Christmas ~ Once More, With Felines

Many of you met Dixie Rose and her merry Cat Carols some years ago, but newer readers haven’t had the pleasure. She’s no longer with me to celebrate the season, but her legacy lives on. In this difficult year, her carols — including one never before published — seem a fitting tribute, and a fine bit of fun.

If you dared to laugh at the antlers, you laughed at your peril. That business-like look in the eyes of my beautiful calico demanded respect. Dixie Rose (short for Dixie Rose, Center of the Universe and Queen of All She Surveys) loved Christmas, and she intended to be ready when it arrived. I never attempted to stand in her way.

Dixie arrived on my doorstep as an unloved, four-month-old stray who became my first real pet. During my childhood, the painted turtle met an unfortunate end, and the birthday puppy that terrified me with its enthusiasm had to be sent away, but even the feisty fox squirrel and standoffish prairie dog that arrived later and stayed longer hardly qualified as pets.

Dixie Rose was a different matter. A beautiful, spoiled creature, she brought me great happiness despite her quirks, and eventually she came to accept me with bemused tolerance.

During our first Christmas season together, it became obvious that old routines would have to be adjusted. Tree trimming and gift wrapping ended in chaos as shredded ribbon, broken ornaments, and pulled-down swags marked her passage through the house.

After she tipped the tree a second time and then a third, I surrendered. We celebrated with a bare tree weighted at its base with several feet of galvanized chain. No candles burned. No poinsettias glowed. Presents piled up in the closet until time for humans to unwrap them, and all things sparkly were banned due to my furry darling’s obsessive appetite for tinsel, glitter, and gold.

As Christmas Day approached, Dixie and I engaged in sharp disagreement about the nature of true celebration. Things weren’t always good that year, and the phrase “This hurts me more than it hurts you” became as common as “Merry Christmas.”

Eventually, I began trying to distract her and amuse myself with the first of the Cat Carols. Before long, she began to contribute her own verses. (Click any title for the original version.)

Wreck the Halls

Wreck the halls all decked with holly,
Fa-la-la-la-la, la la-la-la.
Sheer destruction is so jolly,
Fa-la…
Tip the tree with all its treasures,
Fa-la…
Shred the presents for good measure!
Fa-la…
Fast away the fur-ball passes,
Fa-la…
To wreak havoc on the masses,
Fa-la…
Swinging through the punch and cookies,
Fa-la…
Snarling at the reindeer rookies,
Fa-la…

When I included the lyrics to “Wreck the Halls” in Dixie’s Christmas card to her vet, he suggested she keep writing. So, she did.

Stalking in a Winter Wonderland

Collars ring, are you listening?
In the lane, eyes are glistening…
The moon is so bright, we’re happy tonight,
Stalking in a winter wonderland.
Gone away are the bluebirds,
Here to stay are the new birds.
They sing their sweet songs as we skulk along,
Stalking in a winter wonderland.
In the meadow we can build a snow mouse,
And pretend that he is fat and brown.
He’ll say “Are you hungry?” We’ll say, “No, mouse,
but we’ll save you for dinner on the town.”
Later on, we’ll retire
For a snooze by the fire,
And dream of the prey we’ll catch the next day,
Stalking in a winter wonderland.

Of course, not everyone loves the kitty-cats, so there’s even a song for them. I don’t advocate shooting cats (or dogs, or people, for that matter), but I do understand how pure frustration might lead to this:

Jingle Bells

Jingle bells, shotgun shells, there’s that danged old cat!
Get my gun, let’s have some fun, I know just where he’s at!
Jingle bells, oh, Hell’s bells, now he’s on the run!
If I find my glasses, that cat’s hunting days are done.
A day or two ago, I thought I’d feed the birds,
I grabbed a bag of seed, a second and a third.
But halfway ‘cross the yard, I saw the bushes shake,
It was my neighbor’s scroungy cat, a big orange tom named Jake.
Oh, jingle bells, shotgun shells, (repeat chorus)…..
I love to feed the birds, it makes me feel so glad.
But Jake, that danged old cat, he makes me so darned mad!
He’s not content to eat a lizard or a mouse,
He wants to eat my pretty birds: that cat’s a stinking louse!
Oh, jingle bells, shotgun shells (repeat chorus)

