The holiday season is filled with myths and legends explaining many of the symbols and customs that surround us at this time of the year. Since I am a feline lover, one of my favorite myths is how tabby cats got the 'M' that is often so prominent on their foreheads above the eyes. It has been circulating on social media, so I thought I would share it with you today, along with pictures of some very special furry babies who would do exactly what the cat in the story did to earn him his unique 'M' mark.
How Did Tabby Cats Receive Their 'M'?
All tabbies have an 'M' marking on their forehead, and on some this mark is very distinct. The 'M' is often referred to as 'the mark of the true tabby'.
There are several legends about how tabby cats got their 'M' marking.
|Sunnybud proudly displays his true tabby 'M'.|
The most popular of these legends tells us that when the baby Jesus was lying in the manger he started to shiver with the cold. Mary covered the baby with blankets but still he kept shivering. Mary then ask all the animals to move closer to the manger so that their body heat would warm Jesus. The animals stood as close to the manger as they could but the baby Jesus remained cold and shivering. After a time a small cat with tabby markings jumped into the manger and snuggled next to Jesus. Before long the baby had stopped shivering and was sound asleep, contented and warm.
In her gratitude to the tabby, Mary made the mark of her own initial, upon the cat's forehead so that tabby cats will forever remind the world of how they saved Jesus from the cold.
|Halo loves the warmth of the bed and would have been the|
first to jump in the crib to snuggle with the baby. Her gentle
spirit and wonderful maternal skills would have earned her
Mary's special mark.
|London's 'M' was very prominent when she |
was a kitten and, even though many of her
other markings have faded, her 'M' is still
|Mason, Halo's second-born kitten also sports|
the 'M' amid his beautiful facial markings.
USA TODAY Bestselling Author Karen Rose Smith is an only child who delved into books at an early age. She learned about kindred spirits from Anne of Green Gables, solved mysteries with Nancy Drew and wished she could have been the rider on The Black Stallion. Yet even though she escaped often into story worlds, she had many aunts, uncles and cousins around her on weekends. Her sense of family and relationships began there. Maybe that's why families are a strong theme in her novels, whether mysteries or romances. Her 91st novel will be released in 2016.
Readers often ask her about her pastimes. She has herb, flowers and vegetable gardens that help her relax. In the winter, she cooks rather than gardens. And year round she spends most of her time with her husband, as well as her four rescued cats who are her constant companions. They chase rainbows from sun catchers, reminding her life isn't all about work, awards and bestseller lists. Everyone needs that rainbow to chase.
Karen looks forward to interacting with readers. They can find her at the links below.