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THE WAY OF LOVE

By Laura Stamps
kittyfeatherpress.blogspot.com
Yule, and a thin crust of ice 

brushes the pines, shimmering 

like faerie dust under the mid-

morning sun, adding a holiday 

touch to this Sabbat.  Eleven 

weeks old but tiny for his age, 

Re became enchanted with 

his tail last week, chasing it in 

frantic circles.  Today, he races 

into the kitchen and chases 

his tail next to the water bowl.  

Before Savannah can stop 

him, he whirls toward it and 

crashes, landing on his back 

in the middle of the bowl, 

water splashed across the 

floor for the second time this 

morning.  “Oh, no,” Savannah 

groans, scolding him.  “Not 

again!”  She swats at Re, 

who scampers over to Thoth, 

biting and slapping the Maine 

Coon’s bushy tail as if it were 

his own.  “You’re definitely 

my water baby this month,” 

she says, wiping up Re’s 

mess.  When she refills the 

bowl, he runs over and laps 

loudly.  “I had forgotten how 

much water kittens drink every 

day,” Savannah mutters to 

herself, as she puts the paper 

towel roll back in the cabinet, 

safe from Horus, who loves 

to shred paper and can chew 

through a roll of paper towels 

in minutes.  Bored with Thoth, 

Re runs to Savannah’s garden 

shoes piled by the door.  He 

flips a toy in one shoe, stands 

up on his back legs, waves 

his paws over his head, and 

dives into the shoe to retrieve 

the toy.  He repeats this 

procedure for ten minutes 

until he falls into a deep sleep, 

his head resting against the 

soft pillow of Thoth’s bushy 

tail.  As peaceful as he seems 

Savannah knows he will jump 

up in a minute, bristling with 

energy, hop into the plastic 

bag lying next to Thoth, and 

slide across the vinyl floor, 

chasing his tail once again.

 

After lunch Savannah drags 

the big Yule box out of the 

closet in the foyer, and begins 

decorating her house to celebrate 

the Winter Solstice.  She hangs 

a holly wreath garnished with 

mistletoe on the front door.  

But when Savannah pulls her 

Yule tree from the box Re hops 

in.  “No!” she shouts, quickly 

lifting him out, extracting 

an ornament from his mouth.  

She places him on the sofa 

with Horus and Thoth.  “Sit,” 

she says, and lays the plastic 

bag next to him, which he 

immediately jumps into and 

begins chasing his tail, while 

Horus and Thoth slap at him 

whenever he whirls their way.  

With the cats adequately 

distracted, Savannah positions 

the Yule tree in the center of 

the dining room table.  Two 

feet high and constructed 

entirely of wire and purple 

fabric, the traditional color 

for this Sabbat, it glimmers 

with sequins and tinsel, as 

she sets a replica of Bast 

on top and hangs ornaments 

cross-stitched with Rune 

symbols and faeries on its 

branches.  Beneath the tree 

she spreads a lavender silk 

scarf, on which she scatters 

cards and wrapped Yule gifts.  

Next to these she sets a 

glass jar filled with the herbs, 

spices, and greenery used 

to celebrate this ancient 

holiday: nutmeg, dried holly 

leaves, cloves, rosemary, 

bay leaves, cedar shavings.  

Savannah stands back to 

survey her handiwork, excited 

to be celebrating Yule this 

year in South Carolina, her 

disastrous marriage and pain-

ful divorce a fading memory 

from another county and state.  

Tomorrow Ravena throws 

her annual Winter Solstice 

party, always the first Saturday 

night after Yule.  Instead of 

merely hearing about it in 

an email, Savannah will be 

attending for the first time.  

She looks forward to seeing 

Ravena’s Yule log burning in 

a cauldron in the fireplace, 

while everyone sips warm 

cider and a Celtic CD softly 

chants ancient holiday tunes 

in the background.  Mirabella 

and her husband Reese will 

be there, the table spread 

with an assortment of organic 

goodies from his health food

store.  Several other Pagans 

and Wiccans will attend, 

including Mirabella’s best 

friend Nadine and her husband 

Embree.  Smiling at these 

cheerful thoughts, Savannah 

closes the empty box and 

slides it back into the closet.  

She lights two lilac candles

from her altar and sets them 

on the table next to the tree.  

Lifting her wand, she draws 

a magick circle, inviting the 

Watchtowers and faeries to 

her ritual.  Then she blesses 

the tree with a Yule spell:

 

“Beloved Bast, Great Goddess of Cats,

charm this tree with your feline magick.

Bless this Yule season with sincerity.

My heart belongs to you, so mote it be.” 

