We sneaked a peek at one of our feline patient’s diaries. We know we shouldn’t have, but we couldn’t resist the opportunity to look into a cat’s mind. Fortunately for you and your pet, this particular kitty’s thoughts are full of wisdom on how to survive the holiday season unscathed.

Dear Diary,

My favorite time of year is almost here. As Christmas approaches, my humans spend less time at work and more time enjoying my company. They drape their laps with cozy blankets, and create the perfect resting place in front of the toasty fireplace. And, I can always sniff out my new catnip mouse that is wrapped and “hidden” under the tree.

As a kitten, my first Christmas was a rough one, but my family and I have learned our lessons and delighted in the holiday season ever since. Although I love receiving Dr. Bassler and her team’s expert care, I never want to spend the holidays recovering from emergency surgery again. 

Since I’m getting a little older and my mind isn’t as sharp as it was, I am documenting my wisdom so I’ll remember what to avoid next year. (I will also include a note for my humans.) Maybe I’ll be showing the ropes to a new kitten, as well.

Lesson #1: Don’t push objects off tables

As a spry young kitten, one of my favorite games was batting items off surfaces. TV remotes, drink coasters, glasses of wine—nothing was safe from my paws. During the holidays, more interesting objects littered tables and countertops for my pawing pleasure. To my delight, many  items shattered into sparkly pieces as they crashed to the floor, but my mom was not nearly so pleased when she stumbled on the nativity scene shards and sliced open her foot. Baby Jesus is now tucked safely away in a wooden manger—no more ceramic wisemen or livestock. 

Lesson #2: Avoid venturing into the jungle

I once had quite the active imagination. Some days, I was a fierce lion, prowling the savanna. When my home was filled with greenery, I pretended I was a stealthy jungle jaguar prowling for prey. But, I soon learned that leaping through the leaves of poinsettias and lilies was a deadly trap. The pretty poinsettia leaves hurt my mouth and made me nauseous so, thankfully, I stopped that irritating adventure before I pounced on the lilies. My mom checked with Dr. Bassler, who told her that lilies are highly toxic to cats, and chewing one could kill me. Since then, we have used only artificial plants to brighten our home for the holidays. 

Lesson #3: Not all trees are meant to be climbed

Imagine my excitement when my family lugged the ultimate climbing tower into the living room—a real fir tree, with springy limbs and rough bark to sink my claws into. I couldn’t wait to scamper up and down the eight-foot tower of fun. My family set up the tree, sprinkled it with baubles for batting and strings for chewing, and stepped away to ooh and ahh. That’s when I leapt into action, pouncing on the closest branch adorned with a glittery ball, which immediately crashed to the ground and shattered, as the tree swayed from my antics. My mom quickly snatched me from the entertainment tower and banned me from the living room until she gated off the tree.     

Lesson #4: I’m too cute for my own good

As the new kitten in the household, I attracted the attention of every human who walked through the door. I couldn’t blame them. I was—and still am—ridiculously adorable. But, all those hands snatching me up when I was sleeping soundly, or squeezing me too tightly, pushed me to my limits—not to mention the small children shrieking and darting around too close to my tail, the music thumping, and the off-key Christmas carols. Normally, I take most things in stride, but I was quickly overwhelmed. I darted far under the bed and did not come out until the house was quiet and empty. Now, I chill in my private kitty sanctuary that is off-limits to anyone but my main crew, and relax with new toys, tasty treats, and my plush bed.

Lesson #5: Not every gift is mine to unwrap

This was perhaps my hardest lesson. As the most adorable family member, I thought I deserved the most gifts, because being so cute all the time is tough. The best thing about wrapped goodies under the tree is the gift of the wrapping itself. I pounced and chewed on the strings, ribbons, and bows, which were delightful, but that was a big mistake. The decorative ribbons were so tempting, and after a night of nibbling, I was feeling rather ill. Fortunately, Dr. Bassler and her team rushed to my rescue and removed the ribbon from my intestinal tract before its sharp strands sawed through and caused a deadly infection. After I spent that holiday in the hospital, my family learned that plain gifts are best, and I learned to seek out only gifts that smell like catnip.

Next year will be my best Christmas yet. I’ve heard whispers about a new kitten joining the family next summer, and I can’t wait to show her all the joys of the season, while keeping her safe from harm.

If your pet isn’t the type to keep a diary filled with life lessons, and she stumbles into a holiday hazard, call us for advice and urgent care.