The Garden, The Beasts and The Human

catinyang
There was a time with Adam in the garden
When the beasts walked beside him in trust
And they all talked, because all had voice
Before the fall

Bird and lion, elephant and hyena
All came to hear the Man’s Counsel
For he was favored and could
Give them names
And tell them what they were

(And here you must understand, it wasn’t Adam as Adam
It wasn’t a garden as a garden
And the beasts too, were not quite beasts
These are ideas outside all we know
And outside time and space as our poor senses
Feel them.
But in the poor words we have, it was Adam
And beasts in a garden.)

But in that day when he sinned and he fell
As the angel held the sword and pointed
Adam and his crying wife to the hard realm
Of Earth, to earn their living with the sweat
Of their brow

Only three went before the Maker
And said, “Give us to him, Oh, Lord
Who is our Friend and who has Named us.
We know through him all have fallen
And all must go
To that harsh place where flesh eats flesh
And nature is red in tooth and claw

Grant us only to go with him
And be his helpers.
Let him shape us and change us
To his need.
Grant only that we may serve
His needs and ease his way.
His and his children
Till the end of time”

“But I cannot, the Lord said
Give to you his inheritance of eternity
That is his and his children’s.”

“We know, they said. And we do not
Ask that.
Only the joy to serve, the right to protect
To carry, to love, to comfort
To help in his toil, and keep away
Predators and vermin which would hurt
Him.”

Face with that love, at which even some
Angels failed
The Lord said “So be it. You will be Adam’s
And his progeny forever
To change and shape
To conform and to use.
But for your love, I will add
That through him and his you may
Join in eternity
With those humans who loved and
Whom you loved.”

And so, horse, dog and cat
All different from what they
Once were
Go with humanity through
Good times and bad
They carry and they hunt
And guard the graneries
And tame giant and house wolf
And house panther, they lick away our tears
And mend our hearts and love us without
Demanding anything in return

And through some great and imutable
Magic have they shaped us
As much as we have them
And made us human
Because being human is not walking
On two legs, or making tools
Or even striking fire from the inert wood

Being human is loving your companions
So a spark of your heart goes with them
And opens for them the gates of the eternal
Land

Where they’ll wait in perfect love
Until you come

(A very bad poem, on the occasion of Euclid-cat, my tame house-panther, refusing to eat, and after our twenty years together, the time coming when — if this doesn’t reverse — we will part this week or next.  The picture is him (the black one) and his best friend, D’Artagnan (son’s cat) who is dying of renal failure.  I have a feeling when one lets go, the other will also, and that they will walk the rainbow road together to that place where there’s no more pain. Where they will wait us and we’ll come in what will seem no more than an eye-blink to them.

Like Heinlein, I’m never quite sure there is an afterwards, or its boundaries, or even that I’m worthy of it. But the one thing I know is that in a well-designed universe, perfect love will not simply vanish.)

101 thoughts on “The Garden, The Beasts and The Human

    1. So am I.
      Our small dog, the malti-poo … he was ailing, and more than 20, blind, deaf and senile – and he just vanished. We couldn’t figure out what happened. He just managed to wander off. I like to think that he just blundered onto the access road to the Rainbow Bridge.

      1. My pocket boy, Tyke (picked him up out of the mud & blood of his litter mates & put him in my pocket), did that at age 16. We were trying to keep him in, he sneaked out & we never saw him again. Hobs did the same thing at 20, only the neighbor who found him curled up at their front door knew where he belonged, so we were able to bring him home for burial.

    2. I misread that as “until the screen stops purring”.

      Well, maybe I didn’t misread it after all…

      [goes off, gives extra milk to the barn cats]

  1. And I suspect that some pets go to heaven but their humans go elsewhere (based at least in part on how they treated their pets). 😦

    But it is still sad when beloved pets have to be let go by their loving humans.