Like children, cats need to be reminded that the magical night is not far off, and there’s a cautionary tale just for them:

Santa Cat is Coming to Town

Oh, you’d better not hiss, you’d better not bite,
You’d better not tempt the dog to a fight;
Santa Cat is coming to town!
He’s making a list, checking it twice,
Gonna find out who chased all those mice,
Santa Cat is coming to town!
He knows when you’ve been scratching,
He knows who you’ve outfoxed,
He knows if you’ve been in a snit
And refused your litter box!
With potted cat grass and catnip-filled balls,
Snuggly warm beds and mice from the malls,
Santa Cat is coming to town.

Eventually Dixie’s online friends joined the fun, sending along their own contributions to the songfest. Housecats themselves, Mister Man and Miss Moo knew how to have a good time despite not being allowed to stalk in the great outdoors.

Hark! The Housebound Felines Sing

Hark! the housebound felines sing,
Glory to the milk-jug ring!
Mice on earth and squirrels reviled,
Even indoors we are wild!
Warily our tails we twitch as
Through the halls our toys we pitch, while
With triumphant meows proclaim,
Cats do have superior brains!
Hark, the housebound felines sing,
Glory to the milk jug ring!

Eventually, Dixie began working on another song, but while “O, Christmas Bush” bubbled away in our lyrical stewpot, she departed this mortal coil, leaving only a fragment of song:

O, Christmas Bush

O, Christmas Bush, O, Christmas Bush,
I sat upon you with my tush.
I did not see you lying there;
Thank God you weren’t a prickly pear.
O Christmas Bush, O, Christmas Bush,
I do believe you’re flattened.

It’s pure silliness of course: just another bit of holiday excess. On the other hand, excess isn’t necessarily bad, and even silly excess can become a path toward truth.

Singing these seasonal parodies to Dixie Rose, I often thought of another, joy-filled carol. Remarkably, we don’t sing, “Joy to human beings: joy to those who walk upright, drive cars, open too many credit card accounts, and are nasty on social media.” We don’t sing, “Joy to the church-goers, the faithful, the worthy, the few.” No, we sing, “Joy to the world, the Lord is come. Let earth receive her king.”

The joy we sing is meant for the whole world: for stars and dirt, mountains and seas, trees, rocks, valleys and hills, and every creature that dwells within. While human hearts prepare, heaven and nature are singing out this truth: the gifts of the season are meant for all. The coming of truth and grace is meant for the world as a whole. We who inhabit that world, tracing a path upon its soil and gazing upon its stars, are called to sing its praises, too.

Whether you celebrate Christmas or whether you don’t, whether you take the promises of the season seriously or simply enjoy the traditions and the festivity, accept these bits of silliness as a gift from Dixie Rose. Feel free to laugh at them, sing them to yourself, or pass them on to friends. Believe me – an entire room filled with pet-lovers singing these songs can be hilarious, and they’ve been known to bring a smile even to the face of the most anti-feline Scrooge.

As for Dixie Rose, eventually she learned she could avoid kitty-jail by avoiding kitty-misbehavior, and we trimmed our tree in peace. Free to hang ornaments even on the lowest branches, and to display cookies and gifts without fear, I prepared our celebrations while she spent her afternoons sleeping in the low, slanting light. I often imagined visions of catnip-plums dancing in her head as she awaited, in perfect peace and joy, whatever gifts would come next.

In this season of Advent, this season of waiting and anticipation, may we all be blessed with such peace and joy.

 

Comments always are welcome.

