December 18, 2009

Trouble in the Christmas village

Every year after we decorate the Christmas tree, I take a photo of the wooden village beneath it. The village was a gift from my parents many years ago. My father built the little houses, shops, church, museum, and castle; my mother painted them. Little kids who come to our house — and sometimes adults too — will spend hours lying on the floor, playing with the pieces and imagining life in this little utopian world.

As I pulled the village out of the box this year, spreading white sheets on the floor beneath the Christmas tree to simulate snow-covered ground, I imagined writing a nice blog post about the village. I figured I’d take a sweet photo of the neighbor kids playing with the village. Little Biker Boy had already asked about it. Or perhaps I’d take a picture of Rogue, the cat who had already curled up near the castle, as if she were guarding the village.

But last night, just as my husband and I were snuggling in bed with a laptop, ready to watch the latest Big Bang Theory, Shaggy Hair Boy burst into our bedroom. “Uh, something bad happened in the Christmas Village.”

I leaped up. “One of the cats?”

“Yep.”

Trouble, a grey male cat, had walked over to the village, stood right on the tin foil skating pond, and sprayed urine across the houses, the figurines, the cotton drifts of snow. It’s not the first natural disaster to hit the Christmas village — one year Skater Boy fell into it and broke the ice pond mirror — but I think it might be the most foul. Those poor little ceramic ice skaters never knew what hit them.

I yanked up the wet sheets to throw them in the washer, ranted about how I hated all things feline, and piled the village on the kitchen counter to be washed. So instead of a lovely photo of the Christmas village nestled under the tree, here’s a photo of houses and figurines piled into a colander to be washed.

Damned cat.

Natural disaster hits the Christmas village

19 comments:

Anjali said...

Oh no! I'm sorry. Perhaps the village needed a good cleaning anyway?

elswhere said...

Oh, yuck! I'm sorry too! And trying not to imagine all the tiny villagers under the assault of what must have seemed like a horrible ecological disaster.

nimiecat said...

You all will laugh about this in years to come. "Remember when...."

Terry said...

I have a cat named Rogue, too. :)

Paige said...

Oh, no. Poor ice skaters.

You may want to look into getting some Feliway, or specialty scent remover, or equivalent. As I recall, once a cat pees somewhere, as long as the faintest traces remain, s/he is likely to think it's an okay place to pee again.

jo(e) said...

Thanks for the reminder, Paige. I have a bottle of Feliway left from a similar incident last winter. I'll spray the whole village once we get it set up again.

jo(e) said...

Nimiecat: You're right. As angry as I was when it happened, I was also thinking, "Yeah, this will make a funny story to tell for years to come."

EmmaNadine said...

All I can think of after reading this is, "There's trouble, right here in Christmas Village, and that starts with T and that rhymes with P and that stands for...Pee."

I hope your village recovers quickly.

Rana said...

Oh, man. Cat pee is the WORST.

(I can recommend Urine-Off, btw.)

When my parents had several competing cats in the house, piss battles were sadly frequent. My dad was enraged by cat pee on a regular basis. He discovered, among other things, that it will strip paint and corrode metal if left untreated. One year one of the cats pissed in a box of tax receipts. He has continued to hope that he will be audited for that year's taxes.

Jennifer said...

Yuck.

My cat has started peeing on things lately. We had to put away our bison-hide rug and she got the boys fabric tunnel the other day. Sadly, I have not reached the stage where I think any of this will be funny. It's just a lot of cleaning.

Songbird said...

If only I lived next door, I could have brought over my giant jug of Nature's Miracle detergent for the sheets...

Nadine said...

I'm guessing this is the wrong time & place to mention that I have a lovely black & white cat that has never once sprayed or failed to use the litter box at the appropriate moment that would love a new home with people that consider themselves cat people (unlike myself). ;-)

Sorry about the natural disaster!

Silver Creek Mom said...

Gosh I HATE cat pee! Which is one reason we do NOT have a cat. And the dogs would eat it for lunch. LOL!
Sorry about the Village. Just Gross.

heidi said...

Ew ...

Lorianne said...

Yes, this sounds about right.

Actually, this kind of sums up why we don't have a Christmas tree, much less a Christmas village, in a house with eight cats and three dogs.

(I'm not sure which is worse: defiant cat-spraying or senile dog leg-lifting. Either way, you don't want to be a village skater on the underside of THAT.)

AF said...

Sure, it sounds stinky and awful from our point of view, but this probably was Trouble's way of telling you how much he loves and appreciates your Christmas festivities. He just wants to be part of the whole display, and this was his way of contributing. It really was such a sweet, loving gesture from him!

AmpersandPrime said...

I see Trouble is aptly named.

concretegodmother said...

oy. we're having the same problem, due to competitive cats. not on the christmas village, but they'll do it anywhere else -- the leather couch, the book bag hanging from the dining room chair, the camera case hanging from the dining room chair, the kitchen counter! i have to restrain myself some days.

Sharon said...

And this is why I don't have cats! LOL! At least when the dog pees on something, it doesn't smell like a rutting polecat :)