  2. I’m going through the roll call of domestic wolves and micro lions and tigers that have walked beside me amd gone on across the bridge these seven decades. One stands out, a valiant little brindle terrier who jumped between my mother and an eastern diamondback in ’69.

    In my sunset years now, fearing the day when I pass and the current furry fellows face new masters…

    1. I can’t remember what he was, but some kind of a mostly terrier my dad and his brothers had took out a snake at their house in the 50s or so.

      The lil SOB turned out to be Scottish– snapped at them when they tried to grab him, went and laid in the creek for three days.

      Stayed around for another decade, which should’ve been impossible.

      Perfect fit for grandma, who I am sure insisted she didn’t like him. (no comment on distribution of scraps that were of course not suited to the chickens, that would be wasteful *cough* *cough*)

      *************

      Have you seen that flashfic about “humans are elves to dogs”?

    1. *philosophy hat on*
      (Because that’s how I deal with pain.)

      Depends on why.

      Do you object because “Damn it, I know better than God and I want it!”

      Or do you object because of the shared love, the sacrifice, some sort of a glimpse at how the loyalty and love of a pet is a reflection of Himself– and if a place would cast out an aspect of Himself, then it isn’t really heaven?

      It’s like looking at love– is it “this gives me satisfaction” or “this is a thing of awesome value, which I have been granted some hint of, and I must work to protect it.”

      1. Also, there is a Twilight Zone of a hunter killed with his hound who escapes Hell, which claims it is Heaven, when he won’t go because they tell him to leave the hound behind.

      2. Foxfier, because Heaven, according to the nuns that taught me, is said to be s place of eternal bliss, and I think God is not so narcissistic and callous as to think S/He alone would be all that we would desire. If that makes me demanding of God my personal wishes for heaven, so be it.

        1. He’s meant to be the center of what we need.
          But if Dan isn’t there, I ain’t going. If the cats (and dogs) I’ve loved aren’t there, I ain’t going.
          Not so sure on Derp Fish, but I’d LIKE to see him again, too.

    2. There’s a story I love about just that: ‘Moses’ by Walter D. Edmonds.

      I have it in GREATEST DOG STORIES EVER TOLD, in ebook form. First encountered it in THE FIRESIDE BOOK OF DOG STORIES.

    3. And when Adam was done with his years of toil,
      When he was standing before the Guardian of the Gates
      (For there was no Peter then, or Book to reference,
      Only an Angel all in terrible Glory to greet those who came),
      He asked “Angel, where are my companions, my helpmeets who followed me?”
      Adam was told, “They came not through these Gates, but went to another place.”
      Adam took a single breath (for such was still his habit) and said:
      “Then, Angel, pray tell me their direction, point me to their path.
      For as they followed me for love, now must I follow them.”

      I am obviously no kind of poet, especially as the roof has apparently sprung another leak – the only explanation I have for the water dripping onto the keyboard.

      That, however, could be a picture of my beloved Zeus and Hijinx – missing now from my life for more than ten years (nearly twenty for Zeus). I am hoping that time passes much more swiftly on their path, so that they are not waiting too long…

    4. I’m not convinced that _all_ animals have immortal souls, but any species where the young are taught by parents or other caregivers in the wild, any species that can learn and later apply what they’ve learned, has a degree of intelligence, and thus shares in the glory of God. As God is eternal, how can they not be?

      -Albert

      1. They have done tests of what areas of brain lights up, and there’s reason to believe cats and dogs remember. They remember as far back as their “childhood” even as very old animals.
        Now, they get demented too. I find it both heartbreaking and touching that Euclid and D’Artagnan only SOMETIMES remember each other. (I think it might have to do with blindness, and less acute sense of smell as they age, too, but you know…)
        When D. comes up, and ambling past the cage-condo sees Euclid, and they touch noses and bump heads? It starts the water works.

        1. Hell, Pampered Paladin Princess solves puzzles: When she wants to wrestle with string, she’ll take the string to the sink and meow for someone to ‘come turn the water on,’ then offer the string for playing. That takes memory and decision-making.

