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The Caledonian Record's Modern Archive contains staff-written and other selected articles from 1997 to the present.

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That stray dog or cat wandering alone and cold beside the road can have a better life if someone cares. Some shelter animal can enjoy an active and rewarding life when some human adopts it. Even the pet store critter can lead a life of luxury when a man, woman, boy or girl chooses to bring it home and nurture it. Your neighbor – the one who failed to spay or neuter the family pet – may have a litter awaiting adoption. Perhaps an elderly resident may no longer be able to care for the family pet. Your intercession can ease the transition for that person and its cherished companion animal when you offer to assist in its care or offer to provide a home for it. These are all animals in need of a loving home and you can do your part by bringing some creature into your home and providing it with a safe and caring environment in which to live out its days.

Kittens and cats find sudden activity and constant movement captivating. Your feline companion can be entertained with a laser light. Simply point the light at a spot on the floor somewhere near your pet, move it around, and watch the cat follow it. (Just be careful not to shine the light directly into the cat’s eyes.)

One seven week old puppy from a shelter; one grown dog abandoned deep in the forest; one six week old kitten destined for drowning; one donkey saved from a dog food factory, then transported across the country to find peace in Vermont; one ten week old puppy adopted from a pound; one young dog rescued from a college dumpster; one battered and bruised adult dog found beside the road; one shivering male kitten picked up on a roadside one cold wintry night; one beleaguered dog removed from abusive owners and under court order rescued from a shelter; another shelter rescue with an incurable neck mass despite extraordinary surgical and medical treatment sadly surviving only ten months in our care; and the long-distance rescue that became our “best dog ever” (just like all the others!) – each of these, not to mention the guinea pig and hamster saved from a research laboratory, or the numerous baby birds that fell from nests and were nursed back to health only to be released back to nature - all of our animals came with a tale of woe and each “died and went to Heaven” (to quote our veterinarian) when they came into our care.

In ancient Egyptian times cats were treated like royalty and became objects of worship. Perhaps that explains why, even today, cats can appear disdainful, seeming to look down their noses on everything and everyone around them. Over time, superstitions developed that associated cats, especially black ones, with evil. That, too, changed when some areas of the world, including Ireland and England, saw black cats as harbingers of good fortune while white cats were considered evil.

Peacham Congregational Church held a Blessing of Farmers and Animals on Oct. 6 during the regular worship service. Parishioners, accompanied by their pets, attended the service and the blessing was given individually at the end of the service. A variety of animals ranging from guinea pigs to a black Labrador Retriever and many dogs of different breeds and sizes were in attendance. The theme of the day was St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of ecologists — a title honoring his boundless love for animals and nature. Rev. Sonia Dunbar also went to the neighboring farm and blessed “the farm,” that included cows, pigs and a cat.

Observant animal lovers can find one of those “awwww” moments almost anywhere. Some time ago, while surfing the Internet, there were two items on and another on a news feed from ABC.