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      In 1823 The Reverend Clement Clark Moore created “A Visit from Saint Nicholas.” The poem, better known as “The Night Before Christmas,” from its first line, is largely responsible for  the contemporary conception of Santa Claus,  his appearance, his method of transportation and his bringing toys to boys and girls on Christmas Eve.

A year ago, I shared with you my poem “A Dog’s Night before Christmas,” inspired by Moore’s famous poem and some internet parodies. Some of you ailurophiles (cat lovers) asked me to dash off a kitty-cat version. Here ’tis:


‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, so I ate a mouse.
We kitties were snuggled, all tucked in our beds,
While visions of cat goodies danced in our heads.

Our stockings were hung by the cat bowls with care,
In hopes that old Santa Claws soon would be there.
And mamma in her cat collar and I in my cap,
We each settled down in a human’s warm lap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the lap to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash.
I opened the shutters and slashed up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the luster of midday to objects below.
When out on the rooftop, the noise was so purry
I knew furry Santa Claws was in a hurry.

And what to my lovely blue eyes should appear
But Santa himself in his full cat sled gear.
More rapid than cheetahs his coursers they came,
And he whistled and shouted and called them by name.

“Now Tabatha! Felix! Now Tommy and Muffy!
On Mittens! On Spitfire! On Whiskers and Fluffy!
To the top of the porch! To the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up to the housetop the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of cat toys, and Santa Claws, too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard, to my awe,
The prancing and scratching of each little claw.
Old Santa Claws purred, through the kitty door went.
Then he stopped and he sniffed, and he picked up a scent.

The cat treats we left him were by the back door.
We kitties had baked them an hour before.
He set about working, with nary a sigh,
And filled up the stockings with cat toys piled high.

And white-bearded Santa Claws, jolly and fat,
Hauled a bag full of presents, and all for a cat.
“The best Christmas ever!” I thought with a purr,
Then I coughed up a hair ball and shed some more fur.

Claws waved once at me with his mighty cat paw.
Although I was hiding, my black nose he saw.
He flew out the kitty door, in such a rush,
Jumped right on his cat sled and howled out, “Mush! Mush!”

The eight Maine coon cat team was raring to go.
Their paws had grown chilly, as they stood on the snow.
I heard Santa exclaim, as he rose out of sight:
“Meowy Christmas to all, and to cats a good life!”