The Christmas Kitten

by Lori Dwyer on December 13, 2011 · 32 comments

Santa came a little early, here in the Tiny Train House, to bring us an early present.

It’s tiny. And very cute. Chop, who is technically the owner of this particular present, was given the owner of choosing his name.

Poor thing ended up being christened ‘Mr Tree’. I’m not sure why either. But considering how taken he is with our Christmas tree, it certainly suits the little guy.

It’s a strange experience, for all of us, having something even more vulnerable than we are to take care of, someone other than ourselves to nurture. It’s lovely. The Chop is very much in love- sharing biscuits with this tiny kitten who weighs only a kilo. Mr Tree seems to know he was bought here specifically for my little boy, and has taken up sleeping residence on the Chop’s bed, much to my son’s delight.

I hesitated at the idea of a new pet at first, especially something so tiny and with the potential to be hurt. I can’t stand the idea of my little boy having to say goodbye to something else he loves, after losing his dad and his dog… how could I explain it, on the off chance that this animal died? I know, I know, it’s unlikely… but I don’t count on unlikely as a means of protection anymore. I seem to beat the odds in an awful way.

It wasn’t until this past weekend, when we went to collect our new little bundle of stripy orange kitten claws, that I realised what a mistake that would have been. The Chop accepted the death of his dog with considerable mourning but total understanding… he already knew what dead meant, and where his dog had gone. But the concept of bringing a new family member into our house- a life coming instead of leaving- was totally foreign to him. He couldn’t understand that this cat was going to be ours, that he was coming home with us. It didn’t quite sink until he went to bed that night, I think, kitten curled up beside him.

It’s nice to have something new to love, a distraction around this time of year. And, once again, I’m almost proud of myself… it would have been easy to let that creeping fear kick in and justify the desicion that the risk of us all being hurt again was just too great. I’m glad I didn’t. Love’s worth it, even when it hurts. And I don’t want to show my kids, directly or otherwise, that it’s something to shy away from. Loving stuff, even if you lose it… it’s what makes life sweet.

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{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

Pet Stores Melbourne December 25, 2011 at 9:03 pm

Agree it is wonderful.


marketingtomilk December 18, 2011 at 7:28 am

Love this, and think it's just wonderful.



Romina December 17, 2011 at 5:29 am

I usually cry when I read your blog, but this happy post made me bawl. My mom has stage 4 breast cancer, and it's spread a lot and it hasn't even been a year since she was diagnosed, and I'm only 20. I need my mom. Anyways, I've been really depressed and crying and I have two kitties, and sometimes all it takes is a lick on the nose (or the eyelid) when I'm crying to make me feel less alone and less sad. They seem to know just what to do when I'm particularly sad to make me smile, despite the tears. There are still good things in the world and it's important to remember that, and caring for such cute little creatures can be very therapeutic. "Loving stuff, even if you lose it… it's what makes life sweet." Like someone else said, I really, really needed to read that right now. Thank you, and I hope you, your kiddos, and Mr. Tree have a wonderful Christmas.


Anonymous December 16, 2011 at 2:23 am

This post just made me cry, but in a good way.

"Loving stuff, even if you lose it… it's what makes life sweet."… I needed to read that right now – thank you Lori!

p.s. kisses to Mr Tree – he's adorable! xx


Steph in Tampa December 14, 2011 at 8:55 am

I love this post.

I'm so happy for you and the kids that you brought Mr. Tree into your home. He is adorable, and I just LOVE the name.


Steph in Tampa


Rhonda December 14, 2011 at 6:02 am

Mr. Kitten is adorable. He's lucky to be in your house!


Bambi Kay December 14, 2011 at 2:04 am

"Love's worth it, even when it hurts." Lori, this is such a beautiful statement. I wish you guys much joy with your little addition. Love to you all.


Hamlet005 December 14, 2011 at 1:45 am

The only cure for death is life.

This is one of the most important lessons pets teach us…in my experience the new pet (or the surviving pets) make things so much easier…and sometimes even for each other. Our Golden mourned the death of her buddy the Great Dane until we got her two basset hounds and she was renewed. As were we.

I know 2011 has been unbelievably hard for you. I hope 2012 will be full of the joy you deserve.


Nicole December 14, 2011 at 12:13 pm

Cutey patooty xx


ward.hegedus December 14, 2011 at 11:16 am

Can't wait to read about the adventures of Chop and Mr. Tree. They will make an excellent pair.


jacqui December 14, 2011 at 11:05 am

What a sweet Christmas story! I'm so happy for Chop and his new sleeping companion. I'm sure Mr. Tree is also pretty pleased with this arrangement.


