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Chi's Christmas Card

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A Cat Realizes Something Is Up

 

Chi woke up from a terrific nap to the sound of something rustling. What was it? Was it a shopping bag? Shopping bags are amazing. She loved shopping bags. Chi decided this needed a closer look!

Chi went through the important stretches, front leg, other front leg, back leg, other back leg, back, and finally everything at once to be sure. Once that was settled, she skittered off to find the noise.

The noise was Mom! She was sitting at the table with bright crinkly paper and... and... long thin dangly... Chi's thoughts shorted out and she leapt up at the edge of the table to grab the ribbon.

The ribbon, not being attached to anything, went down with Chi. Chi landed on her butt, ribbon in claw, and beamed.

"Hey!" said Mom in a whisper, reaching to save her ribbon. "That's not for Chi, that's for Dad and Yohei's gifts!"

Chi mewed happily at Mom, grabbed the ribbon in her mouth, and fled. It was chase time!

Mom quickly grabbed the end of the ribbon before it could disappear under the couch. Chi stopped abruptly as the ribbon ran out, and fell on her face.

"Mrrrrr..." Chi said, then tugged on it.

"Come on!" mewed Chi to the ribbon. "We gotta hide!"

She chewed on the end as Mom pulled the ribbon back.

Chew the ribbon chew chew. Follow the ribbon follow follow.

Mom pulled it up out of Chi's reach, and sighed at the tattered end. "Chi, that was my last ribbon."

Chi smiled happily at the noises Mom was making. She mewed to join in. Mom held her finger up to her lips. "Shh. Yohei's sleeping."

Mom looked at the kitten-chewed ribbon and shrugged. "Maybe Dad won't notice," and tied it around the already wrapped package. The ribbon was just long enough to go around the package, with the chewed bit sticking straight out.

Chi trotted off, walked into the path of a sunbeam, fell over, and went to sleep.


A Cat Discovers Something Tasty

Chi patted her paws on the glass door to be let inside. It was cold and it was time to get food and nap somewhere warm. She'd seen Blackie and played chase with Cocchi. Lots of chase. She had won, she was pretty sure.

"Chi!" said Dad, getting up to open the door. "Welcome home. Did you have fun?"

Chi looked up blankly and mewed. He liked to make noises at her, she'd noticed.

Chi came inside, her tail held high. Dad pointed his phone at her and snapped a photo.

"Hi, Chi!" he said to get her to look up for another photo. Chi mewed back. Dad sure liked to point that rectangle at Chi!

Chi smelled something new. She turned her head back and forth trying to figure out where it was coming from.

It was coming from the box on the table!

Chi went into hunting mode, just like Blackie had been teaching her. Perfect practice. She began crawling along the floor as stealthily as she could, ignoring the clicking of Dad's phone as he took more photos of her.

She was nearly there! The table was right there! Just a quick hop up and--

She was snatched up! Yohei snuggled her to his chest. "You're back, Chi!"

Chi mewed and waved her paws at the table. She could see now there was a white box sitting on it. The smell was coming from the box. She had to know!

"Let's play, Chi!" said Yohei, setting her down.

Chi was instantly distracted, hiding while Yohei seeked.

She was peeking around from her hiding spot behind the curtains when she got another whiff of the box. Oh, right! Chi had a mission!

No time for stealth, she hopped-ran to the table, crouched, and went UP. She landed front paws first on the table and wiggled the rest of the way up.

She sniffed the box. Definitely where the smell was coming from.

She batted at the box. There was a hole! She pulled at the hole and the side fell open. Inside was a white... thing, with red things on top. It smelled lovely.

"Chi!" called Yohei from the other room. "Where are you, Chi!"

Chi reached out with a paw to touch the white stuff. Her paw sunk in easily. She pulled it back and licked it. AMAZING.

So she put both paws in.

Yohei walked into the room and Chi remembered it was hiding time! She bolted from the table to hide by the bookcase.

Yohei looked at the table, with the kitten-paw marked Christmas cake, and the little trail of white kitten footprints on the table and floor.

"Mom!" he called. "Chi was playing with the cake!"

Chi was in her hiding place, all gleeful she hadn't been found AND she had paws to lick. So good. So good.

Dad and Mom sighed at the cake.

"We can scrape it off," said Dad.

"Have you noticed we're getting more easygoing about what we eat since we got a pet?" said Mom.

A Cat Gets A Treat

 

"I'm home!" called Dad as he walked in carrying dinner.

Yohei ran happily up to Dad, but Chi was focused on the smell of dinner. That smell was amazing. Even more than the other great smell. She ran up to Dad too, rubbing against his legs.

Dad laughed and bent down to pet Chi's head, transferring the bag of food to the other hand first. "Hello, Chi! I got something you'd like here. Fried chicken!"

Chi liked the sound of that and purred.

Chi had spent a good five minutes attacking the snowflakes earlier before getting bored and cold, coming inside to snuggle in Yohei's lap.