109 thoughts on “Christmas ~ Once More, With Felines

  1. I lift my cuppa tea to your memories of Dixie Rose. She left a legacy behind by having spent time with the greatest of story tellers. So glad you shared these along with the permission to pass along. I would love to do so to my FB cat-lovers. Thanks and the first of many Merry Christmas wishes to you.

    1. Christmas is a time for memories, and my memories of Dixie Rose are among the sweetest. She could be a handful (that photo of her in ‘time out’ is a favorite), but she learned some self-discipline over the years, and I gained some understanding of the feline mind. Do feel free to pass these along — I know it would please Dixie!

    1. A little good humor always is in order: snark and sarcasm, begone! And, yes. She did have beautiful eyes, and beautiful markings. Not only that, she never clawed the furniture and never jumped on a table or counter. She was perfect, in her way.

  2. What a delight! I’ve only seen a picture or two of Dixie Rose in the past. She was beautiful… and those eyes – they are striking!! I have to admit the Jingle Bells prose was my favorite. I’m more of a dog person, but I have to admit that it’s my youngest sister who keeps me good with cats. She’s always been gaga about cats, and of all things she’s allergic to their dander. Recently, my brother discovered six scrawny kittens huddled next to a very dead mother in his barn. My sister took two of them – Hazel and Olive. Each day we talk on the phone I’m amused at how her voice changes to a higher pitch and she gets all silly talking to her cats. And my brother, who grumps around about those danged kittens, built a little cat house to get the kittens through the cold Nebraska winter. And, he always manages to find some kitchen scraps and makes a gravy to make sure they have a little extra something to go with the dry cat food. I’m happy to be amused by other’s cat stories more than I would be to have a cat of my own. Thank you for sharing your love and legacy of Dixie Rose.

    1. I’ve always enjoyed your photos of your dogs, and your dog stories, too. I’m not surprised you’d call yourself more of a dog person; thank goodness there’s room in the world for both dogs and cats (not to mention deer, hamsters, birds, and turtles).

      I didn’t realize how interesting cats could be until Dixie came into my life. I certainly learned a lot of lessons in our time together, including the fact that you don’t impose anything on a cat. You persuade them to your way of thinking — or adjust to theirs. I was surprised, too, that a cat could be trained. Eventually, I got Dixie to the point that she’d come to an open door and then stop, without going on to the patio or out the front door.

      Well, I could go on and on — just like your sister. Cats do that to some of us!

    1. I’m surprised you didn’t name your pair Frankie and Johnny, but they might not have arrived together. We certainly do miss them when they’re gone. Perhaps Lucy and Twiggy could do some canine versions — they surely must have their own Christmas routines.

    1. I’m so glad you’re going to be able to celebrate another holiday season with Milo. I’ve developed some affection for him over the years, and I hope you have him for many more. Is there a special treat he enjoys at Christmas? Perhaps a bit of Speculaas? or one of those Bunnings sausages?

  3. Love this Linda…the fun songs and the more serious thoughts. As a former cat parent, I understand all this quite well; I remember finding the tree tipped over in the morning and later realizing the youngest cat was biting the light bulbs right off the stair railing. Dixie Rose was a lovely cat!

    1. Oh, dear. I hope those light bulbs didn’t cause any harm. Broken glass in the digestive system isn’t good, and neither is electrocution. Compared to Christmas lights, tinsel and garlands seem almost benign. They do leave us with some great memories, don’t they? I never hear one of these songs now without thinking of Dixie Rose.

      1. She lived a long life so I guess not! Maybe she didn’t actually swallow the glass? It was difficult to tell by what she left behind… Yes, pets do leave us with wonderful memories and writing topics!

    1. How I’ve missed this piece over the decades I don’t know, but listening to it was quite an — experience. The number of versions surprised me, but I certainly enjoyed this one. Kiri Te Kanawa is one of my favorites, and has been since she worked with Bernstein on the recording of West Side Story.

