He was a few months shy of being 16. Felix was a scrawny tuxedo cat. I have to assume he was the runt of the litter because he was so small. But he was a fighter. He had a progressive kidney disease, that probably ultimately got the best of him. He was incredibly sick the last few days of his life and hours before he died, he slid downhill healthwise.
He laid on the bedroom floor too tired to do much of anything. I tried to get a few hours of sleep, wondering if I would awake to find him dead.
Instead, I was awoken by a meow at 5am. I looked and saw Felix clinging to life. I sensed this was the end. He tried to get up and fell back to the floor. His breathing became labored. I petted him and said goodbye. He then stretched out and died.
I sat there for a bit longer. Carlos, our other cat was there and left the room frightened. It was still too early to bury him, so I got back in bed and tried to get some sleep. A few minutes later, my partner Daniel showed up. Carlos basically told him what had happened. We spent time together talking about Felix. In true aspie fashion, I didn’t cry or show much emotion, while Daniel did the crying for me. After a while, Daniel whipped out his iPhone and went to the Facebook app. In his status he simply wrote, “All Cats Go to Heaven.”
I’ve been thinking about that phrase ever since he wrote it. I don’t know if cats or dogs go to heaven or not. I don’t know if animals have souls or not. What I do know is that these creatures that enter our lives are made by God and therefore God’s beloved creatures. Having cats have helped me to understand that whole picture of Saint Francis with the animals all around him. I get why we have services where we bless animals. How could we not? They are part of God’s creation. They remind us that we are part of God’s creation as well.
As dawn broke, Daniel and I buried Felix in the side garden next to Morris, my other cat which died last year on Halloween. I don’t know if Morris and Felix are now in heaven, but I am thankful to God for having placed them in my life. They made life so much better.
Rest in Peace, Felix.