1 Remove the cat from the tree.
2 Unplug the fairy lights.
3 Explain to the cat (for the umpteenth time) that the wiring on the fairy lights is not to be used as dental floss.
4. Unwrap the wiring from the cat’s teeth.
5. Fetch the bag for the baubles. Remove the cat from the bag.
6. Look for the baubles on the tree. Note that there aren’t many left. Observe how the top half of the tree is still decorated whilst the lower half is completely bald (save for the odd mangled, half-chewed chocolate wrapper). Glare at the cat who is nonchalantly polishing her claws underneath the tree.
7. Remove the cat from the tree.
8. Pluck a bauble off the tree. Drop the bauble on the floor as the cat pounces at your hand.
9. Retrieve a plaster and stick it on your bleeding finger.
10. Chase the cat who is chasing the bauble round the lounge.
11. Retrieve the bauble from the cat and place it in the bag.
12. Remove the cat from the bag.
13. Remove the cat from the tree.
14. Collect the remaining baubles from the tree, repeating steps 7-13 until all the baubles are safely deposited in the bag.
15. Nip to the chemist to stock up on plasters.
16. Remove the cat from the tree.
17. Take hold of the fairy lights and gently unwind them from the tree branches.
18. Remove the fairy lights from the cat’s mouth.
19. Remove the cat from the tree.
20. Replace the plasters on your fingers.
21. Keep unwinding the fairy lights from the tree branches.
22. Unwrap the fairy lights from the cat’s neck.
23. Remove the cat’s claws from the wiring on the fairy lights and stick another plaster on your bleeding hands.
24. Lay the lights across the floor as you remove them from the tree.
25. Remove the cat from the tree.
26. Remove the cat from the lights.
27. Run round in circles as you try to wind the fairy lights into a ball before the cat can throttle herself again.
28. Find the box for the lights. Remove the cat from the box and place the lights in it.
29. Take the tree down one segment at a time and place each segment in a large bag. Place any broken branches in the bags too, with the intention of reattaching them next Christmas… knowing full well that you will never get round to reattaching them.
30. Pour yourself a large drink and dress your wounds whilst watching the cat sulk in the corner.