Saturday, December 05, 2009

Why Tinsel Is As Beloved, By Me, As Easter Grass

As the holidays are here, and tree decoration is near, I would like to remind you not to use tinsel. This is not only true if you have cats (or other pets), but because tinsel, though no longer made of metal, remains an attractive magnetized material and with all that holiday visiting you or someone else is bound to bring tinsel into my home. I live in fear of such things.

For tinsel is like Easter grass.

Let me regale you with just how lovely that is with this previously published post (from a long defunct site); each time you read 'Easter Grass' substitute it with 'tinsel'. I clear my throat, and we begin...

One of my Easter pet peeves, one that actually involves pets, is the use of plastic Easter grass. More annoying than pine needles which do not seem to have been effectively removed until Easter, this pastel grass is coveted by cats & kittens everywhere. I've long banished the crap from my house, but this is the time of year when I must explain to well-intentioned grandparents and great grandparents why I have done so. And yet I must never ever tell the truth of it all. You, dear lucky blog reader, will now hear the unvarnished truth.

When a feline finds this plastic 'grass' it is compelled to not only carry it of to some corner of the house that is impossible to find, and therefore vacuum, but the creature must indulge in eating it. One strand at a time. Far worse than the weekly finding of yet another pastel fiber on the carpet (most embarrassing in June and November when the in-laws stop in unannounced), the consumption of this material does not involve actual digestion.

This means that cats poop the silly stuff in one long string of pastel plasticness.

This does not mean that it will be contained to the litter box.

Instead, what happens is that it sticks out of feline rectum, at least a good 4 inches, ensuring that you see it. It is at this point that you, as the human owned by the cat, must grab the bull by the horns, or the ass by its grass, and pull it out, thus removing it from the cat's digestive tract.

While it is clear to both you and the cat that you must pull it out, the cat is reluctant. One can only imagine what it feels like to have an additional 4-8 inches of 'string' (that does in fact progress past the rectum into bowels and perhaps intestines) pulled out of one's ass... It must feel an awful lot like the look on a cat's face: uncomfortable & surprising.

Given that the cat has hoarded 10-30 pieces of grass, this is a problem which presents itself on many occasions. Being that is it the problem of a cat, it's timing will be at the least convenient for you as a human, such as at dinner time, when company is over (whom I already eye suspiciously when they enter just in case a piece of the damn stuff is stuck to their clothing), when children are watching (and way more curious than seems natural), when you were in the mood for more erotic actions with a partner... It's such a mood killer that I am hard-pressed to think of a time when it would be convenient.

This whole Easter grass problem is reason number 3 on why my cats are not allowed outside. For if there's a single piece blowing in the wind -- and you know there is because you see them built into bird's nests, wound around brush, in your garden and blowing past you on the front porch -- my cats will find it and eat it. And I will have to 'rectify' the situation.

So let me speak to all of you and say this: Stop using the damn Easter grass. Let the free market dictate the collapse of this part of the holiday market, putting an end to its creation. Let me be finally free from this whole damn mess.

So, for gawd's sake, lay off the darn tinsel!
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