Hubs and I decided not to do the standard gift-giving for the holidays this year. Not even stockings—a sharp deviation from nearly thirty years together. But, it felt like the right time to change things up.
The kids are adult-ish, and the two of us don’t need a single thing. If we see something we like/want/need, we usually get it right then. Or—my favorite? Talk the subject TO DEATH, spin in aggravated anxiety about it for two months, and then get it later.
We certainly don’t need to run to the store separately on December 23rd to buy Seasons Greetings junk food to stuff inside red socks all clandestine-like and pretend to be surprised on December 25th over Bazooka Bubblegum or Snickers shaped like nutcrackers.
We did, however, buy doors. Three of them.
Like legitimate doors that swing open, shut snugly, and lock securely. You can’t see one flicker of daylight around these doors. So, Merry Christmas (Happy Birthday and Happy Anniversary) to the house, is what we said.
But we do have kitties. Three of them.
And they love their stockings. I know, I know… If you’re not a cat person, you wouldn’t get it. But I know—beyond a doubt—that these kitties expect a little somethin’ somethin’ from Santa Cat.
(Stella Marie is fond of chirpy bird toys, please. Backup singers for when she launches her “We’re All Gonna Die” tune when fire starts in the kitchen.)
Because all kitties are good kitties and need a stocking.
(Even Amara Mino, who believes she is the sister of God and can do as she pleases all day long—appearing naughty but not, because, well, deity.)
Even if they’ve knocked our two-foot Charlie Brown tree off the fireplace stoop.
After assessing what else the “house” might need, I decided, with the collective feline hive mind, that new cat trees would be nice. The old ones have seen lots of years, lots of sheddy naps, and quite a few pole dances.
(Malachi Maxwell being the king of the pole—ripping off the scratching ropes with his claws and hanging by all four sets of toes with his head swinging back and forth in true glee.)
As it turned out, Amazon had a sale. And since I didn’t care to do the discuss-it-to-death dance, I decided all by my big-girl self to purchase new cat trees.
For the house.
The trees arrived in a hundred pieces, and I put them together—with my trio supervising and “claiming” loose perches and caves before I could even get the screws out of the package.
The one in my office is super tall and perfectly plush.
And super, super pink.
Like “It’s a Girl!” pink.
Or Pepto Bismol pink.
Hubs gets home from work and finds me in the office. He stalls in the doorway, gawking at the tree. “It’s pink.”
“Yes. It’s pink.”
He takes a seat in the office, staring at the tree. Malachi is trying out new moves on one of the scratching posts. (I think that cat needs his own Vegas show, but I might be biased…)
The Hubs, jaw-dropped but trying to be supportive, says, “But did you know it was pink?”
He says this as though sorry to his soul that I went to the trouble of assembling such an eye-sore and maybe Amazon made a mistake.
Amazon did not.
I ordered three trees. White for the sunroom. Navy for the Hub’s man cave.
For my office.
The space where I spend hours working and writing with my kitty brood. The space where I’ve slathered all manner of randomness onto the walls—galleries of art prints scored at comic conventions, some depicting long-time friends like Big Bird and Wonder Woman. Sometimes sticky-tacked writing deadline calendars and mock-ups for covers printed out from my dying printer flap around when the furnace kicks on. I try to remember what day it is by my cryptozoology calendar (my fellow Geeks can check out Alternate Histories for cool stuff) and dream a little with the vintage travel ads pulled from old National Geographics and framed.
It's my space. (I can feel my only-child snark kicking in…)
When I was shopping for those trees, I was in some kinda funky mood. But then I saw the pink cat tree, and the funk flew away as the little girl version of me (who insisted we hang Ewoks and Wizard of Oz and Willy Wonka art) insisted pink would be perfect.
Little Miss Muse would’ve preferred purple, but I preferred not spending the extra hundreds (plural) to get the purple one. If Little Miss wants to push a national bestseller title through my fingers, we’ll spring for the purple at that point. I do have some grains of self-control left.
Three grains, maybe.
This shot was taken after Stella claimed the tree as hers and figured she’d have some peace and quiet to watch birds. She figured wrong.
Max had danced on two poles by that time, so he figured it must be his. He figured wrong.
Amara declared years ago that all objects in the house are hers by default because, well, she figures she’s deity.
She figured right.
Moments after this photo, Amara began her territorial tantrum over the pink tree and secured some alone time for herself.
Days later, and Hubs still glances in the office, mumbling something about the pinkness.
Yes. I know it’s pink. I did it on purpose. Happily.
And if that funky mood returns, I’ll spend my three remaining grains of self-control on two more trees.
And then we’ll have three…