A Christmas Wish
“No!” Mittens thought at the tiny creature buzzing in front of her. “You will NOT do that. I will not allow it.” The thing flying about in front of her had long brown hair that was somehow held in place against gravity and inertia, but the green eyed young cat couldn’t be bothered with thinking about how she managed that trick. The little creature wore a green dress that fit her tightly and then flared out to a gauzy skirt of pale red and green. Mittens knew that it had come from one of the balls on the strange tree in the corner of her main room.
For some unfathomable reason her slaves had brought the tree in that morning and set it up. The littlest one, whom the others referred to mostly as “Baby” or “Cutie” squealed and giggled and had a generally riotous time, much to the delight of the two large ones. The biggest one, who had a gruff voice and sometimes was rude enough to push Mittens off her throne, smiled a lot as they worked, showing Baby all the shiny things he pulled from a box. Mittens had remained aloof to the excitement; such things were beneath her station, so she curled up in the middle of the couch while the big ones were not using it and slept. Well, she mostly slept. One inquisitive green eye would occasionally peep open to follow their progress before closing again.
That was when she saw Clarabelle for the first time. When the soft voiced one, the one that Baby referred to as Mommy, pulled an round shiny thing from the box, the tiny creature was clinging to it and screaming fit to wake the dead. Mittens wondered why Mommy didn’t seem to hear it or even see it. “Oh well,” he mused, closing her eyes again, “Mommy must be blind and deaf if she can’t hear that caterwauling.” Human slaves were mostly useful and sometimes cuddly, but they weren’t too bright. There was a whole world right in front of their eyes to which they seemed completely oblivious.
She followed with her acute hearing as Mommy told Baby about the round, red, shiny ball that she hung on the tree, explaining how her grandmother had said that it was an enchanted ornament, and that if a little girl held it just so and stared into her reflection and made a wish, that a Pixie would come the night before Christmas and grant her wish. Baby had listened with wide eyes, and all afternoon had sat in the floor staring at the little glass ball. Mittens yawned. That was a old story. Oh, there were indeed Pixies, but they didn’t grant wishes. They weren’t that nice. Well, sometimes they did grant a wish or two, but the wisher had to be really careful because Pixies could be tricky. You just could not trust them even though they looked all small and sweet and innocent. Plus, most of them hated cats. Mittens had almost growled when she made her wish. A puppy!? Why would she wish for a puppy? Why not a horse, they stayed outside and didn’t infringe on her kingdom like a puppy would. She had heard about those evil creatures with floppy ears, dangerous tails, and bad breath. Oh, no, she would tolerate a dog in her domain. Nope, that would not do.
Much later, when Baby had long been in bed, the gruff one sat on the couch and for once did not object when Mittens snuggled up beside him. He wasn’t very cuddly, but the Mommy one was ignoring her at the moment, so ‘any port in a storm’. They eventually went upstairs and Mittens finally had the room to herself. She rose and stretched regally, making sure every muscle was limber before giving one last toothy yawn, leaping down to the floor and padding across to the tree. Blinking her eyes slowly, she feigned disinterest and began to groom, a few well applied lick to each paw, then her forelegs and shoulders, reserving her tail for last, then sat with front feet together with said tail curled over her toes.
“Get out here! Now!” she commanded, then waited patiently. Soon, there was a faint rustle in the branches and Mittens heard the buzz of tiny wings as the Pixie emerged, flitting nervously back and forth before finally hovering just out of the reach of the cat’s claws. Mittens glared, “Well, what do you intend? Why are you here” it might seem strange to some, but cats have always had the ability to see and communicate with mythical beings. That explains the vacant stares they often wear and the tendency to not focus on the present.
Kicking her feet gently to help maneuver in the air, her gossamer wings fluttering in a light buzz, the small creature spoke in her musical little voice, “I am Clarabelle, and as a Pixie, I must grant a wish each year for the child who discovers me. Baby wished for a puppy.”
Mittens made a tentative swat at her, with claws retracted, then swallowed a smile as she gauged the response time. “Hmm, not terribly quick for a magical being.” Directing a much stronger though to Clarabelle, she replied in an icy tone, “That will not do. This is my castle and these are my humans. Go away.”
Clarabelle laughed, “Oh no, I cannot. I was summoned according to the rules, and must fulfill Baby’s wish. She asked for a puppy and a puppy she will have.” She buzzed happily and continued to flit about the cat’s head. She secretly held cats in high contempt for their arrogance and pride. Mittens blinked slowly, allowing her eyelids to close almost all the way, and the Pixie smiled. Cats were also lazy and could not concentrate on anything for more than a few seconds. “I shall fly upstairs, and as soon as the mother and father are asleep, I will plant the suggestion in their minds and by the time they wake, they will be calling the shelter to find a dog. Sorry, cat, but there is nothing you can … eep!”
The last sound was almost a screech, but was cut off in mid ‘eep’ as Mittens leaped from dead still and swatted, claws and fangs extended. The pixie fled, beating her wings furiously as she darted this way and that to elude the enraged feline. It was to no avail, cornering the creature against the stairs, Mittens snagged her out of the air. Hurrying to the pet door, she dashed outside before spitting out the limp little body under a bush. A few bites and it was all over, nothing left save a few tiny pieces of gossamer wings. “Nasty little creature!” Mittens thought with a shudder. Her grisly task accomplished, she returned inside and groomed carefully, removing the last of the taste from her tongue, then curled up next to the tree and fell asleep purring.
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