Thursday, 13 December 2012

Advent Day 13

'Scissors and Sellotape?' I say. 'For Advent?'
'Yes,' say the hens, and a particular Pandora Kitten. 'It's a motivational item. You need to get your pressie wrapping done before Andy comes home.'

They are right, of course. Andy has been away since Monday combining a course in Cheshire with a visit to his family. I have missed him enormously but his absence is a good moment to wrap his gifts. The course has been on scanning dogs. Quite what for I do not know; I wasn't even aware dogs had bar codes, but that is why Andy, who is clever, is a vet, and I, who am stupid, am a soon to be ex-teacher. I am just hoping one of the volunteer scan dogs is called 'Blip.' That would really make my week.

So I trundle upstairs and try to remember where I have secreted various Christmas gifts prior to the wrapping process. Luckily, I haven't been too cunning this year and I managed to find them quite quickly. Armed with wrapping paper, silver star gift tags, and the Advent box gift of scissors and Sellotape, I pop a Christmas film in the DVD player and set to.

Pandora Kitten gets very excited about the whole wrapping paper malarkey. Here is the Much Malarkey Manor Guide to Wrapping Presents With a Cat. (The cat is NOT wrapping paper substitute by the way, okay? Don't even go there.)

1. Remove all gifts from shopping bags and cardboard delivery boxes. Remove cat from recently vacated shopping bags/ cardboard delivery boxes, and warn aforesaid cat that you will tolerate no messing about with empty bags and boxes this evening.

2. Remove sticky price labels from gifts. Put in waste paper basket. Remove cat from waste paper basket. Remove sticky labels from cat. This is especially important if the resident veterinary surgeon is 300 miles away and unavailable for emergency sticky label removal surgery.

3. Select first gift to be wrapped. Unroll new roll of wrapping paper. Remove cat from wrapping paper. Unroll extra wrapping paper and discard paper that has cat claw puncture marks in it.

4. Place gift in centre of unrolled wrapping paper. Assess for size. Cut accordingly to fit gift. Remove cat from wrapping paper. Retrieve Sellotape from kitchen when it has been dumped after being hijacked by cat.

5. Wrap first gift. Remove cat from opposite end of parcel to the end you are trying to fold neatly. Ignore complaints from cat who is protesting that you are deliberately trying to spoil their fun.

6. Complete wrapping of first gift. Remove star shaped gift tag from bag. Wrestle possession back from the cat who has got hold of the silver string use to attach tag to parcel.

7. Threaten cat that if she doesn't BACK DOWN NOW there will be consequences of a very serious nature.

8. Leave wrapping arena to answer telephone call from friend Jane. Return to find cat sitting triumphantly on top of first wrapped gift. Remove cat.

9. Select second gift. Repeat steps 3-7. Get a bit shouty at cat. Cat gets a bit shouty back.

10. Go to answer second phone call from husband. Think, might as well make a cup of tea whilst I'm on a break. Return to gift wrap arena. Find cat trying to rip open netting bag that contains traditional foil wrapped chocolate coins that MUST accompany gift for son, daughter and husband every year without fail.

11. Wrestle netting bag from cat. Try not to think of horror stories of cat surgery to remove netting from internal organs of a cat.

12. Select third gift to be wrapped. Make fatal error of taking eye off the cat for a moment to watch favourite bit from Christmas film. Refocus to see cat climbing into half wrapped gift and looking like she is going to settle in for the night in the novelty wrapping paper tent.

13. Remove cat.

I could go on, but I won't. The remaining gifts will all be wrapped in the same manner until cat and I both reach screaming, hissing and spitting point. Or around two and a half hours later.

Go to bed, exhausted. Remember pre- cat days when Christmas gift wrapping was such an easy task. Think, it will all be worth it to see everyone's little face light up on Christmas morning. Think, I love my cats more than wrapping Christmas gifts.


Eileen said...

Absolutely hilarious! I've given up on the puncture marks and just leave the paper as is. I try to pretend everyone believes I buy vented wrapping paper.

Olly said...

only just catching up with this week's blogs - oh, what a familiar picture this is! Especially the bit about getting a bit shouty. It never works but I can't help myself.

Denise said...

Vented paper, Eileen? You are a genius!! Now, that really is thinking outside the box.

Hi Olly! I have continued my being a bit shouty with Pandora ever since the tree went up yesterday and she began her annual mission to denude it at every opportunity. Phoebe and Tybalt ignore the tree other than regarding it a handy thing to sit beneath in case it rains indoors, but Pandora drives me to shouty distraction. Good to know I'm not the only one getting a touch of the shouties this time of year!