The Christmas Cat
Besides penning dozens of published novels for teens and women, author Melody Carlson is known for releasing an annual Christmas book, which I personally look forward to each year. Her 2014 title is THE CHRISTMAS CAT and, as always, provides an easy and gratifying read, just in time for the holidays.
Garrison Brown was raised by his grandmother after his parents were killed in a car accident when he was 12. He has spent the past several years as a missionary in Uganda, and since his return to the states, he hasn’t visited his grandma as often as he would like. This is partly due to miles that separate them, but also --- if truth be told --- because he isn’t thrilled about the fact that she owns six cats. Garrison is highly allergic to felines and avoids cats at all costs. Not to mention he is slightly irritated by the fact that his grandma always treats her cats like they are her children.
"THE CHRISTMAS CAT is a heartwarming tale, perfect to curl up with on a cold night in front of the fireplace or cozied under a blanket. There are no complex storylines or deep takeaways, but it likely will leave readers with a warm and fuzzy feeling that goes perfectly with the holidays."
Garrison is devastated when he receives notice of his grandma’s death a few weeks before Christmas, and he sadly heads to her house to sort out her affairs. Her lawyer informs him of her request that he find homes for her six beloved cats. But there are stipulations for these homes. Some requirements are basic, like the location, while some are based on the particular temperaments and personalities of the individual cats. When his grandma’s neighbor and longtime friend, Ruby, quickly agrees to take in the first cat, Garrison is hopeful that the remaining five will be easy to adopt out. But the task isn’t as simple as Garrison thought it would be. As he waits for responses to newspaper ads he has posted, he takes his allergy pills and busies himself with cleaning up his grandma’s house, with a little help from Ruby’s difficult grandson, Elliott. Garrison even entertains the idea of pursuing his dream and turning the home into a halfway house for troubled young men trying to turn their lives around.
Discouragement begins to set in with the lack of response to his ads. Then, fortunately, new friend Cara --- to whom Garrison finds himself very attracted --- starts spreading the word. One by one, the cats are placed into good homes. In the process, much to his surprise, Garrison finds himself warming up to one particular cat, Harry. When only Harry remains, Garrison considers keeping the cat for himself and staying to fulfill his dream. His decision would be easy if only Cara was interested in exploring a relationship with him instead of her next-door-neighbor. But she’s clearly not, so the better option would probably be to accept a job offer he recently received and leave the house, Harry and Cara behind for good, and move on with his life.
The question is: Will he follow his head or his heart?
THE CHRISTMAS CAT is a heartwarming tale, perfect to curl up with on a cold night in front of the fireplace or cozied under a blanket. There are no complex storylines or deep takeaways, but it likely will leave readers with a warm and fuzzy feeling that goes perfectly with the holidays. Being a cat lover is not a prerequisite for this book, though it can’t hurt. The general overall themes include faith, following your heart, and keeping an open mind to the things --- or creatures --- God uses to get our attention.
If you’re searching for an uplifting and enjoyable read this Christmas season, THE CHRISTMAS CAT is a wonderful choice, guaranteed to bring a little cheer to your holidays.
Reviewed by Lynda Lee Schab on November 23, 2014