Cats and dogs abound for first grader
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Cats and dogs abound for first grader

Cory Silverstein and his Nana’s pet cat, Tiki.
Cory Silverstein and his Nana’s pet cat, Tiki.

Cory Silverstein is a lucky little guy.

At his home in Wyckoff, he can play with Monster and Rosie, the family’s mixed breed rescue dogs.

And when he visits his “Nana,” his grandmother, Susan Silverstein, at her home in Fair Lawn, he gets the pick of the litter — that is he can play with one of two cats: Tiki, a tuxedo feline, and Poncho, a gray and white, long-haired cat.

Cory, 7, a first grader at Coolidge Elementary School in Wyckoff, just adores visiting Nana’s and finding Tiki, who is usually hanging out under a bed, said his grandmother, Susan Silverstein. Ms. Silverstein sent Our Children a picture of her grandson with Tiki in the hopes of winning our Cute Pet Contest. It did.

“Every time Cory comes to visit, he’s looking for the cat,” said Ms. Silverstein.

Pets have always been a part of her family’s life.

“I love cats,” she said. “I also love dogs and had them up until recently. But with cats, we can travel more easily in our retirement,” said Ms. Silverstein, who worked as an administrator and trainer at the Bergen County Board of Social Services.

“Our cats are very affectionate and lovable,” she added.

As for Cory, who enjoys football, baseball, and wrestling, he said he appreciates Tiki’s intelligence and independence.

“I think cats are smart,” Cory said.

Cory’s mother, Marisa Silverstein, said their animal-loving family has always had pets, and when they got their dogs, they wanted them to be rescued. Their two dogs came from a rescue effort from the south and from a kill shelter.

Marissa said, in addition to enhancing the family dynamic, the pets teach children valuable lessons.

“I think it is the greatest lesson for children to learn how to care for a pet and to show it love,” said Marisa. “It is a beautiful opportunity to grow.”

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