When I was working on the blog for “Luther the Comfort Dog”, (see Jan 9th), someone said that looking in his eyes you saw a “gentle old soul”. That is the way I would describe my cat Jazz. She was to me a “gentle old soul” and was from the time we brought her into our home. Unlike other cats that I have known she never caused trouble, never demanded anything, she was always just there. She could sense when you were sick or sorrowing and lay in your lap as if to offer comfort.
We had to put her to sleep last night. She was one month short of being 20 years old. Every time I have had to do this to one of my animals be it horses, dogs or cats, the same thoughts run through my mind………..
God gifts us with these creatures to remind us of our own mortality and we should thank the Creator for making such patient and loyal friends and for blessing our lives with their company.
When those who try to offer comfort say things like “it was just a cat”, (or dog or animal or whatever), it is a chance to give witness to the fact that they are listed as a part of those great first article gifts that comprise our “daily bread”, and are necessary for our support. If by saying that Jazz was “just” a cat because they are common you would be right. Luther said, “The dog is the most faithful of animals and would be much esteemed were it not so common. Our Lord God has made His greatest gifts the commonest.” If that is what is meant by “just” I can accept that. If you mean it in such a way that they are not worth our esteem while alive or grief when they die, I reject that on principle.
“In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind” says Job 12:10. God’s Spirit gave life to Jazz. It is in a different way than that granted to humans but it is granted nonetheless. So the ultimate question that was asked in an article I read on line on the Huffington Post by Cathleen Falsani, coincidentally today…….
Do animals have spirits that live on after death, like humans do? I think so, yes.
Jesus came to redeem the world entire and that, in my mind, means everybody and every thing. So why not the four-legged creations sent as our companions?
Even Martin Luther seemed to think so and I’m not going to argue theology with the father of the Reformation.
“Be thou comforted, little dog,” Luther said. “Thou too in Resurrection shall have a little golden tail.”
I not sure Jazz would want a golden tail. She was never flashy. All she ever wanted was to be fed, get some cat nip on occassion and find a warm place in the sun.