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How to avoid howl-liday pet mishaps

Dear Fisher,

I am having a little trouble with all the holidays coming up. Every time the family starts to talk about guests and menus and gifts, they end up looking at me with that, "But what do we do about Patches?" look. I must confess, I made quite a fool out of myself last year when guests were ushered into the dining room for Christmas dinner and there I was, hind foot up in the air, having a bath in the middle of what could have been an elegant dinner table. I feel bad about making my humans worry about me and my bad behavior this year. Can you help me figure out how to put my family at ease so they can enjoy their holiday entertaining?


My, my, what a picture. Not only can I see you as the holiday centerpiece, I can almost hear gasping, as if I were in the crowd entering the dining room. I have to admit it took me awhile to remove that image and picture a beautifully decorated table with glowing candles, a huge arrangement of poinsettia flowers, a big turkey with stuffing and many other lovely dishes filled with yummy-smelling food. You didn't happen to do a little sampling, did you? Never mind. Don't answer that.

You were a bad kitty, yes, but it could have been worse. Upon entering the dining room, guests could have witnessed you barfing up leaves and flowers from the poinsettia arrangement. According to toxicologists at the ASPCA, it is a myth that this plant is poisonous to cats, but it does produce some gastrointestinal irritation, leading to drooling, vomiting and diarrhea.

Or maybe there could have been a putrid smell of burning fur had you not paid proper attention to the candles and accidentally set yourself on fire. And what if you sampled the turkey dressing, which likely contains sage? Sage can do a number on your gastrointestinal system, too. So you see, it could have been a lot worse!

Follow these suggestions to help your people feel assured they will not see a repeat of last year:

• Stay completely out of the dining room. When they are paying attention to you, walk toward the entryway, then proudly turn around and walk away.

• Stay completely out of the kitchen. You want them to feel comfortable that you are not interested in the yummy food smells.

• Practice calm and aloofness at all times until, say, President's Day.

Your people can find more wonderful safety tips for you at And remember, there is a magical law honored by pet people: You can do some pretty stupid things, and they will still always love you.

How to avoid howl-liday pet mishaps 11/27/08 [Last modified: Friday, October 28, 2011 1:22pm]
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