Charlie’s Room: The Snow Cat

Charlie woke his parents up early. “It’s snowing,” he said.

They sleepily followed him down the hall and looked out the window.

“It’s so pretty,” Marianne said.

“Maybe there will be enough snow to make a snowman,” Isaac said.

“I hope so,” Charlie said. “Do we have a carrot for his nose?”

By lunchtime, there was enough snow to build a snowman. So, Isaac and Charlie bundled up, and carrot in hand, they hurried outside. The snowman they made was a little small, but it meant they had enough snow to make a snow cat too. It had pointed ears and twigs for whiskers and a big long stick for a tail.

Then they went inside to drink hot cocoa and watch the birds at the birdfeeder. “Did you see our snow cat?” Charlie asked Marianne.

“Yes, it’s very creative,” Marianne said.

“It was my idea,” Charlie said.

“Well done,” Marianne said. “Maybe after you clean your room we can make snowflakes.   We’ll put your creativity to work.   If they look nice, maybe we can hang them on the tree.”

When Isaac got home from mailing some letters, he found Charlie and Marianne curled up on the couch making paper snowflakes. “Can I open it yet?” Charlie asked, holding up a folded paper triangle. He’d cut pieces out of each edge. “I want to show Dad.”

“Only if you think you’re done,” Marianne said.

“It’s ready,” Charlie said. He unfolded his snowflake. “Wow, it looks great. I want to make another one.”

“I’ll help you fold the paper,” Marianne said. “I just need to finish mine.” She cut half a heart and a little triangle out of the folded edge of the paper.

“Can I make one too?” Isaac asked.

“Sure,” Charlie said. “I have another pair of scissors on my desk.”

“I’ll go get them,” Isaac said. Humming, he hurried down the hall to Charlie’s room.   He glanced out the window at the snowman in the back yard. Where was the snow cat? It was gone.

He hurried to the kitchen and looked out the window.   From here, he could see the snow cat.   It was right under the bird feeder.   “Charlie?” he called.

“Yes?” Charlie called back from the living room.

“Did you move the snow cat?”

Charlie ran into the kitchen and looked out the window.   “Why is it under the birdfeeder?” he asked.

Marianne walked in and joined them at the window.   “I wonder who moved it? That’s really strange.”

“Let’s go put it back. The snowman looks lonely,” Charlie said.

So, they bundled up and moved the snow cat back across the yard. Then, they made enough paper snowflakes to hang on the Christmas tree and tape to the front window, too. “Now what?” Charlie asked.

“We could play scrabble,” Isaac said.

“Or we could play go fish,” Marianne said. “We have enough time to play a few rounds of go fish before dinner, but scrabble takes longer.”

They played go fish. Marianne won, as usual. “As the winner, I say we should all cook dinner together,” she said. “It will go faster that way.”

“Okay,” Isaac said. Charlie shrugged. They followed her into the kitchen.

Marianne looked out the window and paused.   “Look. The snow cat is under the bird feeder again.”

“Maybe it’s hungry,” Charlie said.

Marianne laughed. “Maybe.”

“We should make it some snow birds to eat. Or fish,” Isaac said.

“All right,” Marianne said. “I’ll start assembling what we need to make dinner.   You can go out and make snow cat food if you hurry.”

“Birds, I think,” Isaac said. “It seems to like them.”

So, they bundled up again. They moved the snow cat back across the yard. Then they made a bunch of little snowballs and poked holes for the eyes and pressed frozen brown leaves into the sides for wings.

They cooked dinner together, and it did go faster.   After dinner, Charlie went to change into his pajamas while Isaac and Marianne cleared the table. “Moving the snow cat around was a great idea. It was a lot of fun for Charlie.”

“I didn’t move it,” Isaac said.

Marianne laughed. “Of course not,” she said. “It was hungry and trying to eat the birds at the bird feeder.” She laughed again and started running water in the sink. “I’ll load the dishwasher.   Can you put the leftovers away?”

“I’d be happy to,” Isaac said. He looked out the window at the snow cat. It was still sitting next to the snowman, but some of the snow birds were missing. He looked around the yard but didn’t see them.

Had they left to find bird food, or did they get eaten? Maybe he could go out later and look for them. Right now, he needed to clear the table.