Photo: Courtesy of Rafael Lopez, Jr.
Deep in the silent, still wood of Red Hook, Brooklyn, is a Christmas nativity scene erected by sisters Annette and Sue Amendola. The Amendolas have been building this festive tableau for the community every Christmas for last ten years. But, in the past few years, a pack of mewling, begrimed feral cats have disturbed the peace, claiming the manger as their own, ousting the baby Jesus from his bed, turning Mary into a scratching post, and gobbling up all the free food the kindly sisters set out.
Annette tells DNAinfo the felines leave no room for the scene's guest of honor: "When the figurine of baby Jesus does finally appear on the hay bale, the cats usually push him right off to take their rightful spot, on the warm bale." The kittehs then proceed to turn the idyllic setting into a house of sin, where they drink and gamble until the dark night turns into a pale early morning blue with Old Sal over on the old honky-tonk piano never letting up once, not even for a minute.
"People love it, but they really get a laugh out of the cats," Sue said of the crèche that has since become something akin to a dorm room poster of smoking dogs playing poker.