Caturday Open Thread: Yeah, This’ll End Well

Ah, Christmas is almost upon us, with travel, cooking, last-minute shopping — and disasters like what’s about to happen here. What’s your worst? (Nothing too personal, please.)


"I must help the humans remove that beautiful ball...!!", by andymiccone, CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0)

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23 thoughts on “Caturday Open Thread: Yeah, This’ll End Well

  1. Alison December 19, 2015 / 10:26 am

    One year my parents decided to get a live tree. They went to the nursery, picked it out, brought it home, set it up, kept it properly watered, decorated it…next day all the needles had fallen off. The tree was guaranteed, so we took off the decorations, went back, repeated the process. Two days later, the needles had fallen off. Round #3, because there’s NO WAY it could happen again… A few days later, dead tree #3 was returned for a full refund and replaced by a beautiful pre-lit artificial tree. 🎄🎁

  2. Not That Mike The Other Mike December 19, 2015 / 10:44 am

    My father told me this story: One Christmas, he watched as a neighbor planted a full-size pine tree in his yard, but was having trouble getting the tree to remain upright. Dad stepped in to help, and noticed that the tree had no roots. It was a cut tree from a Christmas tree lot. Dad tried to explain to the neighbor that this tree would not grow, and the neighbor was incredulous: “But the man who sold it to me said it was a live tree!”

    • Faye December 19, 2015 / 11:44 am


  3. Deb December 19, 2015 / 10:46 am

    My wonderful late partner was a healer and studied many modalities, including Feng Shui. His practice included Feng Shui for his clients and he had created many happy circumstances for them and us. One year when we put up the live tree, we went to the hardware store here in Park Slope and got some additional decorations. He found giant Christmas ornaments, large silver balls that one might use to decorate a hallway or outdoors. He placed them on either side of the top of the Christmas tree, hanging from the living room curtain rod finial. In Feng Shui, mirrors are often used as cures to assist a person, but one needs to be careful in placing them. I said to him “Those two ornaments are mirrors and they are bouncing off each other. They are very close to each other. Are you sure that’s going to be OK?” He assured me it would be.

    Until a short while later when I was sitting on the floor in front of the tree wrapping some additional presents. And I saw the tree starting to wobble and it fell down right front of me nearly hitting me. Water was all over the wrapped gifts, ornaments were broken. I told him to get those two ornaments away from each other and place them in other parts of the apartment. We put the tree back up, I re-wrapped the gifts and we continued our holiday. Feng Shui lesson learned!

  4. ffleur2 December 19, 2015 / 10:52 am

    I am one of 5 kids and we fully decorated a tree but there was always 1 beautiful red (breakable) ornament that went up. Apparently it was the only survivor from a set of 6 or 8. As a child I was so excited by Christmas that I was always rooting under the tree examining wrapped packages. And managed to break all but one of the red set. After that we only had plastic, or cloth or other unbreakable ornaments. But my mom doggedly put up her one surviving beautiful ornament in memory of more beautiful times.

  5. N. Fritz December 19, 2015 / 11:25 am

    Although he died before I was born, there are two stories about my grandfather, “The Reverend”, and Christmas. First, he was a perfectionist. To that end, every Christmas he would buy three evergreens, bore holes into the trunk of the one that stood most upright, and graft on limbs from the other two, so that he had a perfectly symmetrical and full Christmas tree. Second, and here’s where the disaster comes in… my mother, his daughter-in-law, decided one day that while The Reverend was at work, she would decorate this perfectly symmetrical tree. Everyone tried to dissuade her, to no avail. She decorated the tree, hoping to please her father-in-law. Of course, he came home, took one look at the tree, and removed every last ornament so that he could decorate it to his standards. There were, I am told, tears…

  6. Ilonka December 19, 2015 / 11:43 am

    In my mother’s home, we always had a ‘live’ tree, as explained by ntmtom above. Mom left the tree in the garage over a few nights before we were ready to bring it it for decoration. She later told me about a wee little mousie she found in the tree one of those days when she went to water it-unfortunately, she has no sense of the Qte, so it was not fun for her as it would have been for me. When we went to bring it in, it had frozen in the bucket on a leaning angle because the day has been especially cold, so we struggled with removing the ice, wrecking a few blades as we chipped away at the ice, only to discover that the trunk was too large for our usual tree stand. I rushed out on public transit (no car) to buy a new larger tree holder, just making it before stores closed on the 24th. Our tradition is to put up decorations early, but decorating the tree is for Christmas Eve as a family. So now we had defrosted the tree 😉, and also, an enormous tree stand that would hold the large trunk. We put up the tree, happily decorated it (sidebar about tree lights that I’ll skip over) and went to sleep satisfied with a job well done, only to awake to a large crash because the tree had fallen over! When the tree was tied up and redecorated, finally, I thought it was the most beautiful tree ever. I have never worked so hard on putting up a tree!

