It rained last night accompanied by thunder and lightning. I got up this morning to an overcast gray day, had breakfast and my cup of coffee. And then I guess I lost my mind.

What Happens When You Don’t Think Things Through:

Before I could even think it through I’d gone outside and brought my red beverage tub in. Remember that one? The one I’ve put a Christmas tree in ever since I found the stand at the antique mall.

It had water in it from the rain, but I soon got it all cleaned up.

Then I was up on a step ladder in my closet digging around in the big red zippered bag that holds my three tabletop trees. One green, one white and one red.

coffee table vignette

I had it in my mind to use the white one like I did last year. But I couldn’t find the stands for either the red or the white one.

So I dug out the green tree. I plopped it in the red tub and started messing with the branches.

And Then The Lights Came On:

Then I plugged it in and smiled as the little lights came on. I was looking at the tree and the lights and the branches I will be fluffing all day long, when I happened to look down.

Ivy was chewing on the cord right where it goes in the wall. Ivy, stop that! I shooed her away and looked for something to temporarily cover it with.

Then she decided she would explore the bottom of the beverage tub. About a foot off the ground there are two bars that form an X to keep the stand steady. (Well, let’s hope anyway…)

But What Was I Thinking?

Oh my Lord. What was I thinking?

I wasn’t.

shelf vignette

Ivy is a master at finding new things to get into. And here I just brought in the ultimate toy. A Christmas tree in a beverage stand.

But you see, I missed the lights. I don’t care all that much about a Christmas tree otherwise. But I love to have the lights on I as go about my day.

Many people (especially bloggers) have probably had their tree or trees up for a month. They’ve crafted like crazy, already made three kinds of fudge, and have their homes all dolled up for Christmas.

I Had Planned To Go Minimalist:

But I was going to go the minimalist route this year. Just decorate a few spots here and there, I told myself.

Last year I put my tree next to the green sideboard the TV is on. But I have my desk next to it now. However in the past I’ve had my tree right in the corner where the living room adjoins the dining area.

Naturally I kept looking at that corner and imagining the tree there. Because there’s really no place else to put one unless I want it on the ceiling.

I kept thinking about how the lights could be seen from everywhere but the kitchen. How they would be reflected in the patio door when the light is dim.

What I really need to be doing is cleaning this dusty apartment. I need to mop all the floors and clean the bathroom.

And now I’ve gone and put a Christmas tree in a beverage stand on a dirty floor and I will have to move it to mop.

Ivy on her cat tree


But good Lord I have a 7 month old kitten in the house. One that is particularly nosy and rambunctious. And tears through here like she’s full of caffeine.

“Oh Ivy,” is what I hear myself say all day long as I right lamps and whatever else she’s knocked over.

I have to scold her when she’s chewing on my shoes (who ever heard of a cat chewing shoes? I thought that was a dog’s domain?).

I have to grab them from her because she’s already chewed down the backs of them. And I haven’t had them more than a month or so.

This morning I got up from the yoga mat after stretching and slipped my shoes on and there was a spring toy shoved inside. One that I accidentally stepped on so now it looks a bit wonky.

I’ve resorted to putting my yard stick in front of the washer because she keeps scooting it under there. Then I have to move the heavy washer out and get it out for her. I’ll probably trip on that yard stick because it sticks out.

Ivy by the patio door

The Ominous Quiet:

If it’s quiet around here, it feels a bit ominous. I can be typing along as I am now, and realize that I haven’t seen or heard Ivy in a few minutes.

A few minutes can spell disaster. So I feel compelled to get up and look for her.

Oh my word, what was I thinking?

This could be the stupidest thing I’ve attempted since Ivy came to live here. Putting up a Christmas tree and hoping against hope that she will not destroy it.

Or chew through a wire. Or ye Gods try to climb the stand and bring the whole thing crashing to the floor.

Christmas tree in beverage stand

Oh, But I Missed Those Lights:

The only explanation I have for this lunacy is that I really missed those Christmas tree lights. I couldn’t help thinking about sitting here on the couch and sipping eggnog while gazing at the lights on the tree.

I may regret this. I may have just begun putting up a tree I might have to take right back down, depending on her agility and creativity.

But maybe, just maybe, I might get to enjoy the Christmas tree lights for the month of December. Without too much damage and mayhem.

If not, then I have truly and temporarily lost my ever lovin’ mind.

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  1. My Kramer just looks at the tree so far so good ,I did see him swat at some lights I got out last night to go on a Santa façe I hang on the wall I immediately told him no and got a paper after him !
    I hope you can enjoy your lights without too much problem from Miss Ivy Lou !!
    Good luck she is a hoot !!
    But worth it I think !
    She has added much joy to your world !

