‘Tis the morning after Christmas and not a creature is stirring–well, Pabel’s up seeking for that which he can get into. There lives among us in this old farm-house in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, a mischievous little sprite known as the kitten-cat. Yes, technically Pabel is a big kitty now, but pesters the dickens out of the two older cats–no, they don’t want to wrestle–and he’s still at the emotional level of a kitten. I suppose Pabel would really enjoy having another kitten to play with. Perhaps we should have gotten him one for Christmas, but I’m already keeping up with litter boxes for three cats. However, if anyone discovers my longed for orange and blue kitten (not sure they actually exist) please let me know.
But back to Pabel. Last year we found this unlikely and minute runt among the tabby litter of a tabby mother barn cat belonging to my daughter-in-law. Without our intervention and adoption, it’s likely this tiny specimen of catdom wouldn’t have survived all the competition with litter mates twice his size, even though Charity gave him extra food. It was too rough and tumble a world in the greater barn for such a small kitten. But here in the house, he’s thrived. Even rules as a young prince.
Let it be truly said that Pabel loves Christmas. The first couple of days after we (finally) got the tree up–a few technical difficulties involving the size of the stand versus the trunk and lots of needles and boughs covering the floor–Pabel smelled strongly of pine and was rather sticky in spots from the sap. Of course, he stole some ornaments and had vast fun helping decorate the tree, and wrap–also unwrap–the presents. I suspect he’s going to be quite sad when the time comes to take the tree down. Come to think of it, so will I. It’s a lovely tree with a star in the tradition of Dr. Seuss. Daughter Elise’s idea.
And of course, we need a few great cat quotes.
“For every house is incomplete without him, and a blessing is lacking in the spirit.”
– Christopher Smart
Cats never strike a pose that isn’t photogenic.
– Lillian Jackson Braun
The only mystery about the cat is why it ever decided to become a domestic animal.
– Sir Compton MacKenzie
Animals are such agreeable friends – they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms.
– George Eliot
If you want to write, keep cats. – Aldous Huxley
“There is nothing in the animal world, to my mind, more delightful than grown cats at play.
They are so swift and light and graceful, so subtle and designing, and yet so richly comical.”
– Monica Edwards
***Images by daughter Elise.