          -Albert

          1. hell, little cute kitty can tell time… she knows that around 8-9 pm is treats time and will bug you if she doesnt get them.

            1. Retired. No alarm clocks go off in the morning at our house (son’s goes off at 1:30 PM because he goes to work at 3 PM). This morning at 9:15 AM I had one cat batting my nose. Another batting my feet. Dog sticking her nose in my ear. Mom was late with breakfast … all three had dry kibble available … nope it was “good” food time, and I was late. Yesterday they got fed at 5 AM, 3 hours early, because I woke up & couldn’t go back to sleep. Did that give me a pass for this morning? (stop laughing)

              1. Try as I might, I never, never got across to even ONE of our cats the concept underlying Daylight Savings Time. “It’s Dawn — get me my breakfast.”

                Although they did readily adapt to the Spring Forward* adjustment.

                *Or was that Fall Back?

  3. I’m sorry. It feels like a poor pair of words given the circumstances, and I wish I could come up with something better, but I want you to know that you, Eulid, and D’Artagnan have my sympathy.

    1. Yeah, it’s dusty in here. Our Sara keeps on, shakier than ever, not eager to get out of her crate in the morning, though after last night’s snowfall (6″ of badly needed snow, Woo Hoo!), she and her buddy were channeling puppies together.

  4. ::tries not to cry too noticeably at work:: It’s the hardest part of loving the fuzzy ones…but no matter how much it hurts we keep accepting new ones into our hearts.

    Many, many hugs and sympathies for what is coming, whenever that may be.

  5. I’m so sorry. Losing one is hard enough. When I was in my teens I read all Albert Payson Terhune’s dog stories. He said something like, “If when I die, I don’t find myself surrounded by a herd of collies, I will have reached somewhere other than the place I was aiming for. That applies to cats too.

    1. The funny thing is that when grandma died I didn’t even know she was ill, because my deranged family had been hiding it from me.
      To understand my relationship with grandma, she was “she who raised me” and also “first teller of fantastic stories.” and “righter of wrongs” and also “she who looks after all children and beasts in need, and is simultaneously hard as rock and soft as butter for anyone who needs her, human or animal.” In a way my entire life has been just trying to fill grandma’s shoes, and I fall short.
      Anyway, the night she died I had a dream. She was going down this path we used to take, to the meadows where we got “grass for the rabbits” meaning she scythed the grass and I played around making daisy chains
      Only the path had acquired a creek and a bridge. ( I had at the time never heard of the rainbow bridge.)
      As grandma approached it, out of the meadows there came cats and dogs, chickens and a turtle and possibly a horse or two (There were so many, it was hard to be sure.) I recognized a tabby, a greyhound, a brittany spaniel, and a black chicken.
      They crossed the bridge with her, into brilliant shining light.
      I woke up covered in sweat and called mom. Grandma had died 20 minutes before.
      I don’t know what that means, but I think it means they go with us.

      1. Of course they go with us. You put a piece of your soul in them, and they in you. That’s how you find each other, over there. It’s a pretty big place.

        Or so I’ve heard.

      2. I was holding it together (sort of) reading all the above, but this got the waterworks going. As has been said above, I don’t want to go any place that won’t allow the furred/feathered/etc in, too.

        I’m so sorry about your furry guys. I’ve got some old guys with me, too – the parrot has been old for at least a decade and she could continue old for decades more, but the cockatiels are in their late 20s, and I’ve been thinking “any day now it could happen” for years, and I know all the planning on what-to-do-on-that-final-day isn’t going to help the hurt.

      3. You know, one of the descriptions for the Holy Spirit is the love between the Father and the Son.

        While I much favor the fire-related symbols, I’d be shocked if a bridge wasn’t also common.

        1. Perhaps we are given to experience the love of a pet so that we may understand His love for us, and as a preview of what awaits “farther in and higher up.”

