Stevie Mouse Tries To Explain Christmas

A family of cats are warming themselves near a log fire in a house half way up a mountain in Italy. There are four of them, alternately grooming and snoozing. Read this heart warming story of how one of them, Stevie Mouse tries to explain Christmas.

Stevie Mouse Tries To Explain Christmas

It All Started With Fairy Lights

Treacle

“I really don’t get it!” said Treacle, a grey tabby cat, out of the blue. “Why does Mummy have all these little lights everywhere?”

Stevie Mouse, another grey cat, stretched and purred. “Mummy is like me, she doesn’t like bright lights.” Stevie Mouse is partially sighted and bright lights hurt her eyes. “She said that she only has soft lights and why not make them fairy lights?”

“But where are the fairies?” asked Treacle, still looking completely puzzled.

“They aren’t really fairies, silly,” replied Stevie. They are just tiny little lights that look pretty. Mummy says you don’t have to wait until Christmas to have them.”

Treacle sighed. “Okay, why do I get the feeling I am going to regret this? What is Christmas Stevie?”

There was a snort of laughter from the back of the sofa where Malteser, a brown and white cat, was stretched out, supposedly asleep. He gave a knowing look to his sister Lucy, a calico cat who was also laying on the sofa. It was going to be a long night.

Ms Stevie Mouse Tries To Explain Christmas

A gray tabby cat with some golden highlights lays looking up at something she has seen. Her front poors are tucked underneath her and you can see the black tip of her tail.
Stevie Mouse

Stevie frowned and concentrated hard. “Ummmm.” She started, while Treacle sat expectantly, the fire crackling in the background. “It is something humans do that go back a long time. Longer than Mummy and Daddy and as you know, they are really old. I don’t really understand why they do it. They are celebrating something important. It starts with Mummy and Daddy getting all excited and starting to do lots of cooking in the kitchen. Well, Mummy does anyway. Daddy tests the red liquid that comes in a glass bottle. Mummy usually starts playing funny music that has lots of bells and she sings along.”

Stevie Misses The Christmas Tree

“They used to have a big Christmas Tree they would put up in the living room that had twinkling lights. Emmy got into trouble because she loved the lights and tried to climb the tree and it all fell over. Then I got into trouble because there was a reindeer toy under the tree and I bit off its horns. Since then, they haven’t put up the tree. I miss it. One year I went on strike and put myself into all of Mummy’s art pictures as a protest. Our friends on Facebook thought I was right and Mummy gave in and put up the tree, but Emmy wrecked it again. I think I heard Mummy say they had given it to charity but I don’t know who she is.”

There was a moment’s silence while they all remembered the lovely Emmy, a calico cat who had epilepsy and died a few years ago. Stevie had to take a moment to compose herself; she misses her friend so much as told in the story Stevie Mouse And The Feather.

“Allow me, Stevie,” said Malteser, who at the age of 12 was the head of the cat family. Stevie nodded, graciously allowing Malt to speak.

Malteser Pays Homage To A Legend

A brown and white cat lays with one poor hanging down, the other curled in front of him, head slightly back and sideways to the viewer with his yes closed, clearly dozing.
Malteser

Glancing at Lucy, who nodded with approval, Malteser said, “There is someone who is a legend when it comes to Christmas trees. His name was Thomas, and before she died Bluebottle told us the story of how he nearly died one year because of a Christmas tree! She had been told the story by Jimmy, the only cat who travelled from the UK to Italy. Another legend!”

There was a sharp intake of breath from Stevie and Treacle, and the sound of a slight giggle from Lucy.

Thomas And The Christmas Tree

A ginger cat lays with all four paws spread out and his head up against a patio chair leg, his eyes are half closed but his ears are alert.
Thomas

“Well, Mummy had a group of cats when she lived in the UK. Thomas, a ginger cat, was known for climbing the Christmas Tree. Mummy would come home from work and find all sorts of baubles and decorations strewn across the floor. He would sometimes hide inside the tree until someone walked into the room carrying a tray with drinks and then stick his head out suddenly which always startled them.” The other cats were giggling, Treacle thought he would remember that one for future use.

“But one year,” Malteser continued, “Thomas outdid himself and nearly paid the ultimate penalty. Tommy would spray everywhere. Mummy couldn’t have long curtains or tablecloths on side tables because Tommy would urinate on them. Once, Nanny and Mummy brought home a lovely cushion with a ginger cat on it. Mummy placed it proudly on the sofa and Thomas immediately got up and urinated on it, completely ruining it!”

Stevie Mouse was shocked, “Oh poor Mummy, what did she do?”

“Well,” said Malteser, “she loved Thomas so much that she put up with his behaviour. She did everything she could to stop it happening but Thomas was a very naughty boy. A bit like you, young Treacle.”

Treacle was now looking sheepish. He was regularly in trouble for urinating on the furniture or in corners. Stevie looked at him and winked.

Lucy cleared her throat. “The Christmas tree, brother, the Christmas tree”.

A Near Death Experience

A red artificial christmas tree with lights and baubles, sits in a window.
Christmas Tree Window

“Ahem, oh yes”, said Malteser. “One day Mummy walked into the living room just as Thomas was lining up to urinate on the Christmas Tree. Only the lights were switched on. Mummy shrieked but couldn’t get there in time and as Thomas urinated there was a loud bang and the smell of burning as the lights on the tree blew out. Thomas was very traumatised and Mummy rushed him to the veterinary clinic to be checked. The vet said that he was lucky to be alive, and that he must have urinated in short spurts – if it had been a continuous stream he could have been electrocuted”.

This was greeted with gasps of horror from Stevie and Treacle.

“Let that be a lesson young Treacle. Not all things that seem like a good idea are healthy!”, said Lucy.

Stevie Picks Up The Story

Treacle was now looking very crestfallen. As the stories of Christmas had started, he was getting excited that he was going to hear something wonderful, but it turned out to be a ticking off he didn’t feel he deserved. Stevie Mouse tries to explain Christmas again.

A gray tabby cat sticks her head out to look at the snow. She is wearing a santa hat.
Stevie Mouse As Santa

“But Christmas is fun too, Treacs,” she said. “Mummy and Daddy buy us special treats and then they have big parcels covered in paper and ribbon. We get to play with the paper and ribbon and sometimes, just sometimes, there is a box big enough to play in. I love boxes!”

“There is special food for everyone,” said Malteser. “All of the cats get something. Mummy even has Christmas lights on the roof of the cat garden so the cats can enjoy Christmas decorations.”

This merely seemed to confirm for Treacle what he already knew. Mummy is nuts.

“It is more than just food, though,” said Stevie. “It is a time to remember those we have lost, like Emmy and Bluebottle, and those who aren’t lucky enough to have found forever homes like we have.” The others all nodded. How wonderful it would be if all cats could have a home like this one – fairy lights and all!

Where To Read More Cat Short Stories

A photograph of the head of a woman with turquoise coloured hair and glasses looks straight at the viewer with one hand cupped to her chin.
Dorothy Berry-Lound

If you enjoyed this story, there are more cat short stories that you can read on my blog. I am an artist and blogger living halfway up a mountain in Central Italy with two rescue dogs and 15 cats, including the Supreme Being, Ms Stevie Mouse. Read more about me and my work on my website.

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