Monday, December 16, 2013

The Christmas Centipede

I would have included a picture of the kitten with the sopping paws,
but he wouldn't stand still long enough for me to snap the shot. :)
Our pale ginger kitten, Sparky (named for his propensity to chew on power cords), has a strange fascination with the water in the Christmas tree stand. (Needless to say, but I will say it anyway, he has already denuded the bottom half of the tree of Christmas tree of decorations and Doug Fir needles.)

Like most other cats, Sparky has shown a proper aversion to water in other situations. He claws your body to shreds if you try to put him in a bathtub filled with water and he is properly mollified when you squirt him with a water bottle. Yesterday, though, we discovered him under the tree, attacking the water in the tree's water dish, through the hole in the tree skirt. He would hit the water with his paw and step back as if his opponent had hit him back. And then he would do it again, and again, and again.

At that time we were in a hurry to go somewhere so we just locked him out of the living room. This morning, though, as I am sitting in the living room eating my toast, Sparky starts attacking the tree's water again and it occurred to me that the tree skirt and the few presents under the tree were getting absolutely soaked.
Not wanting a more-ruined carpet or a moldy tree skirt, I decided to untie the skirt and put it in the wash, then I could do something about the carpet and the gifts. Untying the tree skirt was a challenge in itself as Sparky decided my hand made for a good scratching post. Imagine: me, bent under the tree, arm stretched to the back working blind, trying to untie the teenie ribbons holding the tree skirt in place, while Sparky is batting and gnawing on my hand and arm with his 4-month old "sharp, pointy teeth" and claws. At this point I must point out that no animals were harmed in the making of this blog post. But it was a close shave.

Skirt finally untied, here is where we get to the fun part. Pulling the tree skirt away from the tree, a nasty huge centipede crawls out of the skirt, slithers around a few inches, then worms his way back under the tree skirt. I jumped away and ran up the stairs to the bedroom, screaming like a leetle gurl! Luckily, a plastic bin was close at hand, so I upended it, dumping out all its contents, and gingerly covered the sodden skirt, the pile of pine needles, and the nasty huge centipede.

Figuring the centipede would be able to worm its way between bin and carpet, I found this handy wall mirror just waiting in my hall closet for this very purpose. Slipping the mirror under the bin and skirt was a tense few seconds, but it was done. I even put a box filled with random junk on top, just in case we have a Mr. Universe of centipedes on our hands.

I will let my husband take care of this mess when he gets home. I am done and already late for work!

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