Christmas Has Landed in My heart!

It’s 3:00 in the morning when I awake
to find it arrived while I slept!
Christmas has landed in my heart!
I slip out of the bedroom
and go downstairs and the cats
greet me in the hall.
I think they feel it, too.
I plug in the Christmas lights
above the mantel and settle
into my chair near the woodstove.
Black cat rubs his head against my hand.
Calico cat jumps up in the chair
next to mine and tucks her paws
underneath her and closes her eyes –
we are enjoying each other’s company.
The Christmas lights sparkle off
the smooth surfaces around me.
I sing “Silent Night” to the cats
and they turn to me and listen.
Magic is here! Incredible good beyond
imagining is here and more on its way!
Peace! Joy! Love! Hope!
It’s here! It’s here! It’s here!

-Karen Molenaar Terrell

Christmas Lights

4:00 to 4:30 on a Tuesday Morning

I wake at four in the morning
and tread downstairs to the living room
to see what the cats are up to, and to
maybe read or write a poem or talk
to Mom. I have a feeling of anticipation.

It feels like Christmas morning
is what I’m thinking and just then
I look out the front window and see
the neighbor has turned his Christmas
lights on and they’re shining on the snow
around his house – how beautiful!

There’s a lightening and lifting in the air.
The cats are playing – rolling around each
other in a ball of calico and black fur. Half-
feral cat jumps up on the couch to have his
his head scratched – and there’s magic
in his coming to me. He’s a wary one –
I’ve been given an honor.

It is 4:30 in the morning and I have ruffled
a cat’s fur and written a poem and hugged
Moz in my thoughts. And she has hugged
me back.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

Cat’s Pause: A Homonym Poem

The calico jumped on-two my covers as eye red
inn bed this mourning, and curled buy my feat.
Soon her little bro joined her up their. Calico
licked the we won’s face four a thyme and then
they were wrestling and boxing, and calico
was on her back, her pause rapped around
her we brother’s neck, while her back feat
playfully pushed against his wriggling bawdy.
He escaped and pounced on her a-knew and the too
of them bounced and bounded oar hour bed –
letting mi no it was thyme to get up and feed them.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

Making Friends with a Feral Kitty

Feral kitty eats the food I poured in his bowl
and then approaches me, cautiously, skittish,
not sure he can trust me, but wanting to trust,
and I reach out and scratch him behind his ears.
He rubs against me and nestles into the circle
of my arms, curls into a ball and purrs.
A perfect moment. Sweet and whole.
Is there anything finer than a feral
feline who trusts you?
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

Sparky the black cat 2

Who knew?!

My mom passed away a couple weeks ago and yesterday morning I rummaged through some of the boxes that we moved out of her and Dad’s apartment, looking for old photos and mementos that might be meaningful for my sons, brothers, niece and nephew – who were all going to join us in the afternoon for a visit with my dad. And in my rummaging I came upon a treasure! A folder full of poems that Moz had written – including a poem for each of her grandchildren! We had no idea that Moz wrote poetry in her free time! Who knew?!

The poems she wrote for her grandchildren belong to them – and it’s not my place to share them with the world – but I thought I might share a couple of Moz’s other offerings. Behold, Moz’s poetry:

Poem for a Tiny Bird

A tiny little birdie,
I think a chickadee,
was hanging on a swaying branch
and looking right at me.
His eyes were bright, his movements
quick – he didn’t miss a seed
as he pecked
away at the birch tree tassle
to satisfy his need.

We watched each other for
quite awhile
and then as if by command
he twittered “good bye” and flew away
I knew I’d seen something grand.

– Colleen Molenaar


Bootsie, oh, Bootsie
the masked-face cat,
So sleek and pretty, with
a nose sort of flat
She lives in an apartment
though she’d rather roam
Her world is much smaller, yet
there’s no place like home

She loves to eat jelly
right off the bread
And dried powdered cream
really goes to her head
She sits on her deck
over-looking the court,
watching kiddies and kittens
and creatures of sort
Bootsie, oh, Bootsie
I’ll come back one day
You’ll greet me with love,
because that’s your way.
-Colleen Molenaar



“I don’t have any serious shoes.”

