where the writers are
My Favorite Christmas

It all started with a cat. The cat set the scene. The memory starts with me on my way home from work wondering what to get hubby for Christmas. We were living in Kensington then, close to Berkeley and barely managed to pay the rent on a very expensive apartment. Still, we were so happy with so little material wealth and the apartment did have a great view of the city across the bay and a fine bakery across the streeet. Hubby was and, still  is a cat person. The guy on the street assured me that the cat he was selling was the best cat anyone could wish for. I took the cat home in  a cardboard box, hubby seemed pleased enough until he picked up the cat and the cat spat and hissed at him. I said he, the cat needed time and so we let it be.

We pretty much forgot about the cat then because we were busy getting the apartment ready for Christmas. My mother in law and hubby's step father were coming to spend a couple of days with us. Anxious to impress my newly acquired mother in law with my cooking skills I planned an extensive menu that included the traditional (for Ireland) Turkey, Ham, Potatoes, Celery in White Sauce, Gravy, and on we go. I cleaned the place twice over, hubby washed the car, we chose our best Bossa Nova albums for the occasion, bought a tree that touched the ceiling. We were going to be so sophisticated and show mother in law and step father how well we were doing with the apartment and the view and the cat. We looked great too, we held hands all the time and kissed and stood at the window and watched the city across the bay magically turn into towering meringues in the blue haze of the morning light. 

The cat stands out in this memory because when mother in law came rushing in with excitement she picked up the cat because she happens to be a cat person like hubby. What happened next still jars in my mind because I wonder if it really did or was it all a nightmare. The cat peed on mother in law. Mother in law tossed the cat into the air and it landed on the tree. The tree fell over. Step father, who apparently was handy with such things managed to fix the tree. Mother in law had to throw her clothes away. I peeled potatoes, possibly two bags. Mother in law laughed and said she never saw so many mashed potatoes in her life but I silently thought the Mount Everest replica in the middle of the table looked smashing, a work of art. And, I figure, for all the money we paid for that apartment, the oven could have been more reliable.  I am sure I got the timing right for the turkey but when I took it out it looked succulent and nicely burnished but two minutes after that it collapsed like a flat tire on the side of the road and hot air rose in swirls from its hind quarters. But I didn't mind really. I was young, the tree was standing, I was in love. The view from the window was intact. The memory solid of new love strangely tang in my mouth.

But, let me add, don't ever buy a cat from a nice man on the street for your hubby for Christmas because someone told me afterwards, months later that these cats are likely to be feral and you know you can't teach a feral cat new tricks. Mother in law said that.

Comments
8 Comment count
Comment Bubble Tip

feral cats and Christmas

Mary,
I have three cats that are not feral,except on Christmas. when the grandkids arrive,one hides where no one can find her(unitl we see the latest vomitus in a pile near her hding place!)antoher just lies there and takes it,the thirdmNimbus,our youngest,attracts my grandons like a magnet.Will races after the cat pushing his firetruck ahead of him.There is much laughter and scurrying,and one has to dodge the two of them while trying to set the table and prepare dinner.
I noticed you lived near Berkeley,which is where my "lost friend lives. Lucky you!
have a merry Christmas,Mary!
Heather

Comment Bubble Tip

Many happy returns

Many happy returns Heather...m

Comment Bubble Tip

Funny

A very funny story, Mary. What happened to that cat? I could just see the tree going over--just as I could see Heather's grandchildren chasing the one remaining playful cat with their fire truck while the table setters tried to stay on their feet.

We had quite a fire storm of new guns going off in our living room this afternoon after our two grands arrived--the three-year-old and his dad with these new pop guns that shoot "safe" bullets. One ended high above our heads on the window--Gpa Gerald had to go get a long-handled broom from his shop to get it down. Well, I better get off here after my little rest and start peeling my potatoes for tomorrow's dinner.

Comment Bubble Tip

Great story, m. Good thing

Great story, m. Good thing Mother-in-law was still able to laugh after that.

Have a Merry Christmas!

Comment Bubble Tip

Xmas, Cat, Peeled

Mares,

Hmm, I didn't know you could teach cats tricks.

I'm not a cat person, but I've grown to respect cats. My most favorite is probably feral. He or she lives in a parking lot near my apartment in Yokohama. He is a three color cat. That's Japanese. I've never seen that kind in the US. He is intelligent. He knows when I'm rushing because when I'm not, he comes over to me and press his body against my leg.

My big mistake. The sixth line in your third paragraph, "I" was written as the last word. It continued to next line. But my eyes were dry and fuzzy reading, so for a moment, I read it wrong. I'm sorry.

Reporting from San Dimas, it's Xmas Eve!

Comment Bubble Tip

Merry christmas

Merry Christmas.

Comment Bubble Tip

Merry Christmas to you too.

And a happy new year, Dr. Jitu. To you and ALL our FB friends!

Comment Bubble Tip

Merry Christmas to you Sue.

Merry Christmas to you Sue. Thank you for wishes.