It’s a busy run up to Christmas in Tojo and Nelly’s household. The snow is glistening, the tree is twinkling and poor owner, Ben is whizzing about like a whirlwind! He must finish all his baking for the Christmas Fair and still have time left to practise his marvellous magic act. Tojo and Nelly have been practising too and the whole village is out on the green to see everyone perform. The thing is, Nelly’s not too sure if magic is one of her many talents…

A Fairly Talented Christmas – FREE Read-aloud on youtube!

It’s Christmas time – here is a nice Christmas story for your kids:

It’s a busy run up to Christmas in Tojo and Nelly’s household. The snow is glistening, the tree is twinkling and poor owner, Ben is whizzing about like a whirlwind! He must finish all his baking for the Christmas Fair and still have time left to practise his marvellous magic act. Tojo and Nelly have been practising too and the whole village is out on the green to see everyone perform. The thing is, Nelly’s not too sure if magic is one of her many talents…

Cats don’t Purr



I cannot make the sound, can you?
I know no one else
able to, from the throat emit this
low frequency, rebounded and repeated
gaining decibel but maintaining
feral, wild rolls like Spanish R’s—false
imitations of pure happiness with eyes
closed and mouth—I can’t roll a tongue

Can you be perfect
in joy; content just lying down
on a pair of jeans, a pair of sweats
blindly offering love in return
for a pat on the head?

When the “barrier”
of language exists, we recede
and keep our untrusting walls
distancing that hand, my vulnerability;
not like them. Sounding bells, beacons
of shining glee—

How do you
describe it? Pure pleasure, not
for anyone, not for everyone;
not continuous like a dog
tail-wagging here, there; no. Only
for one moment, guard down, claws in,
calm—that cannot be glazed over
but onomatopoeia; not a bang, or buzz,
or boom; No, not a purr.
Cats don’t purr.

Poem and Illustration: Shelly Leung

I named him Jerry

I don’t know what possessed me;
he wasn’t the gray childhood cartoon
I sympathized with but a golden-black
idol glowing by the streetlamp moon.
Maybe it was his marble-green eyes
he looked at me, through me
from the abyss.

his stereotype seemed inappropriate,
only ever regarded me once
at a bus stop. He already sat
centered atop a metal black bench, eyes
un-wavered from the spot I vacated.
As I approached; no

arched back or hisses; simply turned
midnight marbles as if to ask, “Are you
waiting, too?” Without answer, he
lifted one paw, pat my arm and leapt
forward, a jingle of bells as he landed
at my feet, once more flashed eerily
green light on my being before the turn

no more lights, as if the street itself turned
tar black. Melted into the cavernous night,
a light mew–good bye. A light shown,
finally the bus; boarded, but out the window
I saw no green eyes. On faith, I waved
into the night. “Good night, Jerry”
hoping he would catch my farewell.

-Shelly Leung

cat poem I named him Jerry


Cats Sleep Anywhere

Cats sleep, anywhere,
Any table, any chair
Top of piano, window-ledge,
In the middle, on the edge,
Open drawer, empty shoe,
Anybody’s lap will do,
Fitted in a cardboard box,
In the cupboard, with your frocks-
Anywhere! They don’t care!
Cats sleep anywhere.

Eleanor Farjeon (13 February 1881 – 5 June 1965

Eleanor Farjeon (13 February 1881 – 5 June 1965) was an English author of children’s stories and plays, poetry, biography, history and satire.

cat sleeping

5 Christmas Safety Tips for Your Cat

Christmas is a joyous occasion full of laughter, food, and gifts for you and your frisky feline. However, if you don’t take some safety precautions you could wind up in the emergency veterinary clinic with your cat. Many of the food and decorations that make the holiday so much fun for us can actually be harmful to our pet. For your sake here are 5 tips on keeping your kitty safe this Christmas.

christmas cats presents tojo and nelly cat tales

Keep The People Food For The People

  • Rich, fatty foods, like gravy or grease, can cause problems such as an upset stomach.
  • Alcohol can cause serious intoxication in pets, and many pets are attracted to the sweet taste of drinks, especially eggnog. Be sure to clean up and rinse all glasses after Christmas parties.
  • Chocolate, coffee, and tea all contain components called methylxanthines that are dangerous to animals. Chocolate is especially a problem because pets love its flavor. Unsweetened baking chocolate and dark chocolate are the worst culprits, but all chocolate, fudge and other candy should be placed out of your pet’s reach.

