“Come and sit in the sunshine with me, and tell me again of the wonders you saw.” The old Siamese walked slowly into the courtyard, sat down, and curled his tail about his paws. Abishag sat next to him and leaned against his shoulder.
“You know that I love you,” he said and smiled at her. “But I am far too old for you.”
“Nonsense,” Abishag replied. “Do you not realize that I love you also?”
“But I will not live to see our kittens grown.”
“I will treasure whatever time we have together,” Abishag whispered. “I fear you will try to make me leave you, and that alone would break my heart.”
Ptolemy sighed and shook his head. “It is terribly selfish of me, my Abishag. But please, stay with me for whatever time I have left upon this earth, for you make my old heart young again.” He settled himself to listen, for he wished to hear every detail she could recall of the long journey.
She related the lies and tricks with which Asmodeus had tried to ruin their quest and told him of the chorus of angels and Charko, their guardian angel. When she described again the miraculous gifts the Messiah gave Kezia and Ira in the stable, Ptolemy grew very thoughtful. This time he had a new question.
“And what gift did He give you?” Ptolemy asked gently, his wise old blue eyes studying her saffron golden ones.
“When I looked upon His face, a newborn babe, He reached His hand out to me and touched me. I carry Him within my heart always,” the little black cat said, simply.
“So you have not yet seen His gift to you. Come.” And Ptolemy led her to the wide pan of water the astronomers used for washing up.
She peeked over the edge of the pan and saw her reflection. Upon her small chest, framed by black fur, was a cross of purest white.