“And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.” (Genesis 1: 25).
“Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and not one of them shall fall on the ground without your father.”(Matthew 10:29).
Today, I’m going to tell you my own pet story, which, I promise, is absolutely true. This is not just a “feel good” article for animal and pet lovers. It’s mostly for all those who still love their pets who have died and wonder if their loved ones have ‘gone to heaven’. The following experience showed me that the spiritual identities of animals are forever at one with their divine source of Life, just as much as all spiritual identities of people are forever at one with our divine, spiritual Source, called God, or Allah, or whatever name one might use for deity. Every form of life that was created by the divine, Infinite One is forever in the loving care of the Creator; and the consciousness of every living identity goes on forever.
My story begins, years ago, when my children presented me with a pure, white kitten. We named her Tinkerbell (Tinky for short). She became a loving, sometimes-overly-affectionate cat; but, through the years, she became my greatest companion when the kids were grown and on their own—and the house felt so empty.
Tinky was in a habit pattern. At 7:45 each morning, without fail, she would sit by my bed and meow until I actually got up and on my feet. (By this time each morning, my husband, son and daughter were all through using the bathroom, and it was my turn.) I never tried to explain how Tinky knew when it was 7:45 each day, whatever the season; I just accepted this, because I figured animals have lots of abilities we don’t fully comprehend.
Eventually, my husband and I moved from that house and built another. We were moving toward retirement and had also acquired a small lake cabin to fix up. Tinky moved with us to the new house, but we never took her down to the lake cabin with us. On summer weekends, we often left her alone at home—something she let us know she didn’t appreciate.
When she was about twelve years old, Tinky suddenly stopped eating. As a student of spiritual healing, I prayed in that special way; but she continued to decline. So, I stopped any spiritual treatments, and, reluctantly, took her to a vet. We were told what I expected to hear: she was old, and sick, and should be put to sleep.
I told the lady vet that I had tried spiritual prayer, (which acknowledges God’s loving control over all) and still no healing transformation had occurred. This kind woman was quite understanding and sympathetic. (I thought she’d dismiss spiritual healing, but she didn’t.) She said that animals are different from humans when it comes to death. They have a quiet determination to “take themselves out” when they are old, or sick, and sometimes, for no reason anyone could figure. But, probably, it was Tinky’s age and the way her body felt to her that had made her decide to stop eating. The lady vet then said something that struck a chord with me: “Maybe she doesn’t want you to heal her.”
The reason this struck a chord with me was that, when I was quite new to spiritual healing in Christian Science, I’d been told that no one can heal someone else against his or her will—that sometimes people don’t want to get well, for one earthly reason or another. With their will against it, no prayer would have a healing result, since their own consciousness was rejecting the healing. The vet was telling me the same thing about animals; perhaps my healing prayers hadn’t worked for Tinky, because she wanted to leave this plane of existence.
Still, I took her home from the clinic, that day, instead of having her put to sleep. I had to think it through. (Since she was my cat, my husband left the decision to me.) So, I made her as comfortable as I could, and then I went into a room and began to pray. I asked God to show me what to do. It didn’t seem right, to me, to accept the idea that death would come through illness to any one or any thing. I had known of people in the spiritual healing arena who were older and had passed on, in their sleep, when they were ready to go. But they hadn’t been ill. They just sort of left. I wanted that for Tinky.
As I prayed, I heard a soft question form in my thoughts: “What are you afraid of?” I mentally replied, “I just want to know she’ll be all right if she leaves me.” Then (to the best of my memory) this answer came, “Tinky will be all right wherever she goes. Let her go. Let her live her own soul’s journey. She can’t ever be separated from the love of God, no matter how her earthly experience ends.”
Feeling the truth of those words, I made the decision. I decided to end her suffering and take her to the vet again, that same day. On the short drive to the clinic, I said to my husband, “I wish I didn’t have to do this. I wish she’d just leave on her own.” When we got to the vets and took her in, the girl at the desk said, “Why she’s already gone!” I was spared the ordeal of putting her to sleep. My husband told me that Tinky had given me that as a last gift.
BUT THAT’S NOT THE END OF THE STORY!
The evening Tinky died was a Friday night. I told my husband I didn’t want to be in the house that night, so let’s go down to the lake. We did so. On Saturday morning, down at the lake cabin, I was awakened by Tinky’s meowing by my bedside, at exactly 7:45 a.m. And get this: Even my husband heard it and woke up! He said we must have acquired a lake cat on our lane, and that the sound must be coming from outside. But that wasn’t true. The meow sound was next to my side of the bed, and to this day, no lake cat has shown up on our lane. Back home, on Sunday morning at 7:45 a.m., I again heard the meow next to my bed, even when I was awake.
Something in me was so joyful. But I was also confused. Tinky had never been with us in the lake house, so how could she have been there on Saturday morning? How could she “haunt” us there? I asked God to please, please, explain it to me. Immediately, this is what came into my mind: “Well, even though you never took her with you before, she isn’t bound by the material form any more. She can go anywhere she likes and wants to be.”
And that’s when I knew that Tinky was as important to God as any thing and any one in creation. Her life was going on, in the spiritual dimension, which I couldn’t physically see. For the next two weeks, I heard Tinky meowing (although not in the morning any more, but around the house in town). After about two weeks, it stopped.
I prayed again and asked, “Why did she leave?” The mental answer came, “Would you stay around someone who really couldn’t see you or interact with you? For example, if someone dear to you was in a coma and unable to perceive you, would you sit by their bed, for years, just as an invisible presence? No, while your loved one slept, you’d have your own life to live. So it is for those who have passed from this earthly place and whose lives are going on in a different level of consciousness.”
So, that’s when I finally let her go. I did it after I knew she was all right and that she was continuing her own life as a cat, somewhere in a place unconfined, and with a freedom she’d never had in this earthly experience of material form. Consciousness, with its spiritual body, is going on, somewhere, forever, with every creature in God’s universe.
God’s creatures, including people and animals, have a home in heaven. God’s creatures have never left this home, even while spending time in the material experience. The divine Intelligence who created us gave all life an immortal, spiritual form, and our eternal place in creation. God’s creatures are an emanation of God, Itself, appearing in infinite life forms throughout the spiritual universe.
It helps to realize that there is not God and a cat, but God as a cat (or dog, etc.) No creature is separated from the infinite, spiritual Intelligence who created it. Each bears some distinct image of the Creator, just as a painting bears the identifying marks of the artist. The artist and its creation are one. God and Its infinite, spiritual universe are one. No separation ever occurs, even though the illusion of living in the flesh makes all identities seem separated from Spirit, for a time.
So, it doesn’t matter if your pet is a dog, cat, ferret, goldfish or something else in the animal kingdom. If God created it, it’s immortal. If it’s immortal, it dwells “in the house of the Lord, forever,” (Last verse, 23rd Psalm) where it’s free to roam the entire kingdom of God, heaven, without any earthly restrictions—right along with Tinky.