Thursday, October 4, 2012

Blessing of the Animals

In late September, the school announced that on October 4th all first graders and their pets would be invited to participate in a "Blessing of the Animals" in honor of the feast of Saint Francis of Assisi.

The flyer that went home included some guidelines and some *key* words:
"Bring your *friendly* and *well-behaved* pet to be blessed..."
"Every pet should be in a carrier or on a leash *and should be able to be controlled by an adult family member*"

In the ideal world, the first picture above is Sofia with her friendly, well-behaved, beloved dog "Bailey". In reality, that is a therapy dog that Sofia met at the library for a program called "Paws to Read" (or something equally adorable).

The second picture is the picture of our REAL pet. Angel. For those of you who have met Angel, you can easily understand why the "Blessing of the Animals" guidelines had me cracking up. "Friendly" - - ummmm... not really. Angel has a water bowl (purchased lovingly by my brother and sister) that says "Cat from Hell". And the idea that Angel could possibly ever be controlled by any adult is laughable. My husband comes close. Of all of us, he is definitely the least scared of her. (even writing that cracks me up.)

She is a 100% indoor cat that we've had since I adopted her 7 years ago at an "animal adoption fair" at work when she was about 10 weeks old. When I've taken her to the vet, they actually need to put her to sleep for the exam. Several vet techs have asked me, "You have kids? And is this cat loose in the house with them?"

But crazy as she is, we love her. A couple of weeks ago she had "escaped" when some repair work was being done at the house. And for about 18 hours, we thought she was gone forever. It was kinda sad! I even surprised myself when Chicago's song "Hard Habit to Break" kept popping into my head accompanied by a mental montage of all our fondest memories of Angel - hissing at my family members, pawing at the kids, making the twins cry...("don't know what you've got, until it's gone")

Anyway, I digress! Now going back to the Blessing of the Animals, thankfully, we had an "out". The flyer stated that "the child may alternatively bring in a picture of a pet they know." And so that's exactly what we did. And I know that our imaginary dog "Bailey" is feeling very blessed.

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