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Life in a Cat house

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Stan Johnson - Life in a Cat House

Someone asked me if we gave our cats any special treats to eat for Thanksgiving.
Nope, we didn’t.
Our cats don’t get anything special for any holiday. At Thanksgiving they eat plain old cat food just like they do any other day. We have smart cats but they are not quite up to the mental level to be able to read calendars, so they don’t realize people consider some days as special.
If we did give them a Thanksgiving treat, I don’t know what it would be. Ozrow likes watermelon, but it isn’t in season in late November. Skittles only goes for tuna and salmon juice, and not too much of either at any one time.
If there is any holiday that cats can become involved with, it’s Christmas. It isn’t the food that draws their attention on Christmas. What they love is some of the trappings of the day.
I think all cats everywhere are fascinated by Christmas trees. They like the lights and are intensely interested in the glitter of decorations. We had an old fat cat named Ophelia that could reach about a third of the way up a normal size Christmas tree and any decorations within her reach became her toys. She especially like swatting glass ornaments.
Some mornings we would get up and find several ornaments scattered around. Ophelia had knocked them off lower limbs and then chased them all around the house. Sure, she broke a few, but once the glass was cleaned up we’d just replace the ones that were broken. That gave her a limitless supply to play with.
Of our present two cats, Ozrow has batted a few ornaments about, but I don’t remember ever seeing Skittles do it. Because Ozrow has a short attention span, not too many glass balls have been broken.
I don’t think there is a cat anywhere than can resist the urge to climb a Christmas tree. I have heard countless stories about a cat pretending to be a tree decoration, usually as high in the tree as a cat can get. I know we’ve had them up there, looking smug, if out of place.
At hour house, the greatest thing about Christmas for the cats has always been discarded gift wrapping paper. A pile of paper on the floor makes a wonderful playpen for cats. They run and jump in the pile, swat paper around, and spread some out to sleep on. When our old one-eyed Foo Foo was alive, she loved Christmas paper so much we’d leave a few sheets out for her into March.
Boxes that held presents are another favorite of cats. They like to jump in and out of the boxes, and maybe take naps in them. Every box has to be inspected closely and tried on for size. The boxes may not have the entertainment value of wrapping paper, but they can keep cats occupied for quite a while.
Holidays are for people, not cats, so we never bought presents for them at Christmas and we don’t give them anything unusual to eat at Thanksgiving. If we did, it probably wouldn’t be long before they began to expect it.