‘Twas the Night Before Christmas (at the Shelter)
Several years ago I worked at a local animal shelter, the Humane Society of Ocean City, New Jersey, a no-kill facility with lots of beautiful cats and dogs waiting patiently for homes (and for those who are not adoptable, living out their lives in safety and with love).
I wrote the following poem for the Newsletter during the holidays (the reference to the “floor” cats indicated the cats who were living in the shelter permanently).
I wish a wonderful holiday season to all, human and non-human alike, and I want to dedicate this poem to every single person who lives their life thinking of all creatures great and small and doing their best to avoid causing them harm. 🙂
Merry Christmas, happy holidays and a blessed and beautiful New Year!
‘Twas the Night Before Christmas
(at the Shelter)
‘Twas the night before Christmas
When all through the shelter
All the creatures were stirring
There was much helter skelter
The kitties were all in a veritable tizzy
including our “floor” cats, especially Izzy
Who made it a point to let all the cats know
That out in the marshes were footprints in the snow
“I saw them from the window,” she told the other felines
“and they look like reindeer hooves,”, so the others made a beeline
To all the different windows, to see for themselves
That indeed there were deer tracks and maybe footprints from elves!
The elves must have come calling, in the quiet of the night
To bring them their blessings in the shimmering moonlight
Santa and reindeer and a sleigh that was filled
The kitties were so excited they could hardly sit still!
Then the dogs started barking at the noise that they heard
“The shelter has some visitors,” they passed along the word
There were sleigh tracks in the yard and the sounds of bells ringing
And even some voices they thought they heard singing
But they couldn’t see Santa’s sleigh and there were no tiny reindeer
If Santa didn’t stop by, then who did they hear?
If Santa never visits, who brings the treats?
Where on Earth do the toys come from?
Who brings the good eats?
There’s got to be an answer, the dogs and cats agree
“If it isn’t Santa and his helpers who can it be?
“We’ve got comfy warm beds and scratching posts galore
How could we ask for anything more?”
When suddenly in a flash, who stands before their wide eyes?
But our sponsors, donors and volunteers have arrived
Every loving person who’s answered the call
To care for our creatures, both the great and the small
You are the true angels, in human form
The real-life St. Nicks, who never would scorn
The cats and the dogs who need a safe home
Making sure no creature is ever alone
So at this special season, an enormous thank you
For all that you give and all that you do
For bringing the spirit of hope, kindness and love
That through your hands, comes down from above
To bless the animals one by one
Never stopping for a moment until the job’s done
The cats and the dogs all heartily agree
“You are the real Santas, that we truly can see!”