December 23, 2013

Cheers and Jeers: Dec. 23, 2013

CHEERS to parents and staff at Bright Beginnings child care center in Plattsburgh for their concern for a homeless kitty.

Assistant Director Vickie Erb said the orange and white, tailless, collarless cat showed up on a bitterly cold day recently. As parents were picking up their children, they stopped to pet the friendly cat and worry over her fate.

Staff had hoped the cat would find her way to a safe place overnight, but when Director Jacqueline Prather arrived the next morning, the cat was cuddled between their garbage container and the wall, trying to shield herself from the cold. Parents and staff didn’t want to see her remain out in the cold even one more night.

“The parents were very concerned,” Prather said. “They were bound to make sure that this cat had a home.”

The cat was brought inside, where staff members padded an empty copier-paper box with towels. The kitty jumped right in. Cheryl Godfrey from the kitchen staff set out food and water.

Prather said parents kept stopping in and calling to figure out how to help the kitty. Jami Robbins and Sean Davis and their co-workers at Mountain Valley Integrated Solutions volunteered to pay for veterinary treatment. Melissa Litt, Craig LaPage, Dawn Rushford-Smith and Katherine Greeno all worked on finding a home for their furry friend. 

As it turned out, the kitty — appropriately dubbed Noel — went home with Sean Masten and Jennifer Gallagher and their toddler, Hailey, where she will have a much better Christmas than she would have if left to the elements.

Kirsten Darrah, who contacted the Press-Republican about the coordinated effort to save the freezing feline, called it a “feel-good story for the holidays,” adding, “I think he is our little lucky Christmas cat.”

CHEERS to everyone who put up outdoor Christmas decorations for all to enjoy. Those holiday displays require plenty of energy, time and money — to purchase lights and decorations and pay the electric bill. Not to mention that the decorating work is usually done in very chilly temperatures. It can be challenging. Consider, for example, Shedrick Jenkins of Cogan Avenue in the City of Plattsburgh, who, for years, has put up an admirable Christmas display, complete with music. At age 83, he could have easily “retired” from this job, particularly this year, as he has been facing health problems. But, he still managed to provide his usual Christmas cheer and then some — a true delight to the eyes and ears. 

You can drive along any street in the North Country and see a holiday display that raises spirits of everyone from toddlers to senior citizens. The twinkling lights are a seasonal delight that add to the magic of Christmas.  

— If you have a Cheers and Jeers suggestion that you want the Editorial Board to consider, email it to Editor Lois Clermont at

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