A Candle for a Cat

Out all day working – hurrah, some money! – theatre this evening, then a couple of drinks and some chat with a friend, so this post is a bit late. But hey, NaBloPoMo and not that long to go now to the end of the month and mission completed, etc etc.

I lit a candle today for a cat. He belonged to the neighbour who adopted Cat and his brother from the rescue centre. She is again working abroad, and decided the best thing to do was rehome her cat J.

Unfortunately, he did not settle. Always a cat with issues, he was peeing and pooing all around the house; upset and upsetting, A physical exam showed nothing wrong, and eventually his new owner decided to have him put down.

Today was the day he died. I was in Westminster Abbey so I lit a candle for him. There were prayer cards, and a notice that explained that prayers would be said at the shrine of Edward the Confessor for those named on the prayer cards if the details were given in clear print.

I completed the prayer card. I wrote J’s name and said he died today. I did not say he was a cat. If there is a heaven, I hope that cats, dogs, leopards, goats and most other animals ( I have a problem with reptiles and mosquitos, and I am not too sure about slugs) are there too. If there is an Almighty, I hope s/he will value a cat’s life as much as a human’s. However, I have a sneaking feeling that had I explained on the prayer card that this was a cat, he would have been edited from the prayers.

If prayers work, I hope J has been received by angels, given a snuggly blanket, lots of attention  and non-judgemental love.

For my very much alive Ginger Ninja, I hope he always knows that he is loved and respected, and that if the gates of heaven are closed to him I am not going there either.



21 thoughts on “A Candle for a Cat

  1. now that’s a hot iron – but a touching sentiment. i am so sorry that J wasn’t able to adjust to his new home. life is sometimes quite tough for those with whiskers, four paws and purrs. cats are resilient and flexible, but sometimes there comes a time when the purrs just don’t seem to find themselves.
    and i am always happy to hear when there are those which do bounce back with joie de vivre and purrs, such as Cat, Master B, Timmy and many others.
    while it may not be theologically correct, i rather suspect if God made such an incredible planet with the foresight, wisdom and delight to put cats on it (and delight is no exaggeration, because as far as the account has it, at the end of every day of creation God saw that it was very good – and there is no mention anywhere that cats were excluded in that ‘very good’ assessment), and if our incredible home, Earth with its cats and other treasures and beautiful places, pales in comparison to the wonders of heaven by light years, then it would all seem rather obvious: of course there are cats in heaven.
    again, as i said, perhaps that may not be theologically correct, and yet somehow it seems to be theologically very sound.
    Timmy sends purrs.

    • Thanks Kris for this wonderful, thoughtful response.
      In an ideal world, all the cats and dogs needing homes would be paired with the right people, and those people would receive the support and advice needed to manage any stress the animals feel.

      • yes, wouldn’t that be wonderful. and yet here and there, and hopefully with increasing frequency, it is happening. am happy that MasterB has found such a home – and although i originally would never have considered a boy cat as old as Timmy was when he moved in (6.5 years), i could never be persuaded to trade him in for another. 🙂

  2. I always find it so difficult to hear of animals being out to sleep because their bodily functions through stress are inconvenient to the owners. I don’t imagine whoever was receiving the prayers would object to blessing J – but slugs I’d agree with 😀

    • It was not a decision taken lightly Gilly. But the woman who had taken him on could not cope, she tried Feliway, had him checked out at the vet to see if there was a physical problem, and after a lot of heartache, felt that it would be worse for him to go to another home with the stress that entails.
      A very sad outcome with no winners.

    • Maybe you should see my reply to Gilly. I don’t think I could cope in my home with a cat who expressed his stress peeing and pooing everywhere, and I would feel very guilty about having that cat put down.

  3. Such a sad story, Isobel, but I like what you did about it and what you wrote about it. Master B is very lucky to have such a kind and loving person to share life with.

  4. Sad story but how lovely that you lit a candle for the cat…..I can recall that you were not thrilled with MasterB in the beginning but what a precious addition to your home he has been……I think they just KNOW they can win us over – they are SO smart…….


  5. Sad. I am a believer in lighting candles.
    “For my very much alive Ginger Ninja, I hope he always knows that he is loved and respected, and that if the gates of heaven are closed to him I am not going there either.” Agreed.

  6. Beautiful post. And I’m with you on the mosquitoes and slugs. I think most animals deserve just as much heavenly consideration as people, but I have a sneaking suspicion that you’re right about the prayer card.

    • You’re ok with the reptiles though? Another cat has died locally, his owner is very sad. I think there will be candles in the windows again next week.
      If I am in the abbey soon, I shall fill in a prayer card for him.
      There is a church in the City where there used to be dog kennels so people could take their dogs with them to services.

      • I have to admit to not being a huge reptile fan; I don’t wish for their collective extinction, but I wouldn’t light a candle for one either. I think a church embracing people’s pets, even if confining it only to prayer cards or kennels, is a great idea. I feel like I’ve encountered dogs and cats with more soul than some people.

        • I could make exceptions for tortoises and turtles. Kamodo Dragons scare the loving day lights out of me, and crocodileties a close second with alligators.

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