This poem was penned by our photographer, Philip! A multi-talented man, he is!

A Visit from St. Tabbycat

(With apologies to Clement D. Moore)

‘Twas the night before Christmas

And all through the Haven

Each kitty was harbouring

Strong Christmas cravings.

Though no stockings were hung

On the mantle with care,

Each puss knew St. Tabbycat

Soon would be there.

Libra was lounging,

A-snooze in her bed,

While visions of liver snacks

Danced in her head.

 

And Morris on this footstool

And Nobu out back,

Were both mulling over

A late evening snack,

 

When up in the air

There arose a strange static,

As if rodents were scurrying

‘Round in the attic.

But Morris just looked out

The window and yawned

At the pile of chestnuts

Unraked on the lawn.

 

The puddles of rain

In the still parking lot,

Were now so commonplace

They weren’t given a thought.

But then he could see,

Flying houses to houses,

A cat in a sleigh

Pulled by six little mouses.

 

So Morris then banished all

Thoughts to be crabby,

For he knew in a flash

That this must be St. Tabby!

They closed on the house

At an alarming rate

And Morris could feel

His old heart palpitate.

“Now Itchy, Now Twitchy,

Now Whisker and Flicker;

Hey Tremble, Hey Bitey,

You’ve got to fly quicker!

Fly us over the house

And with none of your tricks;

Do not land on the roof

Or there’ll be leaks to fix.”

Like dry leaves that

Quickly fill up the gutters,

These were the words

He heard Tabbycat mutter.

So over the house

To the concrete they flew,

With the sleigh in behind…

And St. Tabbycat too.

And then after some scratching,

Some moments of slack,

Through the back door

St. Tabbycat came with his sack.

He was dressed all in fur,

(Duh! Most pussycats are.)

But lo! On his forehead,

There blazed a white star.

His eyes were gold-amber,

His tail a plume;

His whiskers, how droopy!

And his purr filled the room.

His sharp-pointed ears

Were all burnished with frost

And Morris thought, “Flying at

Night bears a cost…”

He was chubby, not plump;

He’d have made a good suitor,

For one look at his jowls

Said this Saint ain’t been neutered!

A slow blink of both eyes

And a smile that was deep

Soon told Morris that he

Could return safely to sleep.

He made not a sound;

Moved with fine feline stealth

And left all the cats presents,

A mountain of wealth!

And then giving his tail

An eloquent flick,

He zoomed out the laundry

Room door - double quick.

He leaped to his sleigh,

To his mouses he beckoned,

And then, Flash! They were gone

To the north, Morris reckoned.

And then Morris heard words

Somewhere deep in his head:

“Purry Christmas to cats;

May you all soon be fed!”

              

- Philip Tingey

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