by Debbie Loesel Stanton
Zeke and Zoe, the charming one-year-old cats, had a discussion in early December.
“I think we should get our cat mom, Joanie, to write a letter to Santa Claws for us. Didn’t we hear that Santa Claws is just like Santa Claus, how they both give gifts to young people and fur babies?” said Zeke.
“Well, of course we should ask her, dear brother of mine, but how? She doesn’t talk Cat like we do,” said Zoe. “Neither does her special man.”
Good point—you’re a smart kitty,” Zeke said and yawned. “But wait! Remember how Joanie and her husband adopted us? They did a good deed. How ‘bout…we do a good deed for some other cats? Then we don’t have to write a letter.”
What followed sounded like cats hissing at each other, but Zeke and Zoe were simply whispering in Cat. Fortunately for the cats, their cat parents would be out for the whole afternoon, doing some shopping. Once the parents were gone, the cats’ plan sprang into action.
Zeke shook his front paws and did some paw stretches. Then he jumped up onto the kitchen counter, pulled out the utensil drawer and selected a manual can opener. Zeke pushed the can opener onto the floor.
Zoe in the meantime had gone into the pantry and knocked a large can of tuna onto the floor. She then pushed it toward the can opener and set Zeke to work. He opened the tuna can as only cats can do while Zoe got into the refrigerator. She was so glad to see that the egg box was on the lowest shelf. She still had to be very careful when she sunk her teeth into the Styrofoam box and brought it down to the floor. Amazingly, none of the eggs broke.
That doesn’t mean the cats didn’t make a mess. When their human parents came home, they found egg shells on the floor with lots of flour spilled and cat prints on the flour-covered floor. There were a couple of slippery spots on the floor where the olive oil had spilled, and the oven was still on at 350 degrees.
“Oh my gosh,” said Joanie, “what happened here? None of our friends have a key to our house. Must’ve been the cats!”
Joanie’s husband Dan said, “Ah! Here’s the answer!” He showed Joanie a piece of paper that the cats put on the kitchen chair. The note was a series of jots and scribbles and the beginnings of a picture. This could only mean one thing.
“Dan,” Joanie said, “Remember how I said the cats are always nearby when I’m cooking? They watch my every move. They look like they’re standing at attention. I think they were trying to learn how to cook!”
“But what would they make? It’s a little hard to read their writing,” Dan said.
The cats had drawn and written on their message: “Mommy and Daddy, Don’t slip on the floor. We made a tuna pie to take to the cats down the block who don’t really have a home. We’ll be home later. P.S. It’s good we live in New Mexico, because then our friends won’t freeze when they’re outside all the time.”
Joanie and Dan high-tailed it to the end of the block where there was a vacant lot. They knew they had the right place when they saw about seven cats hunched over the nine-inch pie pan. Tears filled their eyes.
“Mommy! Daddy! You’re here!” Zoe said.
“Are you mad at us?” Zeke asked, a bit of fear in his voice.
Of course, Joanie and Dan knew what the cats were saying even though they couldn’t hear words. They picked the cats up in their arms and assured them that they had done something wonderful. They thanked them for being so kind.
In the next week, the cats showed their parents how to make tuna pie. Even Auntie Pat got in on the action when she and her husband visited for Christmas. From that point on, Joanie and Dan took turns making a pie once a week. Both took it to the vacant lot and received a lot of meow thank-yous. Dogs in the neighborhood, however, did not thank anyone. They were just glad to be able to eat the crust that the cats didn’t want.
Somehow, news amongst the cats spread on their official network. Soon the humans brought dry cat food to the lot, a little bit every day, and the tuna pie was still served once a week. Zeke reminded them to bring the cats some water, too.
To thank Zoe and Zeke for their kindness to others, Dan brought home one large tuna from the store. Together, the whole family made lots of goodies that could be stored in the freezer for later.
It turns out that Zeke and Zoe never tasted their tuna pie.
“I wonder if this is how Santa Claws feels when he is done helping cats and dog?” Zoe said to Zeke.
“He feels delighted, I’m sure,” Zeke said, stretching out for yet another long nap. Sometimes it’s exhausting being a cat!
Top Photo by Jordane Mathieu on Unsplash
Background Photo by Evelyn on Unsplash