Monday, October 10, 2005

Blessing the animals

Sunday, I took two of my pets to church for a Blessing of the Animals.

For those who are unfamiliar with Episcopal traditions, the life and ministry of St. Francis of Assisi is observed on Oct. 4. Along with his ministry to the poor, the sick and the downtrodden, St. Francis was known for having an affinity with animals, and the legends say even the wild animals of the forest would come to him peaceably, Thus, the Blessing of the Animals is done near this date, in St. Francis' honor.

I took Betsy and Jack the Brat. I had to leave one of the cats home because I only have one pet carrier now, and Elvis ended up staying home this time -- not that he minded. They won't both fit in the carrier; Elvis can hardly fit in it by himself. I'm going to bless him tonight with my stash of holy water, and he can get a priestly blessing next time.

Betsy, a very social dog, enjoyed the whole event and the chance to visit with other dogs, particularly a Rottweiler who was giving her the eye. She was most appreciative of the blessing she received, and gave the Father a big, slurpy kiss in the face to show her appreciation.

Jack the Brat had a dimmer view of the event, and stayed curled up in the back of his carrier. I flick water on him to chase him off the kitchen counter, and I'm sure he took the holy water sprinkled on him in the same light -- only, he had no place to run.

Oh, well, he needed a special blessing.

Let me digress: Last weekend, I found two tiny black-racer snakes dead on the floor next to the sliding doors. Jack had apparently pulled them through the tiny space above the runner. He spends a lot of time there, watching lizards on the patio through the glass, and scrabbles his paws along the tracks, somehow getting hold of a tail once in a while with his sharp claws. Maybe I need to keep them trimmed very short.

How my little hunter did it, I don't know, but I don't think the snakes got in by themselves. My guess is they got up around the door to get out of the rain that night and got their tails in the space under the door that runs back and forth. They were probably dead by the time he pulled them under the door. I found them with one's head bitten off and one's tail bitten off, and a blotch of blood next to the door. Yuch. Anyway, it's lucky they weren't pygmy rattlers -- I might have a dead cat. So, Jack needed the blessing for protection.

Anyway, people brought dogs and cats of all sizes, shapes, and degree of furriness for blessings, and there were two big birds, as well. After the blessings, people were served animal crackers and pets were served people crackers.

What fun! Then Jack, Betsy and I took a ride to the beachside.


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