Friday, July 22, 2011

An Animal's Soul

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Do you believe that animals are capable of compassion? Do they have a soul? One of the many pastors in my life told me that there will be no animals in heaven because they were soulless and this distressed me to no end. My idea of heaven includes every cat I every loved curled up around me. Yesterday I read an interesting article in the Shambhala Sun called Creature Comforts in which the the author talked about animals in her life that had comforted her and others, and I started thinking about two of my favorite cats.

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Matthew was a lover. He had a purr as big as a lion, and all 18 pounds of him was muscle - he was a BIG cat. He used to eat yogurt with me in the morning and greet me at the door when I came home - some of my friends said he was a puppy-kitty because he acted so much like a dog. I am a frequent migraine sufferer as many of you know, and the first time I had a migraine after adopting Matthew he did something that no cat had done before or since. He carefully positioned all 18 pounds of himself around the top of my head and started purring. It was a softer purring than he usually did. Occasionally, seemingly right after a surge of pain, he'd lick my cheek. Every time I had a migraine he was there, even if he had been missing all day. And you know, I think he helped me; my headaches always seemed to go away faster with less medication. I miss that sweet cat.

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If any animal ever had a soul, it was Ollie. He was a scruffy mix of every sort of cat imaginable and not the prettiest cat you'd ever see, but the first time I opened his cage at the Humane Society he jumped right into my arms, looked in my eyes, and became one of the great loves of my life. He would frequently sit with me and respond to me with chirps and meows when I was talking to myself, joined in the conversations that I had with my friends, and liked to put his paw on your hand and just sit, quiet and contemplative. He slept on my chest every night and unlike Matthew, he weighed nothing, so I barely even noticed he was there. However, the day that I had the auto accident that bruised all of my ribs and left me limping from a severely sprained hip joint he found the one spot on my body that didn't hurt to snuggle up against, my right shoulder. When the pain meds made me have nightmares and I woke disoriented, he put his paw on my forehead and chirped and talked until I was aware again. He made it his job to watch over me, even walking beside me as I carefully hobbled about, meowing if it seemed I would lose my footing. And the day that my chest felt better, he resumed his normal position, head by mine, softly purring through the night.

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What are your animal compassion stories? I know that there are hundreds, if not millions, out there; please share them!

16 comments:

Reese said...

Like you, I have many stories of animals in my family's life that would say that animals at least THINK and have FEELINGS. Don't know about a SOUL, though. One animal in particular was a mare we had by the name of Dixie. She and my horse Jay would take off running through the pasture. One day, she made a sharp turn and hit the ground hard. We watched as she jumped up, began prancing around, and LOOKING around to see if anyone had seen her! We laughed so hard!

Whether or not animals have souls, I do believe there will be animals in heaven. Doesn't the Bible say in Revelation that Christ will return on a white horse, and His followers will be riding them as well?

Loved your post!

Lois Evensen said...

What beautiful images. Our animal compassion stories have to do with dogs. One was my father's for the last 11 years of his life that ended at 93. Others have to do with our children and the dogs caring for each other. They are all smarter and more compassionate than we give them credit for being.

Teresa said...

I don't believe that God would keep animals out of heaven. I have had many pets over the years and they all have such different personalities.

Right now I have a Chow named Tank. He really lives up to his name. He plows through a room with no regard for things in his way. He is so friendly and loving. He loves to guard us, so whether you are in the bedroom, bathroom or on the couch he is right there laying at our feet.

He can be in the back yard and if I get up and go to the restrooom he appears from out of nowhere, you see our restroom is very small and if he is in the doorway you can't get out. So he has learned that we will pet him to get him to move. The only time he will leave on his own is when you flush or act like you are going to....so at least he gives you some privacy! LOL

MelsDeals said...

I lovethe heart pic. So cue! I just came over from the blog hop. I just followed your blog.Blessings, Melissa
mealsdeals.com

Mom4Real said...

I just said Aaaawwww out loud several times. I know my animals are the sweetest, we couldn't live without them. Visiting and following via Planet W Weekend Hop...hop over to my blog and follow back if you like!
http://mom4realky.blogspot.com

Jessica K

StardustSavannah said...

Wow-
What a flood of memories you just stirred up.

