Monday, November 30, 2009

The Legend Of The Christmas Cat

There was no snow that night in Bethlehem... Instead the small cat watched a star-spangled sky from her perch in the window of a stable... She liked the stable, for it was a warm safe place to raise her furry babies, and the innkeeper sometimes left scraps out for her to nibble. Tabby wasn't particularly distinctive, and most humans didn't look at her twice. after all, her short grey, black fur was quite common. But Tabby's striped coat hid a heart bigger than cat's twice her size.
This night, though, Tabby was out of sorts, for she has not been able to hunt and "catch" dinner. Traveler's had poured into town for days, so noisy they disturbed decent cat folks rest. Why, they invaded Tabby's quiet stable, a place she had shared before with only other furry creatures. Tabby hadn't minded the human couple, they were more calm than most. She'd left that morning for er rounds, but when she returned the stable was packed with people. From her perch on the window. Tabby watched the last of the strangers leave. She slipped from the window, and paddled inside and froze. Meewwww, meewwwww, cried a tiny voice... A kitten Gabby's ears turned this way and that to find the sound of the kitten's voice, It came from the manger intent on the mewling that arose from within. Tabby was drawn by this kittenish sound...though she knew her own babies were grown to cat-hood. She tip-toed forward very slowly and passed by a woolly burro, a warm cow and other animals... The woman looked up and saw the striped cat. "Oh little cat", she murmured..."my baby cannot sleep, and nothing calms him this night", she sighed and turned back to the manger. " How grateful I would be if you could bring him some sweet dreams".
As Tabby watched, each stable animal step forward and tried to soothe the woman's baby, but the kittiesh sounds continued, and finally Tabby could contain herself no longer.
Quickly she washed herself, paws, face, and behind the ears, to the very tip of her tail {so not to offend the child's mother} and then she shyly stepped forward.. She leaped gracefully into the manger and stared at the face of the most beautiful baby { human or kitten} she had ever seen. He cooed and smiled, waving his tiny hands at Tabby and she very carefully drew her claws and settled down beside him. Forgotten was her empty tummy, she could only hear her heart calling out to this sweet human kitten.... Then Tabby began to purr. This wondrous cat-song filled the stable with over-whelming emotion. The animals listened in awe, and the child's mother smiled as her baby quietly went to sleep.. The child's mother placed her hand on Tabby's forehead.. "Blessings upon you, Tabby Cat, for this sweet gift given to my child", she said. And where she'd touched Tabby's brow, there appeared a "M" the sign of Madonna's benediction.
From that day forward, all proper Tabby cats are honored with a "M" on their brow for the great service preformed the first Christmas night. And Christmas nights often find Tabby cat staring into the night, purring as they recall a very special ancestor once sang to sleep.



Anonymous said...

Oh I love this! It is one I had not heard before.
I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Celestial Charms said...

Lovely story. Postcard image is just too cute!

Farm Field Primitives said...

I just love that story. We have tons of tabbys. I will have to share it with others. Thanks so much and have a super day.

Jenns Three Graces said...

Marietta, With 3 kittys and 2 dogs in my household - this post was a hit! I love this postcard...Jennifer