The day after Christmas is a traditional English holiday known as “Boxing Day.” Despite its name, this is neither a day to put on the boxing gloves and spar nor a day to dispose of the pile of after-Christmas shipping and gift boxes. Rather, Boxing Day is a holiday originating in the UK and celebrated the day after Christmas. Traditionally, it was a day when gifts of money and goods were given to the less fortunate, as well as to servants who would receive gifts from their employers. While Boxing Day is not a holiday celebrated in the US, the day after Christmas might well be your cat’s favorite day!
If you’ve got a cat, you already know that an empty cardboard box is pretty much irresistible to your feline friend. And if you’re not familiar with cats, try this experiment: place an empty box on the floor and see how long it takes for the resident cat to hop inside. It’s no wonder cats love boxes—the four walls offer a sense of security for your cat, as well as a great place for fun and games. My own cat has been known to enjoy everything from the smallest box she can barely squeeze into all the way up to huge appliance boxes, and I’ve even seen her sit “in” a shoebox lid. Given that the day after Christmas finds many people with a load of empty boxes, this day can be a bonanza for your cat.
Even though we don’t have an official Boxing Day holiday, why not start your own Boxing Day tradition? Instead of throwing out those empty boxes, let your cat enjoy the fabulous assortment of boxes. Some fun ideas to try with your cat:
• Create a fortress or castle by combining boxes of various sizes and cutting out doors and windows for your cat to peer out of. Just make sure your cat can easily get out without risk of becoming trapped inside.
• Throw a small ball or toy mouse into a box and watch your cat bat it around inside (bonus: the toy won’t end up under the sofa or refrigerator).
• Sprinkle some catnip into the box and let your cat roll around in it.
• Place a soft blanket inside a cozy box for your cat to curl up inside.
• Cats love variety, so try folding up some of the surplus boxes and bringing them out throughout the year.