By Ken Martin

CHRISTMAS PRESENT: A couple of years ago I wrote about the relationship between our two cats. GB and Rosemary, and our Christmas tree. (Yes, I said “Christmas”. It was all right when I was growing up and it is still perfectly valid.) They were younger then and delighted in relieving the lower branches of all the decorations.

This coming Yule they’ll have help. GB and Rosemary have matured and are not so intent on feline mischief as they once were, but Miss Fresno (“Frezzie” for short) is the latest new resident of our household. She still is in the “if it moves, attack it, and if it doesn’t move, attack it anyway” stage.

Last Labor Day Patty and I were returning from a trip to Southern California and decided to stay in Fresno overnight at a motel rather than driving the rest of the way home. As we were walking to our room, a very small black kitten approached us but scurried away as soon as I moved toward her.

It was a warm night so we were sitting in our room with the door open when this same kitten entered our room. She hid under a chair briefly and then proceeded to crawl up into Patty’s lap, purring al the while. Soon, as if to give us equal attention, she left Patty and hoisted herself up on my lap.

Now, this was a really small kitten. When I held her in my hand, she barely filled my palm. Her little ribs were sticking out, she had a wound on the side of her face, and one upper canine tooth was broken off. She obviously hadn’t eaten for some time. All we had to offer was some cheese crackers, which she ate with gusto.