  4. The cat carols are wonderful, Linda, and spot-on. We’ve modified our Christmas decoration strategies since Sofia, Swiffer, and Turk joined our indoor family, although they are leaving the tree alone more as they age. The first few years the tree was decorated by cats more than by ornaments. We also had to stop hanging lights on our deck after the feral cats came under our care, but now that the colony has faded we may be able to start again.

    Dixie Rose was a beautiful cat. We hang cat and dog photo ornaments on our tree, going back to the first dogs we had just after we were married. They bring back wonderful memories as we hang them each year.

    1. I would have assumed your deck lights were safe, had not another commenter mentioned her cats’ propensity for biting off the light bulbs strung along her stair railing. Age can mellow behavior, both human and feline; Dixie certainly mellowed with age, and it sounds as though yours have, too.

      It didn’t occur to me until I read your comment that I don’t have a single cat ornament on my tree. There’s an armadillo, several squirrels, two cardinals, and a flock of ducks on the wing, but no cat. I’ll have to ponder that. It seems a little strange, but there’s surely a reason that in all these years a cat ornament never appeared.

    1. What a great name for a cat, and how nice that your daughter has a calico. If I were to get another cat (which I won’t, for a variety of reasons), it would be a calico. They’re not only pretty, they have interesting personalities.

  5. You can learn a lot of important stuff from cats. They have an unerring instinct for finding the best seat in the house. We clever Humans are masters of tool use. Cats, on the other hand, are masters of tool users. It’s called energy efficiency. (They’re masters of that, too.)

    1. Your distinction between human tool users and cats as our masters is spot on. As for the best seat in the house, cats know that it’s the sunny one — wherever that might be.

  6. A delightful homage to a character filled feline.
    While you can now holiday away without the dramas, it’s poor consolation for her absence.

    1. So true. On the other hand, we had eighteen years together and she was healthy until the end; that’s certainly something to celebrate. I enjoy remembering her as much as I miss her, and I get a kick out of sharing her with others.

    1. I got you to laugh? My day is complete! Honestly, I think we all could use a little good humor at this point. Once I add A Christmas Story to Dixie’s carols and Charlie Brown’s Christmas, I might even have a touch of holiday spirit myself.

      Speaking of Charlie Brown and the gang, I came across a guy who uses them to animate popular songs. Here’s a taste of his work that I really like. He’s done everything from “Bohemian Rhapsody” to “La Grange.” His YouTube channel’s great fun to explore.

  7. If you haven’t copyrighted your versions, you might consider it. And if you could get a group of singers to record them, I’ll bet there’s a market of cat owners out there who would buy the recording as a novelty Christmas present, along with other people who’d buy it to give to cat owners they know.

    1. You might be right, since people seem willing to buy just about anything. I’ll tuck your suggestion into the file labeled “Things to think about after life’s put back together again.” Once I get my car home, settle back into a work routine, and gather up possessions that lie scattered across three hill country counties, maybe I’ll be able to gather my thoughts!

  8. I missed these, as I know you missed Dixie Rose. It’s good to see these here again. She was one of the prettiest cats I’ve ever seen. There’s something about a calico — those and my orange boys capture my heart (although my little black-and-white girl is a winner!). The lyrics are so clever. I admit, I have made up a few lyrics to carols for Lizzie myself. (“Oh, come, let us adore me! I’m Lizzie Cosette.”) Yours are FAR more clever!

    1. She was a beauty, and you captured her so well in your painting. It’s still on the top shelf of my desk, along with her paw print. There’s a big orange tom that’s been hanging around my bird feeders, going after the birds and the squirrels. I don’t know if his name is Jake, but he’s living on borrowed time at this point. If I can find a trap, I’m going to see if I can entice him in, and take him to our local animal rescue. They’re a no-kill shelter, and I think he’d make a great pet if someone could tame him down.

      “O, come, let us adore me’ is just filled with catitude — perfect for your Lizzie!

