What happened to Grandma's Gingerbread House?
Well, my cat ruined it. Let me tell you the story.
To give some background, my grandmother and her best friend made a gorgeous gingerbread house sometime long before I was born. It was solid yet fragile. It sat on a plaster base and was beautifully decorated with frosting, peppermints and gumdrops. Her gingerbread house was also my very favorite of her Christmas decorations.
In the early 90s I was in the process of moving and I asked my grandparents if they would watch my cat, Seven, for a few days until the move was done. My grandma didn't really like cats but agreed that he could stay in their finished basement.
My grandpa loved Seven so he spent a good amount of time sitting with him in the basement. I'd taught Seven to leap to my shoulders and rest on my neck. Grandpa thought that was so cool that he showed the trick to his friends.
One day Seven jumped onto my grandma's back as she unloaded the dryer, causing her to scream and as she put it, she "Damn near fainted". Her many retellings of the story usually resulted in sympathy combined with stifled laughter.
Those were the only events worth mentioning surrounding Seven's vacation with the grandparents, until Christmastime. I got a call from Grandma who was laughing hard while telling me the state of the gingerbread house. The snow covered roof took most of the damage. The peppermints were all licked white, there were soft pink cat tongue swirls in the white frosting. Some of the gumdrops had tiny bites in them while others had their tops bitten off. Parts of the pretzel stick fence were broken in half, presumably because this is where Seven sat while he enjoyed his treat. She thought all of this was hilarious. That gingerbread house survived decades of Christmases only to be eaten by a cat.
She continued to put the gingerbread house out year after year and we laughed about it every time.
In time grandpa passed away and grandma sold the house to move into an apartment, and the gingerbread house was lost along the way. I was too young then to realize how sentimental I'd become about that old thing. I wish I still had my grandparents, Seven and that gingerbread house today, but the memories of those wonderful Christmases will have to be enough.