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As the holidays approach, do you find yourself abstractedly gazing at your cat, for longer and longer periods, idly turning things over in your mind? You’re going to put him in a Santa hat or something, aren’t you? We can help.

Taking our cue from the many wonderful (insane) holiday cat photos on the online stock-photo site Shutterstock, we complied a list of seven cat-fashion dos and don’ts.

1. Cats in stockings: Don’t

You might think cats would love being encased in yarn and tethered four feet above the ground in front of a roaring fire like a roasting quail. Just kidding. Cats don’t like anything about this. In fact, tie up your cat like this and a Christmas elf (neighbor) will bring the ASPCA down hard on your horrific little holiday tableau. Remember: The only time a cat is happy hanging from a giant sock is if he managed to get in there himself, and then good luck trying to get him out.

2. Cats in homemade knitted sweaters: Don’t

Remember what your boss told you: Stop knitting sweaters for people — or you’re fired! You’re only allowed to knit a sweater for your cat if its made of cashmere and shaped like a blanket and you send the first one to us.

3. Cat inside the Christmas tree: Don’t

Sure, I can see where you’re coming from. You’ve just put a giant tree in the house and it’s only reasonable to let your kitty climb and frolic in the branches, jumping from limb to limb, snatching at the birds you tethered at the top and digging at the grubs you painstakingly bored into the trunk.

Wow, you’re a piece of work, you know that?

4. Inside a mailbox surrounded by poinsettias: Don’t

You know, this costume wouldn’t be so bad if poinsettias weren’t completely poisonous to cats, causing sever reactions leading to … what’s that? You say poinsettias aren’t really poisonous at all, according to the ASPCA? That they “typically produce only mild to moderate gastrointestinal tract irritation, which may include drooling, vomiting and/or diarrhea”?

Carry on, then! Love the mailbox, too. Is that always in your living room?

5. Bow stuck to collar and ball glued to paw: Do

Wait, did you read that as “do”? This is worse than I thought. I’m curious: If I said you weren’t the Queen of England, how you would react?

6. Dog pulling sled driven by Santa cat: Do

A situation like this probably fulfills some deep-seated need that we would be unwise to interfere with, so we will not stand in your way. Are we correct in thinking you meticulously wrapped each of those tiny gifts over a period of — no, we don’t want to know. You have our blessing. Hard work keeps the demons at bay, and so on.

7. Cat in Christmas box: Do

STOP RIGHT NOW. Do nothing else. Just back out of the room and let your kitty have a nice time with this box for the rest of December.

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