A/N: This story is dedicated to my dear friend, Krissy-Lids. Merry Christmas! This is the surprise I was telling you about. Sorry your picture's going to be late.
Rumpelteazer cocked her head curiously as a large tree was brought into her home. What was wrong with her humans? Lately, they had been doing all kinds of odd things; singing songs, hanging up socks, and now bringing a tree into the house. Teazer shook her head and crept out of the room.
"Mungojerrie!" she yelled as she walked up the stairs. The humans were too distracted with the tree to notice her cries. "Where are you Mungo?"
"In here Teaz!" a muffled voice yelled back. She followed it into the master bedroom, where Mungo was lapping up water out of their dish. "Why were you screaming? You're going to get those humans angry at us again," Mungojerrie scolded, licking the rest of the water off of his lips.
"Not tonight, Mungo. They're too distracted to notice."
"Why?" he asked, looking up from grooming his paw.
"Come see for yourself," she told him, motioning for him to follow her. They walked back to the staircase and poked their heads through the banister bars. Mungo's eyes bulged.
"Whoa! Look at that!" he exclaimed, gazing down into the formal living room where the tree was in the process of being set up.
"I know! Why are they bringing a tree into the house?"
"No, not that Teaz. Who cares about a tree? We see those every day," he pointed out.
"Not in the house, Mungo!" Teazer cried, annoyed at how dense he was being. She sighed angrily before continuing. "If you're not amazed by the tree, what are you looking at?"
"That box!" Mungojerrie pointed his paw at a brown box near the tree. "Look at all those shiny things!" Rumpelteazer's eyes quickly followed his paw.
"Ooh, Mungo! I want one. Can we get one?" she pleaded.
"You know we can Teaz," he answered, a mischievous grin spreading across his face. "We always get what we want." Teazer returned the grin.
"Let's go!" The two silently padded down the stairs and around the corner so they could see the multi-colored balls in the box better. They watched as the male human took a purple ball out and hung it on one of the branches on the tree. The other four humans applauded, before hanging a ball themselves.
"We better hurry Teaz. They're going to hang them all up before we can get one," Mungo said, creeping forward.
"Why are they putting them on the tree in the first place though?" The family looked up, having heard Teazer's confused meowing.
"No! You cats are not going to ruin Christmas for us. You already ruined Thanksgiving when you played in the mashed potatoes," the man said, picking up the box of ornaments Mungojerrie had been heading towards.
"Yeah! Leave Christmas alone," the youngest child, Amber, told them, quickly joining in with her daddy. Teazer stepped forward and came to stand next to Mungo. The two sat down together. They turned their heads to the woman, using "kitten eyes," a trick they had learned worked on most everything bigger or older than them. They knew how to get what they wanted.
"Oh, Peter, you Grinch," the woman said. The trick was obviously working its magic on her. "I'm sure the cats just want to celebrate Christmas with us." She reached into the box and pulled out one of the red balls. "Here," she said, tossing it onto the floor. "Have fun." Mungojerrie batted it out of the room, closely followed by Rumpelteazer. After spending quite some time following the shiny ball around the house, Teazer stopped.
"Mungo?" she asked, deciding to stop thinking about it herself and just ask him what had been bothering her. When he turned to face her, she continued. "What's Christmas?" Mungojerrie seemed to consider this question.
"I don't know Teaz. I like it though! This is by far the best thing we've ever gotten, and we didn't even have to steal it!" Mungo told her, hitting the ball again.
"I know Mungo. But why did we get it? Why are there so many lights? Its so confusing!" Teazer exclaimed in exasperation.
"Who cares? Let's go play," Mungo suggested.
"Fine Jerrie. But I care. And I will find this all out. Just later," she added as the ball once again caught her attention.
Later that evening, Mungo and Teazer were curled up in their human's laps, sitting in front of the fire. The room seemed much smaller with the large tree in it, but also much brighter. The way the lights on the tree and the fire's glow hit the ornaments made the room seem to sparkle.
Rumpelteazer sighed contentedly. Even if she didn't learn what Christmas was, she enjoyed it. Everything was so pretty, none of the humans were fighting, and the smells that filled the airs at all times were wonderful. She sniffed the air, enjoying the aromas that filled her nose; some kind of meat and a few vegetables.Maybe Mungo and I can get some of that, she thought to herself. Before she could catch Mungo's attention to ask him, the male human began to speak.
"Amber, Ashley, Brandon?" The three human kits turned their faces towards him. "Do you remember when we told last year about Christmas traditions?" Ashley and Brandon nodded. Amber had no response, but she was only six and wasn't expected to. "Okay, good. Brandon, why do we put up lights?"
"To represent the star over the manger in Bethlehem," he answered after thinking for a moment.
"Christmas trees are put up because when Saint Boniface went to Germany to convert them to Christianity, he chopped down the elm tree they were worshipping, and out of the stump grew a fir tree. He took it as a sign of Christianity from God," Ashley said quickly, always having to be better than her slightly younger brother.
"I know one!" Amber exclaimed excitedly. "Presents! Cause the three guys brought presents to Baby Jesus, the Son of God, on his birthday, which is Christmas!"
"That's right Amber." The mother pushed Mungojerrie out of her lap and sat Amber there instead. Mungo glared at her momentarily before turning and walking out of the room, his orange-striped tail held up haughtily. Rumpelteazer quickly followed, figuring she could convince Mungo to get some food with her now.
"Jerrie!" she called out, trotting after him.
"Yeah?" he called back, halfway up the stairs already.
"Wait!" He stopped and sat down on one of the steps until she caught up. "Do you smell that?"
"Want to get some with me?" she asked, a grin on her face. Mungojerrie looked at her.
"Teaz, weren't you listening back there?"
"Yes, I was. Thank goodness too. I'm not confused anymore," she responded.
"But were you really listening?" Mungo continued walking up the stairs.
"Uh, I thought so," she told him, walking next to him.
"We can't steal from them now. At least not for awhile. They mentioned God. He's like the Everlasting Cat in human form," Mungo explained.
"Oh, I see. It'd be like stealing from the Everlasting Cat himself, wouldn't it?" Mungojerrie nodded.
"I think it would be, Rumpelteazer"
"Well, we can't do that, now can we?" Both of them shook their heads in unison. Mungo helped Teazer onto the grown human's bed and curled around her small form. They heard the family laugh merrily downstairs and instinctively drew closer together.
"Look Teaz," Mungo said, nuzzling her head. He pointed out the window. "Snow." Teazer smiled at him. The gentle sounds and smells in the house were making her sleepy now.
"Good night Mungojerrie. Merry Christmas," she whispered.
"Merry Christmas Teaz."
A/N: And merry Christmas to you readers too. Or happy Hanukkah or Kwanzaa. It didn't quite turn out the way I had originally wanted, but I suppose it's ok, for being written in record time. Well, I hope you all enjoyed this somewhat, especially you Krissy. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night! Or day, depending on when you read this.