The cat rules a merry mix around here

It’s down to a one-hand count to Christmas, and I’m within moments of grabbing the nearest “Krazy Karpet” and disappearing to a remote location where there are no holiday stressors.
This time of year always gives me a renewed appreciation for mothers who work full-time and still manage—atop their regular Wonder Woman deeds—to fit their Christmas baking, gift buying and wrapping, and their children’s Christmas concerts into the chaos of the family circus.
Every year I intend to be more prepared, and have my sugar cookie baking done and my gifts wrapped far in advance of the garland-spackled holiday. And yet here I am again within earshot of Rudolph shouting “Full speed ahead” and nary an item checked off my Christmas “to-do” list.
But I do have my tree decorated!
Of late, the Christmas tree is the centre of attention for “Millie” the cat, the newest member of the household whose coat is as black as the inside of a cow—making her classically invisible in the house at night—and whose radar is equipped with the latest in stealth modifications.
Of important note is that she is referred to as “Jon’s cat” during bouts of mischief.
She is a feline who can’t get enough of rubbing up against the human ankle and whose endless purring whirrs of satisfaction and engaging meows were adopted in by “yours truly” as part of Jon’s dowry.
But life with cat began with the “Cat Rules.”
Firstly, I decreed that the cat is not allowed in the house. Okay, the cat is allowed in the house, but not in the bedroom or the living room. Fine, so the cat can come in the bedroom but not while I am sleeping.
Yes, sure, okay then, the cat can come in the living room, but not on the couch and not on my favorite chair.
Millie currently sleeps wherever the heck she pleases. Like I said, the cat rules.
In a scene that fell just short of something out of Steven King’s horror novel “Pet Sematary,” and from which I’ve not yet recovered, I awoke one night shortly after her arrival to make the usual trip to the bathroom that follows too much tea before bedtime.
I was sitting there in the quiet darkness hazed over in some kind of midnight stupor waiting for the tinkle to begin when I had the odd and eerie feeling that I was not alone.
If someone had poured cold water down my back just then, the sensation would have been a dead ringer to the shivers I was getting at that moment. I reached down to grab the flashlight (I have one in every room) and turned it on to find two green-hued, golf ball-sized cat eyes boring a hole into my brain from where it sat like a statue on the side of tub beside the toilet.
A third eyelid washed over one of her eyeballs as she squinted at me and jumped into my naked lap.
In a microsecond, I shot to a standing position and the feline catapulted off and away somewhere that I did not pursue. I went back to bed and fell into a dream world of scary zombie cat movies.
I awoke the next morning to find a curious déja vu situation in my living room reminiscent of the days leading up to Christmas last year, when “Oliver the cat” ruled the roost. Sadly, Oliver used up all his nine lives in the late summer when a night owl stole him away.
And like last year, once again I found Christmas tree ornaments strewn everywhere—and no cat in sight.
Upon investigation of the whereabouts of “Jon’s cat,” while returning the ornaments to their rightful place, I found her staring at me wide-eyed through the branches in the middle of the Christmas tree with that classic wild look that precedes the pounce.
I had a flash of anticipatory terror only this time it wasn’t just a scene from the movie “Alien,” when that seed pod thing jumped onto the face of the innocent astronaut.
The cat-a-pult from the tree onto the front of my housecoat happened so fast that I was sure I would never recover from the shock. I wasn’t sure Jon would either when I ran screaming into the bedroom where he was fast asleep.
He sat straight up in a wild “deer in the headlights” stupor as I rushed at him like a steaming locomotive with the cat knitted to my housecoat.
Author Helen Powers said, “Your cat will never threaten your popularity by barking at three in the morning. He won’t attack the mailman or eat the drapes, although he may climb the drapes to see how the room looks from the ceiling.”
“Jon’s cat” has made her attempts to claim rights to just about every spot in this little farmhouse some of the time, and does exactly what she wants most of the time, but it is a scientific absolute that “Millie the cat” is an all-time hit around here.
But remember “The Cat Rules,” Millie. You are NOT the owner and I am NOT your staff.
By the way, would you like gravy with your salmon?

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