I refer to the time between the end of November and Christmas as “Baking Season.”
It starts with my husband’s six-hour birthday cake (although sometimes he asks for a giant éclair or a chocolate pie), then segues into Thanksgiving desserts (pumpkin cheesecake and maple pie). After that, I make literally hundreds of cookies for Christmas. There are tins for teachers and heaping piles for my familial horde when we travel.
I also bring cookies to parties, carefully arranged on holiday themed platters. This is actually my favorite part—making my project pretty. I’m the same way about preparing my house for a party or dinner. Vacuuming and cleaning bathrooms are a miserable chore. Putting out the gorgeous old tablecloths and fine china? So fun.
My fun became more of a chore once Boss Cat, feline marauder extraordinaire, joined our household. The rescue group made us promise to put the obese Boss Cat on a diet.
Boss Cat thought diets were bullshit. Once she lost enough weight to be able to jump onto the dining room table, she was relentless.
If you turned your back for two seconds, she’d snag a strip of bacon from your plate. Or a piece of chicken. Or even TOFU AND RICE.
After Boss Cat was svelte enough to achieve the kitchen counter?
She ran off with the egg yolks from mooncakes. She ate a hole in the middle of my cooling Thanksgiving pie. She pounced on my plate of Mexican wedding cakes for a local cooking contest.
We employed a squirt bottle. Boss was unfazed. She remained on the counter, glaring at me as water dripped down her face.
One had to physically remove her from the counter and either feed her or put her in a room and close the door (whereupon she would throw everything off the desk, dresser, or bedside table, but at least the food would be safe).
Now, mind you, we were not starving the cat. She was merely down to 13 pounds, with 6-8 small feedings daily. She still landed on the floor with a considerable thud.
Though she was damned stealthy when jumping up on counters and tables.
Which was why I arranged my platter of cookies for a Christmas party on the counter between the stove and refrigerator. Boss Cat was smart enough to be wary of a potentially hot stove on my right, while my left flank was protected by the bulk of the refrigerator.
I finished placing Christmas sugar cookies adorned with dark green frosting, adding just one last sprinkle of sugar crystals. That year I had gotten a Christmas shortbread mold and dipped those finished cookies in chocolate. They looked amazing, nestled among the trees. I stepped back to admire my handiwork.
Less than a second later, a flash of multicolored fur flew in front of my face, descending straight at the cookies.
Unbeknownst to me, Boss Cat had jumped up to the top of the refrigerator, which had open shelves. Who knows how long she lurked up there, unseen, waiting for the perfect time to pounce.
Sadly for Boss, the crystal serving platter was not a stable landing site.
The platter shot out from under the cat. She landed safely on her feet. The platter flipped, flinging cookies, chocolate, sprinkles, and frosting in every direction.
The platter broke. The cookies that weren’t in pieces were stuck, frosting and chocolate side down, on cabinets, the oven, and the floor.
I howled, “CAT!”
I yelled, “Yeah! You’d better run!”
And then I saw the dark green and chocolate paw prints she left behind as she fled the kitchen for rooms with cream carpets.
“No, kitty! Come back!” I pleaded. “Andy, catch her!”
Andy did not catch her. She ran over the office carpet, down the hall, and dove under our bed.
Andy and I surveyed the trail of chocolate and green Boss Cat had left behind.
In a voice of dread, Andy said, “We’re going to have to wash her, aren’t we.”
“We just need to get her paws.”
“We’ll still need Kevlar.”
The good thing about having a cat on a diet? It’s easy to lure them out from under the bed with chicken.
But no cat is easy to bathe. Despite gloves, multiple layers, and multiple towels, we were both bleeding by the time we got all four paws washed and dried. (No, we did not try and wash the rest of her. We are not FOOLS.)
It took ages to clean the kitchen. Some of the linoleum still had a green tinge when we ripped it out during a remodel years later.
And after that remodel?
The top of the refrigerator was covered by a cabinet that closed.
25 thoughts on “Christmas Cat Attack (#333)”
Sounds like my old chubber Hazel (RIP). Once she lost weight, she was able to jump up to places to eat food. Fortunately she didn’t like sweets so any dessert was safe but not much else. I love torties! They have spunk!
