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Of Cats and Christmas Trees

When I was 10 years old, our new kitten decided to conquer her personal Mount Everest, otherwise known as our Christmas tree.

When she made it to the summit, however, our shouts of alarm caused her to unbalance the tree, which she rode to the floor in style as we ran, in slow motion, towards the tree in an attempt to save it.

After that, my father wired the tree to the ceiling, we swept up the broken ornaments, and hid the smashed side of the tree towards the wall.

When I was 30, I had to reconstruct the severed Achilles tendon of a client’s kitty with a similar attraction for the challenge of climbing the Christmas tree. Since then, I’ve…

…removed strands of tinsel cutting into small intestines.

…bandaged paws that stepped on broken glass ornaments.

…treated diarrhea caused by cats licking up the water in the tree stand.

…provided pain relief for tongue burns from “tasting” electrical cords for a lucky cat that didn’t electrocute itself.

You might wonder, after all this excitement, if I’m even brave enough to have a Christmas tree in my house with our two cats, two dogs, and two children (the two fish don’t get out much).

I do, but the bottom half is decorated with homemade, unbreakable ornaments, the electrical cord is sprayed with Bitter Apple, and we don’t bother with tinsel. So far, we’ve been lucky.

Curiously, however, the cookies my kids left out last year for Santa had some feline-type bites missing from the corner. I suspect a furry bandit with a milk mustache.

Do you have a curious, Christmas tree-climbing cat at your home? Tell us about it!

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Atlantic Veterinary Hospital in Seattle serves the following neighborhoods: Mt. Baker, Columbia City, Beacon Hill, Rainier Valley, Seward Park, Capitol Hill, Leschi, Central District, Madison Valley, International District, and Georgetown.