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Wednesday, December 16, 2009


    When I was a child, every Christmas morning my two younger sisters and I would wake up in the middle of the night. It was the same every year. I would wake up and tip toe to the door to peek out, then make a quick u-turn in to my sisters' room. They would be awake already, both sitting on one or the others bed, giggling quietly to themselves. I would speed across the room and leap onto the bed bouncing them both to the ground. We would sit there quietly laughing, asking each for the millionth time, "Do you think they're up yet?" Eventually our minds would wonder to what lay down the hall and to the left, under the huge Christmas tree that we knew was lit so Santa could find it easily. It was now 2:00am

    As we softly guessed about the great gifts Santa might have brought, my middle sister's eyes would grow wide, not with wonder, but with the realization she was about to be sick. She'd jump off the bed, one hand holding her nightgown above her knees so she could run and the other hand slapped tightly across her mouth, she'd fly off to the bathroom with her robe flapping in the wind behind her. My youngest sister and I, abandoned on the bed, would look at each other first in shock, then in realization. IT'S CHRISTMAS! It was now 2:30am

    Our parents, having gone through this ritual for years, dragged themselves out of bed at hearing the commotion. Mom went to the bathroom to calm my middle sister down and Dad went to the bedroom where my other sister and I were dancing on the bed caroling, IT'S CHRISTMAS! They'd calm the three of us down and tuck us back in to bed with promises that Christmas would soon be here. It was now 3:00 am.

    It wasn't long before I was back up and around the corner to my sisters' room again where we quietly giggled and asked each other, "Do you think they're up yet?" for the billionth time. Our parents hearing the commotion and looking more like zombies then elves would drag themselves out of bed, come in to the room and announce that yes, Santa had been here. We would run out and sit in our perspective spots by the tree and its mounds of gifts while mom and dad would find spots in the back to sit and watch. It was now 4:00am.

    With the gift giving done and a good breakfast ate, the three of us would sit in the middle of the carnage we created and start a day long play fest while Mom laid on the couch snoring and Dad slept on the recliner with his head tilted back and a little stream of drool sneaking out of the corner of his mouth. It was 6:00am.

    For a long time, I had forgotten about those wonderful if not weird Christmas mornings until one year I was reminded of them in a not so subtle way.

    It was Christmas Eve and we were tired from visiting all the relatives from both sides of the family all day. We arrived home weary and ready for bed. I turned on the lights to the tree so Santa could find it easily in the dark, then headed for bed.

    I was awakened by the sound of rustling coming from the living room, a quiet, hushed rustling but enough to wake me. I began to toss and turn. A muffled sound escaped the pillow next to me, "what's the matter?" I reply with my suspicions that the cats are playing among the gifts under the tree. I'm told not to worry about it and go back to sleep. It's now 2:00 am.

    I'm again awakened a short time later by a hacking sound. I roll out of bed and grab my robe. The pillow next to me mumbles again, "What's wrong now?" I reply with my suspicions of a cat having a hairball under the tree. I stumble into the living room and find the hacking cat. I calm him down and drag him and his brother to the foot of the bed and lay them down. It's now 2:30am.

    A half hour later, I feel the cats restless at the end of the bed. I hear them jump down to the floor, knowing there headed back out to the tree. Tiny rustling keeps me up, I toss and turn. It's now 3:00am.

Finally, without warning, all sounds cease. I relax and begin the search for the slumber I long for.

    CHOO-CHOO!!! We both fly out of the bed holding are chest as the extremely loud train sound came crashing in from the living room. Somehow, the cats found the tiny little "on" button to the train that encircled the tree. I threw down the covers I dragged with me when I jumped up in my terror, put on my robe, and exclaimed, "Get up, It's Christmas gawd dammit!" It's now 4:00 am.

    We dragged ourselves out to the living room looking more like zombies than elves and found the cats sitting in front of the tree watching the train go around in circles.

