Cats a l’orange and a sweet Christmas story

Both of the vets and one of the vet techs in the practice we visit have expressed how much they like orange cats like ours. When Mike’s cousin, also a vet, mentioned the same thing a couple months ago, I researched it a bit on the Web to see if others shared the opinion that orange tabbies were somehow more special than most.

What I found, of course, were people who said orange cats (called “ginger cats” in Britain) were the best and others who thought them nothing special. The sweetest thing I found, though, was a Christmas story* about tabbies (not just orange ones) and the distinctive “M” on their foreheads that warmed my heart and convinced me that our orange guys are special — no matter who else thinks so.

When the baby Jesus was lying in the manger, he began to shiver from the cold. Mary draped blankets over the infant, but he continued to shiver.

She spoke softly. “I don’t know what to do. I thought you were hungry, so I fed you. I thought you were wet, so I changed your diaper. I thought you were cold, so I wrapped another blanket around you.” She asked the animals in the stable to move closer so that their body heat would warm Jesus, but the child continued to shiver and cry.

She rocked the infant and then laid him back in a manger filled with hay. He continued to cry.

A small tabby cat who’d witnessed the scene knew what needed to be done. She leaped into the manger, cuddled next to the child and began to purr. It was the sweetest lullaby imaginable. The baby stopped crying and drifted off to sleep.

In her gratitude to the cat, Mary marked her own initial upon the tabby’s forehead so that tabby cats would forever remind the world of how one of their kind had comforted the newborn Jesus.

What greater gift than the love of a cat?
~ Charles Dickens

* Thanks to The Cat’s Meow for the sweet rendition of the tabby story. Visit the link to read the Islamic version of the M story, too.