Darby Butterfield is 12 years old and is in Grade 7 at Lake City Secondary School. Her teacher is Mrs. Watkinson. Darby was selected as the winner of the Spirit of Christmas writing contest winner in the 12 and under category. (Photo submitted)

Darby Butterfield is 12 years old and is in Grade 7 at Lake City Secondary School. Her teacher is Mrs. Watkinson. Darby was selected as the winner of the Spirit of Christmas writing contest winner in the 12 and under category. (Photo submitted)

SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS: The Christmas Kitten

Darby Butterfield was the winner of our Spirit of Christmas writing contest 13 and under


Spirit of Christmas

I was sitting inside my box of blankets to keep me warm.

I had no idea why I was in a box. My grandparents used to say something called “Christmas Eve.” I have no idea what “Christmas Eve” is, but it sounds happy and full of colour.

I looked up at the sound of tearing paper, little holes in the top of the box that give me air gave me a clear view of a teenage boy.

The boy lifted the top of the box and let out something that sounded like a gasp.

He lifted me out of the box and started gently stroking my head with his fingers.

I couldn’t help but purr and try to latch onto his hand.

He held me close to his warmth and I relaxed.

I was given the name Spark, after my love of warmth and blankets.

He gave me a green and red yarn ball to play with and a basket in his room to sleep in. I was happy here in my new home.

I heard the door to the house start to open, I started meowing, telling him of approaching danger keeping my owner safe from harm was all I cared about.

I watched as about five other people streamed into the house, I hid behind my owner because I was scared.

He and his parents stood up from where they were around the Christmas tree and greeted the newcomers.

I let myself walk over to one of them and sniff their leg.

They leaned down and gave me soft scratches behind the ears.

I leaned into the gesture, purring and rubbing against their leg.

They stood back up and continued talking while I walked over to the colorfully lit tree in the middle of the living room.

I laid down underneath the tree with all the boxes, I wondered if there were other cats in there.

My paws itched to start shaking the boxes, but I was a good kitten, and I knew better than that.

The humans sat on the couch to watch the weird black box that seemed to play sounds and showed other humans inside the box.

I started to play with a small, red string that was attached to one of the boxes.

Suddenly, I felt something cold like water spray my flank. I ran away, the bell on my collar jingling.

One of the humans was yelling at me. The teenage boy that owned me picked me up.

“She’s only young. Stop yelling, mom, it’s Christmas Eve. Besides, you said you gave her to me because she wouldn’t have survived out in the snow without a mother or siblings to keep her warm on her own.” He spoke.

The mother sighed. “You’re right, Dominick.”

What’s a Dominick? I wondered.

“Dominick” brought me over to the couch and set me down beside a pillow.

I watched as he sat down beside me and reached for a blanket. He set it over his legs to keep himself warm.

I climbed onto his lap and curled into a little ball of warm fluff, as he started stroking his fingers down my back.

I started dreaming about Christmas, presents and what seemed to be full stockings of candy canes and cat treats and cat toys.

Am I predicting the near future? I thought.

The next morning was Christmas. Dominick was letting me help open his presents, as well as help me open mine. I knew I was going to be very happy with Dominick and his parents. They were very nice.

I looked up as Dominick started talking to his parents. I decided to surprise him with something. I started wandering around the perfectly decorated house, breaking into a trot occasionally.

I stopped as I saw a green ribbon on the floor near the kitchen, it must’ve fallen off a stray piece of wrapping paper.

I picked it up and started padding back to Dominick, he was sitting on the carpet and looking up at the big black box. He seemed to be playing something, he had a blue thing in his hand with buttons and toggles.

I watched him for a second before setting the ribbon on his foot. He smiled and ruffled the fur on my head before going back to his game.

“That’s nice,” Dominick said.

I nodded and smiled. I climbed onto his lap, careful not to disturb his game and lay down. I started watching him, confused on how his fingers could move so quickly.

I placed a paw on his arm, trying to get him to pay attention to me.

He paused his game and started stroking my head.

“I don’t think cats play Minecraft.” He laughed.

Minecraft? What’s Minecraft? It sounds interesting … I thought.

He continued stroking my head. I could tell he loved me more than “Minecraft.”

He looked back over at the Christmas tree, seeming to be thinking about something.

He turned back to me when his parents called out his name.

“Time to go to the Town Square.” He spoke. “You’re coming.”

I got excited as he picked me up and brought me to the coat room.

He put on his coat and set me in his hood to stay warm.

I fidgeted a bit to get comfortable.

Dominick walked out the door, followed by his parents.

They started walking along the sidewalk, snow fell from the sky and the breeze ruffled my fur.

Dominick’s hood was quite cozy. I could feel sleep nagging at my paws, but I wanted to find out what “Town Square” was. I shifted a bit and rested my head on Dominick’s shoulder, purring softly.

He gave my ear a small stroke before he continued walking.

I watched as other people came out of their houses and started walking behind Dominick, all of them chatting like birds.

I pricked my ears as two other people walked over to Dominick and they began talking.

One appeared to be a girl while the other was a boy.

I could only guess they were Dominick’s friends.

Dominick pulled me out of his hood and showed me to both of them, gently stroking my back.

He pulled a leash out of his pocket. He stopped for a second and set me on the ground. I stayed still as he attached the leash to my collar.

Dominick stood back up and allowed me to start running through the thin layer of snow.

I was enjoying myself.

Soon enough, we were at what the humans called “Town Square.”

There was a huge Christmas tree in the middle, surrounding it was ice and humans with skates skating around it.

Dominick stuffed me in the front of his sweater where I could still be warm, and I wouldn’t fall out.

He stepped onto the ice and started gracefully skating around the Christmas tree with the many other people.

A lot of people complemented him on me, and how they liked me.

I couldn’t wait until next Christmas when we could do this again!

Darby Butterfield is 12 years old and is in Grade 7 at Lake City Secondary School. Her teacher is Mrs. Watkinson. Darby was selected as the winner of the Spirit of Christmas writing contest winner in the 12 and under category.

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