    1. That made me laugh. They say roughage is an important part of anyone’s diet, and there’s no question a Christmas tree would provide any cat’s daily requirements.

  9. Hahaha! and Ho Ho Ho! My gosh, Linda these are just great!! I was actually laughing out loud at this inspired nonsense, you’re a one-woman Texas Tin Pan Alley. The gift of laughter is a wonderful one, thank you!
    My family’s cat passed away while I was home for Thanksgiving. But he had 17 1/2 years of stalking, trouble-making, noise-making, dog-swatting, and snoozing in laps, as well as a certain amount of tree ornament-attacking, and we’ll remember him as a pretty merry little character, who loved the holidays, because that meant heaps of packaging to explore, and the Gift of Delicious Chicken (his favorite). Thanks for this wonderful post.

    1. It’s always tough to lose an animal, and when they’ve been around as long as yours, they really do become part of the family. Dixie Rose was just a little older when she died: eighteen. She never had a dog to swat, though. I’ll bet she would have liked that, given the chance. It sounds like one difference between your cat and Dixie involved food preferences; Dixie never would eat a bite of human food. She’d turn up her nose at chicken, tuna, salmon, steak — it really was odd.

      A little laughter is good for the soul, and I’m glad you enjoyed these carols. They developed over several years, but they have turned into a nice little collection, and they’ve brought a lot of smiles, even for me.

    1. She was gorgeous, but she never was maligned — except, perhaps, by the young boys she escaped from before she came to live with me at about four months of age. She decided she’d had enough of being carried around by the tail, and when I offered shelter, she accepted.

  10. How I remember these, I loved them then, and again in the reprise.
    They made me remember the poem that Blue sent to Dixie Rose. (We did have talented cats.)

    Can you believe it is almost eight years (22nd December 2012) since Blue crossed over the rainbow.
    He left a hole in our hearts, as he was such a gentle and peaceful cat, unlike his successor who is a noisy, mischievous live-wire.

    Wishing you a very peaceful Christmas… and hopefully, a better year next year.

    1. I’ve been trying to remember whether it was Blue that you photographed in mid-air, leaping from what I remember as a kitchen counter. Perhaps it was your ‘live wire.’ In any event, I still can see that photo as if it were yesterday. It is hard to imagine that so much time has passed since the days that Blue was with you. As my great-aunt Rilla liked to say, Tempus fidgets.

      I hope all’s well in your part of the world, and that you are keeping well. Our summer lingered especially long this year, but that’s over now, and we’re going to be cold for Christmas. If we can’t have snow, at least some cold temperatures will be nice. It’s too bad we can’t go Christmas caroling for real. Next year!

  11. It’s no wonder you love her! Isn’t it amazing, what we’ll do for and tolerate from our beloved pets? Thanks for your funny and heartfelt memories of dear Dixie–and the song! Oh that song!

    1. They’re heart-stealers, no question about that. And anyone who thinks dogs are more relationship oriented, and care more about pleasing their human companions than cats, hasn’t been around many cats. The bonds often are strong, and they don’t end with death.

  12. Oh, I needed this! Even if I ended with a tear in my eye for memories of your Dixie Rose tales and for my Gus, who joined her in July.

    I’m forwarding a link to my fellow crazy cat ladies here at work!

    1. Share these little ditties at will, Gué. Even some of my friends who’ve never been staff to a cat enjoy them. I sense that people are craving a little good humor and fun this year, and who better to provide that fun than our pets?

  13. What a fun bunch of carols! Dixie Rose was a beautiful cat and a good soul to have around. I’ll bet you still miss her at times.

    1. I certainly do miss her. It’s a different kind of missing now, though. For the first couple of years, it was tinged with grief, but now I just find myself thinking how nice it was to have her around. Needless to say, I’ve had those thoughts particularly during the recent months. She would have been a boon companion during this pandemic.

