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Bob Has a Home for Christmas

Story ID:6618
Written by:Michael Timothy Smith (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Writers Conference:My Favorite Holiday Story
Location:Caldwell Idaho USA
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Bob Has a Home for Christmas

He was a black beauty, rolling and playing with his sister in the office where my
wife Ginny worked. Her co-worker, Jake, got them from a friend. The office where they
worked was an old house in the barrier between farms and malls. No one saw a problem
with having a couple of kittens to entertain their stressful days.

The owner of the company, Jake’s brother, disagreed. “You can’t have cats here
in the office. There’re rules against such a thing. You need to get these kittens out of here.”

Pepe, as Jake called him, was separated from his sister. Jake took her home. Pepe
was left outside to fend with the other strays in the area. Ginny said many times to me
after a day at work, “Mike, if we had our own place, I’d bring him home. He’s so loving.
When he was in the office, he was always in my lap. Now that he’s outside, he runs to the
drivers for a pet on the head before and after they finish their day. If I’m outside,
enjoying my breaks in the sun, he’s always in my lap. I wish I could bring him home.”

“I know, Gin.” I agreed. “But you know Kitten and the prissy thing she is. She’d
never agree to another cat. I can see the battles they’d have.”

She sighed. “You’re right, but I feel bad for him.”

November came to Idaho. Temperatures were predicted to drop to the single
digits Fahrenheit. The company’s situation was just as cold. Business was bad. The
owner decided to shut down. Ginny held my hand. “Mike, no one will be there to feed the
cat. The temperatures are going to freeze that poor cat. I can’t leave him. I’m bringing
him home. Kitten can live in our room. Pepe can stay in the garage at night and go outside
during the day.”

“What about Heather?” (Ginny’s daughter) I asked. “You know how allergic she

“If kitten stays in our room and Pepe stays in the garage and outside, Heather
should be OK.”

I agreed. I also know there is no arguing with my wife once she has her mind
made up. I’d seen Pepe the few times I visited Ginny’s office. He was a scrawny thing.
He was not the cat I saw in Ginny’s arms that cold November night she brought him
home. Apparently, they were feeding him well. He’d gained several pounds and his fluffy
fur shined with health.

Here was this beautiful, big boy, not much more than a stray, draped in Ginny’s
arms. “Mike, help me.” She’d bought a new litter box and food for her rescue.

I opened the door to the garage, where she carried Pepe. I filled his littler box,
food and water bowls, and sat down on the floor. Pepe was in my lap purring in a minute.
I was stunned. Ginny grabbed him up from her office, where he lived outside, put him in
car, and deposited him in a strange place, and yet, this big guy was curled in my lap.
Most cats would have hissed, bitten, scratched, or hid. Not for this big boy. He was a
loving giant.

The name Pepe didn’t seem right to me. Bob came to mind. He reminded me of a
cat who lived next door to me in Ohio and was as loving as the guy in my lap. His name was Bob, so Pepe became Bob.

Several weeks went by. Bob settled in nicely. Kitten hissed when she smelled his
scent on me. We kept them apart. Our grand children took turns going to the garage to
visit Bob and receive his love. We noticed Bob had worms, which we treated. He’s filling
out nicely. Bob also has a tiny cry for such a big cat. I hear it often, when he’s lonely and
wants to be loved.

We still try to find a home for him, but he’s not going to be cold and lonely this
Christmas. He’ll receive a gift from Santa and get to play with the ribbon and the bow.

Deep down, I know he will probably be ours. He’s captured my heart. Rest,
assured, Bob has a home for Christmas.

Michael T. Smith

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