Milo’s Christmas – Paul J. Youngman (Originally published 2013)
The little orange cat looked at the tree and thought, I can climb that tree. The tree in the cats sights, a dark green, pine Christmas tree, complete with ornaments and lights.
The tree stood in the living room of the small orange cat’s house, the tree stood three metres in height and it was centred in the living room front window. From outside it made an impressive view. But Milo the little orange kitten wouldn’t know that as he rarely ventured outside. Milo was an indoor cat; he had been rescued by the family who lived at the house. He was found outside, an abandoned litter of two kittens from a feral cat. A feral is a wild, outdoor, undomesticated cat. Milo and his sister were brought to this house temporarily while they waited to be adopted. His sister was adopted quickly, a beautiful kitten with the markings of tortoise shell, very desirable to some people.
A feral kitten is different from a normal kitten, they are skittish, not comfortable around people and it would seem instinctually wild. I suppose most kittens seem wild but Milo, maybe because he was orange or a combination of orange and feral, he was wilder than any other kitten I had come across.
As Milo approached the Christmas tree with stealth like caution, as if hunting for flying morsels of food that may have taken nest in the indoor fake tree. He disappeared under the ruby red blanket at the base of the tree. Milo made his way to the centre of the tree, at the very base and started making his way up the main trunk of the tree.
As I sat in my rocking chair reading the Saturday morning newspaper it became increasingly difficult to focus on the newsprint with the distraction of what appeared to be an orange tiger cub climbing within the branches of the Christmas tree. I sat up straight not quite believing what I was witnessing. I had thought Milo was behind the tree swatting at decorations and generally behaving as kittens will. The flash of orange in the midst of the trees branches made me shutter with fear for the safety of the tree, the window and even the kitten.
I called out, “Milo, what are you doing? Get down here.” Cats and especially kittens, don’t generally listen to people, Milo was no exception. At hearing my voice, curiosity got the better of him and he slithered out through the branches, almost half way up the tree his tiny orange face poked out, as if one of the hanging decorations. Milo our new Christmas ornament.
I rescued Milo from his perch and placed him gently on the floor, he scurried away in search of further adventure. I told the family about Milo’s Christmas tree climbing expedition. They all wanted to see pictures, thinking I made up the whole thing.
Christmas morning arrived and with it all the excitement, anticipation and expectations of things to come, from opening gifts to enjoying a holiday feast and giving thanks and gratitude for all that Christmas means. As the family gathered in front of the tree the window curtain was drawn back, it had snowed over night, the Christmas lights were turned on and a glorious winter wonderland was revealed.
As if on cue, Milo poked his head out from within the tree, he was perched near the top, right next to the shinning star.
Christmas tree kitty photo courtesy of: “pinimages.com”