Lots of errands with Moz today – doctor’s appointment, supermarket, veterinarian’s. We’re sitting at the doctor’s office and Moz says, “We have a lot of appointments today. See? I wore my serious clothes.”

To which I reply, “Your shoes belie that.”

To which she replies, “I don’t have any serious shoes.”


Clara Ricki Jazzy Calico

“Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

I’d been having terrible kitty yearnings. In fact, a few months ago, as I was driving home from work, I actually started tearing up as I grieved the lack of a cat in my life.

On the last day of February, 2015, I lost my calico cat, Freckle Rose. I’d found Freckle at the local Humane Society when she was just a feral little ball of fur, and she’d been a part of my life for 17 years. Losing her was really hard.

I didn’t think I’d be able to get another cat, though. In 2010 we acquired a dog – Samantha. Samantha is a Labradane. She is big and exuberant and – I imagine if you’re just a wee fluff of fur – she is kind of scary-looking. I’d been afraid that if I were to bring a kitty into my home and she came face-to-face with Sam she would instantly die of fright.

A month ago I went to this little thrift shop/library near Mom and Dad’s place to look for another pair of pants for Dad. There weren’t any clothes there, so I came out and started to look at the flowers in their nursery. This woman came up to me and asked me if I’d like to see the kitties. I think she’d been watching for just the right someone to bring to her box of furry felines.

“Kitties, you say?” asked I.

There were three of them – two calicos and an orange tabby. One of the calicos was a very rare male calico (1 in 17,000) – and the woman needed to find a special owner for that one because it might end up having serious medical problems (it has xxy chromosome disorder) – he was VERY cute, but I wanted a female short hair and I didn’t think I would be the best owner for a kitty that’s going to need special care. So I told her I’d like to take the little female, and she gave me some kitty food for her and put her in a box with holes in it and away I went.

And suddenly, as I was driving home, I came out of my kitty-trance and took stock of what I’d just done: “Oh lord. I should turn around right now and bring her back! What did I just do? Sam is going to eat this poor little thing!” But I didn’t turn around. And when I reached the half-way point between my home and the thrift shop I decided to go all the way to my house and let my husband make the decision.

When I got home Scott was sitting on the front porch. He saw me coming up the walk with the box with holes in it. “What you got there?” he asked.

“It’s a kitty. And I’ll take it back if you tell me to.” He peeked inside the box to see what I’d gotten us into THIS time. Like me, he had some trepidation about the dog.

But somehow I ended up inside the house with the kitty. I took her out of the box, and she went and sat in a space between the couch and the book case. She looked up at me and reached out a paw – and boom! I was hooked.

Scott went to bring Sam into the kitchen to see how the two of them felt about each other. Sam was all excited – she wanted to meet the kitty. The kitty was scared. But as soon as Scott held her, she settled right into his hands and looked steadily back at the dog.

I was thinking this wasn’t going to work, though – Sam was just too excited – and so I put the kitty back in the box and told Scott I was taking her back – and to my surprise, and his, I found myself sobbing.

Scott looked at me, standing there with tears running down my face, and said “We’ll make this work.”

And so we have. Sam and Clara have become friends. Clara was meant to be with us.

Behold, I present Clara (my name for her) Ricki Raccoon (Scott’s name for her) Jazzy (the sons’ name for her) Calico (my parents’ name for her)…

Here’s a youtube clip of my parents with their new grand- kitty.

It’s so nice to come home to a kitty again – to hear little paws scampering across the floor to greet me and to feel kitty whiskers brushing across my arm. When I woke up on the morning of the day I found Clara I hadn’t expected I’d be ending the day with a kitty in the house.

You just never know what magic each day might bring, do you? 🙂