There have been a few times when I have thought—not wistfully, mind you—that this time of year is when it would be nice to have a couple more kids. Not because I feel some deep need to have more of me out there in the world, but because kids and Christmas just go together. Little kids get excited about Christmas, and their excitement is more than half the fun, so…well, a couple more kids just this time of year would be kind of cool. Especially if they were perpetually 8 or 9; young enough to still be over the top with expectation, but old enough to not be jerks about it. And especially if then I could stuff them back into the See You Next December closet…

It would be a little creepy to rent two or three for the season… I think.

This year, however, we have Buddah. While Max tends to get a little perkier around Christmas, mostly because there’s a tree and a tree is obviously intended for his chewing and whacking pleasure, Buddah is like having a 4 year old hopped up on caffeine and crack. And if I didn’t know any better, I’d swear he not only knew on Saturday night that Christmas was the next day, but that Santa was going to bring him toys.

Saturday afternoon found Buddah on a holy tear through the house; from the family room I could hear him thundering up and down the upstairs hallway, then down the stairs, through the living room, into the dining room and then the kitchen, where he then leaped over the counter, over my head into the living room, where he dove behind the Christmas tree…only to do it again.

Saturday night we sat downstairs and listened to what could have been elephants stomping above our heads.

And then Christmas morning…from my nice warm bed I heard the sound of ten pounds of excited kitty pounding down the hall; he launched himself against the door, threw it open, and sailed onto my legs. He looked at me like “Come on! There’s PRESENTS down there!” and then took off again.

Make no mistake, Max was totally into finding out what was in their stocking, and he spent a good part of the morning trying to stuff his head into their big box of treats, but Buddah…Buddah celebrated. He grabbed a new toy and ran around like his butt was on fire, and when he realized there were other things to do, he bolted into the family room to chase wadded up wrapping paper as we tossed it across the room into a box. He played with his toys, he reveled in his little kitty glee, and then dropped like a rock into a deep, deep sleep.

Like your average four year old on Christmas morning.

For sheer entertainment value, Buddah is as good as having another kid. Maybe better, since he never needed diapers, he eats what you put in front of him without whining, and he doesn’t talk back.

Maybe I don’t need more kids. Maybe I just need more cats…

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