The second I heard that, coming from the vicinity of the Christmas tree, I feared the worst.
The tree was still standing. However, the cats were under the table where the tree resides, along with four ornaments. Next to the tree, we have the TV, cable box, DVD/VCR, and stereo plugged in. I'm not sure what the cats did, but somehow it involved landing on the TV and cable box power cords so hard, both of them came unplugged AND the prongs on the plugs were bent into the bargain.
"Basement. NOW. Go." I glared at the Resident Felines. Captain made a beeline for the cellar door and went right down. Stanley followed, but then sat in front of the cellarway giving me Big Sad Eyes and trying to convince me he was framed.
"You, too. Downstairs. Now."
Stanley went. I closed the door.
I let them have their timeout while I sorted out the fouled-up plugs, replaced Mark's wireless-headphone transmitter (which was somehow deposited on the floor behind the TV stand), and re-hung the ornaments. Then I went about my business for a while longer.
When I eventually decided to end the timeout, an hour or so later, two polite little kitties came tiptoeing out when I opened the cellar door. It's been unusually quiet around here since then. Well, OK, at this hour the Stripe Committee normally schedules their Afternoon Nap, but the only way I can describe them is "they're sleeping even more quietly than usual".
And I didn't even have to raise my voice this morning to get my point across. I didn't do anything other than Look Mad and Withhold Doting. Who says cats are untrainable?