Twas the night before Christmas when all through the house,
Not a "prey" thing was moving, from froggie to mouse.
The stockings were taped on the mantle with care*,
In hopes that St. Nick would soon enter our lair.
Our human was tucked all snug in her bed,
While Christmas Day recipes ran through her head.
Gracie and I, without more presents to unwrap,
Had just settled down for a much needed catnap.
When from deep in my sleep I heard such a loud sound,
I hopped down from the couch to start looking around.
Away to the window I ran with great zeal,
To find out what woke me, what was the big deal.
The light from the moon was so intense and bright.
I almost forgot it was so late at night.
My eyes opened wide when I saw it appear,
A super small sleigh and eight yummy reindeer.
The old guy driving was so sprightly and quick.
I knew in a flash that this must be Saint Nick.
Moving fast as the light from my laser beam game,
He encouraged them on as he called them by name:
"Now Dasher! Now Dancer! Now Prancer and Vixen!
On Comet! On Cupid! On Donder and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! To the top of the wall!
Now dash away, dash away, dash away all!"
Just like the bad buggies outside that I spy,
Those reindeer took off heading straight for the sky.
To the roof of my house those enormous prey flew,
Hauling new toys for me and Saint Nicholas too.
Before I could focus on how to tell Grace,
The sound of their hooves held me frozen in place.
My fur shot straight out, and I turned my head around.
From the chimney came St. Nick, not making a sound.
He looked just like me, fur from head to each foot.
His fur looked black too being all covered with soot.
A big bag of presents was slung over his back.
I tried not to move as he prepared to unpack.
His eyes how they twinkled when I started to hide.
His cheeks and nose stayed red as if lit from inside.
I could see a smile above his beard white as snow.
And, his long mustache looked like a human hair bow.
I could tell from the size of his big round belly
That he likes to eat treats while watching the telly.
He would have to be careful, watch what he ate.
Or, a diet like mine would soon be his fate.
I couldn't help purring as I crept slowly near.
This was a kind old elf. That was so very clear.
A tilt of his head and a wink of one eye
Told me it was fine to keep watching close by.
No time for talking, no time to waste away,
He filled everyone's stockings. Then, called it a day.
And placing a finger up next to his nose
And nodding to me, up the chimney he rose.
He jumped in his sleigh, signaled go to his team,
And fast flew away as if part of a dream.
But I heard him shout as he flew out of sight:
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!"
This post is loosely based on Clement C. Moore's famous poem, The Night Before Christmas.
We hope you enjoyed Benjamin Bunny's version.
Gracie, Benjamin Bunny, and I would like to wish all of our readers a VERYMERRY CHRISTMAS!
*Gracie and I kept knocking the stocking holders off of the mantle, so our human mommy put them away. That is why our stockings ended up getting taped onto the mantle. We also think that may be the reason several of our presents went missing from under the tree.
Every morning, Gracie "allows" my husband to sit on the couch next to her while he enjoys his first coffee of the day. She snuggles up next to him on her special blanket (which somehow always ends up in the middle of the couch) and purrs happily while he scratches her chin and massages her neck. Squeezed onto the tiny portion of the couch not occupied by Gracie and her blanket, my husband checks out the news and sips his coffee until it is time to go to the gym for an early morning workout.
A little while later when I arrive downstairs for my first coffee , Gracie is still curled up on the blanket exactly as my husband left her. ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS! This early morning ritual has been going on for months now. Which is why it never occurred to me this past Friday that I would have any problems relocating Gracie and Ben for the day while the reconstruction staff tore apart the back side of my house.
My husband and I spent Thursday evening moving everything breakable from the family room into one of two spare bedrooms on the second floor of the house. We also smushed all of the big furniture as far away as possible from the side of the house being worked on. Finally, I took great pains to turn the other spare bedroom into a cat wonderland - litter box, water and food bowls, toys, windows with views for entertainment, etc...