Did Hazel eat broccoli and tofu and rice? Cuz Boss Cat has stolen all those things. But after chicken, she seems especially partial to dairy. No frosted or cream based desserts are safe. And neither is the cutting board after slicing cheese!
I had no idea torties had such a reputation until I got one.
Good lord no! Hazel was a gourmand. Meats preferably waiting to be served for company. She wasn’t even a tortie! I did have a calico who stole pork chops. Gracie, my gray, pulled a pork chop bone out of the trash when she first came here. She came from a hoarding situation so I don’t think she got a lot of food. Now she’s all snooty about what I give her and wouldn’t think of going in the trash for food.
Oh, beautifully arranged meats on platters, I get it. Clever Hazel.
Gracie sounds like my dog Fey–she’d head straight for the nearest trashcan at the park.
Gotta love the street pets!
Oh. My. God. This kitty crime totally deserved jail time, hahaha.
Looking at the first pic, I don’t want to imagine how she was before losing a ton of weigh! Nico was also overweight when we got her and I made her go from 40 kg to 26. She was always hungry, but at least she couldn’t jump on counters or climb refrigerators. Only once she stole a sandwich that was too close to the counter’s edge…
Just one sandwich? In our household, that’s a very considerate pet. 🙂
She’s never going to be a small girl, but Boss Cat is much fitter than when we got her.
Oh man I can only imagine all the extremities that would leave my mouth when I saw the cat shatter a crystal platter and ruin my cookies!!! Boss cat is definitely a smart one. I hope she learned her lesson
I never made those shortbread cookies again. It was too much work to then see destroyed! I had some sugar cookies in reserve, at least.
She has never learned her lesson. Boss is still relentless when it comes to scavenging human food. But luckily we are pet owners who admire pluck!
This is the benefit of having a senior (and fairly slim) cat: she never jumps up on kitchen counters and couldn’t reach the top of the fridge if her life depended upon it. Growing up though, we had a couple of mischievous cats who ruined dinner once by gorging themselves on the chicken my mom had placed on the counter. It wasn’t quite the same ruckus stirred up by the dogs who gobbled the turkey in “A Christmas Story,” but it was close!
Oh, chicken on the counter! That’s like waving a red flag in front of a bull in our house. We have to keep them on–or better still, IN–the oven. How old is Sydney? I need to know how long before I can stop building counter barricades.
She’s 15 and definitely not as spry as she once was.
I love the way cats sit around looking so innocent when all the while they’re watching everything so they can burst out at just the right moment and have some fun, i.e., cause havoc. Boss Cat is well named.
Yes, sometimes we forget how many years of evolution went into the teapot tiger on the counter. They’re predators–especially when hungry!
Boss Cat makes me smile. She is a hefty girl, but certainly knows what is what. So innocent…
She knows what’s tasty for sure!
This is insane. I once had a beagle who behaved this way, but never a cat!
Trixie is the total opposite: She refuses to eat ANYTHING except dry cat food (only one brand — I sure hope they never stop importing Royal Canin to South Africa — and one type of dry cat treat. She won’t even eat chicken or tuna!
Not even chicken?! Shocking. I always try and hold wet food or tuna or chicken in reserve in case a cat quits eating and has to be bribed back into eating after illness or injury or a long airplane flight.
That’s kind of worrying, Trixie! Can’t you just steal a little chicken?
It is kind of weird and disturbing.
Have you started stockpiling Royal Canin?!
No but I guess I should!
My black cat was a climber, but was fortunately not tempted by human food other than ham or tuna. And the tuna had to be in brine/ He got really cranky if it was canned on oil – he didn’t like the texture of oil on his tongue. Boss Cat sounds quite the character – I like him already 🙂
Brine only–hilarious! Cats are weird about oil. Boss Cat likes head bunting and chine scratches, but then she’ll spend 10 minutes washing her face afterwards–as if to get all the human oil/ scent off ASAP.
As painful as the story/claws is/are, I had 4 good chuckles reading it 🙂 Thank you! It reminds me of that old saying about how do you know that cats are smarter than dogs? Because humans domesticated dogs, and cats domesitcated humans… 🙂
It’s so true. Most cats are a generation away from being feral and just fine on their own.
Although mine would be loathe to give up her human staff.