cat tree

Lights, Hearts and Sleeping Cats
by Chella Courington

To save the cats from evergreen toxins, Adele and Tom had bought an artificial Christmas tree. Red-blue-yellow-green lights flashed day and night, bewitching them by New Year’s Eve. February she purchased red construction paper and cut out hearts. Two-inch diameters suspended limb to limb with ribbon. The gray and calico slept beneath.

Over a bottle of Syrah they sat before the tree. “Should we take it down?” he asked.

“It would be cruel to dismantle in April,” she said. “Imagine bunnies and eggs.”

“I can’t,” he said. “I’m still on hearts.”

They watched the lights the hearts the sleeping cats, knowing spring would come and they could be sitting there, watching the lights the hearts the sleeping cats.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: One Christmas our cats were so enamored by our tree, sleeping beneath it every night, that we did not take it down until May. Of course, it was artificial.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Chella Courington is a writer and teacher. She’s the author of three flash fiction chapbooks along with three chapbooks of poetry. Her stories and poetry have appeared in numerous anthologies and journals including SmokeLong, The Los Angeles Review, Nano Fiction, and The Collagist. Her novella, The Somewhat Sad Tale of the Pitcher and the Crow (Pink.Girl.Ink.Press), is available at Amazon. Born and raised in the Appalachian South, she now lives in Santa Barbara, CA, with another writer and two cats. She teaches writing and literature at Santa Barbara City College.