Christmas with the Newcomer

By Diane Niemeyer

‘Twas the night after Christmas, the time to replay
The events of that most hectic annual day.
The stockings, once hung by the chimney with care,
Were chewed on and drooled on and torn past repair.
No one was nestled all snug in his bed;
There was spilt milk and Friskies to clean up instead.
And me in my ‘kerchief, and Dad in his cap,
Wished we’d settled down for a much-needed nap,
When somewhere downstairs there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my chores to see what was the matter.
Away down the steps I flew like a flash,
Just as I heard one more thunderous crash.

The moon wasn’t out, so I switched on the light,
Still hoping to see everything was all right,
When, what for my wondering eyes was in store,
But my family-room curtains a-heap on the floor.
I re-hung the drapes, but to end all this “fun,”
I knew in a moment more work must be done.
More rapid than eagles I rushed all around,
To make certain everything was safe and sound.
Out, tinsel! Out, ribbons! Out bright-colored bow!
Out, garland! Out, ivy! Out, all mistletoe!
From the poinsettia plant, to the yarn in the hall,
It’s throw away! Throw away! Throw away all!  

Next I turned my attention to the Christmas tree,
Making sure it was totally temptation-free.
I moved ornaments up, for three feet or so,
And no strand of lights was left dangling low.
When then, in a twinkling, I heard soft and sweet,
The prancing and pawing of four little feet.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
By the chimney this character came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And was covered all over with ashes and soot;
The ears stood straight up on this bold little elf,
And he looked overwhelmingly pleased with himself.

His eyes–how they twinkled! He purred like a glutton!
His tongue, pink and raspy; his nose, like a button!
His droll little tail was drawn up like a bow,
And those whiskers of his looked like yesterday’s snow.
I had not a doubt that this bundle of gray
Was the cause of the chaos at our house today.

How proudly he strolled, with what grace and what style,
As he tracked soot and ashes all over the tile.

He was chubby and plump and out to impress,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of the mess.
I scooped up the imp, and I patted his head,

But he seemed to sense he had something to dread:
I spoke not a word, but went straight for the sink,
Where I washed him and dried him, as quick as a wink.
Then he darted away and stopped on a stair,
And giving a nod, he fell sound asleep there.
He dreamt and he kneaded and purred; all the while
I regarded him with half-frown and half-smile.
And you’d hear me exclaim, as I cleaned up our flat,
“I’ll remember the Christmas that we got a cat.”