THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS
– by Clement C. Cat
Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the shelter The creatures were stirring, all helter skelter; Their profiles were hung by the doors with great care, In hopes that adopters soon would be there; Some kitties were nestled all snug in their beds While visions of forever homes danced in their heads; And tortoiseshell Paige, and Murray in gray, Had just finished sparring at the crunchies buffet, When out on the porch there arose such a clatter, They sprang to the door to see what was the matter.
Away to high perches they flew in a flash, Tabby Manx Chili and tuxedo Moustache; The moon overhead had lured them to play, Leaving cat posts and nests in wild disarray; Then what to the cats’ wondering eyes should appear, But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer, With a little old driver with large fluffy paws; They knew in a moment it was Santa Claws!
The old fellow saw all the cats, wild and tame, And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name.
“Hey Cora, hey Calvin, hey Cameron and Rica!
Hi Rosie, hi Rockwell, hi Ralph and Natika!
To the top of the porch, to the top of the wall!
Now come along, come along, come along all!”
As whiskers torn during wild horseplay fly, When they break from a cheek or from over an eye, So out to the porches the kitties they flew, To see Santa Claws in this rare rendezvous; And so, in a twinkling, they saw him alight; Resplendent in red, the old cat was a sight.
They all sat down and wrapped their tails round; As they watched, the old sprite held them spellbound; His whiskers were long and white as fresh cream, His boots were jet black, his eyes had a gleam; He bore no gifts in ribbons and wrappings, With tags and tinsel and trimmings and trappings; For a moment their faces all fell with dismay, For these pets had nothing, most had been stray.
Plucked from the streets, to the shelter they came; No family nor friends, no home could they claim.
The kindly old elf could see some glum faces, And chuckled, for he knew of their saving graces; “Take heart little friends for your future is bright; I come bringing hope and not presents this night!”
He foretold of homes for most of the throng, Safe, loving places where they would belong; “This is a gift you will surely receive; This hope is your gift on this bright Christmas Eve; For the rest, if you must always make your home here, Know you have friends who hold your lives dear!”
Declaring this impromptu meeting adjourned, And giving a nod, to his sleigh he returned; He took up the reins, to his team gave a whistle, And away they all flew like the down of a thistle; But they heard, ere he rose to the sky up above, “Be at peace for you know that you’ll always have love!”