Saturday, December 1, 2012

Lose the Battle; Win the War

Well, the Yule tree has been packed back up in its box and put away. Having pretty much destroyed it, Willow and Oliver were not pleased to see it returned to the basement. Nor was I pleased to have to do the returning. As the saying goes: Pick your battles. This was one battle I just don’t have the energy to fight. As sad as it makes me not to have a Yule tree for the first time in my entire life, I guess it is just the price one pays for giving two really very sweet cats a good home.

I’ve had my melt-down moment. I got mad, bargained, went through denial, got depressed and now have finally accepted that it just isn’t meant to be . The challenge here is to now get creative and festivize (I just made that word up) for Yule in some other way.

As I am writing this, Oliver and Willow are wrestling happily on the floor. They have no concept of how heart-breaking it is for me to not have a Yule tree. I’m struggling at the moment with the wisdom of pets in general and weighing up not having to constantly vacuum up hair, clean a litter box, clip nails and fill food dishes against not coming home to these two little fur balls greeting me at the door every day. The idea of being able to go away (someday) and not have to worry about arranging care for them is appealing. Knitting without having them steal my yarn or planting themselves squarely on my lap as soon as I pick up my needles sounds so peaceful. Not having to keep the bathroom door closed so they don’t shred the toilet paper or take off with my tub plug or razor or bath poof seems like a definite plus. Being able to roll over in bed without one or both of them plastered against my legs would be nice. I have rearranged so many things and changed so many routines to accommodate these cats over the past eleven months.

They say that pets make people happier and healthier; that people with pets live longer when they share their lives with an animal. Today, I think, that was made up by a shelter manager to get some dogs and cats out of his kennels. Today I just can’t see it being true at all. (So there is a bit of residual bitterness lingering…)

As I said, it’s time to get creative. I’ve considered getting a real tree, but that just doesn’t seem to be the right answer. And I don’t really want to go and cut down an innocent tree, just so I can have one this year. Besides that means buying a stand and lights and then having to dispose of it after the holidays. Forget all the needles that it will drop and the fact that Oliver and Willow will still climb it. I thought about just putting out other decorations and ornaments and foregoing any kind of tree at all. What about a cardboard cut-out? Or otherwise creating a surrogate tree…

While composing this missive, a friend sent me a picture of the perfect solution! It means a bit of fussing about, but it will be lovely.

Stay tuned. The cats may have won the battle, but I’m going to win the war!

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