All six stockings hung above the fireplace, one for each of us. Slyly looking at the stockings each time one of
us went by, the report was the same, nothing, nada, they were still empty. Of course, none of us had shown any knowledge of them when the momma’s were around. It was fun to hear them all wondering about our lack of interest.
“It has to be soon.” I told Poofie.
“They put up the tree and decorated it days ago. I even helped momma Marta to make our little catnip balls today, but I don’t know where they disappeared to.” Beau added.
Poofie’s had a gray coat with little white stockings and a white collar, and I was totally black, we always got the short end of the stick when it came to spying, it was the two of us that did the extra round. Of course, there were reasons for this. Mamma Paula always noticed Kitten; he could barely walk through the house without her playing with him or petting him. It was revolting to watch. Morris and Champ’s coat was bright orange, so they were too conspicuous and Mikey. Well he was just a kitten and always distracted or into something. His calico gray coat would have made him an ideal candidate for spying. He couldn’t be trusted to carry out a mission, because of his youth.
After everyone had walked through once, Poofie and I as usual did the rest of the undercover work. After all, we couldn’t let the Mamma’s notice we were interested in our little stockings. They might take them down and make us wait.
“Beau, you are so much older than I am. Since we moved to this house, everything has been different. Poofie asked. Have you ever seen the momma’s just hang the stockings and leave them empty Beau? Do you think they going to fill them?”
“Poofie, I don’t know, everything is different tonight. I never saw things happen this way. Beau said”
In fact, everything had been different since we moved here. Gone was the snow we used to see when we looked out the windows, so many months of the year. The days here were foggy in the morning and sunny in the afternoon. This house was darker than all the others; we had lived in, especially the last. Still we all preferred it to that first house. The first one we lived in, when we moved out here to the land of sunshine and flowers. The first house was smaller and high up in the air, with a door that opened to an outside area.
The outside area wasn’t for us cat’s we always heard the mommas say. Seldom could we even see a bird circling over the water if we strained our eyes. If we sat on the top of a chair or the couch we could see the ocean off in the distance, but that was about it. In this house, they seldom opened the back door so we didn’t get to sniff the air. The mommas didn’t like the noise from the highway, but the back yard held all kinds of
critters and birds to watch and it filled our days. There was a lot of room for all of us to run and play. Best of all the mammas all had their own rooms again.
It was in that first house that we all met. Kitten and Mama Paula moved in last. They had a separate room for many months. Mamma Paula worried about Kitten and so the rest of us could not go into that room. We didn’t much like that. Closed doors are never a pleasant thing as for the six of us. Cats don’t believe in we should be barred by a door.
Those first months were difficult, especially when Kitten moved out of the room and joined the rest of us. He always got into a fight with someone. As a result of his fighting, none of us could figure out why mamma Paula worried about him. He especially didn’t like Mickey, once they got into a brawl that woke the momma’s Marta and Pat, in the
middle of the night. That was not a happy scene. The rest of us hid during the bulk of it all though we watched. Kitten jumped and bit mommy Marta on her backside, when she bent down to separate the two of them. Lordy, it was a sight. In the middle of the night, mamma Pat sat in her motor chair, and cleaned up the blood from mamma Marta’s backside, but I digress.
“I signaled to Poofie, we crossed the room, slinking away through the shadows to meet our friends. We had a report to give. The excitement in the air was tremendous. Even
old Morris loved Christmas. Little Mikey asked. “I heard the momma’s talking about Santa Claus, is that who will fill our stockings?”
“It could be.” I answered him, as Poofie and I reported that all the mommas were still sitting and watching TV. “The stockings are still empty.” Poofie said. “It doesn’t appear anything will be happening tonight. Morris do you have a rule to help with this situation?” He asked. “I can’t figure out how to train the mommas’s to fill our stockings.”
Interrupting Kitten piped in. “Can I go get my brushing then? If we aren’t to get our stockings tonight, I would like to get my brushing. I don’t honestly care about catnip
“Kitten, you are such a brush slut.” Morris said full of disgust. “Can’t you leave it be for one night? After all, there are more momentous things going on just now. You may not be interested in catnip toys, but the rest of us are. I suppose if you aren’t going to help, you might as well go and get your brushing, but keep your mouth shut around the momma’s, please.”
