RSS Feed

Feline Friday: A Christmas Cat Story

It’s Feline Friday, with tomorrow Christmas Eve. I’ve promised the Magical-Dawg and Seren-Kitty that I’ll take all next week off so please check back after the New Year. I pray that your fur-kids will be safe throughout the holidays. You’ll find lots of tips on this week’s Woof Wednesday about giving pets as gifts (yes, it applies to cats, t0o). And I’ve just posted a cautionary article about pet electrocution, symptoms and how to prevent it that also affects cats. I hope you won’t need it but just in case, you can find the first aid for electrocution article here.  It includes a link for the how-to pet CPR article.

And finally for happier content, just for Christmas Eve, here’s one of my favorite cat legends—an excerpt from Complete Kitten Care. Enjoy—and may your holidays be blessed.

Why Tabby Wears An M

One of the most touching legends tells the story of a simple Tabby cat, and her gift on the very first Christmas day to a special mother and child.

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 gray/black fur was quite common. But Tabby’s striped coat hid a heart bigger than cats twice her size.

This night, though, Tabby was out of sorts, for she’d not been able to hunt and catch dinner. Travelers had poured into town for days, so noisy they disturbed decent cat-folks’ rest. Why, they’d even invaded Tabby‟s quiet stable, a place she had before shared only with other furry creatures. Tabby hadn’t minded the human couple—they were calmer than most. She’d left that morning for her usual 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 padded silently inside—and froze!

“Meewwww, meewww, meewww,” cried a tiny voice.

A kitten? Tabby’s ears turn this way and that to find the sound of the kitten’s voice. It came from the manger, the very place Tabby often made her own bed. A woman knelt beside the manger, intent on the small mewling that arose from within. Tabby was drawn by the kittenish sound, though she knew her own furry babies were grown to cat-hood. She tiptoed forward very slowly, and passed by a wooly burro, a warm cow, and all the 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 would I be to anyone able to bring him sweet dreams.”

And, as Tabby watched, each stable animal stepped forward in turn and tried to soothe the woman’s baby. But the kittenish sounds continued, and finally Tabby could contain herself no longer.

Quickly, she washed herself—paws, face, behind the ears, to the very tip of her tail (so as not to offend the child’s mother)—and then shyly stepped forward. She leaped gracefully to the manger, and stared into the face of the most beautiful baby (human or kitten!) she’d ever seen. He cooed and smiled, waving his tiny hands at Tabby, and she very carefully drew in her claws and settled beside him. Forgotten was her empty tummy; she could only hear her heart calling out to this sweet human-kitten.

And Tabby began to purr.

The wondrous cat-song filled the stable with overwhelming emotion. The animals listened with awe, and the child’s mother smiled as her baby quietly went to sleep.

The child’s mother placed her hand gently on the purring Tabby’s forehead. “Blessings upon you, Tabby-cat, for this sweet gift given to me and my child,” she said. And where she’d touched Tabby’s brow, there appeared an M—the sign of the Madonna’s benediction.

From that day forward, all proper tabby cats are honored with an M on their brow for the great service they performed that first Christmas night. And Christmas nights often find Tabby cats staring into the night, purring as they recall a very special child their ancestor once sang to sleep.

#AskAmy Sweet Tweets

Folks who “follow” me on Twitter @amyshojai and @About_Puppies are the most awesome Sweet Tweets around–they love #cats and #dogs and #pets, many #amwriting.  Just follow and include the #AskAmy in your tweets if’n you’re interested in pithy links to articles, books, blogs, experts, fictioning and sparkle-icity!

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, listen to the weekly radio show, check out weekly FREE PUPPY CARE newsletter, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter with pet book give-aways!

About amyshojai

Amy Shojai, CABC is a certified animal behavior consultant (dogs/cats), award winning author of 30+ pet care titles and thrillers, and spokesperson to the pet industry.

6 responses »

  1. Electrocution is a serious threat to pets as well as people but I have to tell you a humorous tale from years ago when I was practicing as a veterinary assistant.

    A family rushed in with their dog that had just bitten through an electric cord and was electrocuted. I ushered them back to surgery where we went through the emergency procedures. As we worked I noticed that the dog’s fur was all ruffled. Figuring it was a result of the electrocution I said nothing at the time and later I was happy that I hadn’t. When the family came back to pick up their fully recovered dog they told us about this new (to our area) breed; he was a German Wirehair.

    • Andrea, that is funny. *s* We had a Pomeranian pup chewed threw Christmas lights that came into the clinic. My GSD at the time was our donor dog (in the days before typing…) and gave him a transfusion. I remember the little kids coming back, so worried about their pup, and meeting my shepherd–their eyes got reeeeel big when they found out he’d given Foxy the pup his blood. I told ’em that now their puppy would bark like a big dog and love chicken, LOL!

  2. carolyn carlquist

    I love that story!!! That just has to be the origin of the M.

  3. I have 4 cats and 3 of them are tabbies. I love this story!!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: