Pastor Lili Bush blesses cat Mr. Red Saturday at Shepherd of the Desert Lutheran Church while his owner Pat Jackson and her daughter Donna Berry look on.


Berry and her sister Candy Jackson bring their two cats, Casper and Jasmine Aurora, to Barstow every year from San Jose for Bush to bless them. This their cocker spaniel, Shana, made the trip with them. Pat Jackson brings her two cats, Mr. Red and Miss Kitty, for Bush to bless.


"Lili is our priest," Berry said, adding that they initially brought one temperamental cat, Keisha Rose, also known as Devil Angel Kitty. "The blessing worked for her. And our mother had Mr. Red and Miss Kitty. It's a yearly event for us."


This is the eighth year Shepherd of the Desert has blessed the animals and Bush's fourth year.


"Animals are part of God's creation," she said. "And they are so important in the lives of people."