“Stay out of my life Morris.” Kitten snarled. “Don’t be so snarky, if I prefer brushing to catnip it is none of your business, and don’t act like I am not stupid, of course, I won’t tell
“Shush, one of the mommas turned off the TV. Something is happening.” Champ said diffusing the situation.
Sure enough the mommas gave each
other a hug and went into their separate rooms, our stockings still empty. Each of the mammas called out for us to come to bed. Kitten tearing off, he never missed going to bed with mamma Paula. Though, he did come out later to play or terrorize Mikey if he could get away with it.
“Morris, you are the oldest, what do you think Santa Claus and the momma’s will put in our stockings this year? Do you think we will get any other presents?” Champ asked
“Champ, there are already bright packages under the tree, that I think are for us, but you can go look if you want.” He answered. “Now everyone off to bed, we will meet up later. I expect Kitten will find us, even though he didn’t wait to find out the meeting spot.”
The house remained quiet for a while; soon I heard mammas Paula and Marta. Quietly we made our way out of the bedroom. Poofie and I watched as the mammas stood at the fireplace filling our little stockings to the brim and giggling. From the shadows, I signaled Poofie to sneak over near me. “Beau, should I go tell the others?” Poofie asked. “Not yet Poofie, the mammas are still up, let’s go back to bed with mamma Pat, until
they go back to sleep.” I whispered as we both crept through the shadows, to mamma Pats room.
“Shush, Beau, if you keep banging the stocking so loud, you’ll wake the mammas.” Morris whispered. “Let me take a turn, I am taller.” Morris said as he began to jump to reach for his stocking.
All of a sudden the room was full of light! We all turned and scurried out of the room. Leaving one stocking on the floor half open. “You were too loud Morris.” Champ whined, watching the mammas taking the little stockings off the fireplace and removing them from the room. “Now we will all have to wait.” He said sadly.
From: Keeping the Upper Paw: The cat’s guide to training your human.
Copyrighted 2002 and 2012 Marta Moran Bishop
A few months ago I read this quote,
“Just when things look like they are falling apart, they may actually be falling
together. During stormy times we sometimes feel like we are losing everything.
Maybe this stormy time is waking us to something better.” I don’t know where I
saw the quote, but have had it hung at my desk for the better part of the last
This quote is a daily reminder that whatever, the purpose behind things rearing their ugly heads, over and over. There is a reason, and that purpose is to teach me something. It is my responsibility to figure out the meaning.
The message may be to stop beating your head against the wall and walk through a different door. Or it may be I must take a stand and move beyond the limitations. Those limitations that I allowed others to set for me. Instead, learn to live a happier, healthier, and more successful life.
The last few years have had the same message in different clothes repeated over and over again. Till I wanted to do the fight or flight thing, and since I am not a fighter it would be the flight option. I didn’t run this time. Instead, I learned to ask myself, and the universe please, tell me what the true message is? What things do I need to change in my life?
With each day that I have asked myself these questions, the answer has become a bit
clearer. Each time my belief that I am finally thinking with wisdom and courage, is clear, and I know I am closer to the stars that shine so darkly on a bright night.
My beach you see is a bit different than many. It does have its share of sand and sun, but it consists of the majesty and beauty that one can find in each blade of grass, each wave upon the beach, and each twinkle of a star.
Even though, I walk alone, my hand is always available for a fellow traveler who wants to share my journey and beach for a space. For even when we share our life and love with another, no matter how deeply, our beaches are a bit different. Our rocks sit differently along the shore, and the sun sets just a little deeper or brighter some days. We can pop in and visit one another’s beach, sometimes staying for a while and
sometimes just learning, growing, and sharing the company of kindred spirits.
For I believe, no matter how close your beach is to someone else’s still they are separate and cannot be claimed as identical. We can only share our beach for a spell, with spouses and lovers we may be in and out of each other’s beach. We can never actually cohabitate
totally, and yet we are never fully alone, for we are all individuals. So our beach can be as plentiful or as corrupt as we make it. For it is ours.
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Whether I am reading, or writing I am taken out of myself and will return more enlightened. From the magic of the places I have been, the people I have met, and the story that captured me for a while.