Long before I became a Cat Lady, I confess to having quietly hummed a few of the opening bars from "My Favorite Things." I'm sure you know the ones I mean: Those "whiskers on kittens" bring back fond memories of simple times and childhood innocence, of waiting for Santa to come for cookies and milk, and, of course, to deliver some hoped-for presents under the holiday tree.
One of our ten cats sits peacefully under the tree without fail, every year. Ever since Leo spent his first Christmas here at Catland, in 2001, he has ushered in the season with an unforgettable spirit of playfulness and generosity.
I'll never forget the Christmas morning when I asked him if he knew what was about to happen that day. Leo responded by grabbing (he has huge paws) a Santa ornament from the tree and tossing it by his plate. I am not kidding. As if on cue in December, Leo's whiskers function as Santa-tracking radar.
Leo also loves to share his toys on the biggest gift-getting day of all. While Lucius pushes his loot of catnip mice and shiny crinkles into a corner, all the while perfecting his hoarder routine, Leo distributes his spoils.
I wrote in my Cat Lady Chronicles that Leo quickly became our cat who loved Christmas, and I am a bit haunted wondering still why he has such an affinity for the holiday.
If you believe that a cat has nine lives, and most of us Cat Ladies do, then I suspect you will not make fun of me for cherishing the thought that Leo experienced some form of Christmas before he entered our life as a kitten. Perhaps Santa simply scratched his beard a few times, and then he made his glorious decision.
Thank you, Santa, for sending Leo our way.
Query of the Day: Which of your cats loves Christmas best?