It’s a little hard to grasp, but any minute now the Christmas card detail will have to commence.

It’s really early, I know, but we are constantly being told that everything is moving much more slowly these days and I have always made a practice of dispatching overseas cards no later than Thanksgiving.

Usually I compose a generic Christmas letter, but what is there to say?

Even the Fall foliage is lack-lustre.

2021…the year in which I got a lot of “shots”:

Four in the arm and four in the ass.

One hopes the Covid shots offer protection at least.

In September three inglorious days in hospital.

Not subjects worth mention.

So what’s left to go in a Christmas letter?

Maybe: “Happy Christmas. Love Carolyn.” will suffice.

Not that I don’t have warm feelings for friends and loved ones, but I’ve always thought the “goodwill” of Christmas should not be restricted to just that day.

It bothers me to think how, in WW1, on Christmas Day the opposing sides emerged from their trenches to play a game of sport together.

Then went back to killing each other. Absurd.

It would no doubt be more interesting if Lily was to write a Christmas letter, using me as her scribe.

Lily is very quiet and very low-maintenance, but there’s a lot going on behind those bewitching eyes.

She’s got a tally, I’m sure, of all the mice that met their maker in this house. Assisted by Herself and Sasha, Tinks just occasionally, and recently by Willow.

Lily might mention gentle Patches who this year moved onto the Lady-Person’s bed. For Patches this took great courage as she is so meek and has always been the brunt of the other cat’s bad moods.

Patches seemed always such a lonely creature when she came into my care, six years ago. So I always made a point of petting her.

And now, somewhere in the early hours, she creeps onto my bed, when any of my other occasional bed companions may have fled my tossing and turning, and she curls up close to me so I wake to hear her gentle purr. Then when I rise, she helps me make the bed.


Observed with displeasure by possessive Blackie.

A timid little stray that begged a morsel of food from our front door, accepted the box we placed outside to protect her from the elements and in the Spring when she saw me in the garden, came to supervise.

Lucy La Fluff and Blackie have arguments over who is allowed to be closer to me. Once Lucy has me pinned down, though, she is content. She just needs to know where I am and she will come back periodically to check, and glare at Blackie.

La Fluff keeps her eye on me. She only has one.

On the nights when Blackie is not on “her” chair, captivated by some fantastic feline dream, she comes to plant herself firmly on her person. Ideally, she would drape herself around my neck and gaze into my eyes.

Blackie is very fearful of strangers and even of Grant and I if we wear outdoor shoes. She’s not at all sure she approves of the deer.

If she’s eating, we must steer a wide circle around her.

Once Blackie has settled beside me and allowed me to open my book, should I glance down, inevitably her eyes will be drilling into me and I always ask “who are you Blackie?” She’s someone from my past.

If Blackie is from my past, Willow certainly is too.

It sounds fanciful and foolish and I’m not at all convinced there is such a thing as re-incarnation. But the spirit that animates those two cats is familiar in a way that I am not “familiar” with my other cats.

The first time I saw Willow, she was descending the hill behind my house. She stopped and lifted her head and fixed me with exactly the look in this photograph. I can only describe the feeling I had as recognition.

There was never a question of who she believed she belonged with.

Have I any idea who these cats may have been?

Not at all. I don’t think it works that way.

All I know is that when Willow comes to me and allows me to pet her or play with her (one ought never to take a cat’s affections for granted) she soothes me and melts my heart.

Toby has been with me longer than Willow. I adore him. He warms my heart as well. But it’s not the same. This is his first visit to my life.

It sounds utterly daft, I daresay.

All I can say is how I feel.

So what about Lily?

Maybe it’s her endearing face, her skinny little body, or the way she holds one paw in the air?

She is very precious to me as well and I felt protective of her the moment I first saw her. But I didn’t “recognize” her.

And since Grant’s Tom died, she has gravitated to fill his space.

But she did say she might be willing to compose my Christmas missive.

For a fee.

5 thoughts on “Fantasy

  1. I really find your stories about your cat’s different personalities so fascinating Carolyn!
    I never had a cat as a pet (hyper allergic to their beautiful hair), but whenever we visit friends who have cats, those cats will find their way sooner or later close to me … and there’s no way that I will not touch and scratch them (if they allow me of course) – I’m so fond of animals.
    We just came back from a 4-day long camping weekend and there was a cat at the reception (belongs to the camping ground I suspect) and he immediately came to me and twisted himself around my legs … and I found myself at least once a day walking over to reception to play with him. I took a few photo’s of him and will share it on our blog soon.

    1. Cats gravitate to certain people as if they have a magnet. My Dad didn’t like animals (!) but when he was very old he was at my place once and using my computer which was beside my bed, He said he suddenly felt something poking him and it was my Yeti. She actually won him over. Then man who came to install our new fireplace two years ago had a hard time doing the work because Grant’s cat Dee Dee was all over the man. I swear cats are reincarnated spirits.

      1. It sometimes take only one animal (or cat) to change one’s perception – good work dear Yeti 😉. Like you’ve said you’re not totally sure about re-incarnation (nor am I), but one have to wonder …

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