A Christmas Cat Tale

Gray skies and a lack of snow wasn’t helping my Christmas spirits any. Nor did the probable diagnosis of cancer for my senior cat, Tiger.

A little holiday color could help I thought, as I slid into my walking shoes last Sunday at dusk.

My destination was the pretty tree lined street just past the railroad tracks. I’m new in town, but have already found it’s the kind of neighborhood where multi colored lights twinkle and living room drapes stay open so strollers can admire the decorated trees.

It seems right out of a page from the Norman Rockwell calendar they’ve been giving away at the local hardware store.

I eventually walked past the century old white steepled Episcopal church, then made my way towards an aging little brick building resting next to the crossing signs.

Odd, I thought. It looked like the place had been vacant for years yet it seemed there were furnishings still inside as I peeked through the dirty windows.

I knew it had been a grocery back in the 1920s and most recently an antique shop.

But that was decades ago.

I suddenly felt a breeze and a brush down around my ankles. I looked down to find a cat who started to purr softly. She seemed sweet.

And also friendly.

Yet she took off when I slowly bent down to scratch her ear, scampering towards the church.

There was something odd about her after all.

She looked a bit distressed.

And she was wearing her belly low to the ground.

I tried to follow her, but she’d disappeared.

Maybe she found her way back home.

I hoped so.

This Christmas Eve I made the same walk to attend services at the pretty white steepled church. Though tonight there’s finally a dusting of snow on the ground and flurries are falling.

I call it perfect snow angel weather.

Humming “Silent Night” after the service, I returned to the sidewalk to make my way back home.

I started to walk again near the little brick building, but soon stopped.

Something was moving inside.

Gingerly, I inched my way forward.

Once I reached the big window, I peeked in with the help of the full moon.

And there was the tabby I’d seen days before resting on a small tapestry rug and surrounded by hay from the church’s Christmas crèche.

But this time with eight newborn kittens for company.

I began again to make my way towards my house, crossing the train tracks.

I was worried.

Should I call the police to break in, and help out the new mother?

I looked to the stars for an answer.

But I found it instead stapled to the telephone pole before me.

It was an old and faded flyer for a lost cat.

The same one now in the vacant store window.

When I called the number listed, the woman who answered said their girl had been missing for months and they’d thought she’d been traveling the rails.

And the woman added their family lived right across the street from the little building and had a key, as the owners were currently out of state.

Once home, I checked in again on my own sweet tabby. She’s been doing better the last few days and is eating again.

Her eyes are even sparkling.

I wondered, could it be true that every cat really does have 9 lives?

Before turning in, I took the dogs out for a joyful run and I made a joy filled snow angel.

All the while singing softly, “all is calm, all is bright.”

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