Friday, October 15, 2010

Cat... at four o'clock... redux

"It is only with the heart that one can see rightly..."

Sometimes I think the Infant Jesus leaves stuff up to us in order to help us understand that we are responsible for the things we tame - makes me think of the Little Prince and what the fox taught him about his rose.  Anyway, the Infant Jesus appears to be letting me know that I am responsible for Cat...  At 4 PM little kitty will return...
"What is essential is invisible to the eye."

I am never bothered by the questions and theology concerning animal immortality - do they have a soul, etc..  Little kids and simple people don't understand such important stuff like that.  At times I try to gather my thoughts however, so I can explain it to others - the more cerebral and jaded.  Little kids are capable of great faith and confidence and love.  That is why they sleep with cats and dogs and teddy bears and rabbits and stuff.  Their pets teach them things too - I think that is one reason why God made them for people.  Pets teach them about loyalty and affection and love and being.  They teach them especially that they are responsible for them and that makes them understand charity - love for other people - but always God first, the giver of life.
"You become responsible - forever - for what you have tamed."

It seems to me pets think of us as angels or gods - which makes us even more responsible for them.  As we experience how respectfully they treat us and depend upon us - we can come to understand better how we must be with God - how easy it is then for us to abandon ourselves to Him in every situation.  Celine did that today.  She patiently waited to go to see the doctor.  She was very quiet - once in awhile she made a little squeak of a meow.  She watched me pray and even purred a little.  She kept trying to get comfortable but she couldn't.  It's often like that when we are getting ready to go - my mother died this day in 1982 - the jubilee year of St. Teresa's death, and my mom was really restless that day as well.  Her restlessness indicated to me she was suffering - so I figure Xena-Celine - Xenie - was suffering too.  Yep - I do believe animals suffer.  I think it is better to believe that lest our hearts grow cold and insensitive.
"You are responsible for your cat..."

So anyway, since I am responsible for Xena, I accepted the fact I must take care of things for her - she can hardly walk now anyway... I made the appointment for 3:45 PM so that by 4PM - which is really 3PM since we are still on daylight time - she could go back...
"I cannot carry this body with me.  It is too heavy."
If you have never read it, sometime read Psalm 104 (103 in the Grail).  There are different translations and therefore I feel free - privately and devoutly - to combine or use the different terms together in prayer.  Yesterday at Adoration when we were talking about where pets go, Psalm 104 (103 in the Grail) came to mind...
"It will be like an old abandoned shell..."

Oh!  Oh!  But before that, a very deep understanding 'enveloped' me - as it were.  Nothing out of the ordinary really - just the flash of a deep thought:  How the animals were created... and what a gift of God they are.  Simple-minded, I know - but I realized their value first and foremost is as a gift from God, a radiant glimpse of... well I don't know.  But, gift/grace - same thing - everything is a grace you know - a gift.  God is free to take back His gift and sometimes He asks us to sacrifice that which He has given - not the state of grace of course - but the lesser gifts. (I'm unable to put these thoughts in words - so don't trust my version here - it may not be doctrinally sound.)  Anyway - I think Job would understand what I'm trying to say, and Abraham - he almost euthanized his son - remember?  He would get it.  John of the Cross would get it too - it's about detachment from God's gifts...  But I'm taking this too far for the subject at hand.
"There is nothing sad about old shells..."

Anyway - these thoughts led me to Psalm 104 (103 in the Grail - but you knew that.)  The thought, "God takes back His breath" was the explicit understanding I had about pets going to heaven.  I gently remonstrated;  "But it doesn't really matter and it is not for me to know if they go to heaven or not because such knowledge is too great for me."  Yet I reasoned - "Since God sent forth His spirit and the animals were created, how lovely it is that he has only to take back his spirit - his life breath - and they die... returning to their dust."  So you see by this reasoning, that what the Little Prince said is true, "The thing that is important is the thing that is not seen...  What is essential is invisible to the eye."  Who in this life can see spirit or breath?  Who knows the mind of God?  Therefore I'm convinced, when God takes back His spirit, He takes his breath back - a little kid might say he takes it back in or inhales it as it were.  Deep breath.  It's a metaphor.  Hence the life, the spirit, the breath of that little kitty returns to God - and God is in heaven...  Yep - so I'm convinced that is how we can say little kitties and dogs and rabbits and mouses go to heaven.  (Now remember this is not dogma or doctrine and no one has to believe it at all.)
And please understand, I'm just working thing thing out, sharing some thoughts here - not teaching catechism.
What follows is verse from Psalm 104 (103 in the Grail):
The trees of the Lord drink their fill,
the cedars he planted on Lebanon;
there the birds build their nests:
on the tree top the stork has her home...
the goats find a home on the mountains
and rabbits hide in the rocks.
There is the sea vast and wide,
with living things great and small
and the monsters you made to play with.
All of these look to you
to give them food in due season.
You give it, they gsyjer it up:
you open your hand, they have their fill.
You hide your face, they are dismayed;
you take back your spirit (their breath), they die
returning to the dust from which they came..." (Ps. 103)
Header quotes:  The Little Prince - Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Many, many thanks to each of you for your thoughtfulness, kind words and prayers.  God bless each of you.  Xena died at 4PM.
Art: Information not available.


  1. Sorry to hear about it. I like your insights - some of the best I've heard on that perpetual question.

  2. I'm so sorry about Xena.


    If it should be that I grow frail and weak
    And pain does keep me from my sleep,
    Then will you do what must be done
    for this - the last battle -can't be won.

    You will be sad I understand
    But don't let grief then stay your hand.
    For on this day, more than the rest
    Your love and friendship must stand the test.

    We have had so many happy years,
    You wouldn't want me to suffer so.
    When the time comes, please, let me go.

    Take me to where my needs they'll tend,
    Only, stay with me till the end.
    And hold me firm and speak to me
    Until my eyes no longer see.

    I know in time you will agree
    It is a kindness you do to me.
    Although my tail its last has waved,
    From pain and suffering I have been saved.

    Don't grieve that it must now be you
    Who has to decide this thing to do.
    We've been so close - we two -these years,
    Don't let your heart hold any tears.

    (author unknown)

  4. I'm sorry to hear about Xena. I had to have my cat of 18 years put to sleep a few years ago.

  5. LeoRufus7:56 AM

    I grieve on hearing this, my praters for you Terry,

  6. Thanks everyone for your kindness.

  7. what a beautiful post Mr.T.

  8. So sorry for your sadness, Ter. Your rambling thoughts on the subject are probably not too far from the truth. God is good, all the time.


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