The Night Before Catmas

night-before-catmas

Clement Clarke Moore’s poem The Night Before Christmas has long been a favorite of mine. There are a number of cat versions of the poem out there, but none better than the one dictated to Harry Shubin by the Ghost of Catmas Future on a dark winter night.

T’was the night after the adoption event,
And all through the store,
Not a creature was stirring, not even a stray cricket on the floor
The Adoption Counselors were all snug in their beds
Thinking of ways to move adoptions ahead.

The cage cards were hung on the enclosures with care,
Each telling the story of the cats who were there.
Poor Fluffy, poor Mittens, Whiskers and Sprite
Abandoned and alone on this cold Post-Adoption night.

Each cat was nestled in a blanket, and thought twice,
I wasn’t naughty, I really was nice.
Why was I left in a shelter,
Almost about to pay the price.

When out in the store, there arose such a clatter,
All the kitties stood, stretched, took a lap of water,
nibbled some food, groomed themselves for a moment,
And looked to see what was the matter.

When what to their wondering eyes should appear,
But an old, tired-looking volunteer.
She was dressed in cat earrings, cat shoes covered her toes,
Her T-shirt full of claw holes, her hair the color of snow.

There was fur on her clothing,
A cat toy behind her ear,
She had catnip in her pockets,
On her sleeve, an unidentified smear.

“Look at you kitties, stuck here for the night!
This will not do, this is not right!
Come Scruffy, Come Midnight, come with me all,
I’m taking you home, we’ll have a ball!”

“We’ll play with felt mousies,
We’ll eat lots of treats,
I’ll brush you and comb you,
And nibble on your cute little feets!”

She gathered some carriers, and began to pack them all,
When a little grey kitten, who was rounder than tall,
Asked her a question, with a mew quite small:

“Are you our adopter, are you taking us home?
Will you love us forever, and ever, when we’re combed?”
The volunteer sat down, in her eyes there was sadness,
But then, in a twinkle, the kittens saw gladness!

“No! I’m just your foster, though I’m taking you home,
It’s only for the holidays, where you will roam,
Free of these cages, it will be fun.
And after the weekend, when we’re all done,

Back to the store, we will be on our way,
But this time, with you I will stay.
I’ll tell the adopters that once in their home,
You’ll be fabulous cats, when you’re all grown,

For you’re with our rescue now, you’ll always be safe
You’ll find love, you’ll have a great place,
You’ll always be cared for, even if things go wrong,
But they won’t, because our counselors are strong.

They’ve been well trained in interviewing,
They know what to do,
To find perfect forever homes,
For each one of you.”

So with her they went,
Out to her car,
Though it was cold,
It didn’t seem far.

And then each one found a home
That was good and was right,
And as they left the store, one and all.
They thought they heard the volunteer call

“Merry Catmas to all, and to all a good life!”

© Harry Shubin, All Rights Reserved. Republished with permission.

Harry Shubin is a patent attorney in Northern Virginia who has been active in cat rescue for most of his life. He is currently the adoption coordinator for Feline Foundation of Greater Washington. He shares his home with eight cats. His wife Julie, daughter Rachel, and son Michael are also involved in cat rescue.

19 Comments on The Night Before Catmas

  1. Lido
    December 24, 2018 at 10:24 pm (4 weeks ago)

    Enchanting! Happy Catmas, all.

    Reply
  2. The Creative Cat
    December 24, 2018 at 3:02 pm (4 weeks ago)

    Thanks for the translation, Harry! Thanks for sharing, Ingrid!

    Reply
  3. Sue Brandes
    December 24, 2018 at 2:14 pm (4 weeks ago)

    Love that poem. Merry Christmas.

    Reply
  4. Debra
    December 24, 2018 at 10:56 am (4 weeks ago)

    Sweet poem !
    And may all homeless cats and kittens find loving homes in 2019.
    Merry Christmas to all !

    Reply
  5. Kat
    December 24, 2018 at 9:13 am (4 weeks ago)

    How darling! never heard that one before…MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL, and praying all animals will find a loving home! God bless the rescuers, fosters, volunteers and all who help all animals in whatever way. Here’s hope and prayers that all animals will be treated fairly, humanely, kindly, and compassionately, without abuse.

    Reply
  6. Janine
    December 24, 2018 at 8:15 am (4 weeks ago)

    Merry Christmas!

    Reply
  7. Nan Faulkner
    December 24, 2018 at 8:05 am (4 weeks ago)

    Beautiful poem! Makes me want to cry. Wish all cats and kittens will find forever loving homes!

    Merry Christmas to all Conscious Cat members! Especially to, Allerga, Ruby and Ingrid!

    Grayson, Milo and Nan

    Reply
  8. Sara wade
    December 26, 2017 at 9:38 pm (1 year ago)

    So sweet.

    Reply
  9. caren gittleman
    December 24, 2017 at 5:32 pm (1 year ago)

    Oh I just LOVE IT!!!!! Merry Christmas to all of you! Kisses to the girls!

    Reply
    • Crystal Stewart
      December 25, 2017 at 3:32 pm (1 year ago)

      Caren I can’t agree with you more and wishes that kitties find forever homes. I wish the same for all animals.

      Reply
  10. Debi
    December 24, 2017 at 4:49 pm (1 year ago)

    May Christmas magic help find warm, loving homes for all the furry sweeties in the world!

    Reply
  11. Marg
    December 24, 2017 at 10:54 am (1 year ago)

    That is such a wonderful poem and I would love to do just the same thing myself. Go to a shelter and collect all the animals and bring them home. Ingrid, you have a very Merry Christmas and the kitties too.

    Reply
  12. Regina
    December 24, 2017 at 9:42 am (1 year ago)

    I got tears in my eyes as I read this with my fuzzbutts snuggled up next to my. They are rescues and I am glad they are here with me. My Christmas wish is for all the shelter animals to find loving forever homes

    Reply
  13. Janine
    December 24, 2017 at 9:07 am (1 year ago)

    This is awesome. But it made me tear up remembering my time volunteering for a rescue and thinking of the ones who didn’t get adopted. I always felt so sorry for them when we would take them back home.

    Reply
  14. Sue Brandes
    December 24, 2017 at 7:58 am (1 year ago)

    Love the poem. Merry Christmas.

    Reply
  15. Summer
    December 24, 2017 at 1:42 am (1 year ago)

    Awww! I love this Catmas poem!

    Reply
    • Purrjamm Cats
      December 24, 2017 at 9:11 am (1 year ago)

      This is such a beautiful version. It brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing this poem. It is so beautifully written with love. I will make sure to share it. Merry Christmas! Purrs

      Reply
      • Crystal Stewart
        December 25, 2017 at 3:34 pm (1 year ago)

        I can’t agree with you more and wishes that kitties find forever homes. I wish the same for all animals. I love this poem

        Reply

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