Wednesday, November 13, 2013


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"Not to hurt our humble brethren [the animals] is our first duty to them, but to stop there is not enough. We have a higher mission: to be of service to them whenever they require it." - Saint Francis of Assisi

The word is out amongst the animal folk in our neck of the woods - our house is the place to go if you are in need of food, love and refuge. It's been that way every since we moved in four years ago. We see this as such a blessing. Nothing pleases us more than to help others - even the four legged variety.  Most of the animals that make their way to us are just lost and in need of help to find their loved ones but on a recent occasion an animal came to find its forever home and even grant an early Christmas wish.

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Meet Jack o' Kitten

Now before you get too excited I should let you know that it's forever home was not with us. As much fun as it has been trying to find a hotel in Idaho that will accept a family of five with seven pets, it's just not plausible at the moment. Besides that sweet kitten you see above was on a mission.

Not too long ago, when our dear friends came over to play, this kitten came out of our forest and literally jumped into the arms of one of the friends. My first thought was to get a collar on him and bring him indoors. You would never realize it (with as many animals as we have coming to us), but our neighborhood is extremely unsafe for animals of any kind. The street we live on is full of hills that cars speed down like it's a rollercoaster and then the woods behind and around us have coyotes in them. One of our neighbors witnessed his terrier being carried away out of his front yard by the coyotes. Don't get me wrong, I think coyotes are beautiful creatures and I enjoy listening to their howls late at night but they are just not safe for small animals to be around.

Once we got the kitten indoors it was clear that our friends were head over heels in love with him and the feeling seemed pretty mutual. He purred contently as he cuddled with them and even seemed to carry on conversations with them. Two of the friends were wishing for a kitty for Christmas so this just seemed like it was meant to be. Over the course of the next week or so we checked into every missing pets list we could think of, had him scanned for a microchip and really did everything in our power to make sure he did not belong to anyone else. Nothing came up. He was a kitten of the forest and now he has a home with one extremely happy family. What better ending could one ask for?

Helping these animals has had such a wonderful impact on my children, too. C tells me that when she grows up she "wants to work at an animal sanctuary where I can help animals all the time, just like you used to do, Mama." *swoon* (She is referring to my time at the Gentle Barn.)

I truly hope that the next family that lives in this house of ours has the same Saint Francis spirit and continues making this place a sanctuary for all the creatures that live around them.

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