Dad put the food containers on the table Mom had set up, the bright KFC logo emblazoned on them.

"Chi gets some, right?" said Yohei as he sat.

"Of course," said Mom. "Chi gets a Christmas dinner too." She pulled a strip of chicken off her portion and set it down for Chi.

Ecstasy. Chi devoured the bit of fried chicken and walked around the table mewing, in case more was coming. More. She needed more!

More!

"I think Chi liked it," said Dad. Chi had been reduced to rolling on the floor mewling her desire for more chicken.

"We made a monster," said Mom.

Chi was in utter sadness. There was SO MUCH chicken and Chi had none! Chi was starving! Chi would never have food again!

Chi circled the table, mewling and sitting by each member of the household, looking up enticingly.

First at Mom she sat, and rested a little paw on Mom's arm.

"How sweet!" said Mom, wiping off her fingers before reaching down to pet Chi. Chi sniffed her fingers and tried to lick off the remaining traces of chicken. After some more petting from Mom, Chi realized she wasn't going to get any chicken, so she moved on to Dad.

"Hey there, Chi," said Dad smiling down at her. Chi smiled and waved her paws in the air. Yes, DAD would give Chi food.

Dad turned back to talking with Mom and Yohei.

Chi sat and stared at Dad's turned away face. Could this be happening? To Chi? Didn't they see how hungry Chi was?

Chi had one last hope. Yohei.

But hope also meant the potential for failure. Could Chi bear it? She slumped over to Yohei and lay by his leg, sighing sadly. No one loved Chi. Chi was never going to get more chicken. She was a picture of total kitten despair. She was being denied wonderful chicken while they all ate it like they didn't care about Chi.

She could smell it.

Delicious chicken.

Chi hopped up to pat at Yohei's leg, mewing. She wanted chicken! Pat at the leg pat pat. Mew at Yohei!

"Can I give Chi some of mine?" asked Yohei. Chi's mews got louder.

"You can," said Dad. "You'll like that, won't you, Chi?"

"Not the skin," cautioned Mom. "That's not good for kittens."

Yohei nodded and pulled off a thin bit of chicken and set it down for Chi.

Chi's head shot up. Could it be? Could they have given her more chicken? Yes! Yes they had! They did love her!

She devoured it in two bites and looked up expectantly.

Dad got up to put actual cat food in her dish. "Come on, Chi, you've had enough of our dinner."

Chi mewed and followed him to the dish. Was he going to give her more chicken? She wanted more chicken.

Dad poured out some wet food into her dish. "There! You even get chicken."

Chi looked up at him. This was not the delicious fried chicken from before.

Dad looked down at her. Dad pointed at the food dish.

Chi narrowed her eyes and mewed. Dad was trying to deny her the chicken.

Dad pointed again.

Chi got a whiff of her food. Wait, that WAS chicken. Wet food! Delicious! She raced across the floor, little legs skittering and settled down to eat that.

"I think Chi's got a lot going on," said Dad as he sat back down for his Christmas dinner.


A Cat Gets A Gift

After dinner, the Yamadas exchanged gifts. Yohei had made both his parents cards with their portraits drawn on them in crayon. The cards were duly displayed on the bookshelf, and Yohei received his gift: A box of new blocks.

"Look, Chi!" said Yohei, crouching down to show her the newly unwrapped box. "We can build bigger buildings! "

Chi looked at him. Chi tilted her head.

Yohei sat down and started pulling out the brightly coloured blocks.

That's when Chi saw it.

It was shiny. It was crinkly.

It was wrapping paper.

Chi hopped over Yohei's leg and attacked the paper.

The noise it made! The texture! She rolled around and battled with it. Yes!

Dad and Mom were exchanging their gifts. Dad had gotten mom a new book and Mom had gotten him a-- before Dad opened it, he looked at the wrapping and noticed the frayed end of the ribbon tying it closed. He looked at Mom questioningly.

"Chi helped," she said.

Dad laughed and opened it, revealing a snorkel. He kissed Mom on the cheek. "Thank you! I can't wait to use it."

Chi was still rolling around in the paper as Dad walked over to her and dangled the ribbon from his gift over her head. "Look, Chi!"

Chi's head shot up. The toy was back. It wiggled enticingly in the air. She flailed around, batting at it with her paws. But it stayed just tantalizingly out of reach. She mewed at it. "Come down!" she said.

Yohei picked up Chi. "Chi, I got you a gift!"

Chi looked up wonderingly at Yohei and meowed. Didn't Yohei realize Chi was in important playtime with the ribbon?

Yohei set her down, then held out a small fabric mouse.

Chi sniffed it, then touched it with her paw.

Then she ran over and started attacking the wrapping paper. It made such great noises when she hit it with her paw!

"Chi only needs simple things, doesn't she," said Dad.

Chi mewed and tunnelled beneath the paper.

"Looks like it," said Mom.

Epilogue:

The next day Dad kneaded the mouse to activate the catnip and Chi discovered a whole new world.