Karlton The Christmas Kitty
Neyland D. Catt
There's a thief in here! thought Karlton. A big fat, thief dressed up in a funny red and white costume! And he's muscling in on my territory! The aforementioned fat guy, one Mr. Claus, was in fact a jolly old elf who delivered gifts to good children every Christmas. Hard to see how someone went down that career path, but to each his own. The jolly old elf was, at that particular moment, frantically patting down his own derriere in an attempt to put out flames. Apparently, he had not properly checked the status of the fireplace before popping in with his big sack of gifts.
Karlton watched with a mix of amusement and anger as Santa finally managed to, quite literally, save his own behind. The fat man sighed and dropped into an easy chair, panting heavily. Karlton knew that he couldn't take on the thief head to head. There had to be another way. His eyes glinted with glee when he spotted Santa's sack of gifts, forgotten in the rush to put out his hindquarters. This may just work out even better, Karlton thought. This guy has already racked up some loot. What better justice than to rob a thief?
Karlton was a grey blur as he darted from the fluffy pink cat bed and slipped inside the overstuffed bag of goodies. He was somewhat bemused to find more of the strangely wrapped parcels. He was even more bemused when the fat man's chubby hands started rummaging around in the bag clumsily. Karlton fought back the urge to hiss, but the claws were out immediately. The fat man exclaimed "Aha!" and withdrew a package from the sack. Karlton sat, puzzled, in the darkness of his cloth hideout. It was beyond him why the thief would take anything out of the bag. His musings were interrupted as felt the entire sack being lifted from the floor. He barely managed to keep down a squeak as the sack was hefted over the fat man's shoulder. There was a strange tingling sensation, a momentary feeling of weightlessness, and then he heard the soft crunch of snow. Back in the den, Mr. Piggles watched the scene in awe and then piddled slightly on the floor.
Inside the sack, Karlton strained to hear some sign of what was going on outside. He heard some muffled grunts and something that may have been snorting. Finally, the curiosity was too much. He poked his head out from the sack to behold yet another startling scene. There was a large red sled with heaps of sacks just like the one he was in. Attached to this sled, were what he recognized as eight skinny cows with horns. The fat man was scooting around in the snow covering the rooftop, steam rising in a trail behind him. This whole deal is starting to go south faster than a retired Yankee, Karlton thought. Time to bail.
What happened next can only be described as ludicrous. An attempt will be made to describe it nonetheless. Karlton leapt from the bag, fully intending to clear the sled entirely and land in the soft snow. This didn't quite happen. He undershot his jump and was forced to land on the harness rigging directly between two of the horned cows. The cows both turned to him simultaneously and bellowed in surprise. Karlton responded with the time-honored and tested stratagem of all felines: he bowed his back and hissed loudly. The cows, as a group, then all began to bellow and started a frantic gallop. It wasn't a terribly large rooftop. This fact was not lost on Karlton, who began to shriek and leapt back into the sled. He watched from the seat, his ears pinned back in terror, as the stampeding skinny cattle reached the edge. And flew.
Karlton and the reindeer with a case of mistaken identity were all screaming loudly as they lifted off from the rooftop, leaving a trail of snow in their wake. The most disturbing fact was that the flying sled was now not only gaining in altitude, but speed as well. Lot of speed. Karlton's ears were now pinned back not by fear, but by momentum. He looked around frantically for a brake, but his search was rendered pointless when the sled, reindeer, and Karlton all rocketed away in a flash of light, just like spaceships do in a poorly written science fiction film. Down on the rooftop, Santa Claus watched the scene in distress and then piddled slightly on the roof.
Karlton's eyes were dazzled and his vision was blurred for a few moments. Then, there was another flash of light and the sled was suddenly in the frigid air above a snow-encrusted plain. A small cluster of lights could be made out dimly on the horizon. The reindeer now seemed much calmer and occasionally, one would sneak a dirty look back at Karlton, whose eyes were fixed on the cluster of lights that very quickly became closer. After a minute, Karlton could see that it was a small settlement with an impressive collection of manufacturing buildings and warehouses, and one gaudily decorated three story building that seemed to be their destination.
The sled slowed and circled three times before coming to a relatively gentle landing in front of the large building. The reindeer all turned expectant eyes upon Karlton. He eventually decided this meant the ride was over and hopped down from the sled. He winced at the cold of the snow and did a bizarre little dance in an attempt to keep all four paws out of the snow simultaneously. He stopped suddenly when the great double doors of the building opened up, spilling bright light out over the area. He could just make out the silhouettes of dozens of figures descending the stairs toward him. At last, his eyes adjusted and he beheld a gathering of tiny little humans wearing bright green coats with bright red hats and pointed boots that curled up on the end. They were really short. Almost... cat-sized.
"Alright," Karlton said as he strode forward, a glint in his eye. "Which one of you is gonna be dinner and which one is a snack?"
TO BE CONCLUDED...
Come back tomorrow and unwrap your very special present from me... the final part of the Karlton's story! It will make your Christmas even more Merry!!*
--Neyland D. Catt
*The Fictitious Cat does not guarantee the level of merriment. Results may vary.