Saturday, December 24, 2011

Santa Claws is coming to town

The yarn lady had the radio on today.  That wasn’t unusual, but what she was listening to was.  Usually it was shows like Leonard Lopate or All Things Considered, but today she was listening to music, Christmas music to be specific.  As she’d turned it on, she’d commented, “Here’s our annual dose of Christmas classics, Clem.  Most of them are pretty awful, but there are a couple I like. 

She bustled around the house, wrapping a gift here, cleaning up something there, occasionally throwing a yarnball for Clem.  She sang along with most of the songs, although she groaned when she heard a couple.  ‘Santa Baby’ was one she groaned at, and didn’t sing along.  Her comment was that the station should play the Eartha Kitt version and forget Madonna.  She turned off the radio, searched on YouTube, finding the original version.  “Clem, this is the real deal.  If you’re going to remember this song, remember this one.” 

A lot of the songs dealt with Santa Claws.  She hadn’t paid an awful lot of attention to the idea of Santa Claws.  She’d seen commercials that included the fat guy in the funny red clothes.  The ones for Best Buy were kind of funny – especially the one where the lady kicked the plastic Santa off the roof.  Now a song was playing that the yarn lady was really singing along with.  It had jingly bells, a saxophone and a guy with a gravelly voice who laughed while he was singing.  The yarn lady said, “This is one where I like the remake better than the old ones.  The Boss’ version of ‘Santa Claws is Coming to Town’ is great.” 

When the radio played a Justin Bieber Christmas song, the yarn lady groaned and turned it off.  “We’ll find our own music, Clem.”  She pulled the Ipad out again and found the Roche’s version of the Hallelujah Chorus.  “More properly this is an Easter song, but I love their harmonies.”  She sang along as she finished knotting the noisy girl’s fuzzy cover-up.  Then she found someone’s Christmas playlist on YouTube and just set it to play.  “These look good Clem.” 

As the music played, Clem wondered about this Santa Claws guy. He was a human.  Why did they call him Claws?  Humans don’t have claws.  A lot of the songs talked about how no one ever sees him.  He comes in the middle of the night, but only when you’re asleep.  She decided that the humans had gotten it wrong.  With a name like Claws, Santa was obviously a cat.  That made an awful lot more sense, because she’d seen chimneys on television, and there was no way a human could fit down them.  A cat, on the other hand, could not only fit down a chimney, but would be able to use his claws to climb back up once he’d left the presents. 

She looked around her home.  They had electric heat and no fireplace.  No chimney.  Would Santa Claws be able to bring presents to them?  Lots of people didn’t have chimneys nowadays.  Chimneys were for fireplaces, right?  People didn’t all have fireplaces, but the songs and television shows talked about how Santa visits everyone.  Clem thought long and hard about this.  She knew that cats were really good at getting into places they weren’t supposed to be.  Just witness how she’d learned how to get on top of the refrigerator and the really high cabinets, or how she could open the bottom cabinets.  Santa Claws must just be a cat who was really good at getting into unusual places.  And what would he bring to her?  It had to be something small, because even a maybe-magical cat wouldn’t be able to bring her something really big, would he?  Well, it was Christmas Eve.  She wouldn’t have that long to wait to find out. 

Clem decided to sit in the window and watch the geese for a while.  She warbled some of the songs she’d heard earlier as she watched the geese, and waited patiently for Christmas.

“Santa kitty, slip a cat bed under the tree, for me
I've been an awful good cat
Santa kitty, and hurry down the chimney tonight

Santa kitty, an awfully big cat library too, light blue
I'll wait up for you dear
Santa kitty, and hurry down the chimney tonight”

(with apologies to Joan Javits)

Photo of Lucky, December 2010 - Courtesy of Nicole Frazee

No comments: