#548 Wilcox Cat Nativity

Acquired 2009

My dear friend, Betty Skidgel, called me early in January 2009, as she was traveling through Wilcox, AZ with their motor home to say she was in a little shop in old-town Wilcox and saw this darling cat nativity. She did her very best to explain it to me, but in that I already had two cat sets, I chose not to order it sight unseen. However, I did make a note of the store, location, and phone number. I called the store owner, and it sounded like a cat set that was different than my others.As Bob and I went to Albuquerque and Oklahoma in April 2009, I asked if we could come back by way of Wilcox, AZ - 200 hundred miles out of the way! My gracious husband agreed, so we headed down towards Highway 10 to Wilcox by way of Roswell and Las Cruces NM. We found old-town Wilcox - one small street in front of the old rail station there and we found the little store Betty told me about - Mother Lode Antiques, 114 S. Railroad Avenue. I saw the nativity set and, heeding Bob's warning - “If we go all the way down there, you'd better buy it!” - I obeyed and bought it!Created in original terra cotta design by Marty Falkoner, this artist lives about 30 miles from Wilcox in Sunsites, AZ - a large mobile home and RV resort area. Her statement is as follows: “Raised in Arizona, I have always been captivated by the desert and its animals. When I decided to work in clay, I was carrying on a family tradition. My grandfather was a stonecutter, raised in Scotland. Coming to the United States, he continued his artistry until the 1950's living in the Arizona area. I am carrying on his tradition. I am also a cat person. I have been blessed with a cat with character, Jullian requires his own space, tolerates me, and agrees to gourmet cat food and any toy he wants. Jullian has become my inspiration due to his many quirks. He makes me laugh with his bratty sense of humor and cry. He is the inspiration of this line of hand-crafted art pieces.”This nativity set is one of her creations. Fashioned after Jullian, the set includes a stable backdrop with the star hanging from it. All seven whimsical cat pieces have the intriguing look of mischief just like Jullian! Notice that the three kings bring their gifts to Baby Jesus - catnip, fish, and mice! A white dove sits perched watching over the scene. Purchased in Wilcox, AZ, 4/09 - Purchase price - $225.00.