Thursday, October 05, 2006
The Blessing of the Rats
Being in a Franciscan parish, we had the blessing of the animals this last Sunday. It's an event that we attend every year and this year was no different.
Teen Daughter didn't want to go as she was afraid of being embarrassed, with good reason. But she was a good sport and went anyway.
When we arrived a few minutes early there were already about ten of our fellow parishioners there. All with dogs.
We pulled up in our blood-red, full-sized van, children poring out of every door, each with a different pet in tow. Rabbits, mice, hamsters, rats. Some in carrying cages, some in plastic balls, and others simply in hand.
As we approached the blessing area, one of the elderly parishioners exclaimed, "Oh my God, they have rats!" She and her puppy moved quickly away from us. In fact, about half of the parishioners shied away from us. I don't think that these folks will ever look at the Wittmann family the same again. We've gone from the nice big family to the kooks with rats.
It probably wouldn't have been so bad, except that the boys removed their rats from their carrying cages and let them crawl all over their shirts. I would've scolded them, but it was Rob, the Rat King, who put them up to it.
The rats and other wee animals were sprinkled with holy water and blessed by Father. I can't say that their new holy state has warmed my heart to the rodents -- I still keep a safe distance from them. But it made the children happy.
Well, except for Teen Daughter, who, along with her rabbit, was terribly embarrassed.