I ran away from Mike just before dark, chasing rabbits through the South Meadow, and he had to search for me with a flashlight (I was back home on the front porch, scratching on the door and barking for somebody to let me in). Even so, he didn’t seem that pissed at me until he came out of the bathroom and saw me with the card.
When they slide the door closed, I’m not allowed to go into the bathroom with them. I don’t like this, but what can I do but whimper? But this day, I had an opportunity to grab a Christmas card that had fallen on the floor and start chewing it. What fun! If I had realized the card came from my best friend Lynn, maybe I wouldn’t have eaten part of it, but what’s done is done. But it was chewing the card that seemed to put Mike over the edge. I tried to run away from him with the card still in my mouth, so I could bury it somewhere, but Mike yelled, loudly, and I just dropped the card and lay still. I could tell that Mike meant business this time, and I better not mess with him. I got the silent treatment for a long time.
That little incident put me on my best behavior until Christmas, however. I’ve already figured out that a couple of days before Christmas is a bad time to be naughty. My stocking is already hanging on the fireplace mantel, and when it went up I understood why Mike hadn’t put them up last week with the other decorations: He decided the stocking we had were ratty-looking, didn’t match, and were generally no longer up to MY lofty fashion standards.
So Mike got us three new ones, each individually stitched with our names. The photos here don’t really do them justice, since you won’t able to appreciate how soft and plush they are. My stocking is green with burgundy trim, while Heather’s and Mike’s are the opposite, burgundy with green trim. Mine is thus appropriately distinctive; even in the dark of night, Santa will always be able to pick mine out from theirs, unless we somehow get a red-green colorblind Santa. Most importantly, all three stockings are now the same size, and all toes face in the same direction. To me, that’s the key element of a balanced holiday mantel design.
Chloë’s new stocking
A few days later, however, I realized there were two things my stocking lacked: It was empty, and it didn’t have antlers.
If for the next couple of days I’m nice and not naughty, the first problem would take care of itself on Christmas Eve while I’m fast asleep in my crate in the bedroom. I know Mike has been hoarding biscuits that Lynn dropped off (unless she retracts them when she finds out that I chewed up her Christmas card). I also heard Heather tell Mike that she had gone shopping to get some new toys for me. Heather has good taste. And I have already sniffed out the presents for me in the package my aunts in Syracuse sent, as well as the gold bag on the coffee table that my pal Penny and her parents sent over. Not wanting to jeopardize my access to all these gifts that are so rightfully mine, reining in my naughty ways is paramount to success in my immediate future.
Chloë in antlers
That’s where the antlers come in. I’ve developed an inexplicable attraction to antlers ever since Mike took those silly pictures of me for my holiday greeting card. Why, I have no clue, but ever since Mike put those antlers on a vase in the living room right over those two stuffed moose decorations, I have camped under those antlers, desiring them without success. Then Heather brought home a Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer musical stocking from her office present swap and put it on top of the TV next to the moose, and now all bets are off regarding control of my imminent behavior.
Why? Because when you touch Rudolph’s paw, his nose lights up red and a chorus sings his reindeer song as his antlers move back and forth in time with the music. Rudolph is wonderful, and I can’t take my eyes off him or his antlers. I want to possess them, and Mike and Heather won’t let me. The cruelty of it all.
Will I be able to resist temptation through Christmas Eve and remain sufficiently well-behaved so I can get my presents? In the best interests of all concerned, I would advise Mike and Heather to stay out of the bathroom until Christmas, or at least not to shut the door . You can never tell what I might do when that door slides shut.