by wjw on December 26, 2017

IMG_2320People have asked me my plans for the holiday, and I’m pleased to report that I don’t have any.

Honestly, after all the travel and work and running around I’ve done all 2017, the idea of spending a couple days at home, staying warm, eating prime rib, and opening presents, was very, very attractive.

But we did take a jaunt Xmas afternoon to the Bernardo bird refuge, just fifteen minutes south of here, to watch the sandhill cranes fly in at sunset.  There were thousands of them, and there were so many in one field that it seemed to have a gray carpet.  (A noisy carpet, since they were continually calling out to one another in their peculiar yelping honk.)


It was lovely and peaceful, but the day didn’t start that way.

I wrote a few days ago about our annual Yuletide Breakage, and predicted that there might be more on the way.  Alas, I was once again proved to be a true prophet.

This morning I woke to an enormous crash accompanied by a number of explosions.  Turned out that our cat had rather comprehensively destroyed our holiday tree.

The cat, Mocha, was skulking around under the tree, and Kathy decided to move a cardboard box that was sitting nearby.  Mocha is a very shy creature, easily alarmed, and apparently the cardboard box made a scary move or something, because Mocha jumped for the ceiling and ran, and that was enough to unbalance the tree and sent it smashing to earth, exploding a few dozen ornaments along the way.

It’s an artificial tree, by far the nicest one I’ve ever seen, and we’ve had it for 23 years.  It’s absolutely made for the bay window we have on the front of the house.  One of the legs on the stand had snapped, and there was no way to set it upright again.

I discovered, looking at the damage, that the broken leg had been held together with glue that hadn’t set yet.  IT WAS STILL TACKY AFTER 23 YEARS!  That’s pretty freaking weird.

Because we couldn’t set it upright, and because we couldn’t leave it lying on the floor like a dismembered Ent, it’s now disassembled and packed away, along with the surviving ornaments.  We’ll hope to find a new stand that will support the artificial trunk.

And the cat is still in the doghouse.  She looks really guilty, too.

Andrew Price December 26, 2017 at 2:07 pm

We hang our tree from a hook screwed into the ceiling. Much easier to set up and can’t fall over

Foxessa December 27, 2017 at 3:24 pm

And here it was, just on the 23rd, during our chat, when cats and Christmas trees came up, that you evinced faith your own personal scaredy-cat was not a Christmas tree hazard! Glad the damage was no worse.

Speaking of cranes as you were — one of our Chesapeake amigas sent us a Christmas photo of the cranes flying over the water behind her house! They are still warm enough that nothing’s frozen yet, unlike here, which makes packing for Cuba the antithesis of all proof reality provides, currently.

wjw December 27, 2017 at 5:06 pm

The cat never played with the ornaments, so we thought we were safe.

The thought that a frightened cat would catapult itself into the tree in an effort to escape the menace of a cardboard box did not occur to us.

Foxessa December 28, 2017 at 1:00 pm

Who among us, indeed, has the perceptions of a cat?

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