Monday, December 24, 2012

A Pet Version of "The Night Before Christmas"

By Linda Cole

It's the night before Christmas, the house is all quiet. That fat man who falls down the chimney is near. He steals through the house, grabbing cookies and milk. But not this year – not while I'm here. A right jolly old man, as the story goes, who has reindeer as pets; one with a big red nose that shines through the night, showing Santa the way with an eerie (and unearthly!) magical glow.

He creeps through the house in the dark of the night. Dressed all in red, BOL, what a funny sight. I'm watching and ready this year when he comes. That plate full of cookies will be mine this night. You know who I mean, he's a plump little fellow. Rosy cheeks, and belly shaking just like Jello. He swoops down the chimney with a bag full of loot, yelling Ho Ho Ho in a booming bellow.

I'm on the job, patrolling my home and guarding my humans as they dream in their beds. But just in case I get tired this night, I've enlisted some help from a cat friend named Fred. Oh Fred, stay on your toes, he'll be coming soon. Fred! Stop playing, leave that poor mouse alone. I told you no playing, and you promised to be good. What did you say? You don't like my tone?

And then it happened, as quick as can be. A noise on the roof – Fred, that fat man is here. Scoot to your post, as fast as you can. Now where did Fred go? He's disappeared. I hear a noise from behind the couch, a muffled meow in the quiet old house. Well hello Fred. Why are you tied? What's that you say, it was a ninja mouse!

Just then from the chimney came a noise up above. Forget that mouse, and hide over there. A cloud of soot suddenly appears, catching Fred by surprise who stops with a bewildered stare. My plan will fail if Santa sees Fred! I must spring to action; there's no time for delay. I quickly grab Fred by the nap of his neck, but he doesn't budge. Fred, how much do you weigh?

He shot me a sneer, as he waddled away, mumbling something about manners as he rounded the tree. I heard him hissing as I followed behind. “I'll give you my gift right now. It's a flea!” “I'm sorry, my friend. Didn't mean to offend,” I said to Fred, gently touching his paw. “None taken,” said Fred, flicking his tail as he pinged an ornament with his claw.

And then from the fireplace, in a blink of an eye, came a flash of red and a pile of snow. I peeked through the branches, cocking my ears as the room lit up in a gentle glow.The jolly fat man had finally arrived. He adjusted his hat, while saying heigh-ho.He was dressed all in red, a right jolly old elf, and I suddenly felt he was no foe.

He spoke not a word, and was quieter than Fred, who kept mumbling something about bread. Fred's whiskers were twitching, his nose in the air. “I know what that is. It's gingerbread.” “Hush,” I growled. “Santa will hear. No catnip for you if he sees you near.” But something was happening while Santa worked. I was feeling happy and had good cheer.

As the magic of Christmas spread through the room, Santa filled each stocking and laughed. A special gift, he pulled from his pack for my favorite little human who asked for a giraffe. He pulled bright boxes from out of his sack. A pink bike for Emma, and a workbench for Dad. There was even a present just for Fred, a brand new bed, and in his favorite color, plaid.

Now I'm starting to think, this guy's not so bad, as he continues to pull gifts from his pack. The next thing he does is more than way cool – he sets up a train that whistles, and track. The room comes alive, as the toy train chugs, and I feel Fred's tail starting to flip. He's staring wide eyed at a gift on the floor. And he whispers to me, “Ah ha. My catnip!”

Suddenly the branches part in the tree, and Santa's standing there, looking at me. “Come here, my girl, you've nothing to fear,” he said softly, patting his knee. “You love unconditionally, you love from the heart. And this I tell you is true. A special gift you deserve, and earned. Your foster family is adopting you.”

My heart was warm as my eyes became heavy, and I felt Santa gently scratching my head. “Before I leave, I have two other gifts. A collar with tags, and your very own bed.” He turned in a flash, and gave me a wink, then disappeared in a wisp of red light. And as I drifted off to sleep, I heard him say, “Merry Christmas to all, and to all a howling goodnight.”

Top photo: Tedeytan
Bottom photo: Lara Waldron

Read more articles by Linda Cole


  1. Wonderful!

    Meowy Catmas from all of us at the Katnip Lounge!

  2. Happy Holidays to you and yours from me and mine.


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