 

Beneath the tree, cards and gifts 

from Pagan friends confirm her 

blessing spell, each handmade 

as a sincere expression of love 

and friendship.  She wonders 

what they gave her this year, 

glancing at a few of the oddly-

shaped packages.  Last year 

she sewed magickal wallets 

for everyone, and noticed the 

other night at Miki’s restaurant 

Ravena still uses hers.  This 

year Savannah crocheted pink 

and purple angora scarves for 

gifts.  “Guess I’ll have to wait 

until after my Yule celebration 

tonight to discover the treasures 

hiding in these packages,” she 

says to Horus and Thoth, still 

lounging patiently on the sofa.  

Preparations for the hearty 

vegetarian stew she plans to 

cook for the holiday Yule dinner 

begin to occupy her thoughts.  

But when she places her wand 

on its moonstone stand at the 

altar Re suddenly explodes from 

the plastic bag, racing for the 

table and the tree.  Savannah 

catches him as he tries to 

pull himself up on a chair next 

to the table.  “Oh, no, you 

don’t!” she exclaims, laughing 

at his persistence, cradling 

the wiggling kitten in her arms.  

Setting him on the floor, she 

moves all the chairs away from 

the table.  “Good thing you’re 

too tiny to jump that high 

this year,” she cautions. “This 

tree isn’t a kitty toy.”  She 

winks at him.  “It’s just for me.”

 

Before dinner Savannah gives 

Re his monthly flea bath.  

After drying him thoroughly, 

she treats him to a spoonful of 

plain yogurt, which he greedily 

laps up, smacking his pink

lips.  When he finishes, a bit 

of yogurt sits on the tip of 

his nose like a snowflake.  

Savannah laughs and wipes 

it off with a damp paper towel, 

while he squeals in protest, 

thinking she intends to give 

him another bath.  “You have 

quite a yell for a little kitten,” 

she says, tossing the paper 

towel in the trash.  “Especially 

when you’re hungry, which 

would be anytime you’re 

awake.”  Re ignores her and 

scurries into the living room 

to the kitty condo, where 

he has hidden several of 

Ravena’s catnip mice.  As 

she watches him attack the 

toys and the carpeted condo, 

hopping around on his back 

paws, spitting at everything, 

she thinks about how she’s 

grown to adore this kitten.  

Now she can’t imagine a day 

without him and his silly antics.  

A surprising thought, as she 

hasn’t allowed herself to 

love deeply since the divorce.  

But with Re, love crept up 

on her and simply happened.  

Watching him perform his 

spastic gymnastics, she 

yields to the sudden waves 

of love flooding her mind, 

and she wonders what it 

would be like to live totally 

guided by divine Love, the 

kind of mystical life Ravena 

talks about sometimes.  

“Finally, I understand what 

she means,” Savannah muses, 

watching Re zoom from one 

level of the condo to the 

next like a crazed monkey.  

“Love must become the 

compass I consult and follow 

each minute of the day, no 

matter where it leads me.”  

She wonders if she possesses 

the courage to live this way.  

Like most children from  

dysfunctional families, she 

grew up in fear.  Then, as an 

adult, she survived an abusive 

marriage, once again tormented 

by someone consumed with 

control.  “It is so nice to be 

in charge of my life again,” 

Savannah sighs.  “Yet Ravena 

says a magickal life of Love 

demands total surrender.”  

She puts her hands on her 

slim hips and shakes her head.  

“Truly, a confusing task, if you 

ask me.”  Re trudges over to 

Savannah and collapses on 

her foot, exhausted.  “I don’t 

know if I can do it,” she says.  

“What do you think, Re?”  She 

bends over and runs her fingers 

down his back, gently brushing 

his fur, while he purrs loudly, 

gazing at her with sleepy eyes.  

“Okay,” she agrees.  “I’ll try.”  

(C)opyright 2007 Laura Stamps All Rights Reserved

BIO: Laura Stamps is an award-winning poet and novelist.  Over seven hundred of 
her poems and short stories have appeared in literary journals, magazines, and 
anthologies worldwide.  Winner of the "Muses Prize Best Poet of the Year 2005" 
and the recipient of a Pulitzer Prize nomination and seven Pushcart Award 
nominations, she is the author of more than thirty books and chapbooks of poetry 
and fiction.  Recent books include "The Year of the Cat: New Poems" (Artemesia 
Publishing, 2005) and "White Witch: A Novel in Verse" (Kittyfeather Press, 2006).  
More information about books by Laura Stamps can be found at 
www.kittyfeatherpress.blogspot.com.  A Wiccan, she has been involved in feral cat 
rescue for many years and currently cares for four housecats and a feral colony of 
nine cats.
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