      4. We now see dimly. We know there is more. Thank you for this testimony of a glimpse of Eternity. Thank you for sharing your Love, Joy and grief.

  6. Something so steadfast as the love of a beloved pet should be honored. They show it in different ways, but they are family, too. As ever, the price of love is loss. ‘Til the day we meet in the library on the other side, where those who’ve gone before us are still writing, reading, discussing, arguing, and yes, lazing about in sunbeams and occasionally knocking over vases.

    They can help us be better people, too. Hard to ever have road rage with a cat in your lap, as I once said to a friend.

    1. As pets are family I have made provision for them in my will If I should predecease them.Just as if they were minor children.

      1. Honestly, my fear of getting more pets is that it’s harder EVERY TIME. EVERY FRICKING time.
        Whatever we get next, if we get one, cat or dog, I’m sure the guys would take if we die. Marsh is allergic to dogs but #1 son’s wife is allergic to cats. Since I have a feeling that though I say no, in the fullness of time we’ll get one of each, I suspect if they outlive us, they’ll go one to each son.

        1. This is our situation. We’re old enough that we’re holding off on getting more critters as our existing ones age and die, because we don’t want to be leaving this world before they do. I don’t know, though, if we’ll be willing to face life without a furperson or two, so we may change our minds after our last two die (hopefully not for a few years yet). Our wills are currently set up to provide a comfortable life for whatever critters are left if we should both die before they do.

          1. Well, we have another few years with the youngest cats who are 11 and 10. hoping they live to 19 or 20, which means we’d be late sixties when they died. Which means…. considering our cats live around 20 years, it would be foolhardy to get more. Sure, dad is late eighties. So is father in law. BUT….

            1. We have a pair of very elderly and frail neighbors – lovely people, in spite of being raving libs – who took on, at their request, the first stray small dog that we found in the neighborhood. (The Daughter Unit and I are apparently magnets for attracting stray and abandoned dogs. Everyone in the neighborhood knows this.)
              So, they wound up with Fang, a small and lively pug-Chihuahua mix. Fang is very bright, and affectionate, and they adore him extravagantly. But we have been let know … that in the event that they can’t care for him any longer, that Fang reverts to us. Which will be fine: he adores the Daughter Unit, and being a small mixed breed, he will very likely outlive Judy and Pedro.

  7. Pets, like children, make us hostages to fate. A parent can be hurt in ways the childless can never imagine. To love is to someday hurt, because all loves end, by way of death of either the loved or the lover. Nobody gets outta here alive.The only way to avoid grief is to wall yourself off from love. Who wants to live like that?

  8. I’m so sorry. I was hoping I wasn’t watching it happen through your words, again. I knew better, but I could hope.

    We still cry for Silver, that wound is so fresh. We know taking her to her final rest was the best for her.

    It will hurt. No matter what I say. I’m crying for you & yours, I swear it isn’t the dust. I can’t imagine loosing two in such a short period of time. We’ve lost multiple animals over a year, in years past, but none within weeks or days.

    I agree. If the fur babies aren’t waiting at the pearly entrance called the rainbow bridge, I’m taking a hike until I find it. That is where I want to be.

    I’m so sorry.

    Be sure to have your Veterinarian take a paw print. I wish we had one for each of them. But we only have 3 of our 15. Also wish we’d cremated but only have Taylor & Silver’s ashes. All the cats are in the back garden. In-laws dogs are on their property on the river, & my GSD is at grandparents property (think unmarked pet cemetery without the horror); both acreage & neither property is in family hands anymore.

