"Oh, come away from there," Janet said. "Come on, shoo!" Mr. Kentridge the Third gave her a withering look, then sauntered away as only a cat could. Janet fiddled with the low-hanging Christmas ornaments, but the cat hadn't done any harm. Christmas Eve, Hannah yelled from the living room to the study. "Mom, he's doing it again!" Sighing, Janet saved her work and walked to where Hannah tried to move Kentridge away from the Christmas tree. He evaded each grab, keeping his tail plumb upright and vibrating toward the tree.
"Oh, God, don't spray the tree." Janet moved to the cat's other side to trap him. Just before she caught him, he lay down and curled up. Carrying him out of the living room, she said, "I don't know why the tree gets him all worked up. But I swear, if he sprays it or knocks it down, I... I'll... grah!"
A rumbling sound woke them early Christmas morning. Rushing toward it, they saw Kentridge perched in the tree. A hatch they hadn't known about opened in the roof, and fire and smoke belched from the tree's bottom, launching it into the false dawn sky, with a single farewell meow.