I am the stable cat. It’s a good life. Not as soft and comfortable as a house cat’s, but the stable is quite presentable and I have a warm nest in one of the least draughty corners. There are lots of mice around. And the freedom is worth any discomfort. So I wasn’t best pleased when, just as I had settled down for a snooze after a good mousing session, the human from the inn next door burst in with two people to stay the night in my stable. It was obvious that my quiet life was over for some time. The woman was about to have a baby. We all know what noise kittens can make – and human babies are worse! I couldn’t imagine why they weren’t in one of the inns.
But, in spite of myself, as the night went on, I began to feel for that young couple. It must have been hard to have what was obviously a first child in such conditions. Much as I enjoy my stable I can see that it is not the ideal place for a human baby to be born. But the girl made no fuss. And in the darkest part of the night the baby was born. A boy.
Strange things happened that night. I was busy snuggling up to Mary (I’d found out her name by then) to keep her warm. There was much to think about and do with a new baby. Looking back, maybe I did hear singing, outside and far away. But I didn’t pay any attention to it. Out on the hillside a few shepherds were visited by angels. Not just one this time, but a whole choir of them.
The four of us had just settled down. We were very tired. I must have dozed off for a minute or two. Suddenly, the stable was full of men, they were shepherds.
They were very quiet, almost shy. They muttered to one another ‘It’s just as the angels said, it’s the Messiah, it’s David’s Son’. The shepherds told everybody about the special baby, so Mary and Joseph had lots of visitors.
Later people began to talk about a new star that was shining very brightly in the night sky. I went out to have a look. It almost seemed to have settled just over our house. People from countries I’d never heard of, arrived, talking different languages and wearing strange clothes and riding on odd animals. They said they had come because of the star. They gave three special presents to the baby. I don’t think they were as useful as mice, but Mary and Joseph were very polite. And then they did something odder than all the other things. They knelt down and worshipped that baby, just as if he were God himself. Everything went very quiet for a long moment and I sat very still too. And, gradually, I realised that they were right to do that. So I went and rolled over on my back to worship him too. And he laughed with joy.