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5 Ways My Cats Hinder My Holiday Gift-Wrapping Efforts

On a recent day I tried to wrap and box this year's gifts for my family -- and "try" is the operative word.

Angie Bailey  |  Dec 19th 2016


I love the holidays. I’m one of those people who cranks up the Christmas music, bakes cookies, and does all that general cheeriness business that irritates the hell out of some people. I don’t care — I’m a loud-n-proud Christmas dork. I do draw the line at egg nog, though … yuck!

Another part of the holidays that I don’t really look forward to is gift-wrapping. It’s not that I don’t enjoy the act of creating pretty presents — my cats just don’t always make it easy for me to create those pretty presents. Plus, I live in a small apartment, so surfaces are hard to come by. In other words, the cats are at the ready with “helping paws” no matter where I choose to spread my supplies.

I just finished wrapping and boxing gifts for my family in Florida, and, as expected, Cosmo and Phoebe were busy little elves. Here are five ways they hindered my gift-wrapping efforts. I’m sure you can relate.

1. Lying on top of the wrapping paper

"Thanks for the cool new bed, Mom -- you're the best."

“Thanks for the cool new bed, Mom — you’re the best.”

It’s no secret that cats like to lie on top on “stuff.” This includes anything from stacks of paper to a tiny Post-it Note. It makes total sense that they’d be all over a layer of paper spread across the floor. I swear Cosmo galloped to the wrapping paper the second he heard the crinkling of its unrolling. Then he immediately found a spot to settle. Where was that spot? Right where I needed to be, naturally. Of course I removed him, but he immediately returned. There must be some scientific law that explains that attraction. If you find it, let me know.

2. Chewing tape

Phoebe creates yet another sticky situation.

Phoebe creates yet another sticky situation.

Phoebe has always been a notorious tape-chewer. In fact, she loves all things sticky. I have to toss stickers and Post-It Notes in a wastebasket behind a cabinet or she’ll maniacally dig around my office bin until she finds them. If she does manage to chomp down on a roll of tape, she takes off with it like a bat out of hell, racing to a safe space where she can be alone with “her pretty.” In true form, she was a little chomp-chomp this time around.

3. Bag- and bow-tampering

If they really want to be front-and-center, they're gonna get wrapped, too.

If they really want to be front-and-center, they’re gonna get wrapped, too.

Gift bags? They get in them. Bows? They chew them. I no longer buy curly ribbon because Phoebe will eat it, which isn’t cool or safe at all. For years my gifts went bow-less, until I discovered fabric ribbons. Sure, the cats occasionally try to chew on them, but they don’t get very far. Bags, though — they jump inside those suckers, whether or not they’re holding gifts that do not belong to them. Cats don’t give a rip.

4. General meddling and snarkiness

"You're the meanest mom ever."

“You’re the meanest mom ever.”

The kitties think the whole gift-wrapping situation is a game and are not-so-pleased when I don’t let them “win.” They enjoy standing in the middle of the supplies, looking for what they can play with and then get mad when I remind them they can’t play with all the supplies. To distract them, I’ve learned to place a few open bags and boxes near my workspace. I showed them that these items are fair game and they occupy themselves for a bit before they come back wanting to be front and center in my process.

5. Box inspection

Cosmo should get a job with the TSA. For real.

Cosmo should get a job with the TSA. For real.

I finally finished wrapping my family’s gifts and, thankfully, they all fit into one cardboard box. When I ran for the packing tape, Cosmo decided he’d inspect my packing job. He was a thorough box-checker, and even tried to climb inside for an extra-close look. Either that or he was trying to stow away. I can’t say I’d blame him. Who wouldn’t want to stow away from the frigid Minnesota December to Florida’s sunny skies?

How does your cat hinder your gift-wrapping process? Tell us in the comments!