Melissa December 13, 2011 at 10:57 pm

Oh yay :) Kittens are sweetness personified :) Hope that little cutie brings you guys a bundle of love, laughs and happiness :)


georgi December 13, 2011 at 10:43 pm

you have to add love in. mr tree is you adding love in. i love this post.

ps. im on a codeine high before getting a wisdom tooth that has impacted/erupted (i think erupted is actually the technical dental term) and is getting extracted in the morning (or just a few hours) – so dont take me seriously.

but I also love the name Mr Tree! my cousins had a stray cat they adopted and he became a pet…he was called goose. i think one of my cousins named him when they were five or six ..



Mum’s the word December 13, 2011 at 9:23 pm

Oh too cute! We have a ginger Cat called Harry.. and the kids love him so much! Im sure Mr Tree will be much loved and give a lot of comfort to you all.. Merry Christmas Lori! x


Sarah December 13, 2011 at 6:25 pm

Miss J thinks his name is very funny & a good name. She told me so!


Eccentricess December 13, 2011 at 6:10 pm

So brave, so open to living.
Again, I reiterate, Kitten!!! :-D


Something Gorgeous December 13, 2011 at 4:43 pm

You are so wise. You definitely made the right decision. A friend once told me that an animal finds you, you don't find it.
We have also had a difficult time the last 12 months and quite unexpectedly we became owners of a Toy Poodle. That little dog has been the best thing for my daughter!


Jess December 13, 2011 at 2:55 pm

"Love's worth it, even when it hurts."…I'm just going to pop that in my pocket for the future, thanks Lori!


Lydia La La December 13, 2011 at 2:33 pm

Hi Lori.. what a happy little boy you must have and a sensitive natured kitten. How can you get a cat to stay on a bed, let alone sleep there?
All meant to be. Good decision there, little mother…


Sharon @ Hear Mum Roar December 13, 2011 at 11:57 am

Wow, he's so cute! We have a cat very similar to this one. It must've been tough to open yourselves up to this again, but hopefully it'll go well.


In Real Life December 13, 2011 at 11:07 am

Oh my goodness, Mr. Tree is just so adorable! What a sweet little kitten! :)


Mum on the Run December 13, 2011 at 11:05 am

This will make me smile all day.
Good on you Lori for taking the leap.


Anonymous December 13, 2011 at 10:16 am

Awe Mr Tree you are adorable. And Chop totally knew what he was doing when he named him. He looks exactly like the baby Puss in Boots from the movie just out. So buudaful!


Mdot December 13, 2011 at 10:05 am

What an adorable little dude! I hope he and Chop have many fun kitten/cat times ahead. I've got a ginger cat (a girl) myself, and we have spent the last 11 years being best friends (though her waking me up at 4 this morning was a real test of the relationship.)

Though I've not been through anything like what you and your little family has been through, I can understand that fear of love/loss. But (as stupid as this sounds) I always think of this quote I heard once on a TV show (Firefly) where two characers are talking about starting a family and one is afraid. The other says to him: "I ain't so afraid of losing something that I ain't gonna try to have it".

I try to be like that.


jadine December 13, 2011 at 9:20 am

Mr. Tree :) He's adorable. We have 5 indoor cats (that's 4 too many cats), and we love them all. Enjoy each other :) (BTW, my boys named ours: Jelly, Beans, Chili, Pepper, and Sugar).


Sam-O December 13, 2011 at 9:11 am

Mr Tree rocks for a name!


Wanderlust December 13, 2011 at 9:02 am

Oh he's so adorable! And I love the name. Lori, I was reluctant when I brought home 2 kittens a couple of months ago, but now I can't imagine life without them. They have brought a new energy to the house — one of joy and playfulness — that is really healing for all of us. I hope you have that same experience.


Steph(anie) December 13, 2011 at 8:45 am



lyndal December 13, 2011 at 8:36 am

Love! What a great christmas present.


PinkPatentMaryJanes December 13, 2011 at 8:36 am

Beautiful, you need some teeny, fluffy love xx


Marita December 13, 2011 at 8:36 am

Awww kitten. Sounds like something you needed.


Mrs Woog December 13, 2011 at 8:35 am

Mr Tree is the best name ever for a kitten. He is delicious x


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