    We opened our presents and the cats played in the carnage of wrapping paper and empty boxes while we ate our breakfast of frozen waffles. As I sat myself down in the armchair I heard a muffled sound come from the couch, "I'm beat" followed soon by the sound rolling thunder. It was the last thing I heard as I felt my lids become heavy and shut. It was 6:00am.


  1. lol! you should forward this to your parents. they will be so happy the cats are avenging them as last!

  2. LOL!!!! What goes around, comes around, I guess!
    Hope you have a grrreat Christmas, and a bit of a sleep-in!

  3. I definitely remember those middle-of-the-night jitters at Xmas time!

  4. Just think if you were to get a couple more cats your christmas could start at midnight. :)

    I remember terrorizing my parents that way as well Great post !

  5. Nice Mikey. Sorry I've been absent for a bit. I missed you and the cats and the carnage!

  6. "and found the cats sitting in front of the tree watching the train go around in circles"

    THAT I would have loved to have seen! :)

    Kinda made it worth while huh?!

    Happy Holidays to you and yours Mike :D

  7. Ah that is really sweet.

    Kate xx

  8. Mike, you made me laugh so hard, that was so wonderful, those cats are magicians of the soul.
    BIG HUGS, my friend

  9. Brilliant story telling!
    I would pay hard earned dollars for a youtube vid of the cats finding the on switch and starting the train.

  10. Sarah, I am sending the cats to you fed ex so they can avenge me. Merry Christmas :)

    Uber, thank you, I'm happy it took you back buddy

    Alice, so glad it made you laugh, I do get sleep now, I remove the batteries from the train at night

    Hunter, I still get those jitters. I don't know why at 43 years old Christmas morning still gets to me

    Bendigo, NO MORE CATS, I have three already! LOL

    Tina, never apologize, your always here no matter, if just in spirit.

    Aion, that was one of those moments in life that was NOT funny at the time but busts me up everytime I think about it now.

    Kate, your sweet. Truly

    Bob, hope you weren't drinking anything there, I'm not buyin you a new screen if you spit coffee on it again!!! LOL

    Christina, one of these days I'm going to get a video camera, then I'll be rollin in the dough! :)

  11. What a lovely holiday tradition! I'm glad your cats have seen fit to carry it on. Of course, around here, most days are pretty much like Christmas.

  12. Sparkle, very true, very true. I swear if I sleep through threr ruckus, one slaps me upside the head

    Lin, I think it's my turn this year to pay THEM back. :)

  13. LOL! I can just imagine! Tabbymom Jen here... Some nights, cats ARE as bad as children. One year, a gift arrived for Bonnie Underfoot and she could scent that catnip through a shipping box, wrapping paper, and plastic. I had to hide it in the closet, on a high shelf! She still stared at the closet door. When we gave it to her on Christmas Day, she spent over an hour rolling and purring on it.
    This is my first visit to your blog, found through you purchasing my Entrecard ad. Nice to meet you!
    BTW, I noticed you're in Costa Mesa. I grew up in Manhattan Beach, CA.

  14. You have a way with story telling. Loved it!

  15. Victor Tabbycat, welcome and I hope you like it here.

    Marla, thank you so much, I love to hear that.

  16. Nice! Sorry about your toothbrush.

  17. Cats and Christmas. Felines and frolic. Sleep tight...if you can. Merry Christmas from

  18. Fin, thanks. Kind of ironic about my toothbrush then reading your post. :)

    Boomer Pie, Merry Christmas to you too. I plan on chasing all three of them around the house for three hours. Then we'll ALL sleep.

  19. What a fun story - I felt like I was there! Soon to add a second bit? Have a wonderful holiday.

  20. Have a grrrreat Christmas Mikey and a Bloggin' Best 2010!

    Your nemisis at the Coffee Shop, MsBurb (wink, wink)

  21. Merry Christmas, my friend, to you and yours! All the best for the New Year! I look forward to more stories (and fiction) from you.

  22. What a wonderful blog post. Get some rest and have a Merry Christmas!

  23. Merry Christmas to you and the kitties!