catsworking says:

    Fan, your bunnies really know how to wear a Santa hat with panache! I’m taking notes…

  12. cmoon57 says:

    Merry Christmas to Cats Working and congrats on another succesful year. Cole I am glad you found a fabulous new home. Karen is a wonderful boss, you will enjoy working, or not, there. Enjoyed your take on your first home for Christmas story. I think you have a future.

    Happy Holidays!


  13. catsworking says:

    Welcome, Cindy! Glad you liked my story. I think Yul really enjoys being the “bad boy” of Christmas around here, so the “Nice Kitty” stocking Karen got him was definitely meant tongue in cheek.

    Since I’ve been adjusting in baby steps to this experience of going from one-of-the-crowd shelter cat to someone’s chosen “pet,” Karen was afraid that all the holiday prep would freak me out and have me hiding in the kitty condo again, but I’ve been doing my best to get into the spirit and find I am actually enjoying all the excitement. So this is how the other half lives!

    Merry Christmas!

  14. cmoon57 says:

    Bsby steps are good Cole. You seem to have worked it out properly. Yul is showing you the ropes and Adele is supervising from a far. I think you are fitting in nicely and they really do like you. You are quite handsome. Who wouldn’t love you? You all are very entertaining, especially Yul.
    Christmas tuna for everyone!
    Merry Christmas Karen, Yul, Adele, Cole

  15. MorganLF says:

    I loved the pics, great tree.

    Once upon a time when we were young there was a type of ornament called a sateen..it was yards of shiny thread wound around a Styrofoam core.

    What a delight for our cats Charlie, Amanda & their son Boy. All they needed to do was insert one claw and unravel a silken thread…we would awake to yards of green and red sting all over the house… ahhh the memories!

    Merry Christmas all!

  16. Bob says:

    Merry Christmas to you Morgan… Wishing you all the best in the season.

  17. catsworking says:

    Morgan, that sounds like our kind of ornament, but there’s nothing like that on our tree, unfortunately.

    We hope you have a great Christmas as well!

  18. Adele says:

    Alice and I hope all of Cats Working’s readers had a very Merry Christmas. Alice has been dying to hear about your Christmas, Cole. She hopes Santa Kitty was very good to you and your siblings.

    I’ve had to limit her organic catnip intake, since it seems stronger than the other stuff (it should be, for the price). I worry about her being too strung out and needing kitty rehab. Right now, she’s sleeping on her favorite chair, cuddling one of the little stuffed toys Santa brought her.

  19. catsworking says:

    Adele, believe it or not, but we have not opened all our presents yet. There are still some left under the tree and Karen lets us open one whenever the spirit moves us.

    But so far, I am loving Christmas. I got this furry squirrel filled with catnip that I have licked into a soggy mess several times. And a flannel blankie that I love to burrow under. I’ve been watching Adele do it (she loves to go undercover) and never realized how good it feels until I tried it myself.

    Adele got this furry sack to sleep in, and she’s used it a few times after Karen throws her in it, but she still seems to prefer going under the towel on the rocker. She definitely a creature of habit.

    Yul got a big flannel hamburger that I think is really a dog toy because it squeaks, but it’s taken his mind off Fat Cat. They’re both about the same size.

    We also got a toy with real feathers called a “Show Gull” that everybody loves, even though Adele has already ripped half her feathers out.

    But the most fun we’ve had is with some tissue paper and a gift bag. Endless imaginary possibilities there, especially when Karen sprinkles a little ‘nip on them.

    But the most fun we’ve had is

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