Miss Sugar Writes: Keeping the Cat off the Christmas Tree

Hello my little tinsel chewers! It’s that magical time of the year again, when the Christmas tree is up and there are glittery things all around the house. They make Mother happy and once our festive baubles are up, Father delights in them too.

I must share with you the terrifying story of a cat-scaring trend that took hold on TikTok. It goes to show you that even the dumbest ideas can catch on.

Some users of the TikTok app are freaking out their kitties in the (misguided) name of preserving Christmas trees. It all started when one dummy shook her tree at her cat until it panicked and now she boasts that the cat leaves the tree alone. Other human beans have followed her lead, like lemmings, causing their cats undue stress and worry. This is awful and it must stop. Making a kitty terrified is unkind and unnecessary.

I would like to ask these people – would you wave your child over a hot stove to scare them from touching a burning element? That’s cruel and it’s cuckoo! Knowing that some beans deliberately frighten their cats this way makes my little heart hurt. A cat looks to its humans for security and comfort, and this is how they treat it? For fear of losing a few pine needles and a bauble or two? For shame!

At this time of year, Mother reminisces about the day her cat of old, Stan, climbed a tall, live Christmas tree in her Hamilton home. The tree stood in the foyer, where the ceiling was highest. As Mother descended the stairs, she was just in time to see Stan clutch onto the treetop for dear life as it fell over and wedged onto the opposite wall. It was like a four-coupon ride at the county fair, for cats! Stan never did go near the tree again but the human beans also got smarter about fastening it so it wouldn’t fall over if he did.

Mother wraps tinfoil around the base of our artificial palm holiday tree, which is more like a pole, I don’t like the feeling of it and anyway, someone long ago removed my front claws so I couldn’t climb it if I tried. Still, I would like to grab a fuzzy hat ornament or chew on Elvis’s leg. That California flamingo looks like it would be fun to play with! But not if I have to come in contact with tinfoil.

Palm style tree with clear lights and ornaments. A green, red and gold skirt is at the base.
Our tree is named Sideshow Bob (The Simpsons) and it’s ready for presents.

The TikTok Dum-Dum cat-scaring reminds me of how people used to train dogs. Mother never did this and neither did Father. But they heard that if the dog made a mess in the house, the person would rub the dog’s nose in the mess! Talk about an confusing method of training! If someone did that to me, I’d never poop again! How was the dog supposed to know pooping was okay, just not indoors? I have to imagine that this behavior caused a wave of canine constipation. Thankfully, most dog parents know better now.

Frightening a feline half to death with a tree will only erode the cat-person bond. But I can tell you what will help keep a cat away from a tree.

First, make sure it has a sturdy base, just to be safe. Try the tinfoil method or some scattered orange peels between the presents. We don’t like them either. Think about getting a smaller tree that’s not climbable and can sit out of reach on a tabletop. Charlie Brown trees need homes too!

Charlie Brown and Snoopy with Charlie's sad little tree that's drooping with one red ball on it.

Don’t put delightful dangling decorations on the bottom part of the tree. And make sure you don’t place any cat presents with catnip in them underneath it. There’s only so much we can resist!

If those things don’t work, erect a barrier to the tree! A little fence like a baby gate works well. And if your cat gets past that, you’ll have no choice but to hire armed guards. Dress them as nutcrackers so they don’t frighten your guests. If there aren’t any available, you simply must pack up and move to a home with a bank vault or panic room in the basement, so you can place the tree inside and lock it up between viewings.

Or you could simply say, “life sometimes gets messy and a little unpredictable. My cat is part of my family. And if a ribbon gets chewed or a decoration cracks, it’s not the end of the world.” Feliz Navicat!

That’s all for today my little dumplings! Until next week, remember to shop locally! Amazon and Wayfair make billionaires but your local merchant makes their living and feeds their family from getting your business.

Your friend,

Miss Sugar

3 thoughts on “Miss Sugar Writes: Keeping the Cat off the Christmas Tree”

  1. And a Feliz Navicat and Meowy Christmas to you, Miss Sugar. I have fond memories of that flamingo ornament from Palm Springs, but it’s not interesting enough for you to purr-sue it please! 😘

  2. Or, just skip the Christmas tree entirely. The last thing I need is for the dogs to think they have an indoor bathroom. Especially with a new puppy in the house.

  3. Merry Christmas Miss Sugar! Pass along Christmas snuggles to your Mom & Dad for me too! ❤
    PS. Great message re shop local. My sister, niece & I started this a few years ago even visiting other small towns. Sparta & Port Stanley both being on the list! The best part – always finding something unique no matter who the recipient might be.
    Cheers all!!!

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