Monday, December 24, 2012

COMMENTARY: A Christmas Story

It’s Christmas Eve, Tony and I stopped in at Kroger’s for some last-minute groceries.

As we were leaving, the store help offered us a free poinsettia. I love the flowers, but I had to refuse. They are poison to cats and trust me, Indy will sample anything within his reach.

This brought back a memory:

1984 – 1986 was my favorite job, the Archives and Manuscripts section of the Oklahoma Historical Society. Part of their museum holdings was the Overholser Mansion. Every year, the Chafing Dish Society had a Christmas party at the carriage house.  They festooned the carriage house with poinsettias for that event.

When they were done, they sold the poinsettias to Historical Society staff for $1 a plant. One dollar for a HUGE poinsettia, the largest I have seen.

Yes, I bought several and took them to Mom.

My friend, Joe’s partner had a florist shop and Buzz would always take the scraggliest poinsettias.  He had an indoor pool with a greenhouse type roof on top of it and he’d hang the poinsettias over the pool during the winter. 

By next Christmas, he had gorgeous flowers he could sell back to the Chafing Dish Society.

But, that’s not really the end of the story.  One Christmas, Buzz got an unexpected gift: it seems a pregnant mamacat was living in his backyard. He couldn’t tell that cat there was no room for her at the inn, so he brought her inside and took care of her.

After the New Year,  she had three coal black kittens.  Joe and Buzz were worried about the kittens and the pool, but they thought they had time to make a solution that would keep the kittens from drowning.

Too late!  One of the kittens stepped into the pool.  Dressed in full clothing, Joe prepared to dive in to save it. As he reached the edge of the pool, he saw the kitten dog-paddling.  The little fuzzball who could barely walk swam across the pool.

That started the other two swimming.  

A friend of mine adopted one of those little swimmers and named it Ninja. She raised angel fish and had a beautiful tank full.  Hers were so nice, the local aquarium shop bought from her.

One by one, those fish started to disappear. 

Yes, Ninja not only swam, he was a fisherman. 

The Mama cat remained with Joe and Buzz and got spayed before she could have another litter. She never learned to swim, but she wasn’t above lounging by the side of the pool on one of the chaises. 

Rebecca McFarland Kyle, December 2012

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