Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, November 21, 2020

MVNews this week:  Page 10


Mountain View News Saturday, November 21, 2020 



Earlier this month you met 
little MIKA, female black 
& white kitten. Now, meet 
her twin brother, MEEKO. 
They’re only 2 months old, 
and will be ready for delivery 
soon, after they are spayed 
& neutered, vaccinated, and 
microchipped. Sister Mika is calm and gentle, while Meeko 
has a bold and brave purr-sonality. Both are playful, cuddly, 
and sweet! Tell them apart by the black spot on Mika’s cute 
nose. They’ve been hand-raised with their littermates, and 
with a big dog who loves the kittens as his own! See more 
pictures of them on our “Babies” page. Adopt and use our 
“Two-fur” deal. Apply at (See the 
Adoption Procedures page.)


 It’s Roots, and other Commentary

[Nyerges is the author of “How to Survive Anywhere,” “Foraging California,” “Enter 
the Forest” and other books. He leads courses in the native uses of plants. He can be 
reached at Box 41834, Eagle Rock, CA 90041, or]

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday of the year. Even moreso than Christmas. 
It is our uniquely American holiday where the family gathers, where we remember 
our roots, we share a meal, and we hopefully “give thanks.” 

But today, we hardly know what “giving thanks” even means, and so the act of giving thanks is lost on most 
of us. Newscasters talk about “turkey day,” as if all there was to the day was eating turkey. Interestingly, most 
folks would not know whether or not they were eating turkey, or eating crow, and most of the time we’re 
doing the latter, figuratively speaking. Then, when we have barely taken the time to consider the notion of 
“giving thanks,” we get up early on the following “black Friday” to rush around with the mobs “looking for a 
good deal” to help us celebrate the consumer-driven commercial craze into which we’ve morphed “Christmas.” 
Perhaps the many restrictions and even fears of the Pandemic will allow us to give pause and consider 
the real meaning of this special day.

Let’s take a moment to look at the roots of Thanksgiving.

In the history of the emerging United States, we tell ourselves that our first historic Thanksgiving Day was 
in October of 1621. After a successful harvest that year at the Plymouth colony, there was about a week or 
so of celebrations. The local Indians and the colonists joined together, with the Indians generally showing 
the colonists how to hunt for the meal which consisted of fowl, deer, duck, goose, and fish. Corn bread, 
wild greens, plums, leeks, and many other vegetables (wild and domestic) were shared in this celebration. 
Interestingly, there is no recorded evidence that wild turkey or wild cranberries were part of the menu. And 
we tell and re-tell this particular American story as if it is all about food!

In fact, some (but not all) historians question whether or not there were any religious overtones at all on this 
“first Thanksgiving,” citing such evidence as the archery and firearms games, and the running and jumping 
competitions, which they say would never be done at religious ceremonies by the Puritans. The “competition” 
was more likely the men on each side doing their shows of bravado with weapons and physical feats 
before sitting down to eat.

What then is it, if anything, that sets the American (and the Canadian) Thanksgiving celebration apart from 
any of the other myriad of Harvest Festivals?

Not widely known is that this “first thanksgiving” feast had mostly political overtones, which seem to have 
largely backfired. Tisquantum (“Squanto”) was the interpreter for Massasoit, who was the political-military 
leader of the local Wampanoag tribe. Massasoit was worried that his weakened tribe would be taken-advantage 
of by the stronger Narragansett, because his own group had been so reduced from disease. Massasoit 
would permit the European newcomers to stay as long as they liked, as long as they aligned with Massasoit 
against the Narraganset. (Read all about it in your history books). Tisquantum spoke English because he’d 
been to England and back, and had his own plan to re-establish his home-town village near what became 
the Plimouth colony. 

Though Tisquantum successfully helped Massasoit broker a pact with the newcomers from across the ocean, 
Tisquantum died about a year later. The truce that Massasoit hoped to cement lasted perhaps another 50 
years until the the flood of Europeans flowing into Massachusetts and all of what was to become the eastern 
United States was too great to stop. 

Despite the varied history of this day, Americans have chosen to see this as day set aside so that we do not 
lose sight of our spiritual blessings. We should not confuse “giving thanks” with “eating a lot of really good 
food.” “Giving Thanks” is an enlightened attitude which accompanies specific actions. Perhaps sharing our 
bounty with the needy would be a better Thanksgiving activity, especially this year with so much hunger 
and need that has become the byproduct of government efforts to fight the Pandemic. More to the point, 
perhaps we should use Thanksgiving to give thanks where it is due -- to the indigenous peoples who have 
become the “forgotten minorities.” Rather than “eat a lot,” perhaps we could send blankets, food, or money 
to any of the American Indian families or nations who today live in Third World conditions.