I felt completely relaxed when it was time for bed. I was totally prepared for the chaos to come the next day. The house was sufficiently rearranged. All that was left to do the next morning was relocate Benjamin Bunny and Gracie into the new cat playroom.
No biggie! I could use treats to entice Ben to follow me up there. And, Gracie just needed to be scooped up from the couch. It was such an easy plan in my head. If only it could have stayed that way.
As is my nature, I awoke extra early Friday morning in order to ensure a smooth transition from calm to construction chaos. My husband was already gone when I arrived downstairs ready to relocate my feline friends for the day. I wasn't worried though, since I had planned everything out to the last detail - or so I thought.
I think I went into some sort of panic induced shock when I realized that Gracie was NOT on the couch just waiting to be scooped up and taken to the playroom. In fact, she wasn't anywhere that was visible to the human eye - nor was Benjamin Bunny. This couldn't be happening. The construction crew was due to arrive within the next 30 minutes and I had assured them that my feline friends would be safely removed from this part of the house when they started removing parts of the wall.
What was going on? Could they have figured out what I had planned? I convinced myself that I was being irrational. Gracie was probably just in the litter box. Benjamin was likely stalking something under a couch. Keeping these happy thoughts at the forefront of my fragile mind, I began my search for the two elusive cats.
I finally found Benjamin. He was peeking out at me from behind the washing machine. I think he had followed a bug back there, but now he didn't seem interested in leaving his new hiding spot. Each time I tried to reach him, Bunny would disappear behind the machine and then reappear on the other side - usually with just his eye peeking out at me. It was like playing a perverse game of peek-a-boo.
Beginning to feel desperate, I resorted to creating a trail of treats from the washing machine out to the kitchen. As he bent down to gobble up the last one, I pounced. Now, Bunny is a BIG cat, and it took all my strength to hold onto his wildy wiggling body as I ran up the stairs and into the playroom. Luckily, a bird flew by one of the prepared windows just as we entered the room. His easily sidetracked mind enabled me to plop him on the windowsill, sneak out of the room, and close the door firmly behind me. Ok, one down. But, where was Gracie?
The shadow of one of her ears finally gave her hiding spot away. I had forgotten to check her castle since she didn't seem to be interested in going there much after I rudely cleaned it up. You see her castle is on top of the shelves which extend over the refrigerator. It is as close to the kitchen ceiling as you can get and a dust magnet. After I cleaned the bed and blanket we put up there for her, she pouted and refused to return to it - until today. She had to pick today. It was like she knew what I had planned for her, knew what I was thinking, had read my mind. Ackkk!
I tried tempting her down with treats, her favorite wet food, etc.. She just leaned her little face over the bed and stared at me with ambivalence, like my issues were not her concern. Time was really ticking down now. I only had a few more minutes before things got really crazy. Not only would I have a stubborn feline to deal with, but also a construction crew on a deadline. It was time for drastic measures.
Using a stepstool from the laundry room, I attempted to climb up to the castle. I made it onto the counter just fine. The top of the refrigerator, however, presented a bit of a problem. There wasn't much of it sticking out from under the shelves to climb up on. And even if I could get up there, Gracie's bed was located at the other end of the shelf. Hopelessness was beginning to set in at that point. Frustrated, I leaned my head against the refrigerator. That was when I heard the soft "whump" of feline feet hitting the counter next to me.
Bored with my antics, Gracie had finally decided to descend from her castle. She made one more graceful leap from the counter to the floor where she positioned herself for nice bellyrub. Unbelievable! After everything she had put me throught, she wanted a bellyrub. Not this time. I had her scooped up and on her way to the playroom before she even had time to flip over in my arms. Luckily Benjamin was still preoccupied with the bird outside the window, otherwise getting Gracie into the room without Bunny trying to escape would have presented a whole new set of problems.
