As Christmas draws near, remember the animals

December 18, 2010 at 9:48 pm (Anglophilia, books, Cats, Photography)

I’m deeply grateful for “Think before you buy that puppy,” an article by artist and writer Betsy Karasik. It appears on the Op-Ed page of today’s Washington Post. This is the concluding sentence:

Saving an animal from starvation and homelessness is its own reward, but the beauty of rescuing an animal is that from an emotional standpoint, it turns around and rescues you right back.

Some of us know the truth of this from experience.


And while we’re on the subject, I’d like to sing the praises of one of the most precious books I own:

The pictures are marvelous; the stories, simply told and charming. The “cover cat” is named Blackie. In 2005 she went to live at Burford Priory in Oxfordshire, England, having been given up for adoption by a hairdresser who had developed an allergy to her fur. Author and photographer Richard Surman tells us what happened next:

She is a rather grand cat, more used to the scent of hairspray and pomade than rigours of community life, and thoroughly resistant to the allure of the Priory’s wild woodland. It certainly took some time for Blackie to settle in: carefully guarding a pink ball that was her treasure, she was very wary of this radical change of environment, and for a while all that could be seen of her was a pair of startled eyes staring from the undergrowth in the garden, or from deep in the shadows in the priory entrance hall. But both the present Abbot, Father Stuart, and Sister Mary Bernard, devoted a great deal of time and patience in encouraging Blackie to be more at ease, and little by little she came out of her shell.

Richard Surman’s work is beautiful. To see more of it, click here.

We find Blackie’s resemblance to our own Miss Marple rather striking:

(Research on Burford Priory revealed that it has passed into private ownership. I hope and trust that provision was made for Blackie.)

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