CATch the meaning of Christmas!

The Christmas Cat - Melody Carlson

Sure, he had severe cat allergies, but how could he refuse the dying wish of the angel who took him in when both parents were killed in an accident? The woman who arranged a reverse mortgage on her home so he could go to college. His solid rock. The fountain of love that never gave up on him.

Garrison Brown’s grandmother was known as the Cat Lady who doubled as a “magnet for abandoned and abused cats” that get crazy attached to her. Naturally, she would want to make provisions for the critters who were like family to her. A wish for a good, loving refuge to curl up in. But with such specific stipulations, Garrison wasn’t so sure he could pull it off. Could he really find caring families for his grandmother’s feline friends? It seemed impossible.

The first cat Viola was easy to place. Gram’s next door neighbour and best friend Ruby already had a heart for that furry creature and their compatibility was perfect. One down, five to go. Maybe, just maybe, Garrison might find a home for all six and then head back to Seattle to the promised job and fresh start after malaria benched him from his well-digging mission in Uganda.

Like matches made in heaven, one by one, the cats were taken care of. Furball and new owner fit exactly like they were hand-picked and meant for each other. As if Gram was orchestrating the whole thing from above. Even more fascinating were the new kitty guardians introduced through the one person who didn’t qualify. Sweet, beautiful Cara would have made an excellent cat-mom and Garrison really want to give her Harry, the most darling of the bunch. The one she really wanted.

But he couldn’t depart from his grandmother’s instructions. Not even for her. Then again…it’s that time of the year. If God found a way in a manger to save the world, could He not make a way to bring the two of them together? Miracles do happen. Especially at Christmas.

The Christmas Cat was shaping into a warm and fuzzy, feel-good story that left everyone purring contentedly. Including this reader. But then. Just as I was settling in for a predictably smooth trip to a happy ending, the unexpected jolted me into “oh, no!” turbulence.

When things didn’t go quite the way Garrison hoped, he was faced with the same questions and challenges that tore at my heart too. “Where is your faith now?” asked the troubled young man who was helping fix up his grandmother’s house. “In my heart, I am sure you’re making a big mistake” concerned Ruby protested.

Could playing Santa Claus delivering the last piece of his grandmother’s cat adoption package turn things around for Garrison? Would it be a Merry Christmas after all? Wouldn’t dare spoil it for you, but I can tell you this. Like the true meaning of Christmas, it ends with hope. The story of selfless love and a promise for the future.

The Christmas Cat is a heart-warming story with endearing characters tucked inside humour, romance, and life lessons. It was a hot chocolate wrapped in a cozy blanket kind of read I didn’t want to see finish.  Plus, while following the storyline that traces Garrison’s placing his grandmother’s beloved cats, my heart got scooped up in the arms of compassion for the quirky felines and the human lives transformed. The widowed, divorced, emotionally shaken, socially challenged, financially strapped, childless, never married, and ah yes, those orphaned kitty cats all touched by the offering of a generous, loving woman.

I like how Melody Carlson sews up the novel on a satisfying happy note with a whispered hint of what’s to come. An open door for imagination to step in…or perhaps a sequel waiting to make an entrance. Now, that would be purrrrrfect!

The line in The Christmas Cat that says it all for me is “God will provide.” In everything. Always. And sometimes he uses us to provide for each other. Like we do each week when we link-up at Holley Gerth’s for an encouraging Coffee for Your Heart.

Disclosure: I’m delighted to be on board The Christmas Cat Blog Tour with Revell who generously sent me a copy of the book in exchange for this unbiased review.

Thank you  Holley Gerth
for the Coffee for Your Heart image

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