  14. What delight it is to hear Dixie Rose’s Kitty Carols again! Quite the talented feline, Linda, as I’m sure you’re well aware. I must have done something right, for Dallas never bothered the Christmas tree. Sure, his fuzzy tail occasionally swept ornaments from the bottom-most branches, but I’m pretty positive it wasn’t intentional. Perhaps ornaments don’t smell as yummy as balls from PetsMart!

    1. Your mention of Dallas’s tail sweeping the ornaments off their branches made me laugh. I recently met a big dog with a similar tail, and he swept my half-filled water glass right off a table entirely by accident. Those big tails have some power behind them.

      I thought of you last night, when I was looking through a certain YouTuber’s offerings. As a flute player, I think you might get a kick out of this song. It’s not a Christmas carol, but it certainly makes me happy. The flute player is Jerry Eubanks, who now runs a soap company in South Carolina. How’s that for a career change?

      1. Oh, now that puts a BIG smile on my face — thank you, Linda! I imagine my old music teachers and band directors would say it just goes to show music education can open entire worlds!

    1. Well, if it’s a romp down a real lane you want this season, there’s always Roy. I suspect he brings his share of smiles, too. Like you, I hope everyone can find some joy this season: or, if we can’t find joy, maybe joy will find us.

  15. What a marvelous, original post. How I enjoyed it. Those verses had me smiling away, just brilliant. And what a beautiful cat Dixie Rose was, sounds like she had a character to match those good looks.xxx

    1. She was beautiful — and smart, and quirky, and standoffish, and affectionate (but only in her way). She never was a lap cat; she sat in my lap exactly once before deciding she didn’t like it. But she demanded her treats on a regular schedule, and brought her brush to me when she wanted to be brushed, carrying it in her mouth. She really was quite a creature.

  16. Dixie Rose sounded like such a special cat! And I LOVED those carols. Sometimes creativity is the best way to deal with frustrations, and the lyrics proved that. I’m glad she settled down in her later years and let you decorate the tree, but hey, every relationship has it’s sacrifices. Thanks for this post…it made my Christmas brighter!

    1. At least for me, creativity never arrives in the midst of frustrations. All of these lyrics actually were created after the the experiences they describe — sometimes long after. Writing requires thought, and there were times when the only thoughts in my mind were akin to “Get out of that &#%^$^ tree!”

      Even when I don’t rewrite/repost these, they always make my Christmas brighter; I’m glad they brought a smile to you, too. Heaven knows we all can use an extra smile or two this year.

  17. Those are some great tunes! Personally I think I like Dixie Rose’s lyrics better than the originals. Bentley has been getting a little Dixie Roseish lately. Today he tore apart Mary Beth’s purse while we were dropping her car off for repairs. Just typical of what we pet lovers live with for their love.

    She was definitely a gorgeous kitty.

    1. I presume you had a word with Bentley about appropriate behavior. Did Mary Beth have a treat in her purse, or did the purse insult Bentley in some way that we humans can’t perceive? To paraphrase Pascal, our pets have reasons which human reason cannot know.

      Still, we love them. Sometimes I was pretty sure Dixie Rose only tolerated me, but that was fine. At least her desire to keep some distance kept her off my keyboard.

      1. No treat, in the purse or otherwise after that behavior. He hates being left alone so gets into mischief to amuse himself. We should have had the purse with us but forgot and the shoulder strap was at beagle height. Lately he grabs something and holds it in his mouth expecting a ribe to let it go. We did that at the start but decided to stop and he does eventually let it go.

  18. I enjoyed your post so very much, I sent a link of it to my daughters (who have nice kitties but they become naughty at Christmas). Calico cats are so very special and just like you were blessed with your Dixie Rose, we also had a calico kitten show up on our doorstep years ago and we adopted her. Callie too is no longer with us but she was the best feline I’ve ever had. She loved all things glittery just like your kitty and didn’t want to leave the tree trimmed. Eventually, she learned to behave but she still would “steal” any jewelry lying around!

