Saturday, April 14, 2012

Passed Pets

By Rob Watson

This is a postscript to the stories of my pet cats, Sandy and Dusty. You may choose to read those before this.

On top of my chest-of-drawers is a shrine, of sorts, to my pets. I have a picture of each, the cremated ashes of each, a favorite toy of each, and a picture of them together. As I spent a moment there today, I began to consider their spirits.

After Sandy died, it was a long while before I could feel his spirit near me. He had died at a vet's office while Wife and I were away. I was always afraid his spirit had clung to that place. His death was an especially sad affair because I was too cheap to find him a competent vet after we moved here. Near the time of Dusty's death I began to feel Sandy's spirit around.

Dusty died in my arms. He had signaled his willingness to go when he stopped eating and drinking. Because of his fear of his regular vet, I got a stranger to come to the house to put him down. The drugs put him to sleep and he died a short while later. During this time I would pat my chest and tell him I wanted his spirit to stay with me. Whenever I think about it, I feel his spirit around me.

The legend of the Rainbow Bridge says our pets wait there for us until we pass on. They come running when they see us approaching the bridge to Heaven. If so, I expect a crowd: Prince, Tippy, Lady, Tramp, Boots, Socks, Bernard, (all my dogs) then perhaps Jasmine (put to sleep because her owners thought she bothered us) and Sandy and Dusty. Then we all cross the bridge together... if I make it to that particular bridge.

Some people think all animals have spirits. The ones who have been loved go to Rainbow Bridge. The others to their own special place. Others say animals, humans included, have neither spirit nor soul. If the former is correct, that special place must be crowded with cows, pigs, chickens, deer, etc. I don't wish to sound insensitive, but if mosquitoes have souls and spirits, I hope they all go there, not the rainbow bridge.

I speak to the spirits of my cats. Dusty liked to sit on my lap in front of the TV. He would watch programs that had action and especially liked football. Otherwise, he would nap. Today I will pat the blanket in my lap and invite his spirit to nap in his spot. Sandy's spot was the bed. He never needed an invitation. Wife or I getting into bed was all the invitation he required. When I stand before my chest-of-drawers I tell my boys I love them and miss them.

You, the reader, may have decided that I am loony... something not outside the set of possibilities. For myself, I can see me and Wife sitting on our cloud, with Sandy and Dusty in our laps, watching the world below go past. I take comfort in that vision.

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