    • ffleur2 December 19, 2015 / 12:47 pm

      When we went to bring it in, it had frozen in the bucket on a leaning angle…

      Reading that right after the anecdote about the mouse made me think the mouse had frozen in the bucket. I had to read twice to realize it was the tree that froze! Too funny.

      • SoccerSue December 19, 2015 / 5:33 pm

        Ha ha, me too! I went from “Ewww!” to “Ohhh!”

        • Ilonka December 19, 2015 / 9:58 pm

          Oh no! Oops…sorry for any (even temporary) distress!! That night we laughed so hard that we cried…after a certain point its really the only option 😂

  7. allein December 19, 2015 / 2:47 pm

    I was fully expecting Christmas tree shenanigans when we got the cats, particularly from the boy. The worst they’ve ever done is lounge on the hand-made (by my grandmother) tree skirt.

    • Saffron December 20, 2015 / 6:32 pm

      Such a beautiful kitteh!!!! The look on his face says “Yep, I look goood under this tree! ” 🙂

  8. jlamusings December 19, 2015 / 8:33 pm

    Let’s see….so many stories…. I guess one of the funniest pet ones: Our family cat Fritti’s escapades when I was in high school. He did take down the whole tree went we all went out visiting one year. We learned to wire it to the staircase. But, even better, was the year I convinced the family to try a “live” tree. We usually had artificial due to my brother’s childhood allergies. He seemed much better after years of shots, so they agreed to try it. We got a beautiful tree, decorated it, etc. It was great. The only thing we didn’t count on: affect on cats. Our black cat was fine, but Fritti apparently had problems. His poor little pink nose went bald the whole Christmas season. He seemed a bit embarrassed, but we found it pretty hilarious. The vet said he was either allergic or just kept rubbing all the hair off from mashing his face all over the tree limbs and pine needles. Who knows? It grew back fine once the tree was gone. 🙂

    • ^oo^ December 19, 2015 / 10:27 pm

      Fritti had been hoping for a fir tree…

      • Jlamusings December 20, 2015 / 7:13 pm

        🙂 ha!

  9. Kristin December 19, 2015 / 9:13 pm

    Haha! I love the stories! There’s nothing like good Christmas tree disaster stories.

    Our family always had live trees. One year we had our tree hand cut at a local farm, brought it home, set it up and had it mostly decorated before the nest of spiders living in it apparently thawed and swarmed out of the tree and across our ceiling.

    Our only other disaster was the time the tree fell on my brother. He was lying on the floor next to the tree, watching TV, when he happened to look and thought, “That tree seems really close” just before it landed on him. My parents heard his call for help. When they entered the room, they found the tree on the floor and all they could see of my brother were his feet sticking out from under it.

    • Deb December 19, 2015 / 10:04 pm

      Lol! Your poor brother!

  10. Gigi_the cat lady December 19, 2015 / 11:54 pm

    By the time I was a teenager we had given up on live trees and my father had bought an artificial tree and it was my job to assemble it. But when I was 15 years old I had a back operation and I was stuck in a body cast in bed in my room for 3 months.

    When Christmas Eve came, my dad managed to bring me into the living room so I could spend the evening with the family.

    My mother had tried to put up the tree but couldn’t figure it out so she improvised. She put the decorations on the plastic palm tree that usually stood in the corner and put the gifts under it. As she always said, necessity is the mother of invention.

  11. Saffron December 20, 2015 / 11:02 am

    In the 60s my family had the silver aluminum tree lit up, of course, with the 4 color rotating light. It was AWESOME and tres fashionable! I want one now, but do not put up a tree because I know my kittehs will nom on it.

    Everyone: Are you putting up a tree this year?
    Me: Um, you mean am I putting up a giant cat toy? 😀

    • Deb December 20, 2015 / 12:09 pm

      Does anyone remember the Christmas 1976 Bicentennial red, white and blue trees?

    • Patty December 20, 2015 / 3:02 pm

      We had an aluminum tree. I hated it, I wanted a real tree. My daughter loves all things retro, and she has a vintage aluminum tree. They are expensive nowadays, and she sells on eBay, so it will likely be gone soon.
      I haven’t put up a tree since my youngest moved out 2 yrs ago. She always put the tree up (because I hated the fake tree assembly), and when she moved out I sent the tree with her.

  12. kagenui1 December 20, 2015 / 7:24 pm

    Great Stories! Our two cats used to climb our fake tree, but since they grew up, they just look at it or lie under it. They do like to help with decorations however.

  13. Michelle December 21, 2015 / 9:36 am

    My one kitty has a chair in our living room that she likes to sleep under. This year we had to move the chair to be able to put up the Christmas tree. As I was moving the chair, she followed me into to the den all the while looking at me as if to say, “Momma, where are you going with my chair!” She does like to sleep under the tree so it will be interesting to see if she misses “her tree” once we take it down in a couple of weeks.

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