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How The Tabby Cat Got Her M

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  • Westgold
    http://amyshojai.com/2011/12/23/feline-friday-a-christmas-cat-story-2/ Why Tabby Wears An M One of the most touching legends tells the story of a simple Tabby
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 23, 2011
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      Why Tabby Wears An M

      One of the most touching legends tells the story of a simple Tabby cat, and
      her gift on the very first Christmas day to a special mother and child.

      There was no snow that night in Bethlehem. Instead, the small cat watched a
      star-spangled sky from her perch in the window of a stable. She liked the
      stable, for it was a warm safe place to raise her furry babies, and the
      innkeeper sometimes left scraps out for her to nibble. Tabby wasn't
      particularly distinctive, and most humans didn't look at her twice. After
      all, her short gray/black fur was quite common. But Tabby's striped coat hid
      a heart bigger than cats twice her size.

      This night, though, Tabby was out of sorts, for she'd not been able to hunt
      and catch dinner. Travelers had poured into town for days, so noisy they
      disturbed decent cat-folks' rest. Why, they'd even invaded Tabby?s quiet
      stable, a place she had before shared only with other furry creatures. Tabby
      hadn't minded the human couple-they were calmer than most. She'd left that
      morning for her usual rounds, but when she returned, the stable was packed
      with people.

      From her perch on the window, Tabby watched the last of the strangers leave.
      She slipped from the window, and padded silently inside-and froze!

      "Meewwww, meewww, meewww," cried a tiny voice.

      A kitten? Tabby's ears turn this way and that to find the sound of the
      kitten's voice. It came from the manger, the very place Tabby often made her
      own bed. A woman knelt beside the manger, intent on the small mewling that
      arose from within. Tabby was drawn by the kittenish sound, though she knew
      her own furry babies were grown to cat-hood. She tiptoed forward very
      slowly, and passed by a wooly burro, a warm cow, and all the other animals.

      The woman looked up, and saw the striped cat. "Oh, little cat," she
      murmured, "my baby cannot sleep, and nothing calms him this night." She
      sighed, and turned back to the manger. "How grateful would I be to anyone
      able to bring him sweet dreams."

      And, as Tabby watched, each stable animal stepped forward in turn and tried
      to soothe the woman's baby. But the kittenish sounds continued, and finally
      Tabby could contain herself no longer.

      Quickly, she washed herself-paws, face, behind the ears, to the very tip of
      her tail (so as not to offend the child's mother)-and then shyly stepped
      forward. She leaped gracefully to the manger, and stared into the face of
      the most beautiful baby (human or kitten!) she'd ever seen. He cooed and
      smiled, waving his tiny hands at Tabby, and she very carefully drew in her
      claws and settled beside him. Forgotten was her empty tummy; she could only
      hear her heart calling out to this sweet human-kitten.

      And Tabby began to purr.

      The wondrous cat-song filled the stable with overwhelming emotion. The
      animals listened with awe, and the child's mother smiled as her baby quietly
      went to sleep.

      The child's mother placed her hand gently on the purring Tabby's forehead.
      "Blessings upon you, Tabby-cat, for this sweet gift given to me and my
      child," she said. And where she'd touched Tabby's brow, there appeared an
      M-the sign of the Madonna's benediction.

      From that day forward, all proper tabby cats are honored with an M on their
      brow for the great service they performed that first Christmas night. And
      Christmas nights often find Tabby cats staring into the night, purring as
      they recall a very special child their ancestor once sang to sleep.
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