Not-so-still Life with Cats


Living with a cat has so many benefits. Of course we enjoy the company of these always-adorable, sometimes-cuddly, often-independent creatures. And of course, living with a cat has its challenges, too, challenges that require cat owners to have a certain type of strength.

The extent of cats’ curiosity, spontaneity, dominance, and skittishness can keep us pretty busy. It also takes some serious devotion and patience to live with a family member who is bent on terrorizing rolls of toilet paper, swatting objects off shelves, dueling with dogs, and, this time of year, eviscerating Christmas trees.

There’s also research that shows self-identified cat people tend to be pretty open, which researchers tie to intellectual curiosity and artistic creativity. And if you’ve had to outsmart a cat at Christmas-time, you know what we’re talking about.

But no matter how ornery our cats are, they still purr themselves back into our hearts when they’re done. And like the good pet parents we are, we’re there to love and treat them.

33 thoughts on “Not-so-still Life with Cats

  • jane wolf
    December 25, 2018 at 5:07 am

    We put bells on the lower limbs of our tree;so we can hear them when they are near it, also the noise gives them a little scare

  • nelson
    December 25, 2018 at 6:37 am

    Yes i truly understand about it for me and my wife has had 12 cats in our life , we adopted some and lot came to our home fromthe wild. love them all so much.A you get up in the years, it slows down . So we have 1 small dog-Rosa.

  • Judith A Casper
    December 25, 2018 at 7:16 am

    Lol, good idea! I bought a small fake tree and a set of battery operated lights. One of my herd ate through the cord of the electric ones. So now they can beat it to death and no injuries!?

  • Linda Ehle
    December 25, 2018 at 7:32 am

    I have a new cat this year..6yrs. Was surprised he has barely been near it. My older cat,..11yrs has been lying on the tree skirt. No ornaments lying on floor this year.

    • Missy ;)
      December 25, 2018 at 11:28 am

      Your older cat is pretending to be a present; the younger one is watching . . . and learning 😉

  • Mary Johnson
    December 25, 2018 at 8:09 am


  • Denise Brown
    December 25, 2018 at 8:12 am

    Cute idea…This way the humans and furs get to enjoy the tree. I have 5 rescues ranging from 11- 2 years, 4 male, 1 female. I decorate the door and 1 set of windows in my apt. They are rascals when it comes to decor. So, I listen to a lot of Christmas muscis and have a tiny creche by my bed. I take out of the drawer when I’m awake.

  • Donna
    December 25, 2018 at 8:37 am

    When the tree goes up, the cats get under it! I have switched to plastic ball though. A friend had a cat that attacked her tree so much, she finally put a hook in the ceiling and tied a wire to it!

  • Sue Thompson
    December 25, 2018 at 8:45 am

    We had a cat once who actually would crunch the miniature light bulbs in her mouth, breaking them! No ill effects on the cat either.

  • Kathi
    December 25, 2018 at 10:08 am

    I gave up on putting on my glass ornaments. I bought some plastic ornaments this year!
    Good idea with the crate!! Lol!!

  • Suzanna Moore
    December 25, 2018 at 10:26 am

    Our two sleep under the tree, and don’t bother the ornaments. HOWEVER if the neighbor’s dog dare get within 2 feet of the tree, our old kitty (13) pounces, warning him to back off….and he does, posthaste

  • Jan Baker
    December 25, 2018 at 10:28 am

    Looks like Christmas behind the Iron Curtain! Hey, you do what you gotta do…

  • Linda
    December 25, 2018 at 11:04 am

    I stack empty dollar store decorative boxes under mine so when the cats knock them over it scares them away. Works for us.

  • J. David Scott
    December 25, 2018 at 11:06 am

    I have two cats.. The little one, Cali, has merely sniffed around the tree. My HUGE tom…Snug (the Thug) thinks it’s his personal toy to wrestle with.

  • Pam Heebner
    December 25, 2018 at 11:10 am

    Had an 8 week old and named her Mistletoe “Misty” for short. My husband and I searches our home from top to bottom and just as we gave up and were going out I saw my husband stop dead in his tracks. Our all black Mistletoe was asleep on one of the tree branches of the artificial Christmas tree. We got the best picture ever of it and nobody knows there is a cat there until told.

    I have had many great Christmas’s with 3 different cats and it is soooooooooo worth it. I use unbreakable ornaments on the bottom branches.

