A Fur Family Christmas by Melissa McClone – Guest Blog and Giveaway

Welcome to Melissa McClone who is joining up for some Christmas memories.  Leave a comment for a chance to win a Christmas swag pack of goodies!
A Fur Family Christmas
by Melissa McClone
melissa SantaPupandChaosChristmas is a time of togetherness, of family. Ours consists of two-legged and four –legged kiddos. Whether they are covered with skin or fur, Christmas is a big deal, which is one reason I love to put animals in my stories, particularly holiday ones. My furbabies love Christmas, too!

melissa SpiritStockings

Our first Christmas in our first house was spent with two kittens named Rocket and Spirit, who my hubby calls the most expensive “free” pets ever. We found them at a garage sale. I was only supposed to bring one home, but the little gray girl was so underweight and pathetic looking I couldn’t leave her.

I was pregnant with our first child at the time, but my first babies were those two cats. Spoiled doesn’t begin to describe them. I rubbed them to sleep. They both slept on my pillow. I hated to leave them alone for any length of time. I even took them to see the neighborhood Christmas lights. I hadn’t a clue at the time that they were training me to be a crazy cat lady! Of course, everyone else around me knew.



melissa IMG_1109That first Christmas morning back in 1997, we set up the camcorder on a tripod to videotape the cats opening their presents and stockings. We called it Kitty Christmas and that hasn’t changed even though we now have three kids, two dogs and many cats, including fosters from a local no-kill shelter where I volunteer. Each furbaby gets their own stocking, and each seems to know which one belongs to them. Santa Paws brings a bigger gift that goes under the tree!


melissa beautyintree2


Christmas was easy until we adopted our youngest cat, Beauty, in 2011 when she was only a couple months old. Until then, we’d never had a tree climber. Oh, the cats loved to bat ornaments or steal them. They would sleep under the tree or in the nativity crèche. Rocket, who is no longer with us, loved a singing Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer that I bought from QVC after he went up to the TV and touched it with his paws during the presentation. But they left the tree itself alone. Not Beauty.


She demelissa beautyintreecided the Christmas tree was hers. And every year since then, she’s made herself at home amongst the branches. That means all my lovely glass-blown and other fragile ornaments no longer get hung. They sit in the ornament boxes, replaced by shatterproof balls and other unbreakable decorations. But I must admit, she looks pretty cute in their place!

This year we have a new foster with us so we’ll have to see if Beauty has company in her tree or not! But no matter how many climbers we end up with, it’ll be a very Merry Christmas at our house!


About the Author: 12_9 melissa AuthorPicWith a degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University, Melissa McClone worked for a major airline where she traveled the globe and met her husband. But analyzing jet engine performance couldn’t compete with her love of writing happily ever afters. Her first full-time writing endeavor was her first sale when she was pregnant with her first child! Since then, she has published over thirty romance novels with Harlequin and Tule Publishing Group. She’s also been nominated for Romance Writers of America’s RITA® award. When she isn’t writing, you can usually find her driving her minivan to/from her children’s swim practices and other activities. She also sends care packages to deployed service members and fosters cats through a local no-kill animal shelter. Melissa lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, three school-aged children, two spoiled Norwegian Elkhounds and cats who think they rule the house. They do!

You can connect with Melissa on her website, Facebook, and Twitter.

Buy Mistletoe Magic at Amazon or it’s free on Smashwords. Buy Kiss Me, Cowboy at Amazon. Enjoy Mistletoe Wedding at Amazon.


  1. Love the pics of your furbabies at Christmas….our kitty, Gandalf, is a huge part of our holiday celebrations.

  2. Wonderful story about your kitties and Christmas. I have never had a tree climber cat either. Beauty looks so at home in the tree.

  3. Roberta Peden says:

    Thank you, I loved reading about your 4 legged children.

  4. I’m glad I am not the only person who had to replace all the breakable ornaments with fabric and balls!

  5. I think that most of us who love cats believe that the happiness of the cat is more important than our lovely things, so we put away our ornaments, our breakables, our little treasures in exchange for the beauty, the treasure, the wonder that is CAT! It is indeed a worthwhile exchange!

  6. Cindy Mucha Barton says:

    I love including my furbabies in our Christmas celebrations. They get their own presents and a special dinner treat every year. I love seeing other people doing the same thing. Our cats even have their own ornaments they are allowed to play with that go on the bottom of the tree.

