November 18, 2010

The Tabby In the Nativity

The Tabby in the Nativity  
Phoebe, the Wondrous Story Cat is often lamenting that she has never seen a nativity scene that included a cat.  And I understand her perplexity. Baby  Jesus was born in a stable.  There are mice in a stable.  I can't even imagine a stable without a cat . . . or two . . . or more.  Yet, I have never seen a manger scene with a cat.  Have you?   Oh, there are cows, sheep, lambs, donkeys, and camels.  But never a cat or a kitten.

But one of Phoebe's Facebook fans told her about a tabby that was part of the nativity.  You've noticed the "M" on the forehead of a tabby cat, haven't you?  Some people say a tabby with a "M" brings good luck.  But I prefer the legend of The Tabby In the Nativity.  Here it is!

According to, there is a wonderful legend about the origin of the "M" tells about Mary and the tabby cat in the manger. It seems that the baby Jesus was cold and fussing, and Mary asked the manger animals to move in closer to warm him. The manger was simply too small to accomplish that, but a little tabby cat came in and nestled next to the baby, and cosseted Him with purring and warmth. Mary was so grateful, she bestowed her own initial, "M" on the cat's forehead. 

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