Blessed beasts at St. Anselm’s pet anointing

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Katerine Perchik’s pet goldfish is swimming with spirit now that it’s a blessed beast.

Perchik toted her pride and joy in a fat glass jar to St. Anselm Church on Fourth Avenue and 82nd Street where it joined a menagerie of other “parishioners” whose collective howls, yelps and chirps could be heard from blocks away as the annual blessing of the animals got underway on Saturday.

The Rev. Martin Kull transformed the courtyard into an outdoor altar, sprinkling the furry and feathered congregation with holy water to mark the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, also the patron saint of animals. The steady stream of dogs, cats, birds and other lovable critters trickled in throughout the afternoon, even though some of them weren’t nearly as thrilled as their owners about the divine — and decidedly wet — dousing.

Tony Geets, a transplant from Colorado, was just glad of the opportunity to have his poodle, Vincent, baptized.

“I feel like both of us have a new leash on life,” he quipped.

Bianca Sunshine prepped Balthazar, her half-chihuahua, half-Italian greyhound, with some tender love by planting a kiss on his chops, while Diana Anderson braced her Husky Akita mix, Cheyenne Buddah, with some ol’ fashioned love talk, whispering sweet nothings in his floppy ear.

— Shavana Abruzzo

Updated 2:38 pm, October 19, 2011
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