Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas for cats

The yarn lady had gone to bed early on Christmas Eve.  She said she was tired from all the stuff she’d done over the last few days and was asleep before 11:00 pm.  Clem snuggled with her for a few minutes, but didn’t get comfortable because she wanted to see Santa Claws.  She was curious about how he would enter the house, since they didn’t have a chimney.  So Clem prowled around the house as it got later and later and she got more and more tired.  She stopped and looked out the windows every few minutes, figuring that maybe she’d see him show up.  No way a cat would be driving a sleigh with reindeer, Clem thought.  He’d probably be using something like the magic spells in the Harry Potter movies.  What was the one that moved you from one place to another?  Apparation, that was it.  She just hoped that Santa wouldn’t splinch himself and end up half here and half somewhere else.  That would be a problem, but after all this time, he probably knew how to do it right.  Come to think of it, that’s probably how the author got the idea for apparation.  She saw Santa do it, and put it in her books. 

The next thing Clem knew it was morning and the yarn lady was moving around.  Darn it, she’d fallen asleep, and on the floor of all places.  Her neck and back were stiff.  The floor was a nice place to lie in a sunbeam, but not for a whole night’s sleep.  Clem yawned and looked up.  There was a stocking hanging from the top of the tall china cabinet, right below the Christmas tree, and it hadn’t been there when Clem went to sleep.  Yup, she’d missed Santa.  The yarn lady came out, made a fuss over the stocking and gave it a squeeze.  It made all sorts of interesting noises.  Jingles and crinkles.  Ooh – there must be some good things in that stocking. 

The yarn lady went back and got into bed, calling Clem to come in and open her stocking.  Clem didn’t need asking.  She was right behind the yarn lady and was up on the bed before she was under the covers.  Sticking right out of the top was a soft looking thing.  The yarn lady helped Clem get it out and unfolded it.  It was a little patchwork quilt, just the size for a cat to curl up on.  Clem reached out a paw and touched it.  It was very soft, just like the fleecy stuff the yarn lady had used to make the noisy girl’s snuggly, but it was made out of three different designs of fleece, none of them the same as the noisy girl’s.  This was definitely from Santa Claws.  Next the yarn lady pulled out a soft squishy ball that crinkled.  It was the size of a yarn ball, but even better, because yarn balls didn’t make crinkly noises.  Clem put it in her mouth and walked around on the bed and then dropped it in front of the yarn lady for her to throw it.  The rest of the stocking could wait until she tried this one out. 

In between throwing the crinkly ball the yarn lady opened two packages of her own that people had sent her.  One was a box filled with all sorts of little things.  Most of them were for the yarn lady, but there was one that she held out to Clem.  “Look, Clem.  You got a sushi set!”  It was all sorts of cat toys that looked like pieces of sushi.  Some of them crinkled, some jingled and some were squishy.  Oh, this was cat toy heaven!  Then she remembered that she still had stuff in her own stocking from Santa.  The yarn lady helped her to get the rest out.  A plastic ball with a jingle bell inside, a rolly thing with a jingle bell, a fish on an elastic and a mouse almost like her favorite hard mouse, except that this one had crinkly stuff inside the bottom.  So many toys, Clem didn’t know which one to play with first.  She ran between them all, asking the yarn lady to throw them for her until she completely exhausted herself.  She settled down in her favorite warm spot on top of the cable box.  The yarn lady gently picked her up and put the new quilt on top of the box and put her down on top of it.  Now it was warm and soft – life couldn’t get any better than this.  As the yarn lady did this and that, Clem drifted off to sleep.  As she dreamed of sushi mice she vaguely heard the yarn lady saying that she was going over to see Peep, Rudy and LT and would be back later.

Rudy was waiting outside for the yarn lady when she arrived.  Rudy ran flat out to the car calling, “Merry Christmas!  Did you bring our special Christmas food?” 

LT, who was sitting next to his house looked up at her and said, “Rudy – it’s not nice to beg for presents.”  Rudy stuck her tongue out at him and followed the yarn lady into the house. 

The yarn lady seemed to be carrying a number of things.  First she pulled out three small containers.  “Here you are, Miss Rudy.  The special Christmas meal you requested - sea bass with shrimp.  I hope you like it.”  She spooned it out onto a plate and set it in front of Rudy and then she went in search of the Peep.  Peep had been sound asleep on the afghan on the couch.  The yarn lady gently picked her up and placed a quilt where she’d been lying and put her back on top of it.  “Merry Christmas, Peep.  I hope you like your quilt.”  She walked back into the kitchen and got Peep’s portion of the special meal and put it on a special plate.  No sharing food dishes today.  She set it down in front of Peep and went looking for LT. 

LT wasn’t in the laundry basket, nor was he anywhere in the house.  The yarn lady hadn’t noticed him outside when she came in, but when she looked out the living room window she could see him over by his house.  She knocked on the window and called to him.  He looked at her and kept walking.  There was a warm car hood to be sat upon.  That was the place to be right now. 

The yarn lady sat and talked to Peep for a while, just chatting about this and that.  She turned on the morning news on television and did a running commentary on some of the news stories.  There seemed to be a disproportionate amount of good news today.  Maybe because it was Christmas the commentators were sticking to happy stories.  After a bit the yarn lady heard the cat door open and close and looked over to see LT heading for the kitchen.  She followed him at a respectful distance.  LT had begun to eat some of the crunchy food from the big pan when the yarn lady called his attention to the plate of squishy food she’d just put up on the table, where she usually fed him.  The yarn lady was like the Daddy – they didn’t mind sharing a table with a cat, and in fact seemed to enjoy it.  LT jumped up to see what was there.  He hadn’t been party to Rudy’s special food request, so he didn’t realize what was in the dish, but he knew it smelled good.  Oh, it was good.  Nice fish, and even a little shrimp.  He gently bit the shrimp in half, savoring the flavor.  It wasn’t often that he was offered a shrimp, he was going to take time enjoying it.  The yarn lady looked at him and said, “LT, you are truly the gourmand of the household.”  After they had all eaten the yarn lady made sure that Loaf Cat and Fuzzy had enough food and headed back home.

When Clem woke up from her nap, the yarn lady was back, and had yet another present for her.  She explained that this one was from her own sister, all the way up in New Hamster.  Clem remembered that was where the yarn lady had gone last month when she’d been away from home for days and days and days.  Well, maybe her sister was trying to make up for keeping her away for so long.  This present was a little fuzzy cave.  Clem found herself up in the air and then placed inside of it.  She jumped a bit because when she moved it crinkled.  It was fuzzy, it crinkled and it was just cat sized.  Wow, somecat had designed this thing really well.  Clem rolled a little bit inside of it, just to hear the noises and decided that perhaps her last nap hadn’t been quite long enough.  This Christmas stuff was exhausting.  So many toys and nice things.  She could see several of the new toys in the kitchen from where she was lying in the fuzzy cave.  What a perfect day, she thought, as she drifted off to sleep.  

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