Every year when we get our Christmas tree, our cat Audrey goes bananas. Like totally bonkers, running up the walls, sliding across the floor, hiding beneath chairs and diving out to scare our dog.
Right now? She's eating the tree.
Yesterday? She CLIMBED the tree. The decorated tree. It was like a tree earthquake, shaking and jingling.
I remember last year, or the year before, we couldn't find her all afternoon and then as I was walking by the tree I saw these glowing eyes. It was Audrey. She'd climbed the tree and was lounging on one of the branches like some kind of mountain lion or puma or something.
Aside from her wee kittenhood and one brief 45 minute incident when I was 8 months pregnant with Oscar, Audrey has lived the entirety of her life indoors. She definitely wants to go out, and kind of half heartedly tries to escape. We can't let her out though because out house backs up to a busy, four lane road and our actual street, while not busy, is on a public transportation bus route and our house is situated one block from the police station and two blocks from the fire station, so there's a good bit of fast driving.
Also, Audry is a small cat. An itty, bitty kitty. I know that's not typical for indoor cats, but our girl tops the scales at a whopping 7 pounds, so she's much tinier than the strays that wander our neighborhood. We have a neighbor two houses down that catches strays, gets them fixed, and regularly feeds them, so there are LOTS of strays. They'd tear her limb from limb.
And so, little Audry is stuck indoors all the time, year round. She sits on the back of our living room couch or the basement couch, gazing out the window. She becomes transfixed by birds and squirrels and other cats. But she will never breath the sweet scent of freedom. At least not if we can help it.
So when our fresh tree arrives, it's as close to outdoors as she gets. The smell of the pine awakens her senses and she becomes a Wild Cat for a few weeks, a cat possessed, knocking things off tables, racing in and out of rooms, flying up and down the stairs. For 11 months out of the year I barely know she exists. She doesn't even meow. But come Christmas time, it's like she's everywhere.
Now she's curled herself up in my living room curtains for a snooze (speaking of curtains, are we over them? I'm thinking of doing Roman shades in the whole house. That's what I've got in my bedroom already, and I love them.), although I suspect she's really secretly awake, watching me.