The Christmas Cat

The Christmas Cat by Melody Carlson Read Free Book Online

Book: The Christmas Cat by Melody Carlson Read Free Book Online
Authors: Melody Carlson
Tags: Fiction, General, Romance, Contemporary, Christian, FIC042000, FIC027020
wholesome girl-next-door sort of way, there was something else too. He couldn’t quite put his finger on it—maybe it was a mixture of kindness and spunk—but he was certain he wanted to get better acquainted with her.
    As soon as he reached Gram’s house, he automatically pulled on the particle mask. He’d given up the surgical gloves, except for kitty litter cleaning, which he’d already done this morning. But despite his allergy meds, he knew the mask was a true necessity. Without it he was a mess. However, due to wanting to impress his visitor, he was tempted to shove it back into his pocket. Except the image of him sneezing and wheezing and coughing all over the poor girl was truly alarming. Really, which was less attractive—impersonating a surgeon or having an allergic fit?
    As he kicked some cat toys under the sofa, he wished he’d taken the time to straighten up some. Gram’s house reallycould use a thorough cleaning and he fully intended to do that . . . but getting rid of these cats was his first priority. After that, he planned to empty most of the contents of the house—at least the items that were coated in fur or had been shredded by claws. Even the wall-to-wall carpeting needed to be removed.
    The doorbell rang and he hurried to open it. “Welcome to the cat house,” he told her, grinning from behind his white mask as he waved her inside.
    “What’s that?” She pointed to his face.
    “I have severe cat allergies,” he explained.
    She frowned. “That must be rough . . . I mean, with all these cats.”
    “It’s definitely a challenge.” As she went over to where Rusty and Oreo were playing together on the sofa, he quickly explained about how he’d been out of the country for nine years. “My grandmother helped raise me, but after I left home, she was lonely. So she started to collect cats.”
    She was stroking Oreo’s sleek coat and scratching Rusty’s head. “You two are so sweet,” she said. “You look just like the picture on the poster.”
    He told her their names. “They’re the friendliest of the cats.” Just then Harry strolled into the living room, rubbing himself against Garrison’s legs. “Well, I guess Harry is friendly too.”
    Cara looked over and her eyes lit up. “That’s a Maine Coon cat,” she exclaimed.
    “Yeah, I know.”
    “Those are very special cats.” She came over and kneeled down, running her fingers through Harry’s long silky coat. “Oh, he is really a beauty.”
    “I’ve never been fond of cats,” Garrison confessed, “but I have to admit he’s a nice one. He was Gram’s favorite too.”
    “Oh, he’s perfectly lovely.” Cara scooped the big cat into her arms, carrying him over to the sofa. “You are a darling,” she cooed at him. Harry seemed to be eating up the attention. “And those pale green eyes. I can see real intelligence in them.”
    “Yes,” Garrison agreed. “I think he’s very smart.”
    “How old is he?”
    “He’s the youngest of the cats. Just five,” Garrison explained. “But according to Gram’s notes, Maine Coon cats sort of rule the cat kingdom. And I’ve noticed it too. It’s like he has this regal quality about him.”
    “I adore him. Honestly, I think I’m in love.” Cara looked up with glowing eyes. “Can I really have him?”
    Suddenly Garrison remembered the stipulations of Gram’s will. “I, uh, I think so. But I have to ask you some questions first.” He made a sheepish smile. “It was my grandmother’s dying wish that these cats get placed in the right homes.”
    “Sure. I can understand that.”
    “Well, I already know that you live in the neighborhood. And you work from home.”
    “Yes. I write for a relatively new online travel magazine. The pay’s not so fabulous . . . not yet anyway. But the magazine has huge potential. And I’ve been with them for almost five years now. The longest I’ve been at any job.”
    “That’s great.” He tried to remember the list. “Are

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