Thursday, December 25, 2008

Don't Mess Around With Santa Claws!

Rudy and Peep knew they were in trouble. They’d been guarding the cat door all evening, because Fuzzy kept trying to come inside, and they’d had to repel him several times. The last time when there had been a rustle at the cat door Rudy had been at the end of her patience, and when the door opened, she savagely clawed at the intruder.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t Fuzzy. It was black, but not a cat, and actually appeared to be of all things, a black glove. At first she thought she’d clawed some type of intruder, but then Peep had said, “Oh no, Rudy – you hurt Santa Claws!”

Rudy had jumped back and looked out the window that was over the cat door. Yes, there was someone standing outside in a red coat and hat with white trim, and he was looking at the hand he’d just pulled out of his glove. It was bleeding from several gouges, and he sucked on the injured fingers while calling out for a bandage. One of the reindeer carefully walked up onto the porch, holding a first aid kit in his mouth. Santa Claws took the kit, opened it and took out some antiseptic and several adhesive bandages. He carefully cleaned the cut and put the bandages on while Peep and Rudy watched from inside, their mouths hanging open in horror. There was no way Santa would leave them presents after they’d hurt him.

After Santa had finished bandaging himself he gave Rudy and Peep a particularly hard look, turned around and nimbly jumped over the porch rail and onto his sleigh. He then got off to reharness the reindeer who’d brought him the first aid kit. Santa threw several small packages he’d been carrying into the back of the sleigh and they took off into the sky.

Peep looked at Rudy, who was now staring at the floor. “I guess I’ve ruined Christmas for all of us. I’m sorry, Peep.” Rudy began to cry softly.

Snuggling up against Rudy’s side, Peep began to groom the crying cat. “It’s okay, Rudy. You were doing what you do best – protecting our home. How were we to know that Santa would try to come in through the cat door. And anyway – there’s no way he would have fit through that little door. I think he was just trying to tease us. Maybe Fuzzy put him up to it.” Peep was desperately trying to make Rudy feel better.

“No, it’s all my fault! I knew it was Christmas Eve – I should have been thinking. It’s all my fauuuult!” Rudy was wailing inconsolably now.

LT came running in. “What’s wrong? Is someone hurt?” When he saw Rudy wailing and Peep snuggled up close, LT settled on her other side to provide whatever support he could. “What’s the problem here, Rudy? You don’t look hurt. Are you sick?”

“I ruined Christmas, LT. Santa hates me now and will neeever leave presents for us agaaaain!”

Peep decided an explanation was in order. “We’d been keeping Fuzzy out all evening, and Rudy clawed Santa Claws’ hand when he reached in through the cat door. He just bandaged himself up and left, and didn’t leave us any presents. It wasn’t Rudy’s fault. She was trying to protect us, like she always does.”

“You WHAT? You hurt Santa Claws? I don’t believe it! We’ll never get another present as long as we live, and he’ll probably tell the Easter Bunny and the Great Pumpkin and the Higher Cat that we’re mean, evil cats. I can’t believe you did that Rudy!” LT moved away from Rudy, and looked at her with disdain.

Peep thought LT was totally out of line. Rudy needed support, not this ridiculous criticism. She jumped up and swatted LT in the head – hard. “LT, if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. Just go AWAY!”

Both Rudy and LT looked at Peep in amazement. She never attacked LT. He was the head cat of the household. Rudy was glad her friend stood up for her, but worried that LT would mop the floor with her. LT just glared at Peep and stalked off, tail held straight up in the air to show his displeasure.

Peep coaxed Rudy up onto the couch. Mommy and Daddy were asleep, so no one would bother them there. Peep gave Rudy a thorough bath, grooming her long ruff until it was soft and stood out like an Elizabethan collar. Rudy gradually calmed down, but was just so sad. She lay on the couch, saying nothing, but sighing every few minutes. No Christmas for any of them, and it was all her fault.

Finally, Rudy drifted off to sleep, but it was a sleep troubled by dreams, and they weren’t nice ones. In one dream, everyone moved away and Rudy was left alone, with only Harry for company. In another, there was no food anywhere in the house, and no mice or other small animals in the yard to catch. One dream involved giant mice chasing her – including one that wore a bright red coat and a pointed red hat with a white pom-pom. Finally, one dream began nicely. She was sitting on the couch, just where she’d fallen asleep, but she was alone. The house was warm and smelled like cooking bacon – her favorite smell. She heard a tap at the door to the deck and looked up. She saw Santa Claws standing at the door, gesturing her to come out. Rudy hesitantly walked to the cat door and went outside. Santa leaned down and scratched her head, paying special attention to her ears. Oh, Santa knew how to scratch a cat. He told her that he knew she’d just been protecting her house, and that she hadn’t meant to scratch him. Santa said that Rudy was on his ‘nice’ list, and that she’d stay there because she was such a good friend to the other cats and her people. He apologized for leaving so quickly before, but he’d been behind schedule and had to get to Thailand. He’d just now finished his rounds, and wanted to get back to Rudy before the sun came up. He told her that there were presents for all three of them and told her that she was a good cat. Rudy purred like a freight train and rubbed up against his legs for a moment before Santa said that he needed to leave. Rudy then went back inside and hopped back on the couch and settled down again. That was the last dream Rudy had before awakening to the Mommy and Daddy wishing them a Merry Christmas.

The Daddy brought something over and explained to Rudy and Peep, who was sitting on the floor, that Santa had left some special presents for them. He didn’t know why, but they’d been on the floor by the cat door. “Maybe it’s because we don’t have a fireplace, so he thought that cat’s presents would best be left by the cat door.” The Daddy then showed them the presents. Balls with jingle bells, fuzzy toys – all sorts of toys that they all loved. He left the toys with Peep and Rudy and went into the kitchen with the Mommy.

Peep looked at Rudy. “I had the strangest dream last night, Rudy. In the dream you were outside talking to Santa Claws, and he was scratching your ears and talking to you.”

Rudy looked at Peep in amazement. “I had that same dream, except I was the one outside talking to Santa. He said he wasn’t mad at me and that I was a good cat.”

Peep and Rudy just looked at each other. Were they dreams? Did Santa really come back early this morning? It must be so – there were presents to prove it.

Photo courtesy of rabbit57i -

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