Hopalong Hollow....

Hopalong Hollow, where the Blueberries grow sweet, and the moss feels soft beneath your feet.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Home for Christmas

         Over 4 years ago, a large  and hefty black pussycat appeared in our mudroom and made himself quite at home. His name became Boris, and his attitude towards humans was all sugar and spice. But Boris had a darker side in his obnoxious behavior towards other kitties. He bullied all other felines and was, in fact, a terror to any traveling puss who dared venture into HIS territory. HIS territory being the entire farm, the barn AND the mudroom.  I named him Boris, the same as a cat in the James Herriot books,  who was a "Gladiator in a former life".   I thought it fitting. My Boris was not allowed in the house, lest he disturb the peaceful lives of our 3 senior kitties, who simply detested him.
    Despite Boris's  less than jovial personality, I really loved him and believe me, he had  a face only a mother could love, what with all the scars from fighting and the threatening glare in his eyes. Boris accompanied me daily up to the barn and after a preliminary  search for small fuzzy rodents, would sit patiently atop a bale of hay whilst I did my chores. Then, I would gather him in my arms, he purring loudly, and carry him down the  hill.
     Boris never strayed from the property, unless it was to chase off an intruding cat, so when he suddenly disappeared over 4 months ago, I was perplexed. I searched for him to no avail and pondered aloud " I wonder what's become of Boris?".   Boris was gone; my cats rejoiced, the mice hiding beneath the grain barrel threw a celebration party and the rats moved  back into the barn with all their relatives.I knew he was not off on a romantic holiday, as he was neutered, so I imagined that his past had caught up with him, and he met his demise when a former enemy, (another Gladiator)  ambushed him in a dark Hollow. Over the last few months, I continued to muse, "Whatever happened to Boris?"
    Last night, I entered the mudroom, and who do I see, head buried in kitty bowl, ravenously devouring kibble...??? That's right, BORIS.       
   He seemed no worse for wear, hefty and muscular as ever, albeit a few more scars on his face. He greeted me with a loud purring and contented countenance.  I brought him in the house and he sat my lap for hours.

The other cats are not pleased, but they have no holiday spirit at all and
                    I think it's grand that my big Gladiator is Home for Christmas!
 I do wish he could tell me of his adventures, they must have been quite thrilling to keep him away for 4 months. Whatever they were, his disposition has not changed, as you can see by the look on his face.
Maybe someday, I will find out...
When he writes his autobiography.


  1. "Welcome back, Boris." We have all known cats like you and loved them, nonetheless. :)

  2. Oh Boris, I am glad you came home! I love kitties, all of them, but am especially fond of black or Tuxedo cats. So, I think you are quite a lovely cat! Bless you and you take care.

  3. I see what you mean about that look on his face! But Boris is a rather useful cat, so I'm glad he is home, none the worse for wear. I suspect the cold weather drove him home because he realized just how good he had it at your place. Maybe his wanderlust has been satisfied and he'll get down to business again. By the way, I love your header! Is that from one of your books?

    1. Cathy, the header is from one of my painted papercuttings, it is available as a print on my website AND a greeting card.

  4. So glad Boris is back to spend Christmas with you. I bet he had quite the adventure. Happy Holidays!

  5. Welcome home Boris, just in time for Christmas! Perfect name for a book, Jeri... Memoirs of a Gladiator. I see one in the future... He is a handsome fellow.
    Thank you for your visit... Yes, time does fly by... Can't believe it has been 4 years..
    Merry Christmas to you and James..

  6. Oh Boris, too bad you did not brush up on your English speaking skills on your hiatus. We would all love to know what a great black cat did on his "away" time. Glad he let you bell him. Happy Christmas to all at Hopalong Hollow, xoxo Oma Linda

  7. Welcome Home Boris! In the first photo he looks like he's smiling.
    I am happy for you he is home. May you all have a very Happy Holiday!

  8. Four months is such a long time to be gone. I can imagine how relieved you were to see him gobbling the kibbles, home sweet home for Christmas.

    Love and hugs, peace and joy ~ FlowerLady

  9. teeeeheee.....and that he shall, for kitties have nine lives; three lives to live safely at home, three lives to go out into the world and find adventure, and three more lives to TELL ABOUT IT ALL!

    Oh Jeri, you are just one fine storyteller. Your words, your grammar, your love for the critters....MORE MORE MORE. That was one fun read. And I'm glad the old gladiator is back home with his mistress. What a fun story. I can see you know with your paintbrushes....a black well-fed cat will be splayed out in watercolour very soon. I want the book when it happens!!!

    OH, and I can see a felted cat or one of your magical mohair creations. DO IT! And, happy Christmas lovely friend. Anita

  10. It's so hard when a loved creature just goes off without saying anything and then stays away for such a long time. But the love and relief is so great when they show up again, in a way it's almost worth the wait.

    So nice to have him home for the holidays and hopefully for a good long while after that.

  11. Vic, I had to do a double take when I saw him... "Boris, is that you???!" As soon as he answered yes with his scratchy meow, I knew it was him.

  12. JERI LANDERS, how are ya...

    Thank you so much for taking a moment to come to visit my post. Sending out smoke signals here from the old fireplace to greet the world with a joy beyond measure. I don't know what it is, but the older I get, the more I become like a child. LOVE CHRISTMAS, and I love my friends near and far.

    YES, this cat is ready to be immortalized in your story!!

    LOVE TO YOU! Anita

  13. I have had cats that did similar things. I even had one cat disappear and another take her place. The replacement cat was male and had one eye missing. Cats are quite ephemeral sometimes. Love this story. I'm glad Boris is home.

  14. Jeri, I'm so glad to hear that the Gladiator is home. What a lovely Christmas surprise--I'm guessing the barn rodents are not too happy though. Merry Christmas to you and yours! ♥

  15. Oh JOY JOY JOY!!
    Boris you adventurous man cat!! (who obviously has another family, or families, somewhere) Oh dear what a great surprise for you Jeri!! I knew right away his name came from All Creatures Smile!! (just LOVE it so Purrrrrfect)!!
    Our Mr Stubbs has done the same kind of wandering to vex us so,... and is such a serial killer out among the wilds! Such carnage of the "wild cute things" (yesterday it was a large bunny sigh) and yet we still just love him so!!
    Merry Meowy Christmas Mr Boris!!
    Merry Christmas to you too sweet Jeri! Many blessings warmth and love, Linnie

  16. Oh I can't wait to read Boris's story. So glad he is back home. Wishes for a Merry Christmas! Bonnie

  17. yes, it would be so interesting if he could tell you what he was up to. lovely holidays to you Jeri
    and a sweet Winter Solstice too!

  18. that is the funniest thing I've read - I have a gnarly old girl at home - she is an indoor cat, but apparently stuff happens because she tells me long stories all evening long!


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