I know a lot of people who just forgo getting a Christmas tree because they have cats. Cats like to bat ornaments around and some even get it in their heads to try and CLIMB the tree. Lucky for us, our cats are not so much "climbers." It's not even that they're not agile enough -- Sherlock is certainly capable, and Eddie has regained his youthful physique since moving into our current apartment with stairs and room to run around.

So sure, Monster isn't going to friskily climb a tree anytime soon, and Leon -- Ish's older, diabetic cat who weighs approximately a million pounds -- is basically a lump of pudding who moves from the floor upstairs to his dish to a seat at the table and back again as his entire day's workout. He even lies down to drink his water.

But Eddie and Sherlock COULD scale the tree, I just think that they lack the imagination to do so. And that is fine with me because I don't even want to think about the ornamental detritus that would result should any cat decide to leap upon a tree branch.


Last night I was awoken to sounds of rather violent water-bowl splashings.

Now, most of the cats (except Leon) put their paws in the water bowl and splash a little before drinking the water. Sometimes they only drink the water from their paws. I do not know why this is, except sometimes I think they can't actually see the water (since it's, you know, invisible) and so they splash it around to confirm that it's actually there. This happens all the time, and I don't normally pay attention to it.

But for some reason, it was super loud last night. And then I realized that it wasn't just loud, it sounded like a LOT of water.

Of course, at 3 a.m., your brain makes all kinds of allowances for strange sounds coming from a home full of cats: Oh, that's probably just a cat scratching up the entire side of the sofa, but I'm sure it won't leave any marks. Let's go back to sleep now.

And as I was dozing off, noting that the splashing had stopped, Eddie decided to re-join us on our bed. Try as I might, as he was walking all over me at 3-something in the morning, I couldn't help but notice that his paws were colder than usual. And then I noticed that they weren't just cold, they were wet. And THEN I noticed that they weren't just wet, but his entire front half was sopping.

Not what you want cuddling with you.

He was gently escorted to the foot of the bed and sleeping resumed all-around.

Later, at about 6:30 this morning when Ish and I were just starting to wake up, we again heard the very loud water-bowl splashing.Which is when it occurred to me:

You know what? I think Eddie must be...uh...jumping?...into the Christmas tree stand.

Ish got up and looked over our bedroom's half-wall down into the living room. He couldn't really get a clear picture, but Eddie was definitely bounding in and out from under the tree, seemingly darting to the tree stand full of water and splashing around in it with both paws.

EDDIE! STOP THAT! Ish yelled. And he did. Or at least, the splashing stopped. (Our cats are surprisingly responsive to our scolding them. I do not know why.)

Then Ish got in the shower. And while I was still trying to rouse myself, Eddie leapt onto the bed again, front half soaking wet again.

All in all, I find this rather cute (if annoying). I'd much prefer the cats take joy in the water bowl under the tree than the tree limbs or ornaments. And I've had my own run-ins in years past with what I affectionately refer to as "tinsel poo," so this is demonstrably better.

But this does not mean that I understand the behavior. Why so much fervor? Why so much splashing? What about the tree stand makes it a super fun game?

Beats me. But I will try and snag a video of it if I can...


  1. Oh, wow! I laughed so hard I choked on my Jimmy John's sandwich with tasty avocado spread. Man.

    As a cat owner, this story is fantastic. I'm afraid to put up a tree in my apartment (the first of my very own!) because of my cat. He's...well, crazy is probably the best word. My building is an old mill, so there are 15' ceilings and a gigantic wooden square post in the living room between the ginormous windows. So my cat goes nuts running down the hall at full speed and jumping and climbing as far up the post as he can. Ergo, I am afraid of what he'd do to a Christmas tree.

    But cats LOVE water! This one likes to splash around in the toilet. Seriously.

  2. you are so calm about it, the one reason that I don't have a cat is b/c they prettymuch just do what they want-and I am too much of a control freak.I would be all crazy with the wet cat traipsing to bed like, like, well, the cats meow. heheh. I hope you can get a video

  3. I am not letting my cat read this lest she gets ideas. And I really hope that she doesn't figure out that trees are climbable.

