Once again, it is that time of year. The Feast of St. Francis of Assisi and the Blessing of the Animals is upon us. This year, Hattie is a big two year-old girl, and she has her little brother to bring along. Yes, Mr. Beedle Weedleman the cat is getting blessed, as well. Frankly, we all need it, and I am hoping that I catch some of that holy water.
You may remember that last year, Hattie was the worst behaved participant present, and there was a PIG there! I have some standards, and they were totally disintegrated, as my little Hattie howled, cried, whimpered, and more or less made fools of us both throughout the entire event.
The collection of “Blessees” was much less diverse this year. No pigs, hamsters, or teddy bears were present, only dogs, cats, and two rabbits. Of course, Beedle was confined to a carrier. He was completely docile, if not relaxed. He even purred. Hattie, on the other hand, started her cries half a block from church, but once we walked up on the grassy rise by the statue of the Blessed Mother, she sniffed another patient doggie (not saying where), and she was happy, happy, happy. She sat. She waited. She even laid down for a few milliseconds between making friends.
The blessing seems to have worked! So cooperative was Hattie that I was able to linger for a bit and talk to the other pet parents. I walked home filled with gratitude for such a beautiful tradition, for being spared humiliation by Hattie, and for the having Beedle as a much loved member of my family and tiny household. Yes, we are all truly blessed, and what a difference a year makes.