Cats Love Christmas, Too

January 31, 2024

Ice built up on the inside ledge of the window. The fireplace heated the room just enough to melt some of the ice. It’s a fine balance between the freezing temperatures outside and the warmth inside our carpeted living room. Metronomically, a drip formed. Off the window ledge and onto the floor behind the Christmas tree, bedazzled with tempting lights and ribbons, I watched the drip. 

Drip. Drip. Drip. Drip. 

My pupils widened. Curiosity and playfulness came over me.

From behind me, one of my sisters noticed and beheld the drip as well. She let out a soft meow and did a friendly stretch as she approached me. Lovingly, I leaned over and licked her head. My sister closed her eyes and purred. 

Drip. Drip.

We turned our attention back to the drip. Stealthily, we approached. My sister pawed at it carefully. She shook her paw after realizing she didn’t like the feeling of the wetness on her fur. She backed up, her spine arched, and then safely settled herself under the Christmas tree. Her white fur glowed in all sorts of hues because of the rainbow-colored lights. My fur, orange and black with only a little bit of white, didn’t change as dramatically when I crawled under. However, I knew I had the bluest eyes out of all three of us. When the rainbow dots reflected in my eyes, you could’ve used my own glamorous face as a tree ornament. Maybe even in place of a shining star on top.

My sister curled up. Cozy and safe under the tree, it looked like she was settling down for the night’s sleep. The humans, buzzed over the excitement of Christmas Eve, went off to bed hours ago. Cats stay up later because we have to prowl the house and make sure everything is in order and in its proper place. The drip, I decided, could remain just as it was. It was captivating to watch, and it made a pleasant sound. I started to feel myself treading into sleepy territory as well. My sister had claimed her nightly spot underneath the tree. She was smart to pick this spot. We knew the tree would be taken down shortly and packed away for another year. Christmas Eve tonight, Christmas Day in the morning, Boxing Day, then tree down. Probably gone before New Year’s Eve.

I stretched my back. I yawned a satisfying yawn. I blinked slowly. Usually, I did this when looking into the eyes of my sisters or humans. It was a subtle way of saying, I love you without actually having to say it. This time, I blinked slowly, simply for myself. I love you, I told myself.

The flames in the fireplace gradually diminished. My youngest sister, a kitten less than a year old and black as the night, hopped down from the mantel. I hadn’t even noticed her up there. The stockings hung and swayed slightly as she brushed against them. One of them rattled. I wondered what was inside. Full of curiosity, my youngest sister batted at it with her paw. I scolded her, as I often had to do. It was the only way she would learn.

The clock chimed. Only once, I counted. It was past midnight. This part was always a bit confusing for me. Was it still considered Christmas Eve? Or was it now Christmas Day? 

I lay down in front of what was left of the fire. My sister stood with me. It appeared that she had already slept atop the fireplace on the mantel. She was awake now. And frisky. I kicked her with my back legs when she tried to pounce on me. Cats don’t growl the same way dogs do, but we do it when we need to. It was a tactic I kept reserved for annoying little sisters. She backed off.

I lay on my back and let the fire warm my chest. My little sister pounced on a toy mouse. It was striped red, white, and green. One of our Christmas toys. Hopefully, she could occupy herself with that while I slept.

A warm and calm sense of peacefulness washed over me. I lay in front of the fire. Under the Christmas tree lay my sister, curled up and fast asleep. My other sister played contently with the scattered cat toys on the living room floor. Down the hall, the humans slept in their bed. I recalled them wishing each other a Merry Christmas and then sharing a passionate kiss before they retired for the night. I rubbed against their legs and enjoyed a few pats on the head. It was my own way of saying goodnight. 

Tomorrow morning, when each cat and human woke up, it would be a bright Christmas morning. Breakfast would taste a little sweeter. Boxes and tissue paper would litter the floor. The scent of cinnamon would waft through the house. Snowflakes would hit the window, each one unique and unlike any other snowflake that anyone, cat or human, had seen before.

My eyes closed. The quiet and soothing jingling from my sister’s toys put me right to sleep. For the first time, I was not annoyed by it but completely and utterly at peace.

Cats love Christmas, too. In fact, we love it so much that we wish Christmas could be all year long.

Gillian Corsiatto hails from Alberta, Canada, right between two major cities: Calgary and Edmonton. She has been a lifelong writer, and her first book Duck Light was published in 2021. Since then, she has been motivated to keep at her writing and further it into an established career, even branching out into writing for the theatre. Currently, a sequel to Duck Light is underway, but she still pumps out scripts and short stories whenever an idea creeps into her mind. You can find her mostly at her writing desk, probably with a cat in her lap, and maybe even spinning a fidget spinner. She thinks those are still cool.

 

Featured image by Amber Kipp.

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