Today is indeed the final day of Christmas, at least with regard to the Twelve Days of Christmas. Tomorrow is what is known in the Christmas season as the Epiphany, or Three Kings' Day. So, the Christmas goodness isn't over quite yet. If I'm being honest, we'll probably have our Christmas decorations up until next weekend in order to prolong the festive season a tad bit further. The furbabies aren't sure whether to be excited for the extended life of their beloved Christmas trees, or to simply think their human is crazy.
Thimble hopes you all enjoy her festive selfies on this Twelfth Day of Christmas!
Today we're also sharing our poem for Angel Sammy's Thoroughly Poetic Thursday challenge. Indeed, it's not Thursday, but we'll be back to the usual scheduling this week. For now, though, we're sharing a poem on Sunday.
As always, our host shared a photo prompt to help us get poetic. This past week's prompt was this one here:
We're sorry to anyone who has put Christmas far behind them, because my poem for this week is yet again a festive one. Given that we're still in the Twelve Days of Christmas, I simply couldn't help myself. Our festive poetry will be done after today. If you're up for a final Christmas rhyme, though, here you go.
Bicycles and Best Friends
Danny was an active and adventurous boy of four.
For Christmas he wished for but two things, nothing more.
On the day his mother helped him pen his letter to Santa Claus,
He told her what to write without a single moment of pause.
"Dear Santa," Danny asked his mother to write.
"There are only two things I want on Christmas Eve night.
I'd like a bike to ride in town from end to end.
Also, I'd really like a very best friend.
P.S. We'll leave you cookies and candy."
Danny's letter to Santa was sealed and sent.
His mother asked why he wished for a bike and a best friend.
Danny said that was how he wished his time to be spent.
He wished to have a great many adventures on a bike,
Of course with someone to call a true friend by his side.
Each day, Danny asked his mom how long it was until Christmas.
The days seemed to create a dreadfully long distance.
Then, finally, Danny's mother told him Christmas was but a day away.
That night, Santa Claus himself would arrive in his sleigh!
Danny and his mother baked cookies by the batch.
By the fire they left goodies on which Santa and the reindeer could snack.
That night, Danny didn't have to be told to run off to bed.
He was tucked in and trying to sleep well before seven.
He simply couldn't risk being awake and scaring Santa away.
Otherwise he'd surely receive no bike or best friend with which to play.
Though it took a great deal of time and effort,
Danny finally fell asleep, dreaming of his Christmas letter,
Dreaming of bikes and best friends to make life more than better.
The second the sun peeked over the horizon,
Danny awoke and his eyes quickly widened.
Faster than fast, he ran down the stairs.
He briefly noticed that Santa had eaten every cookie they had prepared.
More so, though, he noticed what sat beside the Christmas tree.
It was a bicycle of green!
It was a tricycle, to be honest and exact.
But Danny didn't mind, because his inability to ride a bike was a fact.
Danny was so very grateful for his new tricycle,
But he remembered that just one of two things on his list was a bicycle.
He had also asked for someone to be his best friend.
Was that something that Santa had also sent?
Danny didn't see anything that resembled a best friend beneath the Christmas tree,
So with a sad little smile he began to his admire his new tricycle of green.
On the front of the bike hung a basket,
And suddenly something shot out of it and left Danny choking and gasping.
What on earth was that in the basket at the front of his new trike?
Danny gazed and finally made sense of the sight.
It was now obvious what was perched in the tricycle's basket.
It was a kitten, and that left Danny smiling and laughing.
Around the kitten's neck was a festive bow of green.
The grey little cat began adorably mewing and meowing.
"Santa brought me everything I wanted!" Danny shouted.
He would certainly be doing not even an ounce of pouting.
Danny sat on the seat of his brand new tricycle.
He said, "Santa brought me this wonderfully three-wheeled vehicle.
Even better, he brought me the bestest of any best friend."
Danny picked up and hugged his mewing little kitten.
Danny now indeed had the most loyal best friend,
That little kitten known from that day on as Mittens.
Tip of the Day
We are still working through our series of tips on caring for outdoor feral and stray cats in the cold winter months, and we're currently still on the topic of shelters. If you do care for feral or other outdoor cats, if possible, try to offer more than one shelter. These could even be just multiple plain and simple shelters, and even makeshift ones that allow cats to find some form of respite from direct exposure to the elements. Having multiple shelter areas can allow for more cats to find a potentially safe and warm place to spend a cold day or night. Multiple shelters can especially, of course, help reduce competition, especially amongst cats who might not get along and therefore might not readily share shelter space. Putting shelters in multiple locations is also a way to reduce competition and to allow more outdoor cats to find a safe place to stay in the winter. You can also offer varying shelter types, such as those made from different construction materials and those with different internal layouts. This could help cater to feral or other outdoor cats who might be picky about where they are comfortable staying. Offering any shelter at all, even just one, is of course incredibly beneficial to outdoor cats in the cold winter. If you are able to offer more than one shelter, though, do consider this as a way to enable more cats to be safe and warm in the winter.