Saturday, November 5, the West Milford Animal Shelter is hosting a special fund raiser featuring The Amazing Kreskin at two performances in the West Milford high school auditorium. A consummate showman, Kreskin displays his skills as a mentalist while entertaining his audiences with comedy. Born and raised in Monclair, NJ, Kreskin was considered the world's youngest hypnotist by the time he was in his teens. He gained national prominence in the late 60s with appearances on "The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson" and "The Mike Douglas Show." From 1971 to 1975, he could be seen weekly on "The Amazing World of Kreskin." He is also the author of 12 books. In addition to his mental prowess, Kreskin is also an accomplished pianist. He has played at Carnegie Hall and with many symphonies across the United States and Canada. He is an avowed animal lover, so choosing Kreskin for the fund raiser was a natural. He gave The Messenger the following exclusive interview. The Messenger: You have a reputation as a pet lover. What kinds of pets do you have? Kreskin: I have three cats right now. As with most animals, two are better than one, and three are better than two n for them and for us. The Messenger: Why are cats your choice? Kreskin: Cats are extremely intelligent, and if you travel as much as I do, they're better suited for owner absences. However, mine get plenty of company, even when I'm away n which is most of the time. I also love dogs, and have had several in the past n I'm an animal lover. The Messenger: Are there any animals that you would not want to have as a pet? Kreskin: I don't care for snakes, and I don't like keeping birds in a cage
and with cats, birds would be a problem. Also, I don't like the thought of having monkeys as a house pet. But, if I had my way, I'd have a lot more pets n I'd have a pig
you know, they're the most intelligent. I'd also love to have a llama. The Messenger: How about wild animals n New Jersey's bear population is a big issue in this area n what do you feel should be done? Kreskin: I'm not a hypocrite, I do eat hamburgers. I'm not absolutely against hunting, although I could never be a hunter. There are always two sides, and this issue has to be grappled with, although not solely by politicians. And remember, they were here before us. Deer too, are plentiful n just the other day, there were 13 in my backyard. I'm disheartened by the building boom, especially when I see so much space that would be better suited for housing. More high-rise development win the future will be a part of the solution. And will slow down the erosion of natural resources. The Messenger: As a world traveler, how would you compare the treatment of pets in America compared to any other country or countries? Kreskin: That's a fascinating question and deserves a lot of thought. For starters, pets aren't always indoors in some other parts of the world. The size of the countries seems to me to have an impact on how they keep pets. For instance, Great Britain is smaller than Pennsylvania, and New Zealand is as big as Texas. I'd have to look at the question on a country-by-country basis. But, I don't see the treatment of pets and other animals as necessarily better or worse, just that there are differences. The way people treat animals tells us a lot about the people. Animals don't betray us n but the reverse is often the case. For instance, out on Long Island, after the summer vacation season ends, there are a number of house pets released by their departing owners who return to the city, and cannot keep pets. The Messenger: Do you have any predictions regarding pets? Kreskin: I will have a lot to say about animals on January 1, 2006, including the bear issue. Six or seven years ago I said that cats would become the most popular house pet becoming more prominent than dogs here in the US. Today, there are far more cats than dogs, with one contributing factor being the two income family where no one is home during the daytime. In my annual predictions, I expect to have some serious things to say regarding the bear population as a political issue as well as other animal-related predictions in January.