Occasionally, I write a story for my seven grandchildren. This is one written recently that they said they especially enjoyed. It is my version of a Hallmark Christmas story. One of the granddaughters even said, “This needs to be published!” Given that strong review and endorsement, I thought some of you might enjoy it, as well. At the very least, the photos of kittens are cute.
The Christmas Kitten
It was only about a week until Christmas! Charlie, the 5-year old “big brother” was playing with his baby sister. Charlie was good entertainment for Anna. He always made her laugh by making funny faces and bringing her toys.
But today, Charlie was starting to get a little worried. He only wanted one thing for Christmas… a kitty. Charlie loved cats! He loved pictures of cats, books about cats, funny videos about cats. He loved everything about cats. He thought they must be the best and smartest animals in the world. They could climb to get away from dogs. They could eat food from a bowl or go find their own. They could play games. They never got hurt. They were the best and he wanted one!
His Mommy and Daddy weren’t so sure. They said they thought he might be a little bit too young for a cat. But, he was 5 years old! That is big enough to do just about anything, so he was sure he could take care of a kitty. He told them, “I’ll play with my kitty, feed him, and clean out his litter box.” You see, he already knew a lot about cats and how to care for them. But, Mommy and Daddy just shrugged their shoulders and said, “We’ll think about it.”
Charlie went outside to play on his swing set. You see, Charlie’s yard had a nice fence around it, so he could play outside without his Mommy or Daddy coming out, too. Today, Charlie was pretending that his fence was a space ship and he had to protect it from the evil invaders flying into his yard. All of a sudden, Charlie heard a noise. It almost sounded like a Kitty, but maybe Charlie was just hearing one of those space invaders.
He heard it again! This time it sounded like it was coming from under the deck of his house. So, he decided to go investigate. Charlie was good at investigating things. He once helped his Grandma and Grandpa find a little bird stuck in the front vent of their car. As Charlie walked closer, he finally saw it… it was a Kitty. It looked cold and scared.
Charlie called out to the Kitty, “Here, Kitty, come here and I’ll help you.” The Kitty didn’t come to him yet. He tried again with no luck. But, he had an idea… he ran inside the house. A few minutes later, he came back out carrying a small bowl of milk. He sat the bowl down and tried again, “Here, Kitty, come get a drink of milk.” This time, it worked! The Kitty saw the milk and ran to the bowl. He drank milk until the whole bowl was empty. He was a very hungry Kitty.
After drinking the milk, the Kitty was a lot more friendly to Charlie. After all, Charlie might have just saved his life! The Kitty rubbed his back against Charlie’s leg and began purring. Charlie smiled. He then carefully and gently picked up the Kitty and began rubbing his back. The Kitty purred even more and louder.
Charlie and the Kitty were becoming good friends. But, Charlie started wondering if the Kitty belonged to someone else. He didn’t see anyone looking for a lost Kitty.
Charlie decided to take the Kitty into the house to show his Mommy. She was very surprised when she saw it. “Where did you find that Kitty, Charlie? Are you sure he is a nice Kitty?” Charlie told his Mommy the story of how he found him and rescued him from under the deck. Charlie said, “Mommy, I know he is a nice Kitty because he thanked me for the milk I gave him.” Charlie asked her, “Mommy, since he is a nice Kitty, can I keep him in the warm house with me today until Daddy gets home? I’m sure Daddy would like to see him, too.”
Before his Mommy could answer, the Kitty jumped down to the floor and started rubbing his back on Mommy’s leg. He also started purring loudly, as if to ask, “Yes, Mommy, can I stay in the house today with Charlie?” Mommy liked cats, too, so she finally said, “OK. You can play with the Kitty in the house just for today… just until your Daddy comes home.”
Charlie was excited! He had always wanted a Kitty and now he had one in his arms! Even though the Kitty wasn’t really his… at least yet…he was going to have fun with him today. He took Kitty to his room and they played the rest of the day. Kitty even took a nap on Charlie’s bed.
Daddy was very surprised that Charlie had a Kitty! By bedtime, though, Daddy was playing with the Kitty as much as Charlie was. Anna was even playing with him. She would throw a ball and the Kitty was chase it. It made her laugh! At bedtime, though, Mommy and Daddy both told Charlie, “You know that we probably won’t be able to keep Kitty. His real owners are probably trying very hard to find him. They might be very worried about him.” Charlie said, “Yes, I know. Maybe tomorrow, Mommy and I can walk around the neighborhood to try to find his real owner.” You see, Charlie was a very nice boy. Even though he was starting to love Kitty, he knew that Kitty needed to go back to his real home.
When Charlie woke up the next morning, the Kitty wasn’t sleeping on his bed with him. In fact, the Kitty wasn’t in Charlie’s room at all! “Where did he go?” Charlie asked. He jumped out of bed and ran downstairs. Kitty was standing next to the kitchen door. It looked like he wanted to go outside. “Maybe he wants to go back to his real home,” Mommy said. “Or, maybe, he just wants to go out to play,” said Charlie. Charlie opened the door and Kitty ran outside to the grass. Then, he ran back to the door. Charlie was watching from the window. “Oh,” said Mommy, “He just needed to go outside to the bathroom! What a well trained Kitty,” she said.