    Taylor:
    https://scontent-sea1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/299824_2515739021210_1824957838_n.jpg?_nc_cat=100&_nc_ohc=WNuPsw2jbHcAX9aaDu9&_nc_ht=scontent-sea1-1.xx&oh=c3dbf1ca509091766d2ea180c8c23046&oe=5E8D5782

    Silver:
    https://scontent-sea1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/s960x960/80079126_10221437675879733_4600673919848939520_o.jpg?_nc_cat=104&_nc_ohc=q_NiQJbSWLkAX-io7DT&_nc_ht=scontent-sea1-1.xx&_nc_tp=1&oh=55268304fcf62f4370eceb67da4febfb&oe=5EAB3919

  9. I share your pain. Porthos is 14. He’s a Rotti-mastiff. He’s soon for the Summerlands, for he can’t control his bladder, and he’s having trouble getting up even with meds. Animals each take a little of our hearts with us when they go, but fortunately, they’ve left some of theirs, in its place. By now I think I’m all cat and dog in my heart.

  10. Love and sympathy Sarah & Dan. We’ve said good-bye to 13 over the years, and I know there are 2 up there arguing over who gets my wife when she arrives. In heaven I think there’s love enough for everyone though.

  11. “Few religions are definite about the size of Heaven, but on the planet Earth the Book of Revelation (ch. XXI, v.16) gives it as a cube 12,000 furlongs on a side. This is somewhat less than 500,000,000,000,000,000,000 cubic feet. Even allowing that the Heavenly Host and other essential services take up at least two thirds of this space, this leaves about one million cubic feet of space for each human occupant- assuming that every creature that could be called ‘human’ is allowed in, and the the human race eventually totals a thousand times the numbers of humans alive up until now. This is such a generous amount of space that it suggests that room has also been provided for some alien races or – a happy thought – that pets are allowed.”
    -PTerry

  12. This poem was written for a companion now buried in the large pet cemetery that is our back yard.

    Goodbye Beloved

    Thank you for time too short,
    I shared with you.
    I miss your charm and grace.
    You always brought such joy.
    Always so sure,
    how life was lived.
    Your leaps of Joy,
    a thrill to see.

    But you are gone.
    Your time too short.
    Now buried in the ground.
    Cold death seized you.
    Never more to meet on earth,
    to share our love and joy.
    The love we shared,
    only bitter pain of loss.

    Yet deep in my soul I know,
    we’ll meet again.
    Where pain does cease and joy abounds.
    Where tears are washed away.
    Then such bliss.
    To know you forever.
    Till then,
    goodbye beloved.

    (c) Presbypoet 1-22-02

    It will be a very interesting group that welcomes on the other side of the gossamer thin veil, that separates this life from the eternal one to come. I know where I go, I just don’t know when. I do know it will be infinite JOY. I know cats do go to heaven.

  13. The day before my Mother passed, she told me she had dreamed that Big John (the first of the family bulldogs) had visited her in her hospital room. I’m an agnostic. I’m unsure of much, but I feel in my bones that there is a place after the Last Door, and all we loved is waiting for us there.

            1. I’m a bit offended by that remark.

              I’m not seeing a psychiatrist, and am not on any prescriptions for psychiatric meds.

              One of my long term life goals has been to manage my problems well enough that they do not get to the point where I need psychiatric care, or psychiatric medications. Now, you could argue that I have failed at that. That I should be seeking such care.

              Yes, I have been having health problems. Yes, some of those have had knock on effects on my thinking. It probably is not so simple a thing as needing prescriptions adjusted, or better compliance with the prescription.

              I’ve long had unpredictable variations in my ability to think. To the best of my knowledge, these are not something psychiatry has the means to treat. I’ve maybe had some luck with more obscure fields of medicine, but am far from the point of being able to tell if they can address the matter.

              And some of my differences are matters that no psychiatric drug can treat. When I read Hogfather as a teen, I decided that for strategic reasons, Teatime had some good qualities as a role model. If it is only me that is crazy, and not also to some degree the rest of the world, there is a method to my madness, and external force is not going to be effective at fixing it. Yes, torture can probably break me. Yes, I can definitely be killed. Yes, there was a noticeable increase in sanity from decreasing my misery and self hatred. There probably is not a simple, obvious, easy fix that I just am not doing.

