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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Sat, 14 Sep 96 20:54:20 -0700
Subject: Pet Afterlife
Forwarded-by: Keith Bostic <email@example.com>
Forwarded-by: Keith Sullivan <KSullivan@worldnet.att.net>
WHO WILL LOOK AFTER THE DOGS IN HEAVEN?
By Bill Hall, Lewiston, Idaho, Tribune, May 25, 1990
The horrifying thought struck me the other day while reading a story on pet
cemeteries that there are people around who believe there will be dogs in
Barking through the eternal night, no doubt.
And if there are dogs in heaven, then there will be cats as well bringing
dead birds in through that pet door in the Pearly Gates, scattering feathers
all over the place.
If there are cats and dogs, then there will be horses. And goldfish. And
pet rats. I wonder if the people who like the idea of dogs in heaven are
ready for pet rats in heaven. (There will be no snakes in heaven. You know
where those rascals dwell.)
I suppose having animals around for eternity will be a lot less boring than
an afterlife without them. But surely there have to be some improvements in
our arrangement with animals if heaven is to be heaven.
Will we have dogs without barking, cats without fur balls and horses without
horse apples? If so they wouldn't really be dogs, cats or horses. They
would be some kind of glorified stuffed animals, probably full of angel
Or will they be the usual assortment of normal dogs and cats and horses, but
with servants from hell doing the dirty work? Will those who go to hell
spend eternity tidying up after the animals? The possibility of that fate
is enough to make a person walk the straight and narrow.
However, isn't it strange that Christians lead such clean, healthy lives
while atheists abuse their bodies? You would think it would be the other
way around. You would think that people who don't believe in heaven people
to whom this life is all there is would try to live as long as they can,
that they would watch what they eat and drink and smoke lest it shorten the
only time they have.
And you would think that any Christian who truly believes in heaven and
thinks it is a great place would be in a hurry to get there. You would
think that Christians would be the ones who would stay up all night and
drink and party and hurt themselves. The sooner this body gives up its
burden, the sooner we get to the Other Side.
For that matter, how do we know that isn't what's going on with a lot of
people? When you see someone eating sparsely and exercising and avoiding
tobacco and booze, that may be an atheist trying to lengthen the only life
he expects to have. When you see a jogger run by, you are probably
witnessing an atheist racing to stay ahead of his mortality.
And let's show no scorn to the guy sitting there 50 pounds overweight,
sucking down beer and smoking cigarettes. He is probably a Christian so
devout that he is willing to show the kind of determination it takes to get
to heaven ahead of those godless joggers.
Indeed, that possibility would tend to indicate that Catholics are more
religious than Mormons because Catholics seem so much more anxious to use up
But when we get to heaven, will we find the other animals there? Will we be
reunited with all the pets who left for heaven ahead of us?
(Not the goldfish, I hope. I had to change that bowl every day in the third
grade and the stupid thing never showed the slightest affection. I hope
that goldfish went to hell.)
But I have to admit, I wouldn't mind seeing Perky, the terrier I taught to
leap up into my 12-year-old arms from a standing start.
Or Ginger, the cocker spaniel who followed me everywhere, even when she
started going blind.
Or old Lady, the collie who used to protect me from the turkeys.
Or Lightning, the white burro, who came running to the fence, braying with
happiness, as I came home from school.
Or a couple of dozen cats.
I am also curious about that gerbil who escaped from his cage in zero-degree
weather and was never heard from again. I've always wondered if he became a
Rodentsicle for some happy cat.
But a theological question intrudes on all this fuzzy nostalgia:
If I meet those many pets again in heaven, will I have to feed and look
after all of them?
Or will they bring the lawyers up from hell to do it?
BURYING THE CAT
From the 3rd Series of Monty Python
Mrs. Conclusion (Chapman): Hullo, Mrs. Premise.
Mrs. Premise (Cleese): Hullo, Mrs. Conclusion.
Conclusion: Busy Day?
Premise: Busy? I just spent four hours burying the cat.
Conclusion: *Four hours* to bury a cat?
Premise: Yes -- it wouldn't keep still.
Conclusion: Oh -- it wasn't dead, then?
Premise: No, no -- but it's not at all well, so as we were going to be on
the safe side.
Conclusion: Quite right -- you don't want to come back from Sorrento to a
dead cat. It'd be so anticlimactic. Yes, kill it now, that's what I say.
We're going to have to have our budgie put down.
Premise: Really -- is it very old?
Conclusion: No, we just don't like it. We're going to take it to the vet
Premise: Tell me, how do they put budgies down, then?
Conclusion: Well, it's funny you should ask that, because I've just been
reading a great big book about how to put your budgie down, and apparently
you can either hit them with the book, or you can shoot them just there,
just above the beak.
Premise: Just there? Well, well, well. 'Course, Mrs Essence flushed hers
down the loo.
Conclusion: No, you shouldn't do that -- no, that's dangerous. They
*breed* in the *sewers*!
© 1996 Peter Langston