  2. I would be getting rid of that cat. She causes you so much stress . She is cute but I couldn’t stand all the mess.

  3. KATZ!!!! THEY ARE SO PRECIOUS!!! I like the suggestion about the Dollar Tree battery lights. I got some (20 ct, clear or multi color), and used white tempra paint to paint the GREEN wire. I put them in a white bird cage which sits beside my faux fireplace.
    SUGGESTION ABOUT ELECTRIC CORD: Use hot sauce of some kind to smear on the cord. I did that to prevent a cat from chewing on the cord, and it worked, without causing any harm.

    BATTERY LIGHTS: Watch for after Christmas sales for next year…..

  4. Good luck! Even though you wanted to go minimalist there is something to be id for the magic and allure of the lights of a Christmas tree, after all it only happens once a year. I hope that Ivy leaves your tree alone and lets you enjoy the lights!

    Have a very happy Sunday!

    1. My Gracie was three months old last christmas and knocked over the tree three times. Several ornaments broke on the first fall, so I went and bought plastic balls at the dollar store. I finally got her to stop by using aluminum foil as a tree skirt. Put foil on the cord too. Gracie eventually ignored it and all was well.

  5. Hi Brenda, you can get the battery operated lights at the Dollar Tree. Probably would require 5 strands to give enough brightness. They are small but give light from the LED mini bulbs. They turn on with a tiny switch on the battery box. They only require 2 AA batteries. Just a thought. Charlie and Ivy are so sweet to hear about each day. Wishing you a beautiful, and wondrous Christmas!

  6. I think the kitties like the lights too! They both love to lay under the tree.. so I made them a nice soft fleece bed right under it, amidst the gifts. They both love it. Of course, that is after they’ve worn themselves out batting at the ornaments and trying to climb the “trunk” (fake) of the tree. They are both too big to do that now but they did as kittens. That’s when I got out the spray bottle of water which helped alot. They get on the windowsill and bat at the ornaments, so I put unbreakable ones there. The bed thing works great.. I see in that tub you may have a little spot for her to lay in a nice soft nest of a blanket. You can get cheap fleece lap blankets at most discount stores (do you have Bi mart or K Mart?) for $5.99 or so. Our cats get a new one every year! Good luck!

  7. Have you considered battery operated lights. I love them. They come in different lengths. When the lights on my very small Christmas tree start to burn out I’m going to replace the plug ins with battery operated. I’m really into the battery candles now too. In the beginning I hated them but they’re more attractive now plus many have timers. The battery string of lights you can tuck in here and there on your shelves or anywhere lease you’d like a touch. I use them all winter not just for Christmas.

  8. My son’s roommate has a kitten and Tim said she is insane. I keep telling him that that’s because she’s a kitten, but he insists she’s “crazier than normal.” I told him he just doesn’t remember how kittens are!

    Zippo used to chew Christmas tree lights AND the cords. So we learned to not put lights on the bottom part of the tree. Now all we have is a small tabletop tree and thank goodness, Monkey and Clem don’t bother it at all.

  9. I am laughing! First year with a kitten is so crazy! They attack and play with everything and anything! Good luck with the tree. I too love the lights the most. My Annie is older and so not interested in the tree but to lay under it. I do have a wreath that has lights (battery pack) so no cord for her to attack if you should go that route! Hugs and let the Christmas fun begin.

  10. For several years now, I’ve put my Christmas tree on the patio since my living area looks out to the back yard. The tree has lights with a remote control. I use a few wooden ornaments. Lol. It keeps my cat out of the tree! The tree is artificial and only about 5 ft tall

  11. Use a squirt gun on Ivy. Every time she does something she’s not supposed to – like claw at the curtains, chew electrical cords and shoes and climbing Christmas trees and you see her doing it, squirt her! She’ll get the message. And if you have a cat crate or a dog crate, put her in it when you go out so you have peace of mind that she isn’t starting an electrical fire or has electrocuted herself chewing on a plug! I finished decorating my tree today. Two more sections of the pre-lit tree have burned out this year. I added two strings of store bought light last year to other sections where the lights had burned out. This year, I didn’t bother, I just threw on more ornaments and ribbon, LOL! This tree will be going to the landfill at the end of the season and I’ll go to a smaller tree, no more than 5′ tall and I want a plastic (whatever they’re made out of now) with soft bristles and lightweight so I won’t struggle anymore pulling it upstairs from the basement. Wowsers! The tree is 11 years old this year, so I got good use out of it. Tomorrow I will dress up the kitchen/dinette combo a bit and then I’m finished and can enjoy it. I love the lights too. They really help on cold, rainy, windy nasty and dark days like it is here today!