              1. “off his meds” is a term for when someone has got a bit odd. I’m fairly sure most of the people who go off their meds aren’t on meds. Until I FINALLY got medicated for ADD, I was often off my meds, without being on any “mood/thinking/perception drugs.” When I spiral down I’m “off my meds” even though I never took meds for depression.
                So, chill, just an expression as far as I understand it.
                Sometimes people are off the meds they were never on. Which you have been, lately. Not sure why. Sure it will pass…. It’s not the worst you’ve been, either.

            2. Ought I be disturbed that I perceived his point on the instant?

              Of course, it rather depends on what one means by Love and by War whether Bob or cspschofield was correct.

          1. Quote from Hellsing’s The Major. Now, the correct theological answer is likely that he was an evil man, and hence we can probably expect that he goes to hell.

            But what about that model of heaven, for someone who genuinely loves only war, and is saved?

              1. Would it not depend on why he loves war? If he loves it for the destruction and pain there’s probably scant chance of salvation, but if his love is for the opportunities for glory and heroism …

  14. You’ve got me trying poetry, too…

    Death comes to all,
    A moment in the life,
    A marker ending strife,
    And yet,
    Amidst the pain,
    The cries of “WHY!” and “NO! IT CAN’T BE…”,
    There’s a moment of reflection,
    Of seeing a life well-lived,
    Well-worn,
    Of knowing that all those moments,
    Now stand behind us, stand proud and loud,
    That here is a life.
    The stumbles, the fumbles, the grumbles,
    The laughter, the joy, the ecstasy
    And most of all, the wonder.
    We knew. We grew. We LIVED!
    So tears will fall,
    Hearts will tear,
    And yet.
    Our friend lived.
    And that is wonder indeed.

  15. Sorry for your impending losses. I had one I had for 17 years pass this fall, and have another close on her heels (I dug the grave before the ground froze, but so fas she’s hanging on. She’s fooled me before, but isn’t in good shape). I know the official word from some authorities is that animals don’t have immortal souls, but at risk of heresy I’ve often wondered if part of being in the image and likeness of God might mean being able in some small way to be able to love things into true life. It’s the animals that get love and attention from that seem to gain a self, but I’m probably out of my depth. Sorry again for the losses. That was a tearjerking poem.

      1. When they stop eating altogether, and even turn away from treats, that’s not a good sign.

        What gets me is when they look at you and there’s not really anything you can do to take away their pain. And when they stop looking at you and are seeing the Other world, you know they’re going away.

        1. Yes. I get a very intent look. VERY intent. And I don’t know if it’s “Mommy, I’m ready to go” or “Mommy I’m in pain and the meds aren’t helping.” or “Mommy make it better.” (Which I’m trying, truly. Hence the delay.)
          I don’t know. I wish he could talk.

          1. They can talk.
            Problem is similar to God talking to us.
            We’re not very good at understanding what’s being said.
            Come to think of it, that’s pretty much a universal human problem even between us two-legs.

  16. Hugs. It’s never easy to make that decision. It still haunts me that we waited too long with two cats, mostly because they were hiding their pains so well until they just couldn’t any more. And I wonder how long it’ll be before we have to make that decision with our current cat. She’s thirteen years old, and definitely slowing down, although she’s still getting around OK. But I know there’s going to be a time when she won’t.

  17. It’s a terrible thing to lose old furry friends, and their loss is never a trivial thing if you’re a decent human being. My condolences to you all who are having to go through this. There’s always a cruel price for all those years of love and companionship, and that’s the heartbreak of loss when they leave you. One’s only comfort is that you loved them back, and did your best by them, and that a kind and loving God will keep that in mind when our own times come, and that we will see all our friends again, as they are in our memories.

