Late Tuesday night, a little before midnight, we lost another of our little cat family (now, our tomcat Squeaker is alone… he’s been moping and off his food). Tulip was about thirteen-years-old. Nicky rescued her (she was a former feral) when she was a little kitten and nursed her back to health. She was always a “runt”, never getting larger than a large kitten. Tulip was always a loving animal, especially, to Nicky. Late Tuesday night, she came up to Nicky, snuggled up to him, and died quietly. Just like that…
I once asked a real theologian about animals and souls… he said, “We don’t know. God hasn’t revealed that to us. The Church has no binding teaching on that”. Now, I’m not talking about mawkish anthropomorphism here or trivial emotionalism. Our Church has the courage to say, “We don’t know. That’s not in the Revelation”. No… we don’t have an answer for everything (loudmouth konvertsy notwithstanding). As for me, I believe in the Universal Hymn of Creation… all of God’s Creation participates, how, we don’t know. All of God’s creatures and creations take part in this, again, how, I don’t know. However, the psalmist tells us:
Let every thing that has breath, praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord!
In other words, not only do we pray for Creation, Creation prays for us. Christ came to Transfigure ALL of His creatures and creation… I believe this as one of my bedrock beliefs. God loves all of His Creation and all of His creatures… that we know. That mitigates my sadness. Nevertheless, I wept as I laid Tulip to rest in the wild countryside (that’s not far away from us here… only a fairly short motor away). John Donne’s words came to mind:
Ask not for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.
We all shall pass through that gate…