Can you believe it’s almost Christmas! I know, we all utter those words every year, but it’s the truth. Staying busy with work and Christmas projects means the time slips by and the holidays are upon us. But that’s a good thing. The holidays are a time for family, fun, reflection of the past year and looking to what lies ahead in 2019.
Karen and I have lots in the works, so we’re excited for next year. And it’s even better because we know our readers are with us all the way! We love sharing stories, since we’re writers, and this year we’re going to talk about pet mischief around the holidays.
There is always that one pet who can’t keep out of the decorations. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. We’ve had many cats over the years, and mostly they would bat the ornaments hanging on the lower part of the Christmas tree. Or get into the boxes while we were trying to decorate the tree. My older cat loves to curl up on the tree skirt and nap.
But my daughter’s cat wins the honor of most mischievous.
When Megan moved into her first apartment, she moved in with a kitten. Belle was always a lively cat, but her true colors became apparent when Megan put up her tree. At first Belle chewed on the branches. Then she’d pull ornaments down and chase them around. But the best was when Belle started climbing up the tree, right up the trunk. Megan couldn’t get her out and Belle would be rustling around, finally knocking the tree over. This happened a few times until my exasperated daughter called and asked for help. We gave her a few ideas, which didn’t work. Imagine our surprise when we went to visit and found she’d rigged the tree upright by getting some rope, tying it around the top of the tree and fastening it to the rod that held up the sliding door blinds. Then she decorated the rope. After all these years, we still laugh about how industrious my daughter was.
I’m sure Belle was retaliating for this indignity.
This year I have a new kitten so his story will probably end up To Be Continued.
Everyone in the Rock family loves Christmas—especially our pets. For my cat, Angel, Christmas joy meant our decorated tree. He adored anything shiny and the combination of bright lights, ribbon and colorful bulbs on something he only glimpsed through a window- a real tree- brought him endless happiness. From the moment we began decorating it each year, he’d watch closely, waiting for his chance to bat at the ornaments, tug at the ribbon and—best of all—curl up on the soft, red plush tree skirt and fall asleep beneath the twinkling lights. Best of all, he could pretend to be a lion on the Savannah awaiting his prey (my hapless dogs). The moment they’d wander by, he’d pounce and send them bolting away in sheer terror! Angel never topped ten pounds, but he ruled our home as the alpha in our four-legged pack.
You’d think my dogs would avoid the tree after Angel’s stealth attacks, but no—they enjoyed it too, and strolled by the tree practically begging him to leap out at them to keep playing the game. So when our veterinarian diagnosed Angel with terminal lung cancer this July, our hearts broke for our formerly mischievous, fun-loving kitty. We couldn’t imagine him not in our lives anymore and struggled to make the painful decision to spare him suffering and pain by ending his life... which of course was selfish because by delaying the inevitable, we were sparing our own suffering and pain. The choice was not really a choice. Angel would have to leave us sooner than we wanted or were prepared to handle. Yet we didn’t want to end our time together on such a sad note, with him listless and withdrawing. We tried to think of ways to cheer him up, but he wasn’t interested in playing or interacting with the family and then it came to us. The Christmas Tree! It might have been green outside with temperatures in the 80s, but we put up an artificial tree, decorated it and placed his beloved tree skirt beneath its boughs. Seeing him limp across the living room to the spot that’d always brought him so much comfort and joy brought tears to our eyes. For those final days, he lay beneath the tree, occasionally batting at an ornament and sticking out a paw when the dogs poked their noses in to check on him. It lifted his spirits and comforted him, taking away (I hope) some of his fear and pain. When the day came for us to say goodbye, we sang him Silent Night in the veterinarian’s office and held him as he crossed the rainbow bridge. Five months later, our tree is up again, and while my heart aches not to see him under it, I’m thankful we got to celebrate a last Christmas with our sweet little Angel. It’s the greatest gift I’ll ever receive. May he rest in peace.
Today, we’d would like to take this opportunity to wish all the faithful Heartwarming readers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. It’s such an honor knowing that you take time out of your busy schedules to sit down and read our books. We also love interacting with you throughout the year. So to thank you for enjoying our stories, we want to give a little something to you in way of thanks.
Leave a pet story in the comments and Karen and I will be giving away two prize packs. A cute snowman ornament along with one of our Heartwarming books. Either an autographed print copy of Christmas at Cade’s Ranch or a print copy of Karen’s February release, Winning the Cowboy’s Heart. From Tara, an autographed print copy of The Lawman’s Secret Vow or a Kindle ebook of Our Christmas Promise. Readers choice. We’ll announce the winners on Friday.
Merry Christmas everyone!
Tara Randel and Karen Rock look forward to their February 2019 releases, HIS HONOR, HER FAMILY and WINNING THE COWBOY’S HEART . OUR CHRISTMAS PROMISE, a 2018 Christmas Town story by Tara, is available now. Visit Tara at www.tararandel.com or on Facebook at Tara Randel Books. Sign up for Tara's newsletter here. Visit Karen at www.karenrock.com or on Facebook at Karen Rock.