RED HOOK, NEW YORK — For more than ten years, sisters Annette and Sue Amendola have put up a Christmas nativity scene in a lot at 344 Van Brunt St. in Red Hook, right next door to the home they live in.
The traditional nativity, which features statues of the Virgin Mary and Joseph kneeling in front of a hay bale that serves as the Amendolas’ manger, is filled with the traditional scenes honoring the birth of Jesus.
However, the Amendolas’ nativity has one extra feature this year: a colony of feral cats, which takes over the creche, nesting among the holy scene, as if protecting and looking after Baby Jesus.
When the Amendolas finally put out the statue of the baby Jesus on Dec. 25, the cats ousted Jesus from his manger, taking his place on the hay.
“People love it, but they really get a laugh out of the cats,” Sue Amendola said.