For cats, a blessing of shelter

CHRISTOPHER TOMLINSON/The Daily Sentinel—The Rev. Teri Shecter, right, gets a very close look at one of the cats at CLAWS Rescue & Adoption Center. Shecter and her colleague at The Episcopal Church of the Nativity, the Rev. Nature Johnston, left, blessed the center Saturday.

Jingle, Tinsel and Sparkle played in their cage.

Ideally, the three kittens would have adoptive homes, particularly this time of year with such festive names, but it appears the kittens will spend the holidays at CLAWS Rescue and Adoption Center, 2214 Sanford Drive, Unit A5, waiting to be taken in.

The three kittens — fellow kitten Mistletoe recently was adopted — are just a few of the numerous cats that were the subject of Blessing of the Shelter performed Saturday by the Rev. Nature Johnston and the Rev. Teri Shecter of The Episcopal Church of the Nativity.

Johnston and Shecter walked room to room at CLAWS, or Cats Lives Are Worth Saving, to bless and pray for the animals and volunteers.

Shelter President Valerie Mazrin said logistically the shelter couldn’t bring all the animals to the church, so the church came to the shelter.

Johnston and Shecter perform an animal blessing on the first Sunday of every month at their church.

Many of the CLAWS animals sat atop tables, dryers, the dishwasher, a microwave or each other while Johnston and Shecter, and nearly a dozen others, prayed for the cats.

CLAWS was thankful to have a blessing for the cats because many are old. Some are blind. They just need to find loving homes, Mazrin said.

She told a story about Cow, “a horrible name.” Nothing was wrong with the 9-year-old cat. It was just abandoned, so CLAWS took it in.

“She is shy, timid,” Mazrin said of Cow. “She’s so depressed. She won’t eat. She’s so sad.”

“O Lord our God ... Continue to supply help to needy cats in the Grand Valley through the work of CLAWS,” Johnston and Shecter prayed. “And bless this shelter with your presence and love always. Amen.”

People interested in adopting a kitten or adult cat from CLAWS can call 241-3793.


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