Goldfish looking pretty good

One minute I was having the best of dreams and the next, my eyelids dragged themselves up off my eyeballs to reveal the night—black as the inside of a cow.
I looked at the clock. It was 2:30 a.m. The soft jingle of a Christmas bell rolling across the floor pulled my carcass to a sitting position.
I listened. The bell rolled along, bumping into static objects, where it stopped jingling until a kitten paw knocked it back across the floor. I flat-stared the darkness.
When nothing is stirring, not even a mouse, how does a cat manage to find things capable of making noise?
Nonetheless, I had a mercenary kitten with nighttime vision terrorizing the Christmas decorations on the inaugural evening of my holiday decor.
Yet there I sat slack jaw—a trail of dream drool leaking from my bottom lip. I just couldn’t pull the rest of my carcass out from under the warm flannel sheets to investigate the festive mayhem.
Instead, I took the plunge and fell back upon my memory foam pillow and bed like the girl in the 1970s’ “Nestea” ice tea commercial, and drowned again into my dream world.
In the few precious minutes before my 5 a.m. alarm, the mercenary of the night pounced upon me—a yet unmoving entity—to knead upon my skull. As my forehead got a facelift, I pondered about the things I wanted to do today, like “not move.”
I pried my carcass from my cozy nest and dragged it to the kitchen for my routine morning glass of water and contact lens insert.
No sooner had I drank the vital liquid regenerate, and reconnected my eyes to the world around me, did I soak up the scene spilling into my waking brain.
Meanwhile, the one in trouble purred and rubbed along my pajama bottoms in a show of pleasure at my morning awakening—seemingly happy to show me the Christmas catastrophe.
I would have rather found three dead mice presented in a row on the kitchen floor with their heads missing than what I did find.
Instead, copious beheaded buds of holly berries, ripped from the vines of décor I had placed most creatively on my bookcases and shelving, lay in twisted piles on the kitchen and living room floors.
Handfuls of Santa’s wee elves, uprooted from their holiday posts, were prone on their backs under the kitchen table—legs and arms askew in defense of cat mania.
And how did the kitten make it to the ceiling? Sprigs of mistletoe from up there, dangled suspiciously, and Christmas lights from windows drooped in near spills of disaster.
The little cat sat down its haunches, fluffy black and white-chested with a big furry tail wrapped ’round the front of its body like a photo from a Christmas card.
I just couldn’t help smiling at its cuteness amid my firm and pointed finger reprimand. “Next time I’m getting a goldfish.”
Then a mouse ran across the floor and up the Christmas tree.
“Oh no!”