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The Wide Angle: What was that? Where are the cats?

Anybody who has cats will recognize the sleep-jolting feeling that a retching cat can bring to the night.

It starts subtly enough. Somewhere in the back of your mind, something is ringing a bell, but you’re still enjoying a deep sleep with dreams of still having all of your hair.

Not me … of course.

And then, somewhere, in the deepest recesses of your mind, that tangle of matter begins putting two-and-two together, yanking you out of sleep to figure out where the horror is coming from.

You jump out of bed, racing in the dark to find the incoming sickness, hoping that it’s not on the carpet and you have the time necessary to take the heaving animal to at least a hard surface, where you’re inevitable nighttime mess is at least easily cleaned up. But, as you leap from the bed like a world-class track athlete, you realize it’s too late as your bare foot has found the aftermath.

It’s an all-together unfortunate way to wake up, as you irritatingly rip paper towels off the roll and grab the product necessary to clean up, as the cat watches, pretending to feel bad about what just happened.

However, there is something else that can grab your attention and it can happen at the best of times, when you’re awake and only at Christmas.

It’s the phantom sounds coming from the Christmas tree as you try to relax after a long day, a beverage of choice in hand and clicking through the endless nothing you watched the night before.

You hear the jingling or the rustling and immediately begin taking stock as to where everybody is.

Clearly the significant other is not climbing in the tree … where are the two cats?

When you own one cat, it’s simple enough to just go to the tree and do a shake down of it, checking the branches and searching for eyes somewhere within the bows. Our cats, luckily enough, don’t climb the tree, but everything else is fair game.

Our first Christmas with the most Busterious of Busters was almost a daily endeavor of figuring out which ornaments were missing and where they were, but the biggest concern was that he is a big enough cat where if he really puts his weight into it, he could topple the tree. During that time, I fully expected to find it sprawled on the floor.

Nemi of House Nemikins has been interested in the tree, but it really has more to do with trying to get to the water as she is obsessed with both drinking water from most everything and simply watching it fall from a faucet.

She’s weird, and the time she could spend picking on the tree she has instead taken to trying to chew on the lights we have around the window.

Nevertheless, they both have had a deep interest in the tree in one way or another and it’s not uncommon to find one of them putting on their best innocent big eyes, trying to make you buy into their innocence from beneath the tree.

Don’t buy into it. They are never innocent. Even when they are sleeping, they are guilty of something.

Nevertheless, there are two things that keep you on your guard when owning a cat, and no matter how old you are or what shape you are, these two things will always turn you into Carl Lewis, hurtling through the night in order to track down sounds you know are familiar.

Just take time to put socks on.