The Sherrill house undergoes a magical transformation even as the turkey is still digesting on Thanksgiving. I’ve often joked I can fall asleep in front of the TV watching football after a big Thanksgiving meal only to awaken to a holiday wonderland with twinkling lights and Christmas music playing all around.
This year was no different as Thanksgiving was rushed out and Christmas thrust in scarcely before I realized it. I felt like I’d fallen asleep on the Polar Express and awoke just as we arrived at the North Pole. Christmas trees in practically every room with exception of the bathrooms, but I suspect that is coming.
“Christmas is great,” I settled back on the couch, listening to the melodic sound of Kenny G., feeling very Christmasy. However, my blissful moment was interrupted by the sounds of screaming from somewhere in the house. It was my youngest son, Henry.
“LEO!” he shrieked at the top of his voice. “Get out of there!”
I shook off the lingering effects of the tryptophan and forced myself off the couch, looking for the source of the screams within the forest of Christmas trees in every room.
“What’s wrong?” I yelled back, as I followed the yells into the dining room, the prancing Christmas lights guiding the way like Rudolph’s nose guiding Santa’s sleigh.
“You’re going to tear it up!” Henry shouted. But where was he? I looked around for the source but there was nothing.
“Get out of there, NOW!” the 10-year-old commanded, his yells finally allowing me to locate where he was. He was under the Christmas tree.
Henry had slid underneath the large tree like a mechanic slides under your car to change the oil with only his feet hanging out from underneath. He was shouting into the tree like a cranky old man telling kids to “get off my lawn."
“Settle down,” I told him, his yells ringing my ears. “What’s wrong?”
“It’s Leo!” he yelled, still under the tree. “He’s in the tree. He’s going to tear it down!”
He was referring to our Maine Coon kitten. If you know anything about the breed then you know these things are the apex predators, just one step down from lions and tigers in the cat family. They attack anything that moves so twinkling lights, Christmas ornaments and hanging wires are like a wonderland for this beast when he's not stalking mice – which seem to no longer want to live in our garage since Leo’s arrival.
It seems Leo had crawled high into the six-foot-tall Christmas tree and was batting at ornaments. This caused Henry to decide he was going to be the Christmas police and try to stop the cat from doing what cats do.
“Give it up,” I told him over his protests. “We’ve got a long way to go until Christmas.”
“LEO!” he ignored my advice and kept yelling into the tree.
I smiled, walked back to my football-watching chair and turned up the volume. A cat’s a cat and a Henry’s a Henry. Why fight it?
Standard reporter Duane Sherrill can be reached at 473-2191.