Cats Working Goes BIG This Christmas

By Karen

According to the label on its box, our lovely 6.5′ spruce Christmas tree turned 25 years old this year. We used it for what turned out to be the last time in 2020 during the pandemic…

Assembling it branch by branch and hanging our full collection of cat ornaments was so much work, we kept the tree up until February. Back in 2011, when Max was a kitten having his first Cat Working Christmas with the late Adele and Cole, he demonstrated how much fun it was to climb that tree.

My ornament collection has only grown since then, and the poor tree felt overloaded, so this year I decided to surprise the cats by switching things up.

(The old tree and its lights and garlands were adopted by a young guy who blew the leaves in my yard last week.)

Our new tree from Wayfair is 8′ of white iridescence, and comes in only four sections. I wish I could have gotten video of myself putting it together because the sections were loose and the branches kept flopping over me like a frantic octopus.

When I saw how the branches are half naked, the potential for a Christmas disaster suddenly loomed large…

Roc, always on the lookout for a way to get into trouble, immediately noticed this detail…

He just had to sample the taste of cold steel (or aluminum?)…

Then he checked to see if the branches would hold his weight. His answer was me screaming, “Roc, NOOOOO!”…

Tony was more circumspect, taking in the new arrival from a safe distance…

(Max took zero interest in this adventure, preferring to nap upstairs in the Man Cave, which is filling with boxes as I get the decorations out. He did come down that evening and inspect my handiwork.)

Finally, I had all four sections nested on top on one another and had managed to avoid losing an eye to the floppy branches…

Even though it’s only 18″ taller than the old tree, this one brushes 3rd beam, a feature with “Disaster” written all over it as soon as Roc and Tony see it from up there. But for now, they were present and ready for the next stage, which we call “The Floof.” This is the most time-consuming process for any artificial tree. The cats were no help, but took turns supervising me. Roc first…

Then Tony. He was particularly good at pointing out where I missed a branch…

After nearly an hour, the floof was complete…

If I can say anything about this tree, it’s that it sheds worse than any cat. I was kicking myself for vacuuming BEFORE I started, because I had to do it all again…

These shiny little spreckles are now everywhere, and I expect to see iridescent poop in the litterboxes through the holidays.

Once assembled, the tree posed two problems. The first was the bare branches up the middle, shown here from a cat’s-eye perspective…

The second was its location. The smaller tree felt more intimate standing in front of Fred Astaire, but this one’s girth makes it overwhelming. So, I moved it. This wasn’t as hard as I feared. After pulling off the top section so it would clear the beam, I dragged it a few feet to a spot where it’s now the living room’s focal point when you walk in the front door. It’s also safely beyond 3rd beam…

But now with daylight behind it, the naked center really shows and could use some filling in. Unfortunately, I gave away my stash of iridescent garland with the old tree. But I did keep our tree skirt with bells, which the cats aren’t happy about. They call it the “Jingle Snitch”…

After buying more garland, I did my best to wrap it around the naked interior. [Note to self next time: Do garland BEFORE Floof.] But it does seem a bit more filled in and nobody’s tried to climb it. What do you think?…

Next step, the lights. I’ve got 500 new LEDs all on one string. But this is all I’ve had the energy for so far. Stay tuned…

4 Responses to Cats Working Goes BIG This Christmas

  1. Pat says:

    Well done, all!

  2. Judt says:

    Can’t wait to see the lights! Excellent

  3. catsworking says:

    Welcome, Judt! The lights are on! Turned out to be another project in itself. Post coming shortly.

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