Captain and Stanley, our two-year-old pair of stripey critters, are puzzled.
They can't understand why Meowmy and Paw would go to all that effort to set up a big, green cat toy display, right in the middle of the living room, and then refuse to let them play with any of the toys. I don't know if they remember that we did the same thing at this time last year. Judging by the way they're openly coveting the tree ornaments, my guess is that they don't recall last year's tree. Yet. By the end of Christmas season last year, they were aware that they at least had to employ some stealth when attempting to play with the tree decorations.
Fortunately, Mark and I have plenty of unbreakable Christmas ornaments. So even if the Kitty Committee does knock anything off the tree, the ornament probably won't be damaged. We left all but two or three of our fragile ones off the tree entirely.
I just hope they don't knock the entire tree over, in their zeal to examine every object in this time zone. That'd be a mess.
Since the squirt bottle and I have been thwarting their attempts to turn ornaments into toys, the cats are getting the frustration out of their systems by playing their favorite game, Chase My Brother All Over the House. I hope they tire themselves out and forget about the tree for a while.
P.S. The appearance of the squirt bottle seems to have jogged a couple of kitty memories, regarding not being allowed to stalk and kill the Christmas ornaments. Now they're being a bit more covert about it; they're trying to keep the tree between themselves and me when they get into mischief. Of course, the fact that the whole tree suddenly starts moving and rustling generally blows their cover. ;o)
I expect to make frequent use of the phrase, "You're lucky you're cute!" over the next few weeks.