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The Christmas Day Kitten
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The Christmas Day Kitten

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4.31 of 5 stars 4.31  ·  rating details  ·  711 ratings  ·  47 reviews
The famous veterinarian/writer shares the true story of how an independent-minded stray cat gives a woman and her three Basset hounds a Christmas present.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published October 1st 1986 by St Martins Press (first published September 15th 1986)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,097)
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Kathryn
I haven't read any of Herroit's work yet so I can't compare to his famous novels but this is a nice, old-fashioned story about the dear country vet who happens to help out with a stray cat who visits a village lady around the holidays. Ruth Brown's illustrations are warm and wonderful.

SPOILER ALERT:
This may not be the best story for all readers since the original cat passes away on Christmas day, although she brings her new kitten to the hearth of the lady whose home she often visited and the ki
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Kathy
Unlike my sister Ellen, who could read as soon as her eyes opened, I am dyslexic and could not read without assistance until I was about 10. The great thing about that disadvantage was that my parents and siblings read to me constantly. I have so many wonderful memories of being read to as a child. One of my favourite children’s holiday books was “The Christmas Day Kitten” by James Harriot. Heartwarming and wonderful. If you have an animal loving child (or adult!) on your holiday list this year, ...more
Miri
A really lovely, sweet and true story for Christmas time. This book was written by a vet and this was a real story from his life as a vet.

There once was a woman called Mrs. Pickering who had three basset hounds she loved, and a little cat visitor she called Debbie who would stop by to eat at her house and visit the fire, but never stayed, she would come inside for a while and then disappear for days. One Christmas day the little cat shows up very ill and the vet (James Herriot) is called in, Deb
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Dolly
Dec 16, 2009 Dolly rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a sweet tale - sad, but heartwarming at the same time. It's a simple story, alledgedly true, and is a good tale to read aloud. Our girls enjoyed the book, especially the illustrations.
Marie Flanigan
Be careful reading this to kids unless you've read it first. It's a good story but you've got to know your audience and their relationship to and experience with cats.
Rosa Cline
Even though this is a child's book, I would recommend it to adults as an easy read that will usually bring a tear to your eye and a warm feeling in your heart. If you enjoy animal books or just ones where the lesson of compassion and caring for others is there then you will enjoy Mr Herriot's books.

This one finds a stray cat coming to visit with a lady. She doesn't want much and doesn't want to be petted. But one day she comes and the lady has to call the vet in on Christmas Day the cat had lear
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Mamy
Sep 26, 2007 Mamy added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: sadists
Shelves: hateit
as a child i remember approaching the familiar school library shelf and browsing for a nice story. "the Christmas day kitten", i thought, "how charming." well i was wrong. wrong, wrong, wrong. and i continue to pay for my naivete to this day. i will never forgive james herriot for taking my innocence and chewing it up and vomiting it all over a cozy Christmas scene. now every time i hear the hymn "all things bright and beautiful" i am filled with anger, because that was also the name of one of h ...more
Megan
Nov 30, 2009 Megan rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
Recommended to Megan by: Judy
This is probably my all-time favorite Christmas story, ever.

That being said...Many of you know author James Herriot as Britain's most famous veterinarian (ie: "All Creatures Great and Small").