    • We had one cat Rocket and he had ornaments that he played with. I still put them down low even though he’s no longer with us, Cindy. So neat what you do for your furbabies. They are lucky to have you!

  7. Pamela Sims says:

    I love cats!!! Thank you for sharing your talent of writing with us and saving all the kitties. Merry Christmas!

  8. Missy Martin says:

    Awesome story ~ I have two fur babies that I adopted ten years ago when they were two.

  9. Christine Jensen says:

    This year is our first Christmas with a pet! We got our dog Messi this past February and he has quickly become a part of our family. Our five kids love him, and fight over who gets to have him in their bedroom each night.

  10. love the animal stories Melissa I have 2 furbabies a dog and a kitty Jackson Puppy and Booper Kitty and they each have 4 gifts for Christmas this year

  11. kayme napora says:

    I.love how u inclided your pets into christmas

  12. Love the pictures of all your fur-babies! So adorable how Beauty climbs the tree like that. I’ll never forget my first Christmas with our little Hollybell (Pekingese) she decided that she was entitled to the children’s stockings and we had a big mess and scare. She was only a two and a half pound little white ball of fluff at the time covered in red and green chocolate mint candy! Had to call the vets emergency line to find out exactly what to do.Thank goodness she managed to get more on the floor and herself than she actually ate! Unfortunately, she’s no longer with us, but we have three pieces of her that we enjoy on a daily basis that brighten up our days. (Also, mischief makers, lol!)
    Hope you all have happy and safe holidays with your families, friends and pets!

  13. Marie McKenney says:

    Love your books. Love the pictures of the furbabies. They are so cute.

  14. Stephanie Cockrum says:

    Love this! I have 2 garage sale kitties myself! I picked the calico because she was so petite and beautiful but couldn’t leave her scrawny, feisty brother behind (he was the last one). I was nervous because while I’ve always had a cat I’d never had more than one at a time. A pair is wonderful! Daisy & Stitch are now 9 1/2 years old and I can’t imagine life without either one!

  15. Connie Fischer says:

    Oh, Melissa, I love your fur-babies. You are very brave to have all of those lovely decorations up. Our two older cats may be past the time of getting into the decorations, but our youngest – six months – is a total stinker about defying me. So, perhaps I’ll just look at the pictures of your decorations and save myself the aggravation of putting my own up! 🙂

    I always love getting swag. My librarian manager friend and neighbor has adult reading programs at her branch. I share some of my author swag with her (bookmarks and such) which she uses as prizes. Readers love it because it introduces them to new authors. If the library doesn’t have that author’s books, the readers go out and buy them. It’s a win-win all around!

  16. Your cat does look cute up in the tree 🙂 I have never had one that climbed the tree he would just bat at the ornaments and roll them around on the floor. Thanks for sharing with us, Merry Christmas Melissa!

  17. Shanon Dowling says:

    I follow Melissa on facebook and always love hearing her stories and seeing her pictures. I got two new fur babies last year and was worried that they would get into thing. Winchester the kitten likes to climb the tree but Herrow our St.Bernard puppy could care less 😉

  18. Michelle Simanek says:

    I love the pictures of the kitty in the tree! That is too funny and so precious!!

  19. Trisha Balmer says:

    Aww. On behalf of shelter animals everywhere, thank you for what you do for them!

  20. Bridget Taylor says:

    How cute. I am without fur babies this year. 🙁 First time in a long time.

  21. Catherine Maguire says:

    I enjoy reading Melissa’s stories about her pets. The cats and dogs that my family has now do not like climb up the tree, they just like to take things off of the tree.

  22. Cecelia Ratliff Phillips says:

    Love the pictures!

  23. I love the pics of your furbabies…I have a 15 yr old boy who is my cuddlebug named romeo…and a 5 month old kitten named Columbus…first to explore outside of the box!!!!

  24. Christina Gonzalez says:

    So cute! I love how your pets have such different personalities. I am the crazy dog lady in my family. I have learned a lot from my fur baby especially about love.

  25. Trinitee Mitchell-Dunn says:

    i love the cat in the tree. I have a puppy that steals candy canes off our tree

  26. I have a small rosemary tree that is supposed to sit on my table. My cats however think it looks better on the floor. On it’s side.