The Kitty then started to purr very loudly again. He started rubbing his back on Charlie’s leg, them Mommy’s leg. Charlie said, “Mommy, do you think the Kitty is telling us that he is hungry for milk?” “Yes,” said Mommy, “I’m sure that’s it. Let’s give him some.” Charlie got the bowl and carefully poured some milk in it. The Kitty WAS very hungry. He drank all the milk… all the way to the bottom of the bowl. Charlie said, “I wish we had some fresh fish to give Kitty. I’ll bet she would love some of that, too.”
Later that day, Charlie, Mommy, and Anna walked around the neighborhood with Kitty. They asked everyone they saw if they knew where Kitty really lived. No one could help. They even made some signs that said, “FOUND – little gray boy Kitty.” They put Mommy’s phone number on the sign, in case someone was looking for Kitty.
Charlie and Kitty were becoming very good friends. They played together every day. The also played with Anna. Charlie fed Kitty and they played outside. Kitty slept in Charlie’s bed with him and it started to look like Charlie might be able to keep Kitty forever!
In the evening two days before Christmas, Charlie, Kitty, and Anna were playing in the living room floor. Daddy was watching TV and Mommy was reading on the computer. All at once she said, “Oh, no! I think we’ve found the real owners that are looking for Kitty!” You see, even Mommy was starting to fall in love with Kitty. Everyone stopped what they were doing and ran to the computer. There it was… someone had put a note on Facebook saying, “LOST – little gray boy Kitty. His name is Smokey! We miss him! If you find him, please call us!” There was a picture… it was Kitty!
Charlie said, “That’s Kitty! I mean… that’s Smokey!” He turned around and said, “Smokey, come here. Is that you?” Kitty (I mean Smokey) immediately stopped playing with Anna and ran to Charlie. Yes, that meant it was true… they had found Smokey’s real owners.
Charlie’s first thought was, “Since Smokey is with us, maybe he would like living here better than with his real owners.” But, he remembered what his Mommy and Daddy always said, “We always have to do the right thing.” Charlie finally said, with some sadness in his voice, “Mommy, we need to call Smokey’s owners… right now.”
Smokey’s owners were very excited to find him! They laughed and screamed on the phone. They were so happy! But, Charlie was a little sad. He had always wanted a Kitty and he thought Smokey was finally the one. But, he knew that Smokey’s real home was not with him.
Smokey’s owners arranged to pick him up that next morning on Christmas Eve. At least Charlie and Smokey were able to spend one more night together! It was fun, but it was also sad.
Early that next morning, Smokey’s owners rang the doorbell. When Mommy opened the door, Charlie was very surprised to see his friend from pre-school, Marci, there with her mom. “Marci,” said Charlie, “Is Smokey your kitty?” She said, “Yes, and we were so worried that he was lost forever! I’m so glad that you rescued him and took care of him for me!” Smokey jumped into Marci’s arms and she hugged him close. Charlie could see that it was the right thing to get Smokey back to Marci. He could tell that she really loved him. As Marci and her mom were leaving, Marci said, “Maybe you could come to my house to play with me and Smokey sometime.” Charlie thought that would be nice.
It was Christmas Eve… tomorrow was Christmas! But, Charlie was still a little bit sad. He had always wanted a kitty and he missed Smokey. But, he also felt glad that Marci had her kitty back home.
That might, Christmas Eve night, Charlie had a dream. He dreamed that he had his own kitty. He loved playing with his own kitty, but this was only a dream. His “dream kitty” was even licking his face. Charlie even thought he could hear his little “dream kitty” purring. This dream seemed very real… but, it was only a dream.
Finally, the dream woke him up! It wasn’t a dream! There was a real kitty in his bed with him! Charlie couldn’t believe it! This kitty was very small… almost a baby. It was so cute… and it was in his bed! “Where did this kitty come from?” he wondered. It was just then that he looked up at his bedroom door. His Mommy and Daddy were there smiling. Maybe this was real and not a dream! The kitty in his hands certainly felt real.
Mommy then said, “Charlie, Merry Christmas!” Then he realized what was happening! His Mommy and Daddy got him a real kitty for Christmas! It was real! Charlie was so excited that he could barely speak. He ran to his Mommy and Daddy and gave them a big hug. “Is it real? Is this really my kitty?” asked Charlie. “Yes, he is your new kitty,” they said. Anna was even smiling as she tried to pet the new kitty.
Charlie barely thought of anything else the rest of the day. He couldn’t even open the rest of his presents because he was so busy playing with his new kitty. “This is the best Christmas ever!” he said, over and over. “What is your new kitty’s name?” Daddy asked him. Charlie thought… and thought. He wanted a good name for his kitty.
“Happy!” Charlie finally said. “Happy is his name! Because he has made me the happiest boy in the world, I’m giving him the name ‘Happy’.”
Later, when Mommy and Daddy were saying bedtime prayers with Charlie, he said, “I’m really glad we didn’t try to keep Smokey. Marci really loves him and needed him to come home. And, now, this is the best Christmas ever because I have my new friend, Happy.”
Mommy and Daddy, “Doing the right thing is always the right thing.” They smiled and agreed. It really was the best Christmas ever.