July 8, 2012
No one knows what happens after we die. What we have are beliefs. Like many pet owners, I'd like to believe that animals, especially our beloved pets, go to heaven. And I know exactly what my cat Trilby Kitty's slice of heaven would be like.
When I read the "Little House" books, Pa would tell his daughter Laura about the "Happy Hunting Ground" where good dogs like Jack, their faithful bulldog, go after they die. I suppose the cat version would be "Cloud Catnip."
But Trilby Kitty's version of heaven wouldn't be some cat paradise filled with catnip and mice to chase. It would be this neighborhood where he lives right now, just with all the "bad stuff" gone.
I don't know where Trilby came from before he arrived here. But I know he arrived at as near a perfect spot for him as he could find on Earth. Trilby's not a city cat. He would be overloaded by all the people, noise and vehicles. Trilby's not a country cat. He would be bored by all the peace and isolation.
Trilby Kitty is a suburban cat, specifically, a quiet suburb cat. He loves cars, but not too many and they must go slow, not whizz by. He loves people and action to watch, but not too much. This neighborhood meets that criteria to a "T." Every day there's at least one strange car or truck that parks on the street for him to go over and check out by sniffing it. There are people walking by, human friends to visit with or other people outside for him to observe from a hiding place under a bush. His favorite period was probably when the house across the street was being rebuilt after a fire. Each day was like his own personal show that he'd spend hours watching. (The day they brought in a crane and hauled the bathtub and other fixtures out through the top of the house was compelling entertainment.) He would sniff every truck. After the workers left, he would go over and inspect the site. He knew more about the rebuild than the homeowner did.
So heaven to my cat would be this neighborhood..............but an improved version of this neighborhood. There would be cars and small trucks, but no big, noisy trucks. Those scary garbage trucks that make him run inside the house till they're gone would never show up. There would be people, but there wouldn't be bikes or skateboards or strollers. Water would flow, but hoses wouldn't. Neither would sprinklers. There'd be no screaming, running kids to disturb his naps. Only quiet children who wouldn't try to approach him, but would wait for Trilby to approach them.
All the neighbors who are Trilby's friends would let him into their houses any time he wanted to come over and visit. Trilby loves to go over to his friends' homes, but mostly they won't let him into their houses though he'd love to come in and stay for a while. He would explore, get his pettings, then decide to relax and take a cat nap before heading home. (All of Trilby's friends are human. There would be no other cats or dogs in Trilby's slice of heaven.)
The weather would be warm every day and filled with breezes to carry interesting scents to his nose. Never would there be a cold day. As for rain..........nary a drop would ever fall.
The mockingbirds would stop dive bombing him. He'd finally get to catch a squirrel with those twitching tails of theirs (but this being heaven it would be play on both sides). Bugs would actually taste good. The crunchy bugs would taste like potato chips and the gooshy bugs would taste like melted cheese. (Because right now catching bugs is a lot of fun, but the taste is a big disappointment.)
Every night he and I would go for a walk just as we do now. But his tree would still be there. (See "The Tree and the Cat.") There would be no joggers. No one would be walking their dogs. The only people we'd meet would be friends he already knows, not strangers that he gets picked up for so they can pet him when he'd rather be walking. All the cars we encounter would be parked where he could sniff their tires, not driving in the road where Trilby has to get out of their way.
When he got tired of being outside in his neighborhood, then there would be his house. It would be the same house with all the same spots to curl up and sleep in. The weather being heavenly, the front and back doors would stay open 24-7 so he could come and go as he pleases. The only thing Trilby Kitty might conceivably change to his house is he might upgrade from manual to automatic. Right now his house is manual: he has to request for doors to be open, food to be put out and water to be turned on. The system works. All those things are done for the cat upon request even when I have to get up in the middle of the night to do them. So I don't know if in heaven he'd like the personal service to continue or if he'd want an automatic house. Somehow, I'd suspect he likes the service. I think he likes the power and security of knowing that at his softest meow, his person would haul herself out of sleep and do what he asked.
Because, of course, heaven wouldn't be heaven to Trilby Kitty without his person. In fact, heaven for Trilby would have to start with his person and the house and neighborhood built around us. And I could understand that because heaven wouldn't be heaven to me either unless I had Trilby and my other beloved animals to share it with.
To read more about Trilby Kitty, there's "In the Mind of a Sleeping Cat," "The Devotion of a Cat," "His Person's Voice or A Cat Who Will Come When Called" or "The Tree and the Cat."
If you have a cat or dog of your own, then you should definitely check out, "7 Scary Things You Didn't Know about Your Pet's Food."
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