Because they bring life into a house that might otherwise have calm moments. We just got home from buying our very first Christmas tree together. It smells of sweet Christmas tree sap. We pulled it carefully from the trunk of J's car, proceeded to go inside where I plugged in the brightly colored lights I've hung in our kitchen. I turned on the radio and James Taylor's gentle voice sang "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." My next step was to get a beer for myself and my man, take a moment to relax, but instead I had to participate in a vicious little fight with Mina, who'd grabbed an olive pit from the floor as I went to empty a plate into the trash. She picked it up and started to chew with all the might of a tiny dog and when I picked her up growled at me and bared tiny teeth. Mine, this is my bounty, she said. I started to give in before envisioning some olive pit digestion related emergency vet visit later in the evening. I finally won by picking her up by the stomach, using my free hand to pry open her mouth and bouncing her up and down until the pit fell from her mouth and onto the floor. Silent night, holy night.