Archive for December 2014

Is There a Cat in Your Christmas Tree?

December 22, 2014

Cats and Christmas trees—they just sort of go together…or not. I’ve had cats that liked to sit beneath the tree and just meditate, others who stole ornaments and batted them playfully around the floor, and one who liked to climb the tree. Two of the cats I have now are climbers. They will climb and leap and sit on the highest perch possible in the house. If they lived outside, I’m sure they’d find their way to sitting on the roof. In the interest of keeping my sanity and avoiding constant chaos, I’ve decided it’s not worth it to put up a large tree and try to keep them out of it. So a smaller tree with its own fiber optic lights is my way to go right now. Yet still there is a fascination with anything new, and I’m sure before the holidays are over the tree will be toppled at least once. They’ve already tried to chew on it and taken a few naps underneath it. My hope is that the newness wears off sooner than later.
A few reminders to keep in mind for your pets’ safety at this time of year: things like tinsel, poinsettias, holly and mistletoe, if ingested by your pets, can cause intestinal distress and send you on an unplanned visit to the vet. Rich foods and candy can also cause problems and are better kept away from pets. Having gone through a few attacks of pancreatitis with Foo Foo, we’ve learned that even if they look cute begging for people food, it’s not a good idea for pets to eat what we’re eating. I know it’s true that some dogs seem to have cast iron stomachs and can and will eat anything, but in your own best interests avoid giving in to the begging and stick with what you know won’t upset them. A dog with pancreatitis is not a pretty sight.
During the holidays, while people are coming and going more often, doors are sometimes left open, inviting pets to escape. To prevent this from happening, think about putting them in a separate room during gatherings and parties so they don’t have the chance to follow someone else home, or worse yet wander off. For the sake of your pet and drivers on the road, please don’t allow them to wander outside unsupervised, especially at night. Recently, we narrowly missed hitting a dog when he crossed the road in front of us. It was dusk, and he was very hard to see. I hope he just happened to get out that night and isn’t routinely allowed to run loose; but if that is the case I wish the owner would at the very least put a reflective collar on him so drivers can see him and hopefully avoid a tragedy. If you do allow your pets to wander and they are the victims of an accident, please don’t automatically blame the driver. Chances are it couldn’t be avoided and they feel very bad about it. The safety of our pets ultimately resides with us, and keeping them out of harm’s way is an important part of pet ownership.
A Merry and safe Christmas to all, and may the New Year bring good things to you and your furry friends.