Jessica laughed as she built the kitten snowcat, her hands cold but her smile as warm as sunshine. School holidays and early snow, it would be a white Christmas! The two grey pebble eyes regarded her with no emotion. She laughed louder. How she wished she could have a cat, a little white kitten. But her mother was allergic to cat hair. “One day,” her mother told her solemnly, “one day when you are grown up you can have as many cats as you want.” And Jessica would, five at least, including an adorable white kitten. She would call him Snowfall.
That night, she dreamt of Snowfall, his white whiskers brushing her cheek as he rubbed enthusiastically around her. She chuckled quietly as she slumbered, dreams like cat purrs in her head.
When Jessica awoke, her dreams drifted away like bubbles on a breeze, twinkling in the morning light, then gone as though they never were.
When Jessica left the house that morning, she ran her hand over the snowcat. Then she stared in disbelief. Gone were the grey pebble eyes. In their place, a pair of shining green crystals.
Jessica slowly laughed, as she realised that someone – perhaps even a child at her school – had replaced the eyes. It was not so much a practical joke, as a small appreciation of her snow sculpting skills. It was good to know her cat had been noticed.
That night, she awoke from tangled dreams in a sweat. Jessica was sure she had heard a cat cry. She looked out the window, keen to see her snowcat in the light of the streetlamp. The cat was gone.
Jessica stared in stupefaction. Tears slid down her face, little crystals looking for their green cousins, crying inside their watery soul, tears within tears.
When Jessica awoke the next day, she tiptoed in trepidation to the window, her breath in her throat like a trapped bird. The snowcat was there, untouched, sparkling in the frosty early morning light. She sighed with relief, as a happy bird flew away, leaving Jessica with her dreams behind.
That night, she dreamt of Snowfall again, green eyes glinting as he bestowed cat kisses on her hands. Jessica chuckled in her sleep. Outside, in the quiet street, a cat was awake. The snowcat moved, stiffly at first, then more easily. As the snow slid to the ground, a pure white kitten emerged.
At the local hospital, a white kitten appeared in the covid ward, hiding under beds, running quickly to the next one, avoiding detection with a cat’s cunning. Each patient was licked in turn. The sleeping souls laughed softly, divine dreams massaging their minds. In the morning, they were all much improved. The doctors could not believe their eyes. Christmas had come early to the covid ward.
The kitten slid quietly away, a night’s work that deserved a Christmas nap. When Jessica looked out her window the following morning, her snowcat was there, glinting in the early sun again. She remembered the vivid dream where it had been gone, and shrugged. She was obsessed with this cat. It was only a lump of snow after all.
As Jessica left her bedroom, she did not see the white whisker on the floor.
It was the last day of school before the Christmas holidays. As usual, Jessica patted her snowcat as she passed. She did not see the real cat whiskers on its face.
The days grew milder and the snowcat began to melt. Jessica would have cried, but there was too much to look forward to, it was Christmas! When it snowed again, she would just build another snowcat.
That night, as she slept, a kitten crawled on to her pillow and licked her face. Jessica chuckled but did not awake. The kitten slid away, silently returning to a distant feline world of healing white cats. One day, he would return. But not now. It was time for a long Christmas sleep.
In the morning, the snowcat was gone, a pile of sludge all that remained. Jessica retrieved the two green crystals, and held them in her hands as they grew warm. She laughed quietly. She would treasure these, she decided as she placed them in her jewellery box. Jessica did not see the white whisker hidden inside. One day, much older, she would find it, and remember her dream. A white kitten. And on that day, the grown up Jessica would decide to find one for real: her own white kitten.
Until then, her kitten would sleep in a magic land, never far away, there in the back of your mind in the dreams you forget the next day. For the right owner, a cat can wait forever.
In the secret world of dreams, green eyes sparkled with Christmas cheer. May your Christmas wishes come true in 2021, may we always have white kittens to watch over us, and may we all one day meet the cat of our dreams.