When it was time to put up our Christmas tree and get the decorations from the attic down, I noticed my husband only brought about ¼ of it all out because I guess he didn’t want the dog to sniff, lick, scratch, growl at, threaten, and otherwise tear down and destroy all that we have. He definitely didn’t get out our little lighted village…probably because our 5-pound Yorkie thinks he’s a God in that mini society and he’s finally the big man on campus somewhere. The dog feels like he has every right to drag Santa’s workshop wherever he feels it should belong. It gives him a sense of control during an out of control season where he can’t demand how often he can snack on Christmas cookies throughout the day like people can. He mostly growls at the village because I think he believes little people might pop out of the little doors, and he just wants to be ready. I can just imagine cats especially seeing the tree with all of the bright inviting lights and ornaments as their own personal scratching post and jungle gym. They’re probably thinking, “My people have finally provided me with a six-foot climbing challenge loaded with toys for me to knock off and bat around on every branch all of the way up! I love Christmas!” We put up this ideal play toy smack dab in the middle of THEIR living room (by the way it IS theirs, we just exist to provide them food), and then we expect them to stay away from it? Not happening. They see the lights as an inviting neon sign to point out different ways of entry into the tree. There’s even a water bowl for them that the tree is sitting in, it’s absolutely perfect. Cats are designed to climb trees to escape predators, so as soon as they are stressed from the holidays, up the tree they go! When they’re sick of the extra company or not being a part of the cookie baking process, they can’t hit the spiked eggnog like we can so they instead turn to the tree for comfort. If we could get away with climbing the tree and hiding during the holidays, we would too, so it’s understandable. Why is Grandma hiding behind the tree over there? It’s not quite as socially acceptable for people. Pets can’t use their words to say little cousin Sally is too rough with them, or that they’re outraged our company acknowledges them at all when they just want to be left alone, so they express their anger by taking a swing at the lowest dangling glitter ball, or biting into the electric cord. Unfortunately when we want to just be left alone, we can’t take a swing at the ornaments, jump into the tree or bite an electrical cord either, that would not be good. Plus our pets are still on edge from the cute Christmas clothes we squeezed them into when we made them pose far too long for our Christmas cards. Christmas carolers with oversized faux fur hand muffs wig them out too, they really don’t understand what all that eager howling in unison is about. So keep in mind that Christmas can be either the best time of year for your pet, or the worst….so just try to see the tinsel and toys through their confused little eyes as they destroy all that you cherish in your house!