The cat that saved the Christmas competition for me

Years ago, having moved to a small town, I quickly found out they were all about Christmas decorating.

I’m not sure about this, but I heard something about the town being founded on Christmas Day in the 1800’s.

True or not, Christmas decorating was not to be ignored if you wanted to fit in and show the true  spirit of the town.


And the outside decorating would be judged by garden club members from another town.

Whew………… talk about pressure.


The year I moved here was in October and I was already hearing rumblings about the activities of Christmas.

The first year, I attempted to decorate in a big way. But I soon found out, the competition is  serious  and  your outdoor scene needs

lots of spot lights which I didn’t have. But the second year, I had my spotlights, so I was officially in the competition.

Year after year, I gave it the old try. I really wasn’t sure what the judges were looking for. I tried a different theme each year.

There were large candy canes lining the sidewalk and giant lollipops standing at attention on the front lawn.

Anything remotely pertaining to the holidays found it’s way to one of my decorating themes. And I still wasn’t pleasing the judges.

Until……………….. one very Merry Christmas a few years ago.


My theme of the year was a front porch transformed to look like an old fashioned  living  room the night before Christmas.

Stocking were hung by a make believe fireplace.  A Christmas tree stood in a corner and a plaid blanket on a

living room settee looked comfy  cozy.

Smokey Christmas


Unbeknownst to me, Smoky, my beloved outdoor cat, thought I had created this lovely setting just for him.

Typical of him, he thought everything I did was all about him.

The night of the judging, with the warm spot lights warming up the “living room”, Smoky parked himself on the

outdoor settee( park bench with plaid tablecloth) and proceeded to nap for all the world and judges to see.


smokey christmas 2



And the night of the judging, I was rewarded with a knock on my door ………

and a congratulations from the judges

……………. and a big    2 placed on my lawn for the Christmas season.

smokey christmas 1


Along with the congratulations was the question “How did you get your cat to stay on the settee.”

And the comment  “The cat helped us make our decision.”


Now, I have done well in many competitions since then, but none have been sweeter than the first.


Thank you to a  dear cat that realized it’s owner needed a little help that year to be in the game.


Thank you Smoky!

smokey christmas 3



smokey christmas 4


Smoky enjoying his room even without the warmth of the spot lights.