Cats and Christmas. Tangling ribbons, batting ornaments, snarling garland. Our cats greet the holiday season with a gleam in their eye. “Oh, Mum and Dad are bringing out the playground again!

David Carter Brown captures the essence of a cat’s attitude to Christmas with his lively depiction of four cats. Notice the expression on that black cat’s face. “Got it! My parcel!”

This one is a little more winsome and shy. With her paws tucked delicately under her tail, she peeks out from beneath the Santa hat. “I’m being good!”

Wild Apple Graphics describes the artist, David Carter Brown thusly: “After attending Parsons School of Design, New York born David Carter Brown began his career producing hand-painted designs in the Folk Art tradition…Working from his studio in the rolling hills of upstate New York, David is constantly inspired by his rural surroundings, rich in the traditions of farming and American country life.”

And that’s why we love his heart-warming designs; they’re old-fashioned and folksy – especially welcome at Christmas.

In styling this table, I wanted it to reflect the playful, interfering nature of cats which is so rampant when one tries to assemble Christmas. 

We’ve had many cats over the years. Our youngest daughter, Lauren, took riding lessons at a local stable, and kittens came home with her regularly. “It’s the last one in the litter, Mum. We can’t just leave it. It would be so looooonely.”  At once point we had six cats. We’re down to a more moderate three these days, and they’re a source of endless joy. 

Cats live life with both gusto and dignity, and the artist captures that perfectly. There the white kitty sits, perfectly poised, looking like butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth. “Who, me? Touch an ornament? Wouldn’t dream of it!”

The plates were an eBay find, and  needed very little help to style them. I used a plain white Vine Floral Boutis quilted runner from Williams Sonoma and white napkins trimmed with a red “blanket stitch” from HomeSense. The DuBost Olivewood cutlery is from Sur La Table. Similar flatware is available from World Market at a much lower cost.

I’ve had the green glasses for a very long time. They were a Pottery Barn item from more than ten years ago.

The Candy Cane Napkin Rings are from Pier 1 this year.

As are the little blown glass Christmas Tree Salt & Peppers.

The red plate is Cambria from Pottery Barn, a gift from Lauren several Christmases ago.  The white dinner plate is Baronesse White by Tirschenreuth. I picked up an entire set from the now defunct Elegant Garage Sale, a thrift store on Bayview Avenue in Toronto, a few years ago.

The red Venetian glass footed compote is from Wisteria Antique in Brewster, Cape Cod, several years ago.

The gold dolphin is typical of Venetian glass and is beautifully rendered.

Of course, my favourite is the marmalade cat, so reminiscent of Tigger, our ginger cat. I’ve had a cat named Tigger or a Marmalade consistently since I was a child and had two kittens from the same litter by those names. Ginger cats are unique – almost human in their expressions, and always characters.

Cats and Christmas. Gotta love ’em.

The little present and drum vase filler was from Pier 1 a couple of years ago.  They have similar ones this year.

Less than three weeks to go. Top Secret: We are busily finishing a playroom under the stairs in the basement for the little granddaughters. Glenn is up to his eyeballs in sawdust as he fits bead board to the walls and installs some pot lights in the ceiling. If he doesn’t get a concussion from this process it will be a miracle. He’s smacked his head a number of times on the low ceiling – cozy and intriguing for under 10s, not so much for full grown adults. I’ll post before and after pictures as we get closer to the finish line. 🙂

I’m sharing this post with Between Naps on the Porch.