Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,
Mother raised me to hate cats. She thought cats were hideous creatures. I don't know the origin of her hatred. Maybe it came from her mother.
When we lived in Laurel, Maryland, however, we had mice. Everyone in our development did. The townhouses were backed by woods, but then the woods became only a strip of land when the property was developed. The changes sent little animals out of their usual habitat and into our houses..
The X Man didn't have too much difficulty talking me into looking at cats available for adoption. We came home with a gray tabby who had taken a shine to our four-year-old daughter. He approached her repeatedly, asking her to pet him.
He was named Devil, which we didn't care for. We named him Milhous, after Richard Nixon, because we expected him to be tricky at finding and killing mice.
Milhous changed my mind about cats. He was sweet and soft and loved to be loved. He stayed with us through a move to Western Maryland and finally, a move to Illinois, where he died after about 16 years with us.
I always said he was our daughter's guardian angel because he spent his nights on her pillow, watching over her as she slept. She reported that he sometimes woke her up at night by chewing on her long hair.
The first Christmas we had Milhous, he climbed the Christmas tree and stole the angel from the top. He thought the angel needed cosmetic surgery so he bit off her face. He also knocked over a Christmas tree or two during other holiday seasons.
He was such a success that we added two female cats to the family. The females were not as nice as Milhous, but I was glad we could give them a home.
The three of them liked to rest under the Christmas tree on the tree skirt. They knew they were better than any other gifts under the tree.
The first story I had published and was paid for was about Milhous. Receiving a check from a magazine made me feel that I was a real writer. I'm eternally grateful to Milhous for making me someone who could get paid for writing.
Infinities of love,
Christmas Cat curls into a ball beneath the tree, as compactly perfect as any ornament.
Watches lights flicker, enjoys a brief nibble on a bit of red and green ribbon.Brightly wrapped toys, clothes, and books surround her.
But she smiles, knowing she is the best gift of all
Climbed the tree and stole the angel, LOL! Was Milhouse actually a good mouser, though? Cats can be hit and miss in that department.ReplyDelete
I never saw him catch a mouse and he never presented us with a catch, but we no longer had mouse problems. He must have done some good.Delete
I think it's time for you to have cats in your life again. I have a few dozen friends who need a good home. Can I give them your address?ReplyDelete
That's such a nice offer, Your Highness, but Franklin doesn't like cats.Delete
I never had a cat until I was over 40 years old. My mother hated animals. We adopted two rescue kittens, 4-month-old brothers. I became a cat lover on Day 1.ReplyDelete
Well, of course you did! It was destiny.Delete
My partner was brought up to believe that cats were sneaky, unloving and totally untrustworthy. Which had the potential to cause problems when he began a relationship with a dedicated cat lover. The cats (and to a lesser extent I) have converted him. He has been putty in the paws of many a cat over our years together.ReplyDelete
I thought cats were nasty, slimy creatures. I soon learned that they are actually sweet and soft. I'm glad your partner did, too. When Mother visited, she even thought Milhous was cute, although she did not want to pet him.Delete
I would melt to find a cat sleeping in the nativity!!! How cute! Never had but one cat, and she never went by the tree, and looked at me like I was crazy to have a tree in the house. Today while at a quaint garden center, they had artificial trees, and that fake snow around all of them. I looked down, and there lie a pretty grey cat out cold...sleeping in the cotton snow. It made me very gleeful.ReplyDelete
A cat in the manger would be quite appropriate.Delete
MERRY CHRISTMAS " ., I hope that all is well with every one.ReplyDelete
I always loved cats and dragged them home at every opportunity. I am sorely missing a cat now and hope to fine a nice geriatric soon.ReplyDelete
I know you love your kitties. I hope one joins you soon.Delete
Born animal lover here. ;)ReplyDelete
I loved dogs from the beginning and I'm sure I would have loved cats if Mother hadn't soured them for me.Delete
Thanks for a wonderful and funny post, Janie! It warmed my heart all the way through and I fell in love with Milhous. What a special guardian angel for your daughter. I would love to have a kitty, but Terry can't bear the thought of one living with us. Cats love him. They're drawn to him. He enjoys them in other people's houses. Merry Christmas. Hugs to you!ReplyDelete
Milhous loved my daughter so much. He doted on her.Delete
Luckily not one of the many cats we've had over the years ever bothered the tree; most just liked sleeping under it.ReplyDelete
I have always had a cat, and now a few cats, though I love a good doggie, too.
I am more of a dog person, but would consider having a cat again if Franklin liked them. Sadly, he does not. Considering how mild mannered he is, it's quite odd.Delete
Milhous is a great name for a cat! I had cats for about 25 years before I met Dave and I loved them. (They're much easier than a dog in a city apartment!) Unfortunately Dave is allergic to cats, so when my last cat died we became dog people for the foreseeable future.ReplyDelete
I named our females F. Cat Fitzgerald and Charlotte Mew. Mew was a poet and obviously her name was perfect for a cat.Delete
Hi Janie - always a cat lover ... but oddly never owned one - as always restless and moving on ... gorgeous post to ponder about - cheers and all the best - HilaryReplyDelete
I know you get around, Hilary. I've only moved to places where I could take my animals.Delete
Although I've never had a cat myself, I do like them. I enjoyed your tale of Milhouse and your other felines, Janie. 🙂 Wishing you and your family a happy and healthy holiday season.🎄 All the best for 2023! 🎉ReplyDelete
Thank you, Debbie. I'm glad I learned to love cats, but now I'm fine with my pups.Delete
"Climbed the tree and stole the angel." BAHAHAHA Milhouse sounds like quite the character. I like the name you chose, too. I didn't know how much I liked cats until I got my first one. We never had dogs or cats as pets when we were kids.ReplyDelete
I grew up with a dog and a lot of hatred for cats, but even Mother said of Milhous "that cat is the funniest thing."Delete
I loved our cats too. One year one of them had a long piece of tinsel hanging from her butt hole. Not the most pleasant job in the world getting that out I have to say. Happy Christmas to you!ReplyDelete
Merry Christmas, sweetheart! F. Cat Fitzgerald, known as Effie, once ran through the house as if she were being chased. It turned out she was being chased by the dental floss hanging from her butt.Delete