Monday, December 14, 2009

The wee little christmas tree

This year Billy and I had a Christmas Tree conundrum. For the past ten Christmases, we have had a mild mannered, well behaved American Eskimo named Chevis. Sadly, he passed away in April at 15 years of age. To fill our hearts and home in his absence, Billy and I now have one dog, two cats, and a foster cat. These animals are not like Chevis; he would leave things alone, while this trio is curious and strangely hungry.

When we adopted Penny from the pound, she was a scrawny, underweight little English Setter. She also had stomach issues, which took us a while to diagnose. Regular dog food, treats,
everything but her prescription I/D upsets her stomach. When she doesn't feel well, she desperately tries to gnosh on whatever she can find laying around the house. We didn't figure this out right away however, and a week after owning her, we came home to a pile of dog vomit on our bed - complete with fake Christmas tree garland with 1/4 round wire in it. We rushed her to the vet to find she still had a bellyful of wire and tree garland. She had to have an emergency surgery, which she recovered from very well. Can you see where this story is going?

In addition to Penny and her dangerous food choices, we also have two cats under the age of one. Making them kittens still in behavior and temperament. Making them curious, and playful, and slightly experimental.

So Billy and I reviewed our options- a fake tree, which Penny could eat if she felt like it, with ornaments that the cats could knock off and hurt themselves on the ornament hooks, or a real tree, minus ornaments. It looked like the real tree was going to be the winner this year, until I read that most evergreens are toxic to animals. With my crew, I didn't want to take the chance of them ingesting possibly
toxic tree. So Billy and I chose this- a completely all metal, indestructible, table top christmas tree. And it seems to be working out well so far! The animals don't really care about it, it is just another thing to sniff and walk around to them.

We have hopes that next year will be the return of a Christmas tree, but this year, we are happy to have each other, and Penny, Maggie, Miso, and our foster cat, Mouse. Because like they say in How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and I am paraphrasing here, Christmas is not about the ribbons, and bows, and trees, and packages and presents- Christmas doesn't come from a store, but lives in your heart.

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