On the 25thof December, as day turned to night, an orange loaf of bread laid on a shelf next to the window. Or rather that is how it appeared, for Luigi the Lion Cat, in certain positions from certain angles has many a time resembled a nice round sunset-colored loaf of cat-bread, or purread. This particular time, he was enjoying a quiet evening of relaxation. Luigi had been looking forward to his comfy quiet Christmas night and with the humans out somewhere, no one was there to pester him. Well, almost no one.

“Luigi Luigi! Come wrestle with me!” yelled out Rocky, Luigi’s brother, and tormentor. “No.” Luigi replied with only a hint of irritation. Rocky had left Luigi alone for most of the day but Luigi knew that eventually he would get bored and spoil the orange loaf’s planned night of tranquility. “Aww come on, come down and wrestle bro! Wrestle wrestle wrestle, then we can play tag!” meowed Rocky with excitement. “No.” said Luigi again, with a little more frustration.

But Rocky was not dissuaded, he climbed up slowly until he was right near his brother, and with a sudden swipe of his paw he tapped Luigi’s butt. “Tag, you’re it!” bellowed Rocky as he jumped down and away, expecting a mass of orange flying toward him. Luigi however, did not move. “Perhaps if I lay here motionless, he will find something else to do,” he thought. He was wrong. Once more, Rocky climbed up to Luigi, readied his paw, and unleashed a mighty smack upon Luigi’s behind. “You’re it! You’re it! It it IT!” he meowed, and dashed away.

Luigi’s patience shattered, and within him a fury burned. “Tag huh? Oh, tag is what he wants to play? I’ll give him TAG!” As Rocky jumped down, Luigi rose and leapt down after him. The gray fluff dashed away and at his heels was a furious orange cloud of fur. “I’m the big brother, big brothers are tough and put their little brothers in their place: beneath them!” Luigi thought, as he raced after Rocky. The two ran and jumped and bounced from one part of the house to the other. Rocky was leaner and younger, his agility kept him ahead of Luigi, but only barely. Luigi was bigger, his powerful leaps kept him on his brothers tail, but weren’t quite enough to close the gap. Yet as Luigi lunged and leaped, as his heart beat harder and his breath became quicker, a joy grew within him. “I am a lion!” Luigi thought, “A lion chasing after prey, a fierce hunter and king!”

Though both cat brothers were now enjoying this game, they were too focused on playing to notice what they were doing to the house. Rocky ran by the Christmas tree, adorned with ornaments, and made a quick change of direction, one that his pursuer couldn’t match. Luigi crashed straight into the tree, but though ornaments rained down all around him, his eyes stayed locked to his target and his pursuit resumed. “I need to use my wits, not just my power” he thought. They ran into the kitchen next, and Luigi saw his chance. As Rocky ran around the table, Luigi made a mighty leap onto the top, then over the other side. Rocky did not expect this move, and so reacted carelessly by crawling through a shelf beneath the table on which many pots and pans were stacked together. Though he made it away, his shortcut had pushed all of the pots and pans off the shelf onto the ground, and though they clattered and banged as they fell, still neither cat was distracted. They were however growing more and more tired, and their movements became sloppier. Rocky ran by the electric fireplace but tripped, and smacked right into it. Luigi saw his chance to win, he leaped with all the might he had left, and crashed into Rocky. The combined force of their contact with the fireplace caused it to fall over, but this too was of no concern to them.

“Ha! Ha ha! You’re it now!, I am Luigi the Lion Cat, great hunter and king, AND YOU, ARE, IT!” roared Luigi, standing over Rocky who was purring from enjoyment of the thunderous finale to their chase. Laying together and panting heavily, they looked around and saw the mess they had made of the house. “Uh oh, mom and dad are going to be pretty upset when they get back.” said Rocky. Luigi considered this. “What a bad gift we are giving them this Christmas, we can’t let this be!” Luigi exclaimed. He thought to himself: “I am the big brother, which means more than beating up the little brother. It means taking responsibility and fixing what we messed up.”

“Rocky, you get over to that tree and put all the toys back onto it!” Luigi ordered. “Yeah, that sounds like fun, I’m gonna practice my jumping!” Rocky meowed as he ran over to the tree. Luigi in the meantime made his way to the mess in the kitchen. “With my superior mind and memory, arranging these back into place will be simple!” he thought. When both brothers were finished, they met together. “That wasn’t so hard bro,” Rocky said. “There’s still one part left,” Luigi replied, “we need to put that box of false flames back into place, and it’s heavy so we’ll need to work together.” “Together is the best way to work!”  said Rocky, and the cats got into place. One on each side, they lifted the electric fireplace back up just as it was. The lifting, after their cleanup and their chase, used up all the energy they had left and so they settled down next to the glass door to their backyard to relax.

The cat brothers sat side by side, and stared out. Each was a loaf, one gray and the other orange. Their eyes closed and their breathing slowed. “Merry Christmas Rocky,” Luigi meowed quietly as he drifted off to sleep. “Merry Christmas Luigi,” meowed Rocky back, and a moment later, began to quietly snore.