A Poem by: Randal Johnson (1959)
'Twas the night before Christmas, at the cat lady's house. Every creature was purring, save for one little mouse. Knit stockings were hung by the chimney with care, In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.
The kittens were nestled all snug in their beds, While visions of parakeets perched in their heads; And Mama in her chair with three cats in her lap, Had just settled her brain for a long winter's nap, When in the next room there arose such a clatter, She sprang from the chair to see what was the matter.
Away to the kitchen she flew like a flash, Where a cat was pursuing a mouse in the trash. She picked up the mess. "Oh that mouse had to go! " But first she would pour a tall glass of Merlot.
Then what to her wondering eyes should appear, But twenty-two cats hauling ass in high gear, And a little grey mouse so lively and quick, He could turn on a dime though the floor was quite slick.
More rapid than cheetahs the felines they came, So he ran down the hall and the cats did the same. 'Stop Fluffy! Stop Missy! Stop Simon and Mittens! 'Stop Patches! Stop Muffin! You'll wake up the kittens!"
The Mouse took a left at the end of the hall, Hide your eyes now 'cause fur's heading straight for that wall! As dry leaves before the wild hurricane fly, When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky; And so into the baseboard the felines they flew, Each one under the other; yes all twenty-two! They created a pile of tails and paws, and noses, and whiskers, and ears, and claws.
As Mama grabbed her wine and was turning around, Back up the hall ran that mouse, kitchen-bound. He was just a gray blur as he ran underfoot, And she yelled at her cats once again to "Stay put! " But her bundles of joy had begun to un-stack, And were already planning their second attack.
Their eyes, how they darkened! Their claws, oh how scary! It looked like a scene from an old Tom and Jerry. Then Mama's droll mouth, it drew up like a bow, And then the Merlot, well it started to flow.
With the stem of her wine glass held tight in her grip, Mama finished her drink in four gulps and a sip. Her face it turned red, she had air in her belly. She hiccupped and burped, and it tasted like jelly.
She giggled a bit, then she pardoned herself, And she reached for some catnip she kept on the shelf. A wink of her eye to a peering gray head, let the little mouse know he had nothing to dread. Mama sprinkled the catnip, it went straight to work, Cats pulled in their claws, and they started to smirk.
The effect of that stuff on a kitty cat's nose, Is the same as a couple Merlots, I suppose. She went back to her chair, to her cats gave a whistle, And they all climbed upon her, like the down on a thistle, And I heard her exclaim, as she sank out of sight… Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night.
Randal Johnson was a Sawmill worker turned restaurant worker and later a self-employed tradesman.
He was a nature loving husband, father, fisherman, backpacker, photographer, writer who also dabbled in poetry.