The backyard was drenched in gold. It was the last light it would see until the bright spot came back, floating into the sky and bringing color back into the world outside. Now there was only one color to see and soon there would be none.

Hello, I am Luigi the Lion Cat, listen now to my not so fluffy Christmas Tail.

I sat by the transparent door, watching the yard from my favorite spot in the living room. Here, right near the door that let’s me see where I cannot go, I like to gaze upon the yard. It’s quite peaceful, with wind shifting the trees and a tasty bird or two flying by along the current.

luigi the lion cat looking out window

It seemed like any other day, but I knew otherwise: the day was Christmas Eve. You see, I’d learned all about this Christmas that you humans love to celebrate. As that day ended and the next began, a large human with red and white fur would enter our home and deliver to us that which we most desired. But of course, there was a caveat. Only those who treat others well would earn a gift, and those who mistreat would be left with no treat. Such terms I could accept, so I had been patient. So many days had gone and now it would finally pay off!

The light had gone, and the humans had scurried off to their special spots. With the final shuffle of their feet, the house was left in darkness. Each breath, each step, was now an orchestra against the silence. When this Santa Claws character arrived, I would know immediately, and so I waited.

My eyelids grew in weight. It would be so simple to relax, let myself drift off into the night and find myself once more in the light of the new day. No! I am Luigi the Lion Cat, I would not give in! I must meet this jolly man for myself and see that he fulfills his side of our unspoken agreement! I will have my Tuna Steak or I will stain the white fur upon his face with the scarlet of his insides!

And as if to answer my threat, a sound pierced the quiet. It did not come from the chimney as I had expected, but from the front door. Metal scratching metal, shaking and twisting, I could hear it all. Had Santa decided to use a different entrance?

I pranced over to the door and sat in front of it in anticipation. As the door opened, I looked upon this legend in the flesh… and I was disappointed. Was this a joke? His shape was closer to a tree than a ball of yarn, the fur on his face was black instead of white, and he entered with a small bag of nothings in place of one overflowing with promised goods! I had been taken for a fool!

“Oh, hello there,” he whispered, “what a nice little cat you are.”

Yes, a nice little cat, a nice little cat indeed. Day after day I tolerated abuses of decency by these upright apes, and I had seen what it had all been for. A fraud! It was just a legend told to keep control over those foolish enough to believe it!

“You just sit right there, and I’ll be in and out in a few minutes, hehehehehe.”

luigi the lion cat is not happy

I felt so betrayed. I thought back to every moment this year where I showed restraint, where I should have disciplined the humans for their silliness and their rudeness, and I began to feel a fury. For every time my belly was left unscratched or the red dot was kept beyond my grasp, I did nothing. Now I saw that I would be left with nothing as well.

I turned my head toward the Santa and was taken aback, forgetting my anger. He was putting things the humans had left in colorful boxes into his bag. Confused, I forgot my anger. What was he doing? It all began to click in my head. There was no Santa Claws, it was all a hoax from the start, and now this impostor intended to take from my family instead of giving! The fire within me burned again and blazed with such passion that I could no longer contain it!

“MEOOOOOOWWWWWWWW” I roared as I leapt onto the table near the impostor and then onto him with claws and teeth ready to deliver punishment!

“What the heck?!” he yelped, before I landed atop his face, burying the daggers of my left paw into his cheek as I slashed wildly with those of my right. He staggered back, trying to grip my fluff and win the  upper hand. Too slow for me, thief! I climbed onto his head and scuttled down onto his back, releasing a whirlwind of slashes from there with no fear of reprisal.

luigi the lion cat gets scared by a robber

“Get off of me” he hissed, unable to yell so out of breath. No, not yet! Luigi the Lion Cat will never again be known to hold back, to hide his ferocity! With my rage as fuel, I thrust my right claws deep into his back and pulled back, inflicting upon him The Catastrophe! He grunted in response, lacking the air to yell out.

He whirled around, attempting to loose me from my lethal position, but my claws were in too deep. Having failed, he began to run backwards toward the wall. Aha, a desperate attempt by this animal to defeat his foe with size! As the wall grew nearer, I glimpsed my salvation. The tree! With all my strength I leaped off of his back and onto the tree nearby. I looked back in time to see the man slam his whole body into the wall. With no cushion of fluffiness between himself and the wall as he intended, he took the full blow, ricocheting off and falling to the floor.

Time passed slowly. My eyes and ears were alert as if I’d glimpsed loose thread. Panting but ready to fight on, I watched the man. Seconds passed but he lay still. Another ruse? The man could be playing dead, wishing me to come closer. No matter, what is life without risk? I jumped down and moved to inspect him.

Luigi the lion cat catches a burglar

He was breathing, but not much else. I placed a paw on his face, but there was no reaction. In one moment, my foe had been defeated. Elation washed over me. I was victorious! Now, cute and soft and fluffy once more, I thought of what my next move should be.

But then there was a shuffling. I looked toward the door and saw nothing. My ears corrected my gaze, telling me the noise had come from somewhere else and as I turned to see, the sight rendered me meowless. From the fireplace, a round white and red furred creature emerged. His beard was white, his body round, and upon his back rest a large bag with many odd shapes protruding through the cloth.

“Ho ho ho, merry chr-” he began, until his eyes adjusted to the scene before him. “Hmm, what is this?”

Against reflected moonlight, our two silhouettes were still. He examined the man and I examined him. His gaze moved from the man to me, and our eyes met. Would I have to fight again? I asked with a hiss.

“Oh don’t you worry, I mean you no harm,” he said in response. “I’ll clean this up for you, but from now on no more fighting, okay? Hurting others is a very naughty thing to do, even if you think they deserve it.”

“Meow,” I replied nihilistically.

luigi the lion cat is waiting for Santa Clause

The man put down his bag and reached in. He took out a few boxes of his own and added them to the pile the humans had left. He walked over to the intruder’s bag and pulled out the items that had been taken, returning them to their spots as well.

He reached into his pocket and pulled out another box. “This one is just for you,” the man said with a smile as he placed it in front of me. It smelled heavenly. I closed my eyes and took the scent in. A parade of fishiness moved through my nostrils, and I could almost taste the sea. The rumble of my throat filled the room with purrs of satisfaction.

I opened my eyes, ready to express my gratitude, but the man was gone! I looked around and saw that the thief was gone too, and all traces of either had left with them. The new gifts alone remained as evidence of the night’s ordeal.

It had to be him. Santa was real after all, and he did not disappoint. Incredible. Maybe this whole, “being nice” thing isn’t such a bad idea after all.

luigi the lion cat loves his tuna steak

I knew that the humans would wake up soon and enjoy their presents, but until then I would be alone. I relaxed for the first time since I’d heard the door. Turning toward the box meant for me, I licked my lips. My claws slashed through the cardboard with ease and before my mind could register what was before me, my mouth thrust forward, biting off chunks and swallowing just fast enough to make room for more. So salty, so savory, so delicious! It was the best Tuna Steak I’d ever had.

My mouth still half full, I felt my eyes shutting and my muscles weakening. Sleep had found me. I dreamed of fish and birds and paradise, and it was purrrrrrrrrrrrrrrfect.

The End

Written by Cat Uncle

Illustrated by Cat Mom