In the "Christmas Day Kitten", Herriot draws from a true life story about a homeless mother cat who comes to an English farm one stormy Christmas Eve to give birth to her kitten. The story is simple and powerful, but the illustrations bring it to vivid life. I think you would have to have a heart of stone
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Jessa
I just love everything that he writes!
Chrissy
Kate found this one on my childhood bookshelf. I believe this is her very first James Herriot story, an author who is one of the landmark storytellers of my childhood. We both loved the story of Debbie, the stray cat who doesn't accept a home for herself, but brings her new kitten to the safest place she knows when she can't take care of him anymore. The story starts out sad, but Buster is so full of life and fun that it's still a great Christmas story.
Tessa
The tale is a bit bittersweet, but sweet it is! This one will warm your heart. Harriot has a compilation of children's stories out there that we got from the library once and this one was in it (although we've since purchased this story separately) - I need to find that compilation again as it was quite wonderful. Maybe I should give his adult versions a go again; I read them when I was a teenager but never really got into them...
Emerson
This book is too advanced for Emerson. I checked it out for myself.
I may be the only veterinarian who hasn't read James Herriot. Until tonight.
Very quaint story about a momma cat who brings her kitten into the house. It is sad bc the mother cat does this bc she is ill.
Sad. This is exactly why I've never read Herriot. Not quite old yeller but not something I need in my leisure reading.
CKE387
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Larrullo
A book I liked a lot, as did my children, and we'll read repeatedly. The story is sweet, the artwork is very nice and appealing to children. It is short, but enough of a story/plot to be worthwhile even to adults reading or listening.

This is a true story written by a country vet. It reminds me of the sweet moments and memories in life that combined make it beautiful.
Jocylin Francis
Feb 07, 2014 Jocylin Francis rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: sentimental memoir
I'd say it's a straightforward, bittersweet story about the nature of life. James Herriot's open honesty is what made the read stand out.

I thought about the book again today, Dec 18th, since we adopted a kitten yesterday who was found hiding in a barn. We named her Holly.
Natasha
I do love James Herriot. The story of Debbie and Buster is one to touch the heart. It shows how even though we may not think we're doing much, the simplest action can be the kindest to animals and creat a relationship of trust and respect.
Short, sweet and absolutely beautiful.
Susan Heskin
Good book, but may be best for upper elementary grades. The first cat dies. Also, the vocabulary is kind of advanced for younger grades. I read it to second grade and they didn't get into it much, but they did love the part about the cat that "fetches."
K.
If I found this at a discount or thrift store, I would buy it. Otherwise, it can be a library book. Sweet, as are all Herriot stories. Little Girl loved it (but she loves anything kitty).
jacky
This is another book I had as a child. I don't really remember the story at all, but know I had this and Cat About Town in my bookcase for several years.
AnnieM
after over ten years of not reading this book I love it as much as I did when I first read it many, many years ago.I'm sure I will read it again and again.
Sharon Lawler
Heartwarming story, for sure, but beware, read it first before you share with a child. It may not be the best choice for the hypersensitive.
Bree
Notes:
Herriot books for kids are always a favorite
rather long, best for age 5+
beautiful illustrations
mother cat dies, but her kitten lives
Leah
I love all of James Herriot's children's stories and this one is adorably sweet, about a Christmas cat. Well worth the read for the warm fuzzies.
Trisha Dawn
Probably my all time favorite Xmas children's story. Sad, yet heartwarming. Thinking about asking for it, for Christmas this year...
Joy
This was probably my favorite book as a child - I named my cat after the cat in it! The humor - the tragedy - the ultimate hope - I can't express it.
Marfita
(sobbing) I learned (but I always forget) that I shouldn't read soppy children's books at the children's room desk! Boo hoo hooooooo!
Linda K
A re-write of a piece in Cat Stories, but written for children. Illustrated by different artist. Wonderful in every way.
Elisa Paige
A lovely, lovely story that makes me cry every time I read it -- much to my little girl's amusement.
Jeana
One of my childhood favorites, I still tear up every time I read this story to my kids.
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18062
James Herriot is the pen name of James Alfred Wight, OBE, FRCVS also known as Alf Wight, an English veterinary surgeon and writer. Wight is best known for his semi-autobiographical stories, often referred to collectively as All Creatures Great and Small, a title used in some editions and in film and television adaptations.

In 1939, at the age of 23, he qualified as a veterinary surgeon with Glasgow
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More about James Herriot...
All Creatures Great and Small All Things Bright and Beautiful All Things Wise and Wonderful The Lord God Made Them All All Creatures Great and Small & All Things Bright and Beautiful

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