If you have been owned by a cat, and I have been fortunate to have been owned by a number of delightful feline companions, you will be well aware that they are hilariously contrary creatures who possess a pleasingly perverse ability to know what you don’t want them to do and then go right ahead and do it.
As a cat person this has never bothered me all that much; in fact, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the weird little eccentricities of the average cat, delighting in their most un-dog-like propensity for subverting expectations at every turn.
But there is one time of the year when my indulgence of feline whim has often been stretched to tinsel-breaking point – which, given when this post is going up, you can probably guess is the most wonderful time of the year – and I have found myself wishing, just this once, that my cats didn’t have a penchant for jumping at every thing that moved, that their curiosity, which apparently can kill them (all my cats were immune), would abate for at least the few weeks leading up to Christmas and just a little beyond.
This is because, as Simon’s Cat beautifully illustrates, cats don’t so much enter into the festive spirit, as rip, tear, scratch and push into bemused submission.
Christmas trees are a particular source of fascination for the average moggy who sees them not so much as a festive icon, gaily decorated with baubles, tinsels and ornaments, as an gaudy obstacle course they must conquer.
Or a playcastle of endless, not to mention, breakable wonders.
When I was growing up we were always fortunate that our cats never developed the kind of fixation Simon’s Cat has with investigating every last part of a Christmas tree.
We lost a few baubles sure, and I can recall finding ornaments on the lower branches lying on the carpet on Christmas morning, but by and large our trees survived relatively intact; honestly I think we had more to fear from my adopted brother and sister as crawling babies than from our cats.
But the fact remains that cats love shiny, swingy, bright and fun things and Christmas trees have lots of them so watching Simon’s Cat go to town on not one but two trees does capture a cat’s fascination with this weirdly-positioned indoor tree which is surely only there for their personal fun and self-gratification?
Thankfully we never had any singing doll-like Santas but if we did I’m fairly sure that I would have taken to them with a blunt instrument well before our cats ever did.
Don’t get me wrong – I love everything about Christmas but like Simon’s Cat I draw the line at automated Christmas creatures, which let’s be fair as creepy as, and would probably have joined him in pounding it into the bricks around the fireplace.
Well if w’d had a fireplace; this is Australia after all where Christmas falls in Summer and fireplaces for stocking hanging and ornament-placing are rare beasts indeed.
The truth of the matter is that as a cat lover, I am way beyond convinced that having a feline to brighten your life is the best present ever and even when ornaments come a-cropper and presents find themselves shredded, it’s hard to get angry.
After all, everything you see in this Simon’s Cat Christmas Collection captures not just cats generally with engaging accuracy but cats at Christmas to a tee and since you know going in that that’s what your cat is likely to do, put aside the angst, pour some eggnog and toast the wonder, fun and silliness of cats, a joy no matter the time of year.
(But hey don’t be an idiot, put the tree up out of reach at least will ya?)