Holidays are the best time of the year for humans, ....  but not necessarily for cats.

BartholomewSometimes, they are left at home to be looked after by a neighbour, who doesn’t particularly care much for cats, but pops in to feed them and clear out the litter tray. Or they could spend the time their humans are away at a cattery.

This is precisely where Bartholomew found himself, on the approach to Christmas. His humans had booked some time in the sunny Canaries to escape the cold and were due back on Christmas Eve.  

The tree had been put up and the house decorated. Cupboards and freezers were stuffed with everything they could possibly need in preparation for their return, when they hoped to be home in time to buy the Brussels sprouts before the shops closed.

One by one, all the cats that were staying at the cattery, were collected in the days leading up to Christmas.  They went home to spend the festivities with their families, all that is, except Bartholomew.  

Bartholomew was the last remaining cat at the cattery. He should have been picked up that morning on Christmas Eve, but the airline, bringing his family home, had suddenly gone bust overnight.

Poor Bartholomew - there would be no Christmas for him, now.

Pamela, who ran the cattery, felt sorry for Bartholomew as he sat, anxiously, waiting for his family to arrive. He wasn’t to know about the telephone call she’d just taken. Bartholomew looked so sad and forlorn as the only cat left in the cattery. She scooped him up in his cat basket, then bent down and picked up his favourite ping pong ball from the run and took him into her big cosy house.

Oddly, she didn’t have a cat of her own. The cattery was her business; however, she did have two little chihuahuas; Teddie and Tubbie, who were most inquisitive about the new arrival in his cat basket.

Bartholomew was about the same size as the two dogs and they didn’t seem too bothered by him. So, Bartholomew made himself comfy on the old, dog-hair-covered sofa whilst Pamela organised her Christmas.

The phone rang. It was Bartholomew’s family. The earliest that they could fly home via another airline, would be Boxing Day. 

Bartholomew took advantage of the unexpected hospitality and jumped down from the sofa, then lay on a rug so he could soak up warmth from the wood burner. He felt quite at home! He even put up with the odd inquisitive sniff from Teddie and Tubbie.

BartholomewChristmas Day, Bartholomew was woken by the smell of turkey roasting. It reminded him of his own home where there were always titbits for him and Christmas treats. He jumped onto the work surface and supervised Pamela as she peeled sprouts, while she had a glass of bubbly, and found him some treats from the cat cupboard from the cattery stores.

Bartholomew was sitting by the patio window looking at the snow when Pamela flicked the ping pong ball from his cat basket onto the floor. Bartholomew had to prove, that cats are the ping pong ball chasing champions of the world, and he left Teddie and Tubbie breathless after they had an hour chasing the ball round the room, till it got lost behind a chest of drawers.

BartholomewRather than return to the cold, empty cattery, Bartholomew was allowed to stay in the house on Christmas Evening.  He climbed on Pamela's lap as she watched Christmas rubbish on TV, Teddie and Tubbie sitting either side of her, as she indulged in a festive glass of sherry.

When Pamela went to bed, that evening, Bartholomew curled up in front of the log burner again, as it gave out the last of its Christmas Day warmth.

Boxing Day morning saw Bartholomew back in his run in the cattery just moments before his family arrived to collect him. They were pleased to see him, and Bartholomew was so excited they were back. The offered to pay for the extra time Bartholomew had spent at the cattery but Pamela wouldn’t hear of it.

Bartholomew ready to go homeHe was popped into his carrier, his moglu and catnip mouse picked up. However, there was no sign of his favourite ping pong ball. His family looked everywhere in the cattery but there was no sign of it

Bartholomew knew where it was, so too did Pamela, and that would be their little secret of the Christmas Day kindness!

By Carol Lake



Five Good Reasons for Having Your Cat Neutered

  • Reduces fighting, injury and noise
  • Reduces spraying and smelling
  • Much less likely to wander and get lost
  • Safer from diseases like feline AIDS, mammary tumours and feline leukaemia
  • Reduces the number of unwanted kittens