HOLIDAY DECORATING DILEMMA

Live pines and spruces come with baggage.
Add a few pets and you’ve got pandemonium.
The REAL question, dearest Shakespeare, is this:

TO TREE OR NOT TO TREE?

Tradition calls for a live pine tree,
even one that’s severely crooked
or harboring dormant spider eggs
or shoved through your front door
by a charitable neighbor who refuses
to let the Grinch steal Christmas

The firry beast is more wide than tall,
flatly refuses to stand up straight,
and sucks down drinks by the pitcher
Pyromaniac can turn two dry needles
and a half-watt bulb into a house fire
if you leave him alone for an hour

The mesmerized cat toys with shiny
low-hanging baubles and freaks out
at his own reflection, entangling himself
in the tree skirt as he flees the scene
Then he turns a footlong strand of tinsel
into sparkle-poo he cannot quite shake

The dog is eager to come to his aid
in a canine sugarplum fantasy-come-true
He sniffs and pursues the trailing treat,
sending the cat scurrying up the trunk,
bending the Star of the East due west
The tree leans past the point of no return

And… over… she… goes… TIMBER!
The cat escapes before the crash landing
The guilty-faced dog hangs his head,
enduring a scolding as the tree is righted
When the coast is clear, he helps himself
to half the fresh water in the tree stand

The vacuum cleaner arrives on scene
The dog’s eyeballs float in their sockets
but his desperate pleas cannot be heard
over the clatter and hum of the machine
After it departs, the tree’s alluring trunk
becomes the target of his lifted leg

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A FAMILIAR ROUTINE?

Cats are an effective deterrent for all kinds of evil spirits:
demons, spooks, hobgoblins, ghouls, phantasms, specters,
wraiths, hellions, banshees, revenants, even those dreaded
Fahrvergremlins.  They haint afraid of no ghosts!

WATCH CAT 
(sevenling)

In corners
In the pantry
On the basement stairs

She hisses
She hackles
She claws the empty air

Performing her daily exorcize

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FELINE ONLINE, WINTER QUARTER

During those long winter nights when it is too cold for an outdoor cat to go out, how does he entertain himself?  Scratching in his litterbox and wondering why his poo smells powder-fresh, and how it magically disappears?  Gnawing through the package his favorite treats come in?  Watching the bathtub faucet drip?  All that and more, it seems.  I used to wonder who was messing with my computer.  Now, I think I know:

NIGHT SCHOOL

The mouse is askew,
the icons paw-sized, again
But this time, he’s left a trail,
having forgotten to wipe
his browsing history:

PHYSICAL SKILLS
High Jump I – Counters
High Jump II – Refrigerator
Sneak Attacks
Shedding on Demand

HAZARD AVOIDANCE
Baths and Water
Vacuum Cleaners
The Crate Escape
Pills and Vet Visits

LANGUAGE SKILLS
Nuances of Meow
Hissing and Yowling
Body Language
Advanced Ignoring

OUTDOOR SKILLS
Camouflage
Birding and Mousing
Skunk: Friend or Foe?
Traffic Smarts

CAT BURGLAR
Computer Settings
Cupboards and Closets
Faucets and Doorknobs
Raiding the Dog Dish

JUST FOR FUN
Litter Tracking
Hacking up hairballs
Batting Electrical Cords
Let Me In, Let Me Out

It throws a brand new spin
on the nature v. nurture debate
but I am weirdly proud of him;
my clever cat,
just six credits from his Masters

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