ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

A kitten for Christmas

Updated on December 20, 2011

A Christmas story

Our home in Pennsylvania was a wonderful place to grow up. We lived about a mile outside of a small town, along the banks of a lively creek right where it emptied into the Susquehanna River. We had the joy of watching trains roar by on the tracks that bordered the river, and on sunny Sundays we could walk a few miles down the river to play in the remains of a long deserted mining town, now the home to various ghosts and other critters. It was a wonderful playground for a couple of kids with energy and imagination to grow up in. The only thing that was missing was playmates. It wasn’t very often that other kids would come to live in our little corner of the world, so my brother and sister and I were usually left to entertain ourselves.

One year my sister and I decided that we needed a kitten for company. We would often try to tame the stray cats that came our way, but they weren’t allowed inside and they were never really ours. We begged and pleaded for one of our own to no avail. We knew better than to ask our dad. He loved to tell us stories of how he tortured the farm cats when he was a boy. His tale of spraying them with water, hanging them in bags from the wash line and tying their tails together to watch them fight, horrified us. We knew there was no way he would agree to having a cat in the house! We thought mom might give in, but she stuck to her “no” like glue. She said there was no way our dad would allow it and she wouldn’t change his mind. Finally, in exasperation, she said if we wanted a kitten, we would have to pray for one because it would take a miracle to have a cat in the house. We found hope in this declaration and immediately began to beseech our higher power. For months we prayed earnestly for a new kitten for Christmas. Our parents began to worry about what it would do to our childlike faith in God when we didn’t get one. Still, our prayers did nothing to move them. They were not going to get us a kitten. After all, sometimes God says “no” too and we may as well learn that early.

Christmas approached and we were still praying faithfully. This year promised to be snowy and white. The week of Christmas was bitter cold. The wind howled around the house and it snowed for days. The snow got higher than our waists and it was too cold to play outside. We had a fire in the furnace and our house was toasty and warm. As a special treat every year on Christmas Eve, my parents would bring our great-grandmother home to spend the night with us. We were each allowed to pick out one present from under the tree to open before we went to bed. Once in bed, we would lay quietly, straining to hear the jingle of bells or the soft thud of footsteps on the roof.

Just as we were about to open our Christmas Eve present, a loud noise erupted on the porch. It sounded like the screech and wail of a large tom cat. We looked at each other nervously. Bobcats were occasionally seen in the area, but this one must be in bad shape to get so close to the house. My dad had heard what sounded like the same cat few days earlier out by our old mill, but had been unable to locate it. Careful to avoid a rabid attack, he slowly opened the door. Suddenly he flung it all the way open with a laugh. There sitting on our front step was a tiny little kitten, howling with all its might. The poor thing was half dead with starvation. Dad scooped it up and brought it inside. It was so small it fit in the palm of his hand, but it cried with the voice of a mighty tom. We were convinced our prayers had been answered. What could our parents say? To leave the little critter out in the cold would be the death of it. Mom said it could spend the night and we would decide what to do with it in the morning. She warned us not to be disappointed if it couldn’t stay. To our surprise, it was Dad who let us keep the kitten. It turned out he had a soft spot for cats. All his horror stories had been made up just to hear us yell. That night we didn’t need to stay up listening for footsteps on the roof. We knew they had come early that night, and we had missed them during our play.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)