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December 27, 2006: Deconstructed

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Ever since we put up the Christmas tree, it has had a slight tilt. It wasn't much to worry about at first, since the trunk itself was a bit warped, so it only looked tilted from one angle. But over the past few days I've noticed that the tilt seemed to be getting more pronounced. Last night, when we came home, I glanced over at the tree and made an off-hand comment that we probably ought to fix that tilt soon, before it gets worse. But we were tired and it didn't seem all that important and so we went to bed and promptly forgot all about it. Until about 5:30 this morning, that is, when I was awakened by a loud crash, followed shortly thereafter by the panicked skittering of six sets of cat feet, tearing madly from anywhere they might have been in the house to somewhere else.

When you are a pet owner, and you are awakened by crashes, you learn, very quickly, to lie there and assess them. Does it sound like anything fragile? Does it sound like something that might be toxic to cats? Does it sound like someone breaking in? And the most important question of all, does it sound like it really needs to be cleaned up now, or can it wait until morning? I lay there and rationalized the sound and, because it was still so early and I was still so tired, I somehow convinced myself that it wasn't anything important, and went back to sleep.

Alas, by the time the cats finally nagged me out of bed, about two hours later, I think you all know what I discovered downstairs, lying on the living room floor in a very prone position. In the cats defense, I doubt it was any of their fault. The only tree-related activity any of them have been involved in is when Azzie has tried to take out a little stuffed unicorn ornament (hung, on purpose, within reach of fuzzy paws because we have learned that the soft and unbreakable ornaments go on the bottom), but that was on a branch that was flexible enough so he could wrestle madly with the unicorn without disturbing the rest of the tree (usually while Richard and I sat within visual range and laughed hysterically, too). I think, in this case, maybe we have to blame Cthulu. After all, he was perched atop that tree with his team of degenerate servitor caribou, and everyone knows that ancient elder gods are never up to any good, despite the presence of sparkly gold horns of cheer.

I woke up Richard and between the two of us, we managed to pry off as many ornaments as we could find, and then clean up all the water and the pine needles. Luckily, only two or three ornaments broke, and those were ones we didn't have any sentimental attachment to - all the others survived the crash just fine and the worse they got as wet. It was amusing, in a way, because we had both been considering taking the tree down a little early this year, just because it's kind of in the way for when we use the EyeToy Kinetic. So maybe I am being too quick to blame Cthulu. Maybe he was just trying to be helfpul after all.

Tis the season for Holidailies

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