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Spirit and Pets

Looks Like Jake

Those of us who have pets know the magic of having these beautiful spirits in cat or dog suits (not to leave out the many other 'suits' they dwell in) come into our homes and into our hearts. They become our friends and for many of us, family. They give us unconditional love, which separates them from most of us humans. To the Native American they are our teachers, each offering an individual lesson of their own. To the pagan community, they are familiars, aiding in magical working. To children they teach responsibility, patience and love on what I believe to be a higher level. To me they can be angels in disguise. They are healers giving great comfort to the tattered soul. Who as a child can not remember the family dog offering condolence by placing their head on the lap after a parental scolding? Or the comic relief of a cat, having gotten itself in a compromising position, making us forget about the stresses of daily life? Many organizations have caught on to this and have brought their pets to visit the elderly. They see eyes of the aging and seeming forgotten, brighten at the contact of these angels in disguise.

The death of a pet can be a devastating loss, for so many of us consider them not as 'pets' but more like children. So what happens when these gentle, all loving souls fly? Many who have had near death experiences report seeing their family pet waiting for them on the other side. A year ago, I suffered the devastating loss of Jake, a beautiful Maine Coon cat during a particularly difficult time in my life. I was preparing to come home after having attended my father's funeral the day before. I was looking forward to coming home to my husband and it was comforting to know that Jake would also be there when I got home, his huge green eyes filled with understanding. A few hours before my flight was to leave, I was in the midst of a conversation with an aunt about Jake, when my husband called to tell me that my angel in a cat suit had died. My husband met me at the airport where I broke down in his arms and we both wept on the long drive home. He had found Jake's body in the kitchen when he came home for lunch. I will forever hold a vision of my husband sitting on the floor, holding Jake and crying out with the loss after trying to bring him back.

Through the utter despair and grief, Jake found me in a dream. He was in kitty heaven, lounging in the sunlight on an over-stuffed couch. More beautiful than he was when I knew him. He was content and happy. He knew my grief and he felt my despair at not having been there for him (So much like what we go through when our human counter parts pass). The message was there for me, "See? I am okay. I still exist and will see you again". Of course, I had a firm belief in the after life of humans, but knowing this was true for animals brought a great deal of comfort. Like us, they each have their own jobs to do, and their own lessons. We are blessed to have them choose us as their care givers while they are here, learning, teaching and spiritually growing on the same path as us - ultimately leading to the same destination.