Friday, December 24, 2021

Victoria wins Christmas, Iris makes herstory

My learned pal Victoria
Meet  lawyer Victoria Shroff.  

You'd like her.

Victoria's specialty is animal law.

From her Vancouver base, Victoria acts on behalf of all creatures furry, scaley, and feathery. 

She has fought to get an elephant out of jail and a dog off death row. Whether they're warm-blooded, cold-blooded, four-legged, two-legged or no-legged, all creatures big and small have the good-hearted Victoria in their corner.  

And this year, at least around these parts, she won more than a court case. She won Christmas.

Before I tell you how, we gotta go back almost four years. I'd landed a job at The Lawyer's Daily and my wife Helena celebrated by announcing "Congratulations on the new job Peter!" on a sign in our front window. 

More than announcing my cool new position, the sign was also a non-nuanced telegraph to the neighbours. Helena's mate got a real job! We also still have a land line. I think H is partial to it because gets me off the couch,

But that's beside the point.

Her honour Judge Iris presiding

For years before the new job and weird sign, the front window was our white cat Iris's purview. (Purr view. Can you believe I haven't used that before today? Me neither.) 

For as long as I can remember, Iris watched the world through that window. Then, after the sign arrived, Iris worked it, for more than two years!! (See here.)

At one point, Iris referenced Victoria the animal-loving lawyer.  

Meanwhile, in her spare time (ha-ha) Victoria penned a real law text called Animal Law in Canada. It's the first of its kind and I'm sure the book will be consulted broadly. (Animal law today is where environmental law was when I was a kid--in its infancy but about to explode. Just you watch.)

Yesterday, Victoria emailed me a picture of the cover of  the book and its acknowledgment page. I was thrilled to be named as somebody who played a small role in helping her bring this project to reality, but as she mentions in the kind message, others were involved. 

Including .... "And to Iris who years ago endearingly called me the Dr. Dolittle of Animal Lawyers.'"

Barely had Victoria's email arrived than I was like, copying and pasting and texting it all over the place. Sending it to my sister Charlene on Manitouin Island. Messaging co-workers. Telling my co-worker Adrian who works graveyard shift in freaking Manila!

 En route to the bank I met my dog-loving neighbours Steve and Rita. They were like "Hi Peter. How are you?"

IRIS THE MUSE: Victoria's clients could teach us
all a thing or two.
Me, pointing to their beloved four-legged pal whose name escapes me: "That red coat he's wearing reminds me of my favourite longjohns!" Then I hauled out my iPhone. 

"More importantly, check this out. Iris has made history." 

I plan on framing the message and book cover. 

And now I'm blogging about it. 

And you know why it's so great? 

Victoria's timing was perfect. 

This surprise playful message came at a time when almost everybody I know has just about had it with this thing that's going around and all the stresses it brings. We need all the diversion we can get.

That said, for all the excitement surrounding Victoria's citation, when I pointed it out to Iris, she was  surprisingly nonchalant.  
Come to think of it, not only did Iris not get excited at this news, neither have she or any of the other other cats and dogs of my acquantance let COVID get them down. Through it all, they just got on with business as usual.  

I think they're on to something. 

Thanks Victoria;  thank you Iris and all the other animals; and Mewy Christmas everybody.