Kitten. small gray tabby not declawed. Should have a tiny nick out of one ear to signify his rough life out on the streets of Big City, USA
Kitty. 40 year old stay at home mom who could have been anything she wanted to be, but chose to be a mother to her brood of three children. Kitty spends her days playing solitaire which, as the saying goes, is a lonely man’s game.
Adolph. 49 year old man. He has a lot of anger built up inside him from years of being made fun of due to his unfortunate name. His last name happens to be Bittler. Spends his days working at a good paying but unrewarding desk job as a middle manager for an outbuilding fabricator. He has voted in every election but his candidates have literally never won.
Cockroach 1. For some reason, this cockroach is “wearing” a very tiny bowler hat that is fit perfectly upon his head.
Cockroach 2. This cockroach is NOT wearing a hat of any sort. He frequently makes obscene jokes which only himself, or a deranged fry cook, would laugh at. He does this to hide his envy of a hat which he does not have.
A Christmas Tree.The tree should be about seven feet tall. The angel at the top happens to look down upon everyone in the room with presumed scorn. This is not a sentient tree but should be considered a character nonetheless. HE IS NOT NAKED.
SETTING: The living room with adjoining kitchen of an older house. Peeling wallpaper in one corner, well out of Kitty’s reach, should indicate multiple paint jobs which mirror the many times she has tried to redecorate her life. A Christmas tree is fully and tastefully decorated in the opposite corner. The angel scowls from atop the tree.
Enter KITTY carrying a small box of ornaments.
KITTY: Oh, I cannot be-lieve I almost forgot to put Aunt Edna’s ornaments on the tree this year. Johnny and Pat would have reminded me. It’s too bad they’ve gone off to college. Petey wouldn’t have said a thing, you know, but he’s dead now anyway so it doesn’t really matter.
She hangs one ornament on a quivering branch and then, like the branch, she starts to quiver herself.
KITTY: It’s so lonely here!! So very lonely! Adolph will be home from work any minute now. But then it’ll just get lonelier.
Enter ADOLPH from off stage with the sound of a heavy closing door. He is carrying a box. He doesn’t announce his presence at all. Upon hearing the door, Kitty looks at the box of ornaments she is holding and drops the box to the floor. The ornaments break.
ADOLPH: I found this at work and thought you might like it.
KITTY: Oh, how thoughtful! She opens the lid and pulls out a small kitten. It’s a cat.
ADOLPH. A kitten. And given the time of year, you might say it’s a Christmas Kitten.
KITTY: But you hate cats.
ADOLPH. But you love cats.
KITTY: Actually, I don’t. I mean, they’re okay and everything, but we don’t have a litter box or anything.
ADOLPH: It can shit in the house plants.
KITTY: That isn’t a selling point, Adolph.
ADOLPH: It is for the plants.
KITTY: That doesn’t make sense.
KITTEN: Meow. Mrow. Meow. KITTEN jumps down from Kitty’s arms and begins to explore the room. It goes over toward a house plant which has been previously sprayed with tuna fish oil. From behind the houseplant emerge the two COCKROACHES.
COCKROACH 1: Hey look at this! The Bittlers have a new little friend in the family. COCKROACH 1 duffs his bowler hat in the direction of KITTEN. KITTEN promptly attacks and eats Cockroach 1 while the other cockroach looks on in horror.
COCKROACH 2: With friends like that, who needs enemies? The bowler hat, knocked off the head of his friend by the kitten’s attack, floats to the floor and lands in front of him. He picks up the bowler hat, puts it on his head only to find out that it is the wrong size. Contrary to popular opinion, not all cockroaches wear the same size hat. This one fit his friend well, but is comically too large for him.
KITTEN: Mrrph. He swats at Cockroach 2, knocking the hat off his head. Kitten then precedes to murder the remaining cockroach with glee.
ADOLPH: Do you want the cat or not, Kitty?
KITTY: Does it have a name?
ADOLPH: Since I found him in a manger, I think we should name him Jesus Christ.
KITTY: There was a manger at work?
ADOLPH: I should hope so! At Bethlehem Barns, Stables and Mangers, it would be a pretty sorry thing if we were all out of mangers!
KITTEN: Meow. Meow.
KITTY: Jesus Christ, that’s a talkative cat!
KITTEN: Recognizing his name, the kitten looks at KITTY BITTLER and rubs against her leg. If necessary, Kitty’s leg should also be sprayed with tuna fish oil to act as a cat attractant in the event the kitten is not a professional animal actor. Meow!
ADOLPH: I guess we’ll need to have his nuts cut off at some point.
KITTY: Wouldn’t it be simpler, sweetie, if we just didn’t have a cat? I mean, this is certainly going to complicate things a little.
ADOLPH: Well, merry Christmas Kitty. And merry Christmas to you too, Jesus Christ, you little furry shit.
Ron Fields is a writer and English professor originally from Tennessee. His stuff has appeared in Thundersandwich, Small Spiral Notebook, the Monocle of Higher Education, and the Akros Review.