    If that’s not the case, there are going to be words spoken when I go before Him and I mean to go looking for wherever it is the dogs went, because that’s where I want to be. Wouldn’t be worth it, without them.

  18. As to souls, a line of dialogue from a first-season episode of Andromeda always springs to mind: “Anything that can love has a soul.”

    Works for me.

  19. The Creator, who made cats and people, loves us and, at least according to the Bible, showed that love by dying on a cross to provide a path for us to inherit an afterlife we are all unworthy to attain on our own. All we have to do is accept the gift and not try to enter on our own merit.

    The Bible talks about lions and lambs; but not housecats. I believe there will be animals in heaven. I don’t know any verses to back that up; but I think we might see our pets again.

    1. When we get there we will be surprised. Sarah’s grandmother’s departure seems to indicate even Chickens! go to heaven.

      I try to be reluctant telling God what He can’t do. That is what got John the Baptist’s father in trouble when the angel told him to “shut up”.
      My default view is reflected in Dean Koontz book “One Door Away From Heaven”. Describing a dog as, “born into that state of grace”.

      We can sin. Animals don’t seem to sin. We had a parrot with a wicked sense of humor, so I could be wrong.
      He would yell “cat” when he saw a cat out the window. The dog would bound up to the window and bark. We saw the bird yell “cat”, with no cat outside. The bird was bored, so for entertainment, fool the dog he…he. Sin?

      1. We had a parrot with a wicked sense of humor

        “The Reluctant Vegetarian” was one of the hardest scenes to film, mainly because of the number of animals that had to sit still for a lengthy period. The cast had hours of rehearsal and preparation before filming started. The first take went very well, until Sir Rex Harrison stopped singing. Director Richard Fleischer asked him why, and Harrison said he heard him yell “Cut!” Fleischer denied it, and they were starting to argue about it when both heard a voice yell “Cut!” The guilty party turned out to be Polynesia the Parrot. Harrison said “That’s the first time I’ve ever been directed by a parrot. But she may be right. I probably can do it better.”
        Promo mailer for https://www.zeusdvds.com/doctor-dolittle-1967-dvd/

        1. On Guadacanal, Japanese forces heard the cry, “Planes, planes!” and went for cover. When no planes appeared, they came out, and the officers were demanding to know who was responsible when a parrot burst out of the brush and flew off, crying, “Planes, planes!”

  20. So sorry to hear about your cat. This is always tough. As for souls, one thing I’ve come to believe is that whatever this universe and beyond is, it’s designed to be a mystery to us. Each person’s beliefs are valid for that individual person. It’s one reason we call this ‘Faith’.

    1. … it’s designed to be a mystery to us.

      Why deny Him the joy of surprising us? Part of the pleasure of a gift is its unwrapping.

  21. Sorry, Sarah.

    Em and I are going through this with Nemo. So far the chemo is at least holding his lymphoma at bay, and we still hope for a cure.

  22. When I wrote a sympathy letter to Virginia Heinlein her response was that there MUST be another place, because she could not imagine being without Robert.

  23. I couldn’t read this at work yesterday as the place kept getting too dusty. Sarah you and your family have my sympathy as you go through this. This is the hardest part of our stewardship of these creatures. We had to go through once in each of 2017 (Mac) and 2018 (Tyger) as cats we’d had for 15+ years finally reached that point. We have 2 young cats who were added ostensibly as a companions, of the original pair though they were also for us. I suspect they may be our last as 15-20 years will put us in our mid to late 70’s.

    As for whether we meet them on the other side, I know of no explicit scripture saying yea or nay. However, I know He is good and just (infinitely so) and that after each act of creation in Genesis He declared the creations good. As what is supposed to happen at His return is reverting to the time before the fall there is hope there that all of creation will be restored. Perhaps in his time in Israel as the Incarnation he had a chance to interact with these crazy creatures we call cats and He will empathize with our affection and fondness for them. Like in many things I will just have to put my trust in the Author and his Incarnate Word.

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