Christmas 2008

On December 3, 2007, our long-time cat mascot, Crook, was put to sleep. In his memory, we re-run a 2000 Critter Corner that he inspired.

Dear Santa:

I’m told that you can make miracles happen. Do you work miracles only for humans, or can animals benefit from your power? You see, my name is Crook and I’m a cat that lives in an animal shelter and Danville, Virginia. I have lived here for over twelve years now and I can tell you from experience that if anyone needs a miracle, it’s the animals. I wrote this letter to you several years ago, but I think I need to write it again. This time, maybe I’ll try to believe in your magic a little bit more.

So, this year I’ve compiled a special Christmas wish list. Oh, I know that in the past my list has included items like “Treats for Crook”, or “Warm blankets for Crook”, and even “Soft laps to sit in for Crook”.  But, Santa, this year I’ve seen so many bad things happen to my fellow creatures that I can’t think of only myself anymore.

This year, the first item on my wish list is this: Make all human hearts kind and all human hands gentle. Do you have a magic powder that you can sprinkle on the earth as you fly over it in your sleigh? I have seen thousands of animals at the shelter who don’t even know that kindness and compassion do exist in some humans. They are scared and huddle in the corners of their cages because they’ve been treated so badly. Some of them even shrink from the hands that fill their water and food bowls. If human hearts could be softened, maybe animal hearts could heal.

My second wish is that humans could feel what animals feel and think what we think. It wouldn’t have to be for a long time; a few minutes would do it. That way, humans could know once and for all that we are creatures with feelings. The owners who are in a warm house would know what it’s like to be kept outside in the cold or heat with no shelter. Maybe then, they would know how lonely and bored we become. It is difficult to communicate our needs and wants because our languages are so different. But, if the humans could know how we are on the inside, maybe they would treat us better on the outside. Do you understand what I am trying to say, Santa? I have a feeling you can understand thoughts and feelings that aren’t even spoken. I hope so.

Third, will you please ease the pains of the dogs with embedded collars and cats who have been the victims of cruel pranks? Will you fill all the animals’ stomachs and quench their thirst? Please be a friend to the frightened ones who have been abandoned. Please make it possible that the animals in need will come into contact with a kind human who will have the courage and strength to help.

Well, Santa, I guess that’s the end of my wish list. Thank you for any help you can give.
Love, Crook

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