The Legend of the Tabby by Pam Williams
As the door to the stable opened, a cool breeze ruffled the cat's striped fur causing her to pull her legs in closer to her body and cover her nose with her ringed tail. Her efforts accomplished little. Raising her head, she sniffed to determine the source of the breeze. Someone was holding the door open. Her curiosity aroused, the tabby cautiously approached the edge of the loft. Crouching down in the straw, she quietly observed from her location high above the stable floor.
A disheveled man with a dark, bushy beard held the door wide for a weary young woman. Speaking softly and soothingly, the man helped his exhausted wife to sit down on a pile of straw. From her position in the loft, the tabby watched the proceedings undetected. The man left the woman only long enough to lead his donkey into a stall and supply some grain for the hungry beast.
Hearing a moan, the cat quickly swiveled her head around and riveted her eyes on the young woman. The man rushed to his wife's side, helping her stretch out on the straw, and covering her with his cloak. Although obviously tired and in pain, the woman seemed to draw comfort from the mere presence of the man hovering over her.
The tabby continued her vigil till well past midnight and then slipped quietly down over the piles of straw and out into the darkness to hunt her dinner. Returning to the stable a while later, the cat began climbing to her perch. A new sound startled her and she stopped abruptly to listen. The noise reminded her of the plaintive cries of a persistent newborn kitten. Creeping over to the edge of the stack, the tabby peered down on the humble scene below. A new family member nestled in an unused manger lined with clean, fragrant straw.
Soon the cries ceased as the baby slept in his makeshift crib. His mother rested close by. The tabby longed to get a closer look at the scene. But the man stood watch over the little family, making sure that both mother and child were comfortable and protected. Growing tired, the tabby folded her legs beneath her and slowly closed her eyes.
A few hours later, a scratching noise from the floor below awakened the sleeping cat. Looking around she noted that the man who had kept watch now slept upon a heap of straw, close to the mother and newborn.
Hearing the scratching again, the tabby became instantly alert. She recognized the sound of a rat. . .
Stop back soon for Part 2 of "The Legend of the Tabby"!