Like many people, every year at Christmas time, we donate to a number of charities, and always at least one animal charity. But the Christmas spirit is not reserved just for those animals in need outside of our home. And this year, our cat, Tom, is having extra fun thanks to a simple tree.
My hubby had major back surgery in October, and I wanted to lift the mood in the house for when he came home from hospital. So I bought my first ever Christmas tree—you know, from a store and wrapped up in a box, not something fished out of the op shop trash-and-treasure, or a living native one that, despite my best intentions, was eaten by the horses. No, I bought a lovely tree; it even came with lights pre-wired into it. I spent a relaxed afternoon opening the box and putting it together with my four-year-old son—a glorious, precious age at which to find the magic of Christmas—and we admired it with love.
And then our cat, Tom, disabled half the lights and broke several boughs within a couple of hours.
I had a moment of crushing disappointment for the short-lived beauty of my first tree (not crazy expensive but not entirely cheap either), but then quickly decided that Tom deserved all the joy he got from climbing through its branches and I found real happiness for him.
(He’s still going at it, by the way. Just this morning I caught him hanging in the tree by one arm while the other was desperately trying to knock off a red bell, the sound of more boughs breaking under his weight.)
We adore our Tommy cat. I picked him up from the RSPCA in Noosa two years ago as a three-month-old abandoned kitten. He sits in our kitchen sink and thinks this is totally normal. He is ridiculously in love with water and will watch us while we’re in the shower or sit on the bathroom vanity and wait for the tap to turn on so he can try to catch it and study it. (We swear he’s writing some sort of PhD on water.)
I like to think we were a great gift in Tom’s life; but he has certainly been a huge gift in ours.
From day one, our son, Flynn, latched on to Tom like a lifeline. And to our great surprise, Tom went with it. Tom has become Flynn’s (unintentional and by miracle) ‘therapy cat’ and spends many hours being dragged around the house, hidden under bed covers, lying upside down and floppy in Flynn’s arms, soothing Flynn when he’s anxious or sad, restoring him to a place of peace and calm. I often walk into a room and stop, giggling, as I see Flynn and Tom wrapped up on some sort of trance-like embrace on the couch or on the floor. Tom transforms from this wild, feet-chasing, hairband stealing, stalking, wrestling, climbing, tackling creature into something dove-like and serene, closing his eyes and purring, gazing up at the little boy that he adopted when he came into our home.
So yeah, as far as I’m concerned, Tom can have three Christmas trees if he wants them—all just for him to climb and destroy to his heart’s content.
Thank you, Tom. We love you. xx