Friday, October 28, 2011

Yes, Bryn there really is a Santa Claus

Santa Claus is my favorite fictional holiday character, I always manage to make a good run of Santa.  I can find the perfect little gifts and I manage to keep my kids guessing the whole time.  Santa has a good message, better be good or you won't get your rewards, and I can tie him into the real meaning of Christmas rather well. My 11 and almost 10 year old still whole heartily believe. My 11 year old may believe until she goes off to college. Santa Claus brought her a cat for Christmas a few years ago even though Mom and Dad are allergic to cats. This is how it went down:

We had moved into our lovely base housing on Hickam Air Force Base in Honolulu Hawai'i a few weeks before Christmas. Our household goods arrived on 19 December. We had 5 days to whip the house into shape before Christmas Eve.   To get the kids out of the boxes, and out of darling husband's hair, we walked over to the Christmas parade and festival being held at the water tower on Hickam Air Force base.  The parade was a bit cheesy, but the water tower lights were lit, and there was a band playing Christmas music.  All and all it was a very enjoyable evening, until Santa arrived.  When Santa arrived the children swooped down upon the poor man like a herd of buffalo stampeding in a storm.  My kids were pushed around and steeped upon.  Santa looked as though he would faint.  Mostly the kids wanted their free candy canes, but some of the kids wanted to tell Santa their deepest wishes and desires.  After about 45 minutes of standing and bing pushed around in line, it was finally our turn to have a chat with Santa.  Santa took both my girls on his lap, one on either knee.  Annika went first.  She wanted the Playmobil fairy princess castle.  Ok, mental note to me, find a specialty toy store pronto! Next it was Bryn's turn.  Bryn turned to Santa and asked him for a cat.  Not just any old cat, but an orange and white cat. I shook my head furiously at Santa while my girls looked adoringly at his face.  "I am allergic to cats" I mouthed. Santa paid no attention to my silent plea.  He saw me, he just refused to play along.  Santa looked at Bryn and said in his gruff north pole accent " I would be happy to bring you a cat, darlin'."  I could have lept past the elves and the candy cane and sugar plum barrier to throttle him with my own hands.  Were was I going to get an orange and white cat three days before Christmas and how was I going to get it home before Christmas Eve to keep it a secret? Even more importantly, how was I supposed to convince Darling Husband to let me get a cat when we are both allergic?  A quandary, you can see.

So, what was to happen next was two days of frantically searching all over the island of Oahu for the orange and white cat.  We searched pet shops, shelters, the pet pages of the paper, vet clinics.  No orange and white cat was to be found. 

December 23rd:  One of the shelters on the other side of O'ahu had been brought a litter of orange and white kittens, who were about 12 weeks old.  My sister and I raced to the other side of the island, hoping they would still be there by the time we arrived.  We arrived to see there were only two kittens left.  They were not the cute little fur balls you see on calenders and cute e-mails.  No, theses poor cat were starved, diseased, and the female had a chunk missing from her ear.  I knew this was the cat I needed to adopt.  After shots, medications, and a lot of coaxing to calm down in the car, we managed to get the kitty home.  While my sister ran out for all the supplies, I hid the cat in the bathroom, laying down with her to keep her from meowing and alerting darling daughter number one.   The kids came home, had their dinner, got in to bed with no sign of knowing about the kitty.  All was well and good, for at least the next six and a half hours. 

December 24th, Christmas Eve, 2 am: 

"Mommy, wake up!"I barely register that there is a child next to my bed.  "Mom-mmm-y!  Wake up!  There is a cat in your bathroom!  Santa came a day early!" 

"mmmm....mmrfr? What are you talking about?"  wake up, oh crap, she found that cat!

"Mommy come see!"

"Oh, wow!"

"See Mommy, Santa comes a day early when he bring the pets that people want for Christmas." 

"Really.  Where did you hear that?" 

"My friend Alura, she got a rabbit for Christmas, and it came yesterday.  Santa must have brought the rabbits and hamsters yesterday and all the puppies and kittens today.  Then he will come back tomorrow."

"Great, can we go back to bed now?"

So, the rest is history.