The Year I got Cat Litter for Christmas

By Damien Knight

Some Christmases stick out in memory better than others. Maybe they stand out because of the gifts or perhaps just because of things that happen that year.  For me it was Christmas in Germany that I can never forget. It was there that we as a family we started so many traditions. I was about 10 or 11.

That December we had all asked for pets for Christmas. I had sent Saint Nick a letter myself asking for a cat. That night my sisters and I plotted to stay up and catch Saint Nick and make sure we go our pets. I never caught Santa in the act because next I remember was my mom calling for us.

I stumbled out bleary-eyed in pink pajamas. My long blonde hair a ratted mess. I could hear mom yelling at the dog.

“No! Bad Ralph!”

Ralph was an old Lhasa Aspö with a bladder problem. At that moment Mom chased him around the tree while he ran one leg up around it. Dad had the brand new video camera he had bought. He filmed as our dog peed all over our Christmas presents. Everyone was laughing and Mom shooed him away. We all gathered around the tree.

Lisa, the youngest at about 3 or 4, ran to her present and almost tipped it over. Mom grabbed her before she could flip it upside down. She unwrapped it and there was a pair of finches. Lisa got her birds and every kid in the room was now excited. If Lisa got her pet, my cat had to be there.

Sarah went next, a guinea pig, Jessica got a Chinchilla, TJ, a hamster I think and I don’t recall if Felicia got a pet. Still my turn and I was ecstatic, Years of begging I would finally meet my pet cat! I tore the package open and inside wasn’t a cat at all!

My eyes watered, in front of me was a package of cat litter and a litter box. On the verge of tears I swallowed as I lifted out cans of cat-food to inspect them. I stood to go to my room when my mom stopped me and handed me my stocking. I opened it and inside was a letter from Santa.

“We were all out of Cats this year at the North Pole. Here is all you need to care for one. I hope you enjoy picking out your own cat.

Merry Christmas,

Santa”

I tore through the packaging again and found cat toys and a collar. I would get to pick my own cat!

A few weeks later toward my birthday I was called out of class. My parents led me to the back of Blackie, our old van, and inside was a brown tabby. She recoiled from me with a hiss. I was so thrilled. My own cat. We took her home, and I named her Kate Kitty Kat.  She refused to eat any of the Friskies cat-food I got for Christmas for her. She left a scratch down my arm that scared. I was so proud I showed my class that scratch. And that was the year I got cat litter for Christmas.

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