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The Christmas Day Kitten

post written by Emma Filbrun

The Christmas Day Kitten by James HerriotTitle: The Christmas Day Kitten
Author: James Herriot
Major Themes: Cats, Christmas, Dogs
Synopsis: A cat brings her kitten, when she is dying, to the only place she has ever found warmth and comfort, and gives a unique Christmas present to a kind woman.

I love James Herriot’s children’s stories! They are such lovely, heart-warming stories, and the artists who illustrated them did so beautifully. I remember when my little brothers used to bring them home from the library, back in the 1980s; we all enjoyed them then, and when my own children were old enough for picture books we enjoyed them, too.

The Christmas Day Kitten is a beautiful Christmas story. As a rule, I don’t enjoy Christmas stories, but this one is lovely. On a visit to Mrs. Pickering’s house to take care of one of her Basset hounds, the vet saw a little cat who came in to enjoy the warmth of the house for a little while. She didn’t want attention, only a little food and warmth. A few months later, on Christmas morning, Mrs. Pickering called the vet again and asked him to come, not for a dog this time, but for the cat. The little cat was dying, but had brought her tiny kitten for Mrs. Pickering to care for. He grew up to be a beautiful, healthy cat, and as the story ends, on the following Christmas Day, he showed off some surprising skills!

I love the illustrations throughout this story. They are very realistic paintings, showing the dogs and cat in glowing colors. Your little ones will love this book!

No warnings!

Age Levels:

Read Aloud—Ages 3 – 4, 5 – 8
Reading Independently—Ages 7 – 9


Links to buy The Christmas Day Kitten:

Amazon: Paperback | Hardcover

AbeBooks: View Choices on


Cats, Christmas, Dogs

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