The three cats huddled together in front of the bay window and appeared to be having a serious conversation. They kept glancing at the humans who decorated the large pine tree in the corner. Every once in awhile there was an occasional meow. If you had learned to talk cat, you would understand what they were saying.
Ringo whispered, “Wait until the humans leave then we can get those colorful little balls they are putting on that tree.” He peaked around the corner of the sofa. “They should be leaving shortly.”
“Oh goody,” Puff Puff continued to groom her bushy ginger tail. “I had lots of fun last year chasing those little balls all over the place.”
“They are watching us,” Queenie turned her back on the humans and washed her white face. “Pretend not to be interested.”
The three cats strolled down the hallway as the little humans giggled and wrestled in the middle of the living room.
Ringo being the oldest explained. “The little humans are excited for the arrival of Santa Clause, a large man with a white beard.”
“Does Santa Clause come for cats to?” Queenie asked, as she looked over her shoulder.
“Santa leaves stockings and presents under the tree. There are always special cat stockings of treats and toys. It is fun,” Puff Puff pounced on a piece of fluff.
“Do you guys want to play in the kitchen?” Queenie asked as she perked her ears forward.
“Hey, good idea,” Ringo meowed as he padded away. “Race you.” There was a racket as the cats raced down the hallway.
Ringo stretched his paws up against the dishwasher pressing buttons and shut the door with a bang. Then there was the sound of water running. “I always like doing that. It puzzles the lady human when the machine starts like magic. ”
Puff Puff jumped up onto the counter. “Aw, nothing interesting up here.” He landed on the floor with a thud.
Queenie pulled on the pantry door with her paw. She poked around inside before wiggling onto the bottom shelf. “No treats here. Let’s go outside for awhile.”
There was the sound of cat door going flap flap three times as the cats disappeared into the enclosed porch.
“Hey you guys, the humans were saying there was a missing pink slipper.” Ringo padded over to the window as a bird chirped in the spruce fir.
“What clues are there? Where was it last seen?” Queenie jumped on a pile of newspaper listing to the crackling sound. “The little human always loses things.”
“The little boy human lost his red car last week and I was the hero when I found it,” Puff Puff meowed as she watched a squirrel wave his tail in the air.
“The little girl was crying for a long time when she couldn’t find her favorite pair of pink slippers,” Ringo meowed. “She quit crying when I climbed on her lap and started to purr. The humans are watching.”
“Come on. Follow me,” Queenie meowed
Once again there was the sound of the cat door flapping three times as they padded along single file and then the thunder of their paws as they galloped down the hallway in hot pursuit of Queenie.
Ringo slid to a stop almost colliding with Queenie when she stopped in the middle of the hallway. He shook his head. “What now?”
“Don’t let the humans see us. They are watching again.” Queenie meowed.
The three cats formed a circle glancing at the humans every few minutes. “When the slippers went missing the little girl human was playing in the attic.” Queenie meowed.
“There are a lot of nooks and crannies up there. The door is closed.” Puff Puff meowed. “What is your plan.”
Queenie started to scratch the door while she looked over her shoulder at the humans. She slid her paw underneath the door and wiggled and pulled until the door popped open. “A closed door can’t stop me. Come on guys, let’s go.”
One by one three fluffy tails disappeared into the open crack and their feet padded stealthily up the stairs. They padded across the floor and leapt onto trunks and boxes.
Ringo leapt onto a pile of boxes and looked in corners. “Nothing here.”
Queenie padded across the wide plank floor towards a brown wooden trunk. Then her fluffy tail disappeared. In a few minutes she came out with a bonnet in her mouth. Then she disappeared again for a second and came out with a couple of little satin slippers in her mouth. “These will be better than those fancy presents under the tree.”
“Okay. Let’s go,” Ringo meowed. “Where can we stash the slippers?”
“Under the tree of course,” Queenie said as she pranced across the floor with a mouthful of slippers.
That night when the house was quiet the cats snuck into the living room to the gaily decorated tree that sparkled in the dark room They stood with open mouths as they gazed at the tree.
“How pretty. Everything has been rearranged.” Ringo meowed.
“Let’s put the slippers at the front. The little girl will find them first thing. “Puff Puff meowed. “Hurry. I heard jingling.”
“Okay. Done.” Ringo placed the dainty satin slippers and bonnet on top of the gaily decorated packages.
The next morning the cats were curled up innocently on their large cushion when excited voices were heard throughout the house as the children opened their stockings. The cats listened to the pitter patter of little feet in the hallway. Then a little voice was heard above everything. “My slippers and bonnet! They are under the tree!”
Queenie rubbed against her ankles purring while Ringo and Puff Puff watched from a safe distance. They robbed noses and appeared to be telling secrets. “Be careful. The little girl has that look again.”
Then the little girl got down the special cat stockings and gave each of the cats their presents before sitting down to put her little slippers and bonnet on. She danced around the living room as the cats explored their stockings stuffed full of catnip toys and treats. In a few minutes, they abandoned the toys and started jumping around in the empty boxes and in and out of the crumpled wrapping paper.
All day the house was filled with happy voices and sounded like a noisy bee hive as everyone visited. The cats watched and waited for their special treat of turkey. Then gradually the house became quiet as everyone settled down for the night. Ringo, Puff Puff and Queenie settled down on their new puffy beds licking their paws with bellies full of turkey.
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