The Christmas Cat: A Poem by Zach Polis

The Christmas Cat is not a festive cat.

The Christmas Cat does not care
for the red bauble
you placed on its head.
The Christmas Cat is not your sad
Charlie Brown Christmas tree.

“Rude! Off !”
says the Christmas Cat,
finally pawing
the bauble away.

Bauble, bauble, bauble

The sad bauble rolls,
pathetically festive,
towards the sad corner
of your living room.

“Have you ever examined
your unaddressed feelings
of Good Cheer?”
the Christmas Cat asks,
with a piercing gaze.
“You might want to get that checked out.”

Feeling sentimental,
you ask yourself,
What is the true meaning of Christmas?

The Christmas Cat can answer this.

1) HIGH-STAKES DRAMA
2) EMOTIONAL TUNA GAMES
3) WARM FEELINGS OF COMPLIANCE
TOWARDS YOUR FELINE SUPERIOR
4) STUFF IT, TUNA CHUMP!
You want an iPad for Christmas?
The Christmas Cat wants to see you cry.

Ho, ho, ho,
Meow, meow, meow,
THESE ARE A LIST OF DEMANDS.

1) No tinsel on the bannisters — I’M WALKING HERE.
2) BRING THE DANCING DRIVEWAY LASERS
INSIDE THE HOUSE — NOW — TOTAL CHAOS — MORE LASERS!
3) Forget the gifts.
Leave the boxes, as is,
unwrapped and empty.
The Greatest Surprise
you can receive this Christmas
is not ‘what did Santa get you,’
who cares?
It’s the disconcerting feeling
that comes from asking yourself,
“Where is the Christmas Cat hiding now?”
Fear the Christmas Cat,
who cannot be seen,
but is ever omniscient
from their cardboard box.
4) Your nickname, Tuna Chump, sticks.
5) Tinsel on the end of a stick, please.
I, the Christmas Cat, enjoy the simulation
of chasing mice or Santa’s elves,
without having to hear
their little, tiny screams.
May the odds ever be
in your favour,
jingle bell gremlins.

YOU HAVE UNTIL
CHRISTMAS MORNING
TO COMPLY.

The Christmas Cat prowls
and creeps
up the branches
of the tree.
Christmas ends not in a bang but a —
Nope. Christmas ends in a bang.
There goes the tree.
Goodbye, St. Gabriel!
Your blessings were temporary.
The Christmas Cat goes timber,
and lands among
the shedded evergreen.

This Christmas,
there is no naughty or nice,
just Christmas Cat,
a fur bauble Grinch,
perfect in form and conception.
The Christmas Cat,
in its turtleneck, snowman onesie,
is a distortion reality field.
Watch as all of Christmas
bends to the Christmas Cat’s will.

We are mere players,
plastic figurines,
slushing about
a picturesque town square
inside a teeny-tiny glass globe,
rattling between the claws
of a Christmas Cat.
“Don’t get sentimental now,”
the Christmas Cat advises.
“This will not bring back your tree.”

Bauble, bauble, bauble…

Your existential crisis snowballs.
You ask yourself,
What is the true meaning of
the Christmas Cat?

We don’t cross-examine
sociopaths here.
It’s your cat.
Good luck with that.

On Christmas Eve,
you will place a desperate call out,
shouting to the snowy sky,

“Hello! I’d like to report a serious crime.
My cat is stealing Christmas. Help!”

You wait.

A festive, cruel wind blows.

No soaring sleigh appears.
No jingle on high
comes to save you.
On Christmas Eve,
no one can hear you scream.

“CHRISTMAS CAT!”

The Christmas Cat watches you
from the warm glow of the window.
“Are you done now?”

You are done.

It’s getting cold.
It’s best to return inside.
You are another cookie cutter
lost soul, who loves their cat endlessly,
a gingerbread person,
cracked down the middle.
Look how easily you crumble
before the Christmas Cat.

Bauble, bauble, bauble…

Twas’ the night before Christmas,
Mariah Carey rang all through the house,
not a creature was stirring,
not even —
“I have the mouse,”
says the Christmas Cat.
As you dangle
tinsel from a stick,
you come to know,
this is the true meaning
of Christmas…
It was Christmas Cat, after all.


Zach Polis is a screenwriter, playwright, and former poet laureate. He studied screenwriting at NYU Tisch School of the Arts, as well as Scriptwriting for Film and Television at the National Film and Television School. Zach graduated from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Drama and Creative Writing (with Distinction). Zach’s poems have been featured on Vogue Italia’s PhotoVogue, and Teen Vogue describes his style as brilliant. Zach has performed in New York City, as well as on CBC Radio. Check out this list of some of his favourite adaptations that you can borrow from EPL. Learn more about Zach by visting his website.

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