      1. And if Ivy is anything like my cats, squirting her will do absolutely no good. I was consistent with squirting Monkey and Clementine when they got on my kitchen table. They’re now 8 and 10 and they still get on the table. I’ve given up. I disagree about crating her when you leave. Cats hate to be crated.

  12. Brenda, this is funny, even tho I know you don’t think so now..Years ago, we had a 9/10 foot fresh tree, that I put tons of ornaments on, some antique. The cat we had then, was a lover of that tree, and climbed to the top, and knocked it over. Lots of broken ornaments, lots of tears. I called husband at work, he came home at noon, put the tree back up, and we wired it to the wall, it was in a corner, so made it easy. Still have enough ornaments. Anyway, I look back at that dear cat, and she was probably scared to death when it happened too. Anyway, this too shall pass, (so the saying goes)..You will find your lost mind..(grin)

      1. Command hooks won’t leave holes in walls…tie string from tree to two or three and it won’t fall over if she climbs!

  13. Your post brought me chuckles remembering all the Christmas tree adventures of cats that I have had through the years. One knocked the tree completely over in one of his running around the room and bouncing off the wall moments. Usually it was just the battle of the Christmas bulbs. Bought unbreakable bulbs but still had to leave the lower branches kind of empty. And then other times he would sit below the tree starring at the lights and all was forgiven because he looked so darn cute like he was posing for a Christmas card!

    1. Earlier Ivy was doing that. Running and bouncing off the walls. I wonder how they keep from hurting themselves, going so fast and running into stuff?

  14. Is there any possibility of putting it up on the outside of the patio door so you could see it but Ivy could not get to it? In our houses we have an electrical outlet next to the patio door on the outside. Don’t know if you have those. Also, maybe it was the age, but our cats only laid underneath the trees like presents and took naps there. Of course, we got our cats when they were older and had kids to play with.

  15. I do so look forward to hearing about Ivy’s antics. She certainly can bring life into things.
    I’m getting a kitten of my own soon and I’m a little apprehensive!
    Am I ready for a Christmas tree climber???

    1. When are you getting your kitten? I look forward to hearing about it. You’ll be fine. Might end up with a few breakables now and then, but you’ll love the kitty so much it won’t matter.

  16. Our Ziva, when she was a kitten, would climb the main pole of the tree, then slink out onto a branch and hunker down as if she were hiding and peek out at us from her “hiding” spot. It was the cutest thing, and we still reminisce fondly about it to this day! She never once toppled the tree, which was not as small and compact as your looks, so maybe your tree will be okay after all!

  17. Oh yes, cat versus the tree. I’ve always had both and some years more trying than others. But I love those twinkling lights!

    1. I think I’m done with the tree and now have to figure out how to keep her away from the plug. When I was fixing lunch, she managed to get the rolling office chair, which I’d been sitting on hanging ornaments, close enough to start pulling out the white tulle I have around the bottom to resemble snow.

  18. That Ivy is a dickens! She reminds me of our cat Fireball who we adopted as a stray kitten and was with us for his eleven years. His name was a good fit even though he was predominantly white. He would be wherever he wished — walking on valances, top of the pie cupboard, or in the Christmas tree. We would find him sitting in the branches and MANY times tipped it over. Love Ivy and Charlie photos and “tails” of their antics.

    1. I just can’t bring myself to battle with her over everything. Sometimes she just gets by with stuff and we’ve drawn the battle lines. Which of course she keeps moving.

  19. I was snickering through your entire post, Brenda! Mind you, not laughing at you just simple snickering. I can imagine your joy as you put your tree in place and then that Ivy related lightbulb moment. Try to relax and enjoy the twinkle lights.

    1. So far we’ve just had two broken ornaments. One was Ivy’s fault and the other was mine. I didn’t even know she’d broken it. And there she had pieces of it underneath the sewing machine table under the treadle. I was scared she might have gotten cut, but looks like the treadle kept her from safe.

  20. Good luck with the tree. My daughter has had several cats over the years and there was one – only one – who would climb up into the tree and just sit in it. Of course several ornaments fell off every time.

    1. If Ivy sat in this one it would come tumbling down. I found the feet to the white tree and took the green one down. I like the white one with what I call my candy cone ornaments.

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