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By Christopher Emmanuel
“Stray affection will grow on you”
I didn’t always like animals. We had chickens, pigs, and cows on my grandfathers’ land. I grew up in a poor family so it was food before pets, and you didn’t mix the two.

Dogs and cats were around but as a boy I had a truce with them. Stay on your side I will stay on mine.  Living in San Pedro you start to appreciate animals more because most of the dogs and cats are so darn friendly.  Appreciation is the beginning of great friendships.

She was eight pounds, black and white when she started to peer through our balcony glass door. Pressure starts with a look. Early morning she would be there as I greeted the sun. I cracked under the pressure. We made a deal. Over time we established a routine. I would provide food and she would bring affection. So I opened the door and she kept coming. Eight pounds of affection, probably the size of an adult’s heart, that’s what this stray cat was.

No matter what was going on in life, Lady Lucy crawled into your lap spreading wisps of joy. Animals touch you in places no human can at times. I had a friend who had birds. Imagine a room full of birds in cages. Parrots, Parakeets, Macaws, his wife threaten to leave him, but she knew the feathers would win, so she put up with it. He told me it was as if every stray bird knew he liked them and he couldn’t say no to a new one. His eyes would light up as he paraded them to me on his arm describing their idiosyncrasies.

Lucy was a stray and made it very clear she was doing me a favor.  She kept her edge, hunting at night. Once she bought home a field mouse, an act of appreciation, almost begging me to enjoy it with her. They say you can judge the kindness of a nation by how they treat animals and how close the pigeons come to you. If so, La Isla is well on its way to being animal friendly. Years ago they were more scraggily mutts roaming the beaches in packs but now some of the dogs fare better than the locals. “I love how the animals roam free,” a tourist commented while walking the beach. It seems treating our animal well is also good for the economy too.

Books by Christopher Emmanuel can be purchased at his Art Gallery in The Sunbreeze Hotel , Art of Touch, Pages Book Store, Black orchid Spa and  Sol Spa. 

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