    1. The calicos really do have recognizable personalities. I wouldn’t have thought that breeds of cats differ, like dogs, but there’s no question that they do. Of course individuals have their own little quirks, but there’s no question that if I were to have another cat, I’d want a calico. I love that your Callie would steal jewelry; that’s a cat with very good taste!

          1. I have two cats and cannot be without. When my clever Benjy was killed (he was found dead with a hole in his chest). I was so upset but after a few days started ringing round the animal shelters and adopted Ted, a black and white 4 month old, all on his own as his siblings had all gone. He purred to loudly when I picked him up and cried pitifully when I put him down to look at some others, I just had to go back for him. He is a delightful, affectionate 7 year old now and gets on quite well with my elderly 18 year old torty.

          2. There are two reasons I’ll not have another cat. One is that, at my age, it’s entirely possible the animal would outlive me, and that isn’t something I’d want to happen. A second reason is finances. I live on a very tight budget, and while food, litter, and toys aren’t much of an expense, vet bills can be. Dixie never required more than minimal care, but if I had another animal who did have physical problems, it could be an issue. The well-being of the animal is more important than my wishes.

  19. What fun, reading through all the comments.

    “Dogs have owners; cats have staff.” How true! lol

    All this pet humor and reminiscing of beloved pets current and past, has given me the urge to watch some Simon’s Cat Christmas videos.

    1. Can you believe I’d forgotten about Simon’s Cat? I just had a few fun minutes scrolling through some, both old and new. I’ll explore a little more tonight — thanks for the nudge!

    1. She was a character, for sure. She certainly wasn’t the typical cat — she never scratched anything but her scratching post, she refused all human food, and so on — but we got on quite nicely. I do miss her, and it’s especially fun to remember her during this season.

  20. Just lovely, Linda. Fun. I’m just sorry Dixie Rose wasn’t around to visit when we dropped by this summer. I used to dress our cat up in antlers as well. The very best to you this season and in the New Year! –Curt

    1. In truth, those antlers are a very awkward photoshop attempt. There’s no way in this world or any other that Dixie would have allowed me to put antlers on her. She wasn’t willing to accept a collar, let alone costuming!

      It’s hard to believe Christmas is almost here. Of course, I’ve lost an entire week to my mechanical complications; if all goes well, I’ll be off tomorrow to collect Princess and bring her home. I’m more than ready!

  21. Here i am late as usual but I love this one of all the poems that your wrote about Dixie Rose. She was a very fine feline and a great southern beauty. I equally love cats and dogs and would not be without one or the other. I remember the painting of Dixie that hangs in the home of one of your friends. I just don’t understand why no one ever painted a portrait of Dixie for you to have for your home.

    1. You can’t be late! Christmas hasn’t even come. I’m just proud of myself for getting these posted ahead of the big day. As for paintings, I’m looking at one right now, sitting atop my desk. It’s Dixie at about six months old — that time in a cat’s life when the tail still is longer than the body. See? She surely was a beauty, even as a young ‘un.

  22. Oh, that was fun! So clever – even better than your amusing title would suggest. I might be a teeny bit more invested than usual in the general theme, too, as our 10-month-old puppy has upended many traditions here at home this year. Ugh.

    1. What? The puppies are enthusiastic about opportunities for Christmas mayhem, too? I’ve never had a dog, but I’ve met a puppy or several in my life, and I can only imagine. Still, their antics are amusing (sometimes after the fact), and who would give up their companionship? Give your little canine a pet for me, and have a Merry Christmas yourself!

  23. When we have a special pet in our life, whether a cat or a dog, the memories can be treasured as are those of your Dixie Rose. I’ve had one of each, though neither as mischievous as your Dixie Rose. I enjoyed her holiday song lyrics eliciting melodies to which I could easily sing along. No doubt feelings toward the actual activities in which she engaged at the time may have mellowed over time allowing you a more tolerant retroactive perspective of her antics. Life for me has had a way of doing that for many experiences over time .