But we really should not forget our national roots. Don’t just give lip-service thanks to the Native Americans 
whose land was taken. Rather, find those organizations that are actually providing real assistance to Native 
Americans in poverty, such as many of those living in the third world conditions so prevalent on today’s 

Of course, we all know friends, family members, and even strangers in our midst who have great need. This 
Thanksgiving, give thanks for your plenty by sharing with those in your midst who have so little.

Pet of the Week

Three-year-old Churro loves people as much as 
people love churros! This handsome dog isn’t a huge 
fan of cats or other dogs, so he would prefer to be the 
only pet in the home, but has so much love to give to 
humans and will make a great only child. While some 
dogs like treats more than anything, Churro wants 
back scratches and cuddles, so if you’re ready for some 
snuggle time, Churro can fill that role. He’s also very 
playful and loves to run, so if you’re looking to mix in 
some running time with your new best friend, he can do that too! Churro checks all 
the boxes, all he needs is you!

 The adoption fee for dogs is $140. All dog adoptions include spay or neuter, microchip, 
and age-appropriate vaccines.

 New adopters will receive a complimentary health-and-wellness exam from VCA 
Animal Hospitals, as well as a goody bag filled with information about how to care 
for your pet.

 View photos of adoptable pets and schedule a virtual adoption appointment at Adoptions are by appointment only, and new adoption 
appointments are available every Monday at 10:00 a.m. for the following week.

 Pets may not be available for adoption and cannot be held for potential adopters by 
phone calls or email.


Like everything else in 2020, for 
most people this Thanksgiving will 
look quite different than traditional 
ones. There will likely be fewer folks 
around the dinner table. Friends may 
be connecting on FaceTime. Grandma 
might be joining by Zoom, sadly 
without her famous applesauce sweet 

Although there might be fewer human 
visitors, one thing that’s certain 
is that more than 600,000 American 
homes have newly adopted dogs and 
cats to be thankful for, with an additional 
60,000 or so pets currently 
grateful to be spending the holiday in 
foster homes, according to PetPoint’s 
24Pet ShelterWatch report. 

Thanksgiving is often one of the busiest evenings for emergency vet 
clinics, so it’s an important time to be extra careful with our animal 
friends. (Especially this year, when many animal hospitals are operating 
under COVID restrictions.) That way the holiday can be happy 
and healthy for everyone, and maybe your veterinarian can have the 
night off too. 

Best Friends Animal Society hopes to help make this a happy, healthy holiday for all family members by 
offering a few special precautions to protect our pets:

Those soulful eyes may tempt pet owners to give in to their begging critters but sharing the fabulous feast 
can lead to trouble for pets.

Too much rich, fatty food, or simply new, unfamiliar foods can upset a pet’s stomach--and even cause pancreatitis, 
which can be life-threatening—so owners should go easy on the tidbits. Poultry or ham bones can 
break up or splinter in a pet’s stomach and be deadly, so dogs and cats should never be allowed to gnaw on 
them, and bones should go outside to the trash immediately. 

Other food-flavored items like plastic wrap, string, mesh or the pop-up timer can smell tempting to curious 
pets but can injure their stomachs if stolen and ingested. 

Chocolate, especially that used for baking, is toxic for dogs, so it should be kept out of reach. Other common 
food items that can be poisonous to dogs include onions, raisins and grapes, so avoid sharing these.

It’s a good idea to review these rules with any guests as well, since well-meaning holiday visitors might not 
know the potential harm caused by slipping treats to the pets under the table. 

If pet owners want to make the holiday special for their four-footed family members, they should plan 
ahead and have safe, delicious dog and cat treats on hand, like canned pet food or a tasty pet treats or fun 

There are also many great recipes online for homemade dog and cat treats that are fun to make and extra 
special for our pets. 

A final note to consider is that many common decorative plants and flowers can be toxic for curious cats 
and dogs, so before buying plants or creating the centerpiece, it’s wise to check to ensure that you’re not using 
anything that could poison your pets. According to the AVMA, some plant hazards include amaryllis, 
baby’s breath, sweet William, some ferns, hydrangeas and others. |

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