    Merry Christmas

  • Mel
    December 25, 2018 at 11:22 am

    Having a cat play with the ornaments is entertainment value. We put wood or hard plastic ornaments along the bottom branches, and our good ones halfway up to the top. The cars have harmless new fun, and we enjoy the entertainment.

  • Kim Thornadtsson
    December 25, 2018 at 1:13 pm

    I have six elderly kitties (13+ years & up) and I’ve been lucky all these years, none of them bother the tree or ornaments. Two of them love to lay about on the tree skirt, but that’s all.

  • Rhea
    December 25, 2018 at 1:29 pm

    Some people don’t let their cats have any fun. 😉

  • Carolyn
    December 25, 2018 at 1:51 pm

    We haven’t had a Christmas tree in years since we came home to discover Shadow (who lived to be 20 years old) sitting on a branch of our tree. Removed her from the tree & then plugged in the lights to discover she had chewed the brand new tree lights into pieces- grateful she was okay but no more trees! Hopefully when we move we will have a glassed in front porch so we can have a tree next year! Merry Christmas!

  • Andi
    December 25, 2018 at 2:21 pm

    Great idea! Love it!!!!

    December 25, 2018 at 2:27 pm

    I basically gave up!! LOL I decorate their Cat trees with Xmas themed cat toys and that is it.

  • Janice B
    December 25, 2018 at 2:30 pm

    Oh, yeah! For years, we had heavy trees (tall fresh-cut ones that later got turned into firewood) and tethered the tree to a nail in the ceiling. The star on top hid the tie well. So, the tree was always stable, even if the cats climbed up the trunk — which they did. We did hang the UNbreakable ornaments on the first two or three feet of tree closest to the floor. If any hit the floor, we picked them up and put them back on the tree.

  • Cindy Johnston
    December 25, 2018 at 3:05 pm

    This is last year’s picture. This year they graduated to a big sheet of clear, heavy duty plastic.

  • Mel Low
    December 25, 2018 at 3:20 pm

    We put hard plastic or wood ornaments towards the bottom of the tree, and our good ornaments halfway to the top. It’s pure entertainment watching the cats play.

  • Linda L Kroeck
    December 25, 2018 at 4:03 pm

    Naughty or Nice, I absolutely love the antics of Cole and Marmalade. I have 42 rescue kitties and they can certainly keep the days full of activities.

  • Erma
    December 25, 2018 at 4:30 pm

    I used to enjoy my 8-foot artificial Christmas tree, lovely decorations, etc., and my cat then (Buzzy) only tinkered with the low-hanging lights and ornaments. That was BP (Before Patches). Patches wormed her way up into the tree a few times, and one evening I discovered that she believed she should be the treetop angel. Decorations and lights all askew. I love Patches, but haven’t put up a tree since then. I’ll settle for wall and tabletop decorations!

  • Rusty Merrill
    December 25, 2018 at 7:49 pm

    My current cat, who is 13 could care less about the tree, and is more interested in FOOD, but previous cats have managed to totally destroy the tree with glee! Especially my male Orange Tabby! He kept me guessing, and I miss him a lot.

  • Linda
    December 25, 2018 at 10:32 pm

    Well my cat hasn’t bothered a thing, she just likes to lay by it sometimes. Love being a mom to a cat.

  • Coss
    December 25, 2018 at 10:35 pm

    My 4 all like to look, but they know not to touch. Still we put unbreakable ornaments on the lower levels, and occasionally we’ll find them elsewhere, but they all know, and police each other about not touching the fancy colored balls.

  • Lisa
    December 25, 2018 at 11:30 pm

    That is soooo funny! Thanks for the giggles. Of course, Marmalade is looking innocent as ever. Watch their videos if you get a chance, really well done and funny to boot. Thanks for this! It’s purrrfect.

  • Beth Patterson
    December 26, 2018 at 12:03 am

    LOL!! I laughed way too hard at this picture!

  • DeAnna Wiley
    December 26, 2018 at 12:05 am

    That is So Cool! Never thought of that. I have “several” cats myself!

  • Trish Katwrangler Welch
    December 26, 2018 at 12:29 am

    Last year we invested in some very nice shatter RESISTANT ornaments. They look like glass and came in globes, bells, stars., and fancy. Some have sparkles and frosting. Our tree looks wonderful, and our four kitties are safe from broken glass. Because they do love to bat at an ornament now and then 🙂 It’s their tree, too! (no tinsel or garland for us)

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