My cat’s name was Smokey. He died from kidney failure on August 31 2017. Solid gray in color, he was blessed with sparkling gold eyes that glowed in the dark like two giant moons on a cloudless winter night. Undersized for a male, he was the clumsiest and most un-athletic feline I’ve ever encountered. I have two other cats and when I threw treats to them, he would still be looking for one while the others had already devoured theirs. A cathlete he was not. He had a barely audible meow and usually communicated with the most precious “chirp” one could ever hope to hear. What made Smokey so unusual was he seemed to have never matured. I always felt he was a kitten in a cat’s body. His most endearing qualities were his innocence and peacefulness. I recall several times when a moth would fly through an open window while I was closing it on a summer night. He would playfully chase it but when it landed on the floor he would place his paw close to it but not touch it, as if not to harm it. I honestly believe had he been alone in a room with a mouse he would have tried to befriend it … or run away from it.
I first saw him in the late summer of 2010 tearing at a barren corn cob I had thrown on my garden for fertilizer. Startled, he immediately scurried into the nearby brush. Late that year I found him occupying an outbuilding and decided to feed him. Once I saw his beautiful and innocent face I was compelled to trap him and give him a home. He was scrawny and unkempt but after a visit to the vet he flourished. Unfortunately, Smokey was a sickly cat and needed attention. Because of this, we bonded in a way I had never experienced with any other pet.
In April, Smokey was diagnosed with kidney failure. I administered dialysis for the rest of his days but he began to deteriorate midway through August. One Thursday morning he jumped on my bed and spent the rest of his time on it. One week later he took his final breath with me at his side.
Needless to say, I was heartbroken. I felt as if a precious loved one had left me. On the following Thursday I prayed to God asking Him if it would be possible to offer a sign that I would see my buddy in Heaven. Keep in mind that I am what is referred to as a born-again Christian. I am by no means a kook or someone possessed of new age spirituality.
The next day I made my weekly trip to the grocery store. I always leave home in the late morning. Amazingly, a number of unusual incidences occurred before departing that simply never happens to me, delaying my arrival. Later, at the store, after leaving the checkout, I decided to visit the restroom, something I never do, to wash away a sticky substance from my hands I had gotten from one of the items. Once I had loaded the shopping bags into the car, I turned to push the shopping cart to its receptacle. Suddenly, a young woman who appeared to be in her early thirties and had just returned her cart smiled as she approached me and offered to push my cart to the lane. I smiled and offered my thanks. After doing so, she waved and then entered an F-150 pickup and drove away. I was almost taken aback by the incident because as a man this sort of courtesy is never extended to me, let alone by a woman. Driving home I began to ponder what had happened. I shop at the same store every week. I had never seen this woman there before and haven’t since. As a Christian, I know there are no such forces as luck or coincidence. All things happen by God’s providence. Could it be it was the sign I was hoping God would send? I became convinced it was. After several days, however, I began to doubt it. The following Friday I did my usual grocery shopping bit. Strolling through the parking lot I was startled by the blare of a car horn. Looking to my right, my eyes froze on a van with the following words painted on the side of it … My Heavenly Pet. I had never seen that van in the store parking lot before and haven’t since. It was as if someone was speaking inside me asking “what more do you want, a neon sign on Times Square?”.
About six or seven weeks after Smokey’s passing, I had one of the most vivid dreams of my life. I generally don’t recall my dreams but I was aware of every moment of this one. In the dream, I walked into my living room and saw three cats playing on the carpet. Two of them were buddies that died in the past five years. The other was an all gray cat playing as gently as he was in spirit. It was Smokey! I cannot relate the joy that touched me. I reclined on the carpet on my right side to watch them. It was then I felt a weight on my left shoulder. Smokey had the habit of resting on my shoulder with his face as close to mine as possible, but only If I was lying on my right side. I was convinced he had found my shoulder. Almost immediately, a feeling of utterly indescribable peace and calm permeated every pore of my body, as if all of my fears, problems and worries had evaporated. I felt as if I was floating on a cloud. The dream ended but I still possessed that feeling after I awoke. I had never had that profound feeling of calm before and haven’t since and yearn to experience it again. Unable to sleep, I wondered if, instead of Smokey resting on my shoulder, it was the hand of God touching it so He could imbue me with the tiniest feeling of the peace we will experience when we are with Him. I couldn’t help but believe He was telling me my buddies were happy and in His arms and this is how it will be for me when I am with Him. The Bible indicates God can communicate with us in our dreams. I am certain that was the case that night.
I must reiterate that as a Christian I am well-grounded and perhaps even a bit skeptical of matters. All that I have related are truthful.
The Bible makes no mention of whether God will bless us with the gift of our pet(s) in Heaven, so we can only be hopeful. Many Christian apologists from Billy Graham to C.S. Lewis and even Martin Luther believe we may very well receive that blessing, however.
One can only imagine the sadness and anger God holds when he stares down upon the magnificence of His creation only to witness the degradation of it and the mockery of His Son by an increasingly reprobate Mankind. One can only imagine the joy and satisfaction He will feel as He watches us thank Jesus for our pets as tears of joy spill from our eyes. The radiance of His smile will be as bright as His glory. Many Christians ask why God would give us our pets. I ask … why wouldn’t He.
The most important question is not whether we will see our pets in Heaven but whether they will see us. If you have not accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior I suggest you read the Gospel of John, Chapter Three.
I will leave you with the following Bible verses:
Matthew 19:26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
And, what I think is one of the most beautiful verses in the Bible …
1Corinthians 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
God and Jesus are waiting for those who will accept Him … and so will be our bestest buddies.
To God goes the glory.