Do cats have souls?
For many who have lost beloved cats to death, here are some resources for comfort in the belief that we will see them again in the hereafter.
01 of 09
This book is lauded, not as a "scary nighttime read," but as a book filled with heartwarming true stories of cats who returned from the afterlife to visit their humans. These ghostly visits served various purposes, from warnings to reassurances that "all is well with me." Her introductory story about a visitation by her foster cat, Maynard opens the door to more stories that affirm the bond between cats and humans continues after death.
02 of 09
Son of a Presbyterian minister, David Evans was a rebellious youth with a grudge against God. A fan of humor, he eventually moved with his wife to Los Angeles, where he became a staff writer for well-known T.V. series "The Monkees," "Love American Style," and "The Bill Cosby Show."
At some time in his adult life he experienced a compelling life change to Christianity. A move to a new home introduced him to a stray cat in his back yard. Evans hated cats as much as he hated... God. He described himself as an "equal opportunity hater." He embarked on two new journeys then, involving God and cats, and discovered a nexus there, which resulted in this book.
03 of 09
Gary Kowalski, a Unitarian minister, explores questions about animals. Do they feel love, grief, self-awareness, and are they aware of death? The book is a short one and has been criticized for that reason. Also, what is listed positively in Amazon.com reviews as "well cited and researched" has been criticized by another reader as "that the author has not done his own researching for facts, but is constantly quoting other people's books/reports."
04 of 09
A friend and fellow professional member of the Cat Writers' Association recommended this book, which I have ordered. Niki Behrikis Shanahan uses scripture extensively in making her point, which should be of much comfort to those who have been told otherwise by clergy. Of 160 reviews on Amazon.com, the book received a total of 4.5 stars.Continue to 5 of 9 below.
05 of 09This "picture-heavy" book seems to be aimed more toward children than adults. Sylvia Browne is a well-known psychic, who appears regularly on Larry King Live and the Montel Williams show. I'm sure she has brought comfort to those who believe she has powers to communicate with the spirits of loved ones. I spent a summer at the impressionable age of 10 with my paternal grandmother who was a psychic of sorts, therefore I might be more acceptant to Browne's messages than other... readers. I'll note also that the editorial description of this book is vaguely reminiscent of the Rainbow Bridge stories.
06 of 09
Simon and JamesA true story, told to me by my hairdresser, of the remarkable reappearance in a dream, on the same night, to the two people who had loved Simon best during his life on earth as a cat. The story demonstrates the Tibetan Buddhist belief that souls evolve during multiple lives on earth