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.
I love cats so this tablescape brightens my day! Those are such cute plates. I have two cats and at one time had three. I’m being followed around as I decorate for Christmas by my little male Teddy. He can’t sit still with all the different things going on. We do love out cats! I love the footed bowl with the ribbons- creative and festive!
Thanks, Liz. I can’t imagine life without cats. Give Teddy a big snug and a pet for me!
Beautiful and fun table. The bowl of dangling ribbons is a perfect centerpiece. Lots of cuteness and the green glasses are a fun shape. After growing up as a dog family, my parents and siblings and I have all added cats to our families. I have two, a petite calico and a 16 pound Maine coon.
Thanks, Lorri! A Maine Coon – oh lucky you. I love their thick legs going right down into their chubby feet, like “cankles” Hehe. And our little calico, Ronnie, is just over 4 pounds. Our house is a complete zoo, between the three golden and the three cats. Happily, no rodents any more, since Lauren moved out…
Our Maine Coon is Manny, and we adopted him from the Humane Society. And yes, chubby legs, cankles and feet. Our calico, Ellie, is less than 5 pounds too, I hear you about the zoo. We also have big dogs. Up until a couple of weeks ago we had three that lived with me and five that would visit when the kids came. We euthanized our oldest dog so now there will be seven when all are home for the holidays.
I’m so sorry about the loss of your eldest dog. No matter how much we “expect”it, it’s still a huge blow. Our senior citizen, Ben, passed away a couple of years ago too, leaving us with three. But one of our kids has an Old English Sheepdog and another one has a large German Shepherd. So we are often five again when they come home.
Your post made me smile – the settings perfectly capture the essence of cat at Christmas! We lost our six-pound Tonkinese “guard cat” in the spring and Christmas will never be the same. Before my daughter headed off to college, she would put a small tree with shiny ornaments on her bedside table. Kiara would quietly go in her room, remove an ornament and take it to the bridge overlooking the family room. She then proceeded to stick her head between the spindles and throw it onto the floor below (and go back for another!)
Cats really do have a sense of humour! Our little calico, Ronnie, was especially fond of some hollow faux Robin’s eggs I had in a glass container. She extracted them one by one over s series of weeks, playing hockey with the one egg until it got wedged somewhere she couldn’t shift or one of the dogs ate it. Gradually they all disappeared, to her regret and my infinite amusement. The “pink, pink, pink,ddrrsrdrdrrd” sound made me chuckle every night as th game commenced.
I had to chuckle when I saw all the tempting cat treats being offered by a fish centerpiece for your enchanting cat tablescape. Ribbons ends poking out alluringly and loose, unattended ball ornaments would be too much for my three rescues to resist. I can assure you that none of my cats could or would remain as calm and poised as the china pattern kitties in the face of all those potential playthings. The only thing with more potential havoc would be for me to cover those cute plates with catnip and bonito flakes.
I am so enjoying your writings and pictures. Beautiful china, crystal and silver, tablescapes with jokes hidden in them, lovely stories of meals in two countries… I look forward to spending part of my day with you via the internet Thank you for all of this.
Our felines are considerably less well behaved than the ones on the plates, also. I replaced the ornaments several times, though they didn’t touch the ribbons, much to my surprise.
I’m delighted you are enjoying the posts. I have such a good time setting each table, it’s thrilling to me that other people enjoy them, too! Thank you for visiting and sending such lovely messages. Notes like yours make it all worthwhile.
Have a lovely evening.
Visiting from Between Naps On The Porch. Just wanted to say how much I have enjoyed looking at your table and reading about the antics of your kitties over the years. That centerpiece is just too perfect for a house full of cats, and gave me a good chuckle. Your commentators are entertaining as well. Thanks for sharing your life.
Thanks so much, Linda. Cat lovers abound, it seems. We adore our kooky felines, so the plates were a natural. I couldn’t figure out what to do for the centrepiece until I purchased the ribbon on the wooden spools to do some Christmas wrapping. Then it seemed obvious. (Duh!). Have a good weekend.
Helen, I love your table setting! Those plates are so wonderful, David Carter Brown is just amazing and I love his spirit! I loved seeing all the photos of your kitties through the years! I could so be a crazy lady in a heartbeat…six cats sounds like heaven to me! Don’t you love how they always want to be smack in the middle of things when we’re decorating…the messier and the more boxes we have out, the better they like it. lol Your table is wonderful and I love that cat-approved centerpiece. 😉
Merry Christmas to you and your family, both the two-legged and four-legged kind. 🙂
It’s such a hoot we chose the same plates this week. Like you – I love David Carter Brown’s work – so warm, inviting and beautifully depicted.
I have been accused of being a crazy cat lady (among other things) and will have to watch that tendency as I get older, for sure!
Cats are unique – they run the gamut from dog-like devotion to the more typical “dogs have owners, cats have staff” personality. We have all kinds and I love them all.
Thanks so much for hosting these parties every week. I so much enjoy participating, and being a member of the wonderful community you’ve built with your fabulous blogging. I love every post!
Have a great weekend and a fabulous holiday season. Merry Christmas to you and yours. 🙂
Love, Love , Love these plates. My son even said we need them. We’re sorta cat people in our house.
Hi Madilyn. We are equally cat and dog people 🙂 Keep your eye out on eBay for the plates; they come up from time to time and are not expensive. Your son will not be disappointed!
I want the cat plates very much and the cups too. Please. e-mail me if they are available.
So sorry, nothing on this site is for sale. You may be able to find the plates on eBay, though. Good luck!
Missing our kitties Maggie & Molly. They both passed of old age in 2020 during pandemic. Your Christmas Kitties make me smile. Meow!
Kiss Tigger for me.
Sadly, Tigger passed away a couple of years ago, after eighteen wonderful years of ginger-cat companionship. We couldn’t manage without a marmalade cat, though, so Dundee joined us a few months later. He’s still in the blustery-male-teenage phase and disdains cuddles (except in rare circumstances, and on his terms, of course). He’s an absolute hoot. A bit bulkier than his predecessor (ahem!! quite plump, actually) we love him to bits.