    1. It’s true that time, if not capable of healing all wounds, certainly has a way of allowing healing to occur. The same is true for grudges, irritations, and frustrations. We can hang on to them if we like, but it requires effort. Forgetting and forgiving are easier, or at least require less energy. It’s a kind of emotional entropy. I know that Dixie frustrated me nearly to my limits a few times, but the time between frustrations increased as I learned to understand her feline mind. When a vet tech taught me how to hiss like a mama cat when I wanted to tell her “no,” things really improved!

  24. It’s been quite a few decades since any “pet” has lived with me – and when I did have furbabies I had many – all with totally different characters

    love the Cat carols that evolved when you were “semi-owned” by Dixie

    Happy Holidays from Catherine @ Auckland, New Zealand

    1. I’m not sure I was semi-owned. By the time she got done with me, I was at her beck and call — at least, for the most part. Of course, she repaid me by being a phenomenally well-behaved kitty most of the time. She was neat with her litter box, she never jumped on furniture or counters, and she never clawed anything except the post made for such shenanigans. She wasn’t a lap kitty, but lay at my feet when I was at the computer and always reminded me when it was time for her treat. Just writing about her makes me miss her all over again.

  25. Sweet memories. I remember well Dixie Rose and her fun-filled lyrics. Love this line: He’ll say “Are you hungry?” We’ll say, “No, mouse,
    but we’ll save you for dinner on the town.”
    Wishing you peace and joy over the holidays and throughout next year.

    1. That’s one of my favorite parts of the carols, too. I think a little nod to reality here and then actually strengthens the lyrics. I’m hoping for some peace and joy for everyone. For a variety of reasons, the year hasn’t been as hard for me as for others — at least, until those recent events you know about! But everyone is tired, and setting aside politics and pandemic for a time is important. There’s more to life than that pair, however difficult they are to cope with.

      Merry Christmas to you and H, and to your whole family. I hope your new year brings wonderful new neighbors — and no retrograde silliness, if you please!

  26. This is a beautiful tribute to Dixie Rose, Linda! She was a gorgeous cat, and I can see that calico personality in her eyes. I hope she continues to write from her celestial home.

    Her special iris bloomed here this year.

    1. I’m so pleased to know that the iris bloomed, Lavinia. That was such a sweet gesture on your part; even when memories are all we have left, it’s nice to enliven them in one way or another.

      It is true that calicos have distinct personalities; it was great fun to learn to live with hers. Of course, I suspect there were times when she wondered if living with me was worth the effort. I’m glad she seemed to think so, in the end.

  27. It is so timely to read this. Tomorrow our second daughter comes home with cat and dog in tow and the house will be turned upside down. Of course, it is a delight and a bit of shock against the quiet of our life otherwise. But they most certainly teach me a thing or two about praise each year!

    1. I’m so glad you’re going to have a bit of a family Christmas — including the four-footed ones. The sort of chaos they introduce is almost always pleasurable: for its unpredictability, if nothing else. I hope your celebrations of the Feast are warm and comfortable, and that all is well in your world!

  28. Wow, Dixie Cat was beautiful and her carols are so clever, specially stalking in a winter wonderland. Our cat Treacle did as wonderful version of Silent Night at 3am every night during Advent and Christmas and indeed all year. Needless to say there was nothing silent about it!

    Juliet
    http://craftygreenpoet.blogspot.com

    1. I love that name — Treacle. Was it a reference to sweetness, or color, or both? I must admit I missed Dixie Rose even more than usual during the past months. She would have made a wonderful companion during the lockdowns. Do you still have a cat (or cats)? They’re underrated by so many people.

      I’m so happy you stopped by. At once point, WordPress wiped out all of the Blogger people I followed, and I know there are still more that I haven’t recovered. I have a different feeder reader now, and I’ve just added you to it. I’ll look forward to reading your posts again in the New Year. I hope it’s a happy one for you!

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