  27. Jessica Parent says:

    Lol- I have a climber named Sassy and she looks a lot like your Beauty 🙂 I enjoyed reading about your beloved furbabies and Love the pics

  28. Tracy Melhinch says:

    I always love hearing about you kitties, Melissa! I have been lucky, so far Sammy hasn’t even glanced at the tree. China knocks off ornaments, and Lily likes to chew on the berries on the brances(fake) But none in the tree yet!

  29. Dawn Cripps says:

    I just love animals but I’m more of a dog person than a cat person

  30. Pets are so much like family!! Thanks for a great story!

  31. Tanya Phillips says:

    I love the photos of your fur babies. I would have many more. I do miss my dog but my cat loves cwtches (welsh for hugs). She keeps me company when I’m not well. Have a meowing Christmas.

  32. What a fun post. we have stockings and give gifts to our kitties too.

  33. My great aunt bought gifts for all the pets in the family. My aunt’s dog decided all the gifts were for her and tore through every box under the tree. She was not amused.

  34. Rebecca Kramer says:

    Great looking pictures of the cats and dogs. Great giveaway. Merry Christmas.

  35. Denise missi says:

    Love your kitties, we have 3 dogs. A 1 year old American bulldog, 3 years old Catahoula blue leopard and a 9 years old American staffordshire.terrier it wouldn’t be Christmas with out them!

  36. Tammy Ramey says:

    Hi Melissa,
    Love the pictures of your beautiful cats. i don’t have cats but my niece did at one time and she loves them. i have a Papillion dog who thinks that Christmas means he is getting pressies and treats because there is shiny paper and boxes for him to play with and chew up. It is a doggie heaven,LOL!
    thank you for the chance at the contest. Is the treasure hunt still running on your site or is it closed now? i saw something about it but didn’t know if you had to start on the beginning day or could jump right in?

    tammy ramey

  37. Cheryl Hastings says:

    Our cats love to drink out of the tree stand and lay under it, but they aren’t climbers. But before we put the tree skirt on this year, it sat on the floor and Piper, our boy, would burrow into it and peek his head out!

  38. Sue Farrell says:

    Our animals are a big part of our Christmas—and the only ones that get gifts.

  39. Larena Hubble says:

    LOL love the stories on the furbabies. 🙂 your house sounds like our except it is the dogs that steal the ornaments. 🙂 though the kitties to the batting 🙂

  40. Andra Dalton says:

    Love it!!! Good to know we aren’t the only family that celebrates the holidays with both two & four legged critters alike crowding around our tree!!! Always make sure they’re loaded up on their stockings as well!!! Don’t know who’s spoiled worse our rescue cats or kiddos hahaha!!! Thanks for the opportunity to win & good luck to all who enter!!! Many Blessings & Happy Holidays to all!!!:)

  41. Kimberly V says:

    Isn’t that something that the cats seem to know which stocking is theirs. I never would have thought that.

  42. What a wonderful post, animals are such an important part of the family!

  43. Bonnie Schoening says:

    LOVE your pics of your furbabies !!!

  44. Shirley Smith says:

    What cute Furbabies you have, It is so great to see they are in the Holiday Spirit! 🙂

  45. fun pics

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  46. I’ve found that when we get our live tree that if I buy one with sharp needles (like a Scotch pine) my cats never really bother it and I’ve had a lot of cats lol. Love hearing about yours.

  47. I love the pictures and the stories. Your furbabies are beautiful! My cats like to play with everything while we’re unpacking and decorating the tree but I wouldn’t trade them for anything in the world!

  48. Jennifer bernard says:

    Thank you! I love the Christmas pics. Merry Christmas! Thankfully my fogs leave our alone.

  49. So jealous of your fur babies! I lost my fur baby (dog) earliest this year….I’m thinking about getting another, but feel it wouldn’t be fair because of the long hours I put in at work. Maybe when I retire I’ll get a new addition.

  50. I’ve been lucky, my cats have left my Christmas trees alone, for the most part. Calumet, who is 9 now, adores having the tree and sits underneath it. I’m pretty sure she made sure Licorice left it alone when he was a baby. Now it’s Mariusz’s first Christmas. I just brought the tree in this evening. I always get a live one. We’ll see what happens! I don’t put tinsel on anymore, and no breakables this year for certain!

  51. Melissa Sturgeon says:

    Thank you for sharing your pictures and your story. I wish I had some fur babies to share the holidays with. I don’t think I would enjoy a cat in the tree though, lol. I do have my 2 wonderful children to share the holidays with and they are more than enough.


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