Stuff Your Stocking Blogfest: Caroline McCall

The Grouch before Christmas

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas. I ’m a winter baby. But being born a week before Christmas tends to cramp your birthday style. As a child, I smiled politely at the birthday-Christmas presents and wished that I’d been born in June. When I grew up, I was the girl who sat at the only table for two in a restaurant packed with office parties, and don’t get me started on the music. When I finally got a home of my own, I refused to buy a Christmas tree until after the seventeenth of December. Call me a Christmas grouch – but not to my face, please.

My most unusual birthday gift arrived late one November from the local rescue centre — two black and white bundles of fur and mischief. By mid December, they were bigger, bolder and we were confident kitten owners — until Christmas came. The attic was raided for last years’ angels and other treasures from Christmases past. I made mulled wine, the lights were switched on and we sat in front of a log fire enjoying the festive cheer. The kittens were conspicuous by their absence.

At 3 a.m. there was a loud crash and we hurried downstairs. Christmas carnage stretched from one end of the house to the other. In the fallen Christmas tree, two kittens fought over a sparkling bauble. As the culprits made their escape, trails of tinsel followed in their wake. They loved Christmas, especially that tree and no matter what we did, we couldn’t keep them out of it. By New Year, we knew the secret that all feline owners come to know – you cannot train a cat.

The Christmas grouch had finally met her match!

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About the Author: Raised on a diet of romance and science fiction novels, it’s not surprising that Caroline McCall turned to writing time travel and paranormal romance. She lives with her partner, and several spoilt, ungrateful felines, on the windswept east coast of Ireland. Caroline does most of the plotting for her novels while walking on the beach near her home.

Caroline has done everything, from working as a roadie for a rock and roll band to being an heir hunter. Her debut novel, Time Slip was published by Ellora’s Cave in September 2011, and her next novel, Jake’s Prisoner, will be published in early 2012. She can be contacted at

Shocked by the brutal murder of her colleague, curator Ingrid runs for her life through the dark exhibit halls of the museum where she works-straight into the arms of Temporal Agent Strom. He’s been sent back in time to stop a twenty-sixth-century criminal who is stealing artifacts from the past.

Falling in love with Ingrid wasn’t part of the mission. Strom knows they can have no future together. Five hundred years separate them, but the attraction that flares between the couple is impossible to resist. Their brief, passionate affair has consequences. When Strom returns to his own century, Ingrid must find a way to send him a message across time.

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  1. sound like my dog now i got it up
    he wanted the ball and they are metal one with the candy in them
    but the booksound great
    desi the

  2. And don’t bother getting kittens Christmas gifts! They’re perfectly content with all of the ripped off wrapping paper and empty boxes. It provides hours of fun.

    Ho, Ho, Ho…

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. I also have a December birthday — Dec 20th. I don’t know whether I really mind — don’t know that I always do or don’t get a separate BD gift — but I’m not much into gifts anymore anyways. However, this year, my husband gave me a Kurig coffee maker for my BD (he wanted it too – lol).

    My granddaughter, now 20, was born on Dec 5. Her mother always waited to put up a tree, or to do any Christmas-y things until AFTER she had a chance to celebrate her BD.

  5. Your entry made me smile.
    I am glad my Birthday is slap bang in the middle of the year.
    I also had a similar experience with cats and a Christmas tree.
    Future trees were bare of baubles from the half way point, very strange but safer. Lol!

  6. Oops sorry. Forgot my details

  7. *snicker* I don’t know how, but we’ve never had the tree fall over. We’ve come close! One kitten, and now as a cat, climbs up the middle of the tree. I kid you not. I’m not sure how the tree and ornaments survive. We have three cats, and this year they’ve been pretty good. Usually I wake up EVERY morning to a couple of ornaments laying on the floor.

    Merry Christmas!!!

    brenda at standbesideher dot com

  8. Caroline, you totally need to look up “Simon’s Cat” on YouTube, and find the one about Christmas. 🙂 I bet it will be quite familiar to you.

    As a long time cat owner and lover, I loved this story. I have two cats of my own, and they have never even thought about getting into our christmas tree. Maybe I’m just lucky. 🙂

  9. One year, we had to tie up our tree. The cat kept climbing it and it kept falling over.
    Debby236 at gmail dot com

  10. aww. my dog did the same thing one christmas to use. we went through 2 trees before we learned a lesson. lol my parents birthdays are in dec. too. they feel the same way you do. hope you have a wonderful christmas!

  11. We put our tree inside a play pen that first Christmas with a new kitten. Those next years were better, but we still lost some ornaments to kitty playtime.

    happy holidays

    caity_mack at yahoo dot com

  12. I have a dog that won’t stay away from the tree so I had to put a fence around the tree. She still wants to get by the tree.

  13. Yes still remember the year, the cat pulled down the Christmas tree, now just have a large dog, but he leaves the tree alone.

    Merry Christmas

    skpetal at hotmail dot com

  14. Our cats love the tree skirt. Every year the drag it around the house, sleep on it, attack it and put wholes in it.
    mce1011 AT aol DOT com

  15. I laughed about your story about the cat and the Christmas tree. A family member recently had the same experience with a small dog. He said he found the dog amidst all the mess looking up as if to say, “He caught me this time.” The same dog once got a roll of toilet paper and had torn it into tiny pieces while the guy was at work. He said he came home and it looked like it had snowed inside.

  16. ROFL, Caroline! Hope your birthday AND your Christmas were both merry and memorable this year! Being born during that same week, I completely understand some of the frustrations of having one’s birthday subsumed by the celebration at Christmas–I adore Christmas, but selfishly wanted some of the same specialness for myself 😉 Thanks for sharing!

    –flchen1, using DH’s account
    f dot chen at comcast dot net

  17. Haha they sort of remind me of my aunts old dog. He ate all the lights off the Christmas tree one year. He was fine but it was really funny but also scary too. Thanks so much!

  18. We’ve never had a house cat, but we did have a shop cat for years. My folks have owned an off-road fabrication shop & showroom for as long as I can remember (it opened when I was 3). Mice in the building has always been a problem, so we’ve had a couple of cats that lived in the shop. We learned early on to not use any breakable ornaments on the tree we put up in the showroom, since the cats just can’t stay away from it & real or fake doesn’t seem to make any difference.

    drainbamaged.gyzmo at

  19. And the winner is, – Judith!

    An amazon gc is winging it’s way to you. Have a happy 2012.

    Read lots of books 🙂

    Caroline McCall

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