"She's in a better place now" Jerry said, trying to console me, as he knelt tenderly beside her, his hand resting gently on her as he felt her heartbeat weaken and then stop. I was hysterical. Missy, our sweet cat of 18 years was behind the car as I was backing out to go to work. Ironically, I had been nagging at him the past year or two about slowing down when he pulled into the garage. Missy had gotten to the point that she couldn't see or hear very well any more and she moved very slowly. Sweet Missy and her somewhat goofy brother, Lucifer, moved here with us from Illinois over 17 years ago. He was quite freaked out by the whole experience, but she adapted very well to her new home and surroundings. She was always adaptable about everything. She was a great example of how to live a peaceful, trusting and simple life. She was very affectionate and her favorite thing was to curl up with someone and let them stroke her to their heart's content (that's good for lowering your blood pressure, you know). But if everyone was too busy, then she would just amuse herself by stalking birds or squirrels, napping in the sun, or drinking out of the garden fountain. Our girls were teenagers when Missy was born, so she never had to deal with toddlers...until the grand kids came along. Even though she was already over 13 years old when Savannah started pulling and tugging on her, she never hissed or scratched or even ran and hid from them. With her sweet patience she taught them how to be gentle with animals.
"She's in a better place now". His words cut through my trauma. As an old cat, she was showing definite signs of a life wearing down. Her once wonderfully soft and glossy fur now had clumps in it where she couldn't keep herself well groomed any more. Like I said, her vision and hearing were very much impaired. She was awfully thin, although she ate well and never seemed in pain. But "she's in a better place"? I have a lot of faith: faith like a mustard seed, faith to move a mountain, faith of my fathers...but when it comes to believing that dogs and cats go to heaven? Well, I'm just not sure. I have read accounts by people who have had near death experiences and have "crossed over" and then came back to tell us about it. I find some of their stories to be compelling and comforting and I like to believe them. Some of them say that they were with a favorite pet that had died long ago. If the very special and much loved pets get to be with us in eternity, then I will surely see Missy again.
Lord, please help me to live my life like Missy lived hers; accepting and adjusting to every change, finding peace and comfort in the things and people around me, and always trusting that my Master will meet my every need.