I was pregnant with my last baby at 38. He's 10 now...because I was over 35, they had me terrified that he was going to be a Down's Syndrome baby. Did you know your eggs just all mutate when you turn 35 like rotten fruit?
That's how they made me feel.
One afternoon I was especially distraught and had been waiting for almost 2 weeks for the amnio results by mail. I laid down on the bed and my old pitbull (he was 15) snuggled behind my knees, the younger one (she was 2) at my feet and my amputee cat (3 legs, no tail) curled up around my belly. I swear he patted it, lol.
I know they KNEW I needed their reassurance. My letter came the next day, and all my results were good.
When my old dog died, the younger one and I mourned him together...she looked all over the house for him for more than 6 months. I used to catch her wandering the halls in the wee hours with the cat. They sat with me while I cried for the old dog. He was one of my best friends.
They're all gone now, but there's another dog and a massive orange cat who begs for cream and fakes a limp to get it.

Blessings to you this day, Erin.
Thank you for the memory:)

Sarah said...

I've always had animals in my life and I do believe they have souls. I think when you have that connection with animals, like you and your cats did, and like me and my dogs did, we know there is more to them. I still dream about my Sadie girl. She was our cocker spaniel who passed 2 years ago. I still hear her collar jingling. And I still feel her push up on my hand to get her head scratched. I know they are just dreams, but boy do they make me smile!
Stopping by from the Planet W blog hop. Thanks for the sweet post. Follow back if you like... http://sarahswifeychronicles.blogspot.com/

momof2 said...

That is a tough question ... but for those of with pets when we look into their eyes it is hard to imagine that they don't. Your healing stories are amazing!

New to following you from Mom Bloggers on linkedin!
Danielle
www.DaniellePender.com

Good Girl Gone Green said...

love the first photo!! so cute!

melody-mae said...

I am here from Planet W's hop...I adore those pictures of the kitties!!! so cute!

sweetjeanette said...

Hey there! Thanks so much for visiting and following sweetjeanette.com. I'm following ya right back!

wildbanshee said...

When I am being loved by my Sheeta and Sebastian, that is heaven on earth. The looks in their eyes say it all "Thanks for loving me, thanks for feeding me, thanks for giving me a home, and most of all thanks for allowing me to trust that you will always come home" that to me says it all.

TJ @ MeasuringFlower.com said...

Hey following back from Measuring Flower! I hope you have a great weekend! :-D

Rondi said...

Love these images! Thanks for joining our Terrific Thursday Blog Hop! Look forward to reading more of your posts.

gkbccb said...

where did you get those pics! omg, im sending my mom (cat fanatic) over right now to look at hem. she would die! :) CrazyCasey (lol) checking in, reporting for duty for the Alexa Drop Hop on A Measuring Flower's Alexa hop! Please stop by & visit me too, my blog is Locomotion of Expressions. I have 19 LOW ENTRY giveaways (on my right sidebar in my archives) for A Wild Soccer Bunch, Vedette, {eter Rabbit Organics, FreckleBox, Boon, TieBuddies, Advertising (6 mo on my blog), KidStrong healthy hydration drinks, PiggyToes Press (kid's) William & Kate book, Top Trainers DVD set, Perfect Energy supplements, Canvases, PowerCapes, HairMAX Set, Evora + probiotics, Monkey Butt, Certain Dri, and StopPain .. *phew* (LOL!) I just realized how much that is. Ha! Anyways, try your luck, you never know you might win. Also, I do have a linky that changes the first wed of every month.
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If you want to add it's button (the grab me for it is above the actual linky list itself..) or link to a linky list (If you have a linky compilation, I mean!) OR if you want to add some giveaways of your own to it.
Sorry this is such a long ramble! (If your still with me) Thanks for the time and consideration. Most importantly, try to comment back. See ya sooner & later in the great big blogosphere! Thanks again! ~XO~ CaseyColette
Oh yeah, and new gfc follower GKBCCB ! Thanks!

SusieQTpies said...

Hiya! The bible doesn't say that animals do or do not have souls. It also doesn't say that they are or that they will not be in heaven. So on that it allows us to think that our pets will be there, too. I think it is harsh for a Pastor to say they are souless and won't be there. He has no proof.
We have two kitties- all came two us by they needing to be adopted. I think that that it was the other way around, I think our family needed to be adopted by them.
Loved reading your stories about them.
Thanks for stopping in during the Alexa blog hop and linking up. Stop on over weekly to link up and comment and I'll be back to leave comments with you. It really helps your ranking and meeting new friends.
Have a super week! meow!
xoxo SusieQTpies

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