christmas cats presents tojo and tojo cat stories

Keep Holiday Plants Away

We all like making our homes more festive for the holidays. We enjoy the green foliage and colorful flowers of plants. Unfortunately, many of the plants we have in our homes during the holidays can be poisonous to pets. Never let your cat chew or eat any of these holiday plants:

• Holly    • Mistletoe    • Poinsettias    • Hibiscus

Please place these plants well out of your pet’s reach, or use imitation holiday plants.

christmas cats presents tojo and nelly cat stories

Careful With Gifts!

Edible items should never be left under the tree, as the smell can be very tempting and your cat could try to tear into the package. Make sure to remove ribbons or ties before you present gifts to your pet. If played with and swallowed, yarn, ribbon, or string on gifts can cause intestinal obstruction, requiring surgery.

Batteries for toys or other gifts can be toxic and cause intestinal obstruction. Keep in a safe place until they are ready to be inserted in the gift.

christmas cats presents

Secure The Christmas Tree

The Christmas tree is one of the most enticing places for a cat during the holiday. If you are lucky, your cat may just want to lie on the tree skirt underneath the tree and look at all the lights. If you are unlucky, you may find your cat mimicking your tree topper! To ensure that your tree stays in place in the event that you kitty decides to climb, place your Christmas tree in a stable stand, and attach it securely to a window or wall. And make sure your cat is always supervised when in a room with a tree.

Tinsel’s shininess is attractive. When eaten, it can cause blockages, which often require surgery to remove. This year, think about leaving it off the tree all together.
Chewing on electrical cords can cause problems ranging from burned mouths, to electrical shock to death by electrocution. Unplug decorative lights when you’re not there.
Place ornaments that are shiny, or could be swallowed or broken, high up on your tree. Larger, less intriguing ornaments can go near the bottom.

christmas cats presents tojo nelly cat tales

Give Your Kitty a Pet Safe Present!

When choosing a holiday gift for your special friend, be sure it’s safe – no small pieces that could come off and be swallowed. Choose healthy holiday treats for your pet and give them in moderation.

The holidays are a time of great fun and excitement for everyone. With a little planning and by following these precautions, it can be a safe and fun time for your cat as well.

Cat Stories: I found Snickers in a tree

“Snickers! Snickers!” “Oh man! Where is he?” I cried. “Mom did you see Snickers?” I asked. “No,” she said. “I’ve told you a million times to keep the door closed and now the cat is out again,” she said, as she rolled her eyes in disgust. I really didn’t know what she was talking about, she never tells me to close the door and I didn’t have the door open this day, but she did have her bedroom window open and I bet Snickers jumped out of her window. “Now go outside and find him, and hurry up because dinner is almost ready!” she said.

cat stories


So I left out, fearing Snickers was gone forever. He had never been gone this long before and I tried everything. I put food in his bowl on the front porch, jingled his favorite toys and even wound up they toy mouse that made mom yell at Snickers all night, and nothing. I went over to Frank’s house. Sometimes Snickers liked to run through Frank’s yard and tease his dog Tiger. Sometimes I liked to tease Tiger too, it’s funny when she gets mad and barks all crazy. I surpassed the front door. I mean Frank is my best friend he doesn’t care if I’m in his yard. I wondered the back yard and as soon as I turned the corner of his basement door I heard a growl. “Huh,” I thought. “Tigers never loose,” so I kept going.