Once Gracie was settled and eating the remains of her breakfast, I slipped out of the room, closed the door, and collapsed against it. Within seconds, I heard the familiar banging sound of the construction crew's hammars as they began to take apart the back wall of my house. Heaving a pitiful sigh, I dragged myself back up and began the slow descent back downstairs so I could monitor the demolition.
The next day, Gracie was back on the couch when I came downstairs for my morning coffee. Go figure!
Until next time, remember...
One reason we admire cats is for their proficiency in one-upmanship. They always seem to come out on top, no matter what they are doing, or pretend they do. - Barbara Webster
If anything slithers, crawls, flies, or hops inside the house - it is considered something to stalk and ultimately consume. That an unwritten rule in the minds of Gracie and Benjamin Bunny. It is a rule rarely bent or broken I am afraid...unless I can get to whatever IT is before consumption actually begins.
Prior to Benjamin Bunny becoming a member of my feline-human family, I was under the impression that domestic cats were solitary hunters. It never occurred to me that they might tag-team hunt like professional wrestlers fight. (I only know this detail after years of teaching fourth grade wrestling fans.)
But, that uninformed opinion recently changed. After watching the last flight of the most recent big bad bug to accidentally enter my home, I am convinced that my cats, Gracie and Ben, could take on any pro-wrestling tag-team and win - hands down.
It must have happened while I was bringing groceries into the house. A delusional and/or extremely cocky wasp flew inside the front door and decided to take a peek around. His timing couldn't have been worse. For Bunny you see, loves to meet me at the door to inspect grocery bags. You never know if one might contain some celery or carrots just waiting to be licked - bag included. (Yes, another reason we call him "Bunny".) And Gracie - ever curious to see what interesting mischief Bunny might get himself into- is rarely far behind.
On this particular day, there weren't any new veggies to discover. So, Bunny was not distracted when the wasp did a low "fly-by" as it attempted to make its way further into the house.
It was as if someone shot Bunny from a cannon. He jumped straight up into the air with both paws extended, smacked them together like he was clapping, and knocked the wasp off balance. Gracie immediately zeroed in on Bunny's prey and assumed pounce position at the other end of the front entry hall. A ping pong match was about to begin with the poor wasp unaware he was the ball.
Already off balance and still flying fairly low, the wasp did not stand a chance against Gracie's leaping ability. Timing it perfectly, she swatted the offensive insect back towards Bunny before it could regain any altitude. Bunny's front paws met the wasp in mid-air and whacked it towards the wall. Gracie joined Bunny by the front door, and they proceeded to try and smash the wasp as it wiggled desperately on its back along the floor.
The banging and growling alerted me that something icky was going on, and I should probably investigate. It took me a few minutes to separate the cats from their prey before I was able to discover exactly what their prey was. Ackkk! Extremely allergic to wasps, I became a part of their predatory tag-team immediately.
Stepping on the still writhing insect was not an option since I was barefoot. So I instructed each cat to stand back while mommy went and got a shoe. (It had just occurred to me that my babies might get stung if they continued attacking this vicious intruder.)
As with my human children, they did not listen. Bunny even began trying to bite the nasty bug. Yelling "Bugs are not for biting!" at the top of my lungs, I arrived on the scene wielding my husband's big running shoe before anyone, besides the bug, was injured.
It is my sad duty to report that the sole of my husband's shoe was the last sight that wasp ever saw. The impact was deadly. So much so, that the wasp literally became a part of the shoe's sole.
Unfortunately, Bunny and Gracie did not have a positive reaction to my swooing in and saving the day. I had ruined their fun. It didn't matter that a wasp sting could prove very painful and result in a dreaded trip to the vet, especially if Bunny had been stung on the mouth. Oh no, mommy had interfered with a perfectly good hunt and stolen their prey.
After several vain attempts to find the squashed bug, both cats put their tails up in the air and stormed off. Neither would have anything to do with me for several hours - just like my human children when I try to help them out sometimes.
Of course, all was apparently forgiven when dinner time came around.