  4. Our cats are major climbers, and this year I'm particularly concerned because this is our younger cats first Xmas. She is only 4 months old she is a fearless little monkey. She will most definitely be diving into the tree stand and climbing the trunk of the tree. Last year, though, our older cat tried to climb the tree trunk and got both of her paws completely caked in sap. She freaked out. Running around the house frantically. We eventually caught her and had to cut out the matted fur. Man, what a mess. But at least she never tried it again!

  5. My Phoebe hasn't tried to climb my tree in the three years that I have had her!! But perhaps that's because she a tall cat climber thingie. Still, there's always a first time, but so far so good, perhaps it's because my tree is fake and doesn't smell like a tree!

    (tinsel poo?!?!)

  6. I have a fake tree, but I didn't put it up last year because we had a one-year-old kitten. Now this year I'm not putting it up again because we have a 6-month-old kitten AND the 1yo still can't be trusted to leave it alone. At this rate, we may never put it up again.

  7. please do!!! :)
    I soooo wanna see that!

  8. dude. i had a cat who used to get in the shower with me. which was weird on a cat level and a whole 'nuther weird level.

  9. Sounds like you brought some of the wild indoors, which inspired...wildness. Gotta love that.

  10. My oldest cat, Carmichael, loves water. He will sit in the sink and then walk around with a wet butt. He can't hardly wait for us to get out of the shower before he pushes his way in. And, he always sticks his paw in the water dish and licks the water off his paw, instead of drinking straight out of the bowl.

    As for the tree, well - - Squeak made an unholy mess of the tree last year (we only had her a few weeks at that time), and I'm not so sure she won't try it again THIS year. But I'm going to give it a whirl and see how it goes - - last year we only had lights and garland on it, to keep from having broken ornaments! That may be the plan this year as well . . .

    But, I LOVE my kitties, and wouldn't give them up for anything! :-)

  11. How cute, we definitely need video! Maybe there's pine needles floating around in there that he's trying to catch?

  12. My cats love water - George liked to test my bath water.

    I mean I didn't trust his judgement in this department, but it was a nice gesture all the same

  13. Great story! Eddie sounds like a real character...definitely share the video when you get it!

    My cat used to drink out of the toilet. Then I put a bowl of water NEXT to the toilet and now he uses that. Go figure.

  14. Okay, so I've never had a cat....but I thought cats hated water?! Wow was I ever wrong. I never actually thought of the drinking....and this will be the reason we get a (gasp) fake tree....so my puppy doesn't take to drinking the water! But in the meantime, yes...please video.

  15. Our fat cat, Chester, lays down to drink his water too. So lazy. However, neither of our cats have tried to jump into the Christmas tree water. They do not like water and do not think it is fun to play in. Thank God!

  16. Having a wet cat in bed puts a totally different meaning on the phrase "wet spot."

    "Tinsel poo." Very funny.

  17. Although that cat thing is kind of bad, but that is kind of cute. I have a cat and two dogs and luckily none of them do anything to the tree. My cat is pretty large though and kind of lazy so I think that is part of it. All that happens with my dogs is that they run by the tree and make ornaments fall off the tree sometimes with thier tails.

  18. Man, cats are exactly like having toddlers! Without the diapers. Wish I had known about that before I got knocked up!

  19. That's just weird. My cat hates water. In fact, when she goes near the tree I spray her with a bottle of water. She hasn't bothered the tree in a while now! :) Probably wouldn't work on your cats though. They'd be all "Ooh! A sprinkler! Sweet!"

  20. God help me if the dogs figure out they can do that.

    I've got an award for you. If you want to see it, come visit. http://www.buggeringcrapmonkies.com/2008/12/ive-been-rewarded.html

  21. I have to get a small tree and keep it up on the computor armoire and pull the lights out of the plugs at night so precious doesnt electricute herself.lol Hugs Darcy


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