All of a sudden, I felt heat swelter from the bottom of my feet to the top of my head, my eyes opened so wide I could feel my eye lashes almost touch my forehead. There was Tiger, no chain, no collar and a look of revenge on her face. “NOOOO!” I yelled as I dashed the opposite direction. She was hot on my tail, nipping at the back of my paint legs. Not only did I lose Snickers, but I might lose my life too! I grabbed a hold of a tree and climbed as fast and as high as I could, while Tiger looked up trying to figure out how to get up the tree. “Oh please, I hope she can’t climb, I don’t want him to catch us,” “Us?” I thought. “Wait a minute… huh?” I looked to my left… “Snickers!” Snickers must have been teasing Tiger and she chased him up the tree. She jumped in my arms. “Yes!” I thought. Then I looked down. Tiger was still there, she killed two birds with one stone; well a boy and a cat with one stone.

cat on tree

Now I’m stuck in a tree, with Snickers, a revengeful dog and an irritated mother at home. SNAP! “AAAHH!” The tree branch snapped, I held on to Snickers as tight as possible, grabbed another branch with my loose hand. I could still see Tiger, now she had her head cocked to the side in confusion. Worse just got worse! I had to do something and quick because my hand was hurting and slipping; I knew if I survived my hand would sting forever, but who cares right now? I let go! I heard Snickers let out the biggest fear filled “Meeeooow,” ever known to man! Tiger scrambled away, I fell on my bottom, but it didn’t hurt.

I was still alive. I looked up. I turns out I didn’t climb high at all, it felt like I climbed twenty feet, but it was only five. I looked at Tiger, she looked at me, and Snickers looked at both of us. Snickers and I took off running! I heard Tigers feet scramble on the ground as she struggled to start running. We raced across the street, slammed through the door and quickly locked it. Fell to the floor searching for just a smidge of air. Snickers looked at me then jumped in the window sill to watch Tiger. After catching by breath, I grabbed Snickers and went to my room. My hand was still stinging and my pants were ripped, but I found Snickers. That’s all that matters.

Piper’s Cold Winter Rescue

piper cat storiesWinter can be a beautiful time of year . . . snowmen, icicles, trees hanging heavy with piles of glittering snowflakes . . But, along with all that beauty comes cold, sometimes frigid weather. The average temperature in Finlay, Ohio in January is about 25 degrees Fahrenheit. That may not seem like the coldest place to be in the winter but, when you are stuck in a wet, icy drainpipe with no blanket and no food for a few days . . . then it probably seems like the coldest place on earth.

Susan Orians was passing by Donnell Middle School in Finlay, Ohio on a Wednesday evening in January of 2014 when she heard a noise coming from the downspout on the school’s wall. Upon closer inspection she realized it was the faint meowing of a cat. Susan went home and returned with tuna to try and coax the cat out. Other bystanders had gathered and they also tried to help free the crying cat. One helpful bystander even tried a cellphone app that meowed. But, nothing could lure the cold, scared little kitty out. Finally, the small group of would-be rescuers made the decision to contact the school first thing in the morning. The concerned group disbanded but not before vowing to return the next day and try and help with the rescue.

When the school received Susan’s call early Thursday morning they quickly contacted the Hancock County Humane Society. Employees and volunteers of the humane society arrived on the scene and began working to save the cat.

A hole was cut in to the downspout then food and catnip were placed in to try and entice the cat out. After some time had passed with no sign of the cat, a camera was placed in to the downspout. They soon discovered that the cat was too big to fit through the downspout and gain freedom. After exhausting all their efforts, workers left the scene around 8:30pm on Thursday evening but vowed to return the next morning with a solution to save the poor feline. Early Friday morning the workers returned to the school and began digging out the buried portion of the drainage pipe. By 10am on Thursday, the cat was finally freed from the pipe.

The orange male cat was very muddy and emaciated. He was quickly taken to the local veterinarian where he was found to be suffering from hypothermia. Upon further inspection, the poor cat was found to have a broken leg and other injuries that indicated more trauma than what the drainpipe could have done. Though he was battered and beaten, he was expected to make a full recovery.

The loyal group of volunteers who helped rescue the stranded cat decided to name him “Piper” in reference to his time spent stuck in the drainpipe. They learned that Piper most likely crawled into the pipe through a drainage basin located on a nearby street. Most likely hiding from whatever threat had injured him in the first place.

The positive side of Piper’s story is that his rescue made headlines and garnered much attention. Many people came forward with requests to adopt the cat and give him a forever home. Happily, Piper won’t need to worry about being caught out in the cold, harsh winter any more.