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Arthur’s World of Cats
by Caitríona Murphy

All I wanted that year was Arthur’s World of Cats. As the name suggests, it was a book about every breed of cat. I was a six-year-old obsessed with cats. I wanted that book more than anything. More, possibly, than I wanted a cat. It was at the very top of my Christmas list from Santa. One day, close to Christmas, my mother gently sat me down and told me she’d been talking to Santa. Arthur’s World of Cats was proving very hard for him to find, even with his magic. It was unlikely he would be able to get a copy to Ireland before Christmas, but he might be able to get me one in the New Year. The disappointment I felt was only matched by the look of my mam’s face. We hugged and I said to tell Santa that was okay.

Christmas morning, 1995. Beautiful present after present opened. I was so happy already. My mam pointed out one box I’d neglected. Inside, more beautiful than I’d dreamed, was Arthur’s World of Cats. Somehow, Santa had gotten one. Hugging that book to me, I knew what true, perfect Christmas magic was.

PHOTO: This is a picture of me and my little brother and two triplet sisters from that Christmas morning. I’m on the left of the picture, then my brother and sisters.

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NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This story is about one of my happiest Christmas memories. A book on cats is probably not what most kids want from Santa, but it was my dream. My mother is my hero and has always ensured myself and my siblings have the best Christmas possible, no matter what lengths she has to go to. The year I was six, she had to go to the ends of the earth to get me that book, but she managed it. I still have the book and when I think of Christmas magic, I think of that moment. I usually write very dark stories, so this is really out of my comfort zone.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Caitríona Murphy lives in Dublin, Ireland, with her family. She is a Crazy Cat Lady who writes when she’s not working as a nurse. Her work has appeared online and in print, including The Eunoia Review, The Narrative Journal, Rocky Mountain Review, Second Chance Anthology and 100 words, 100 books, among others. She is the winner of Mash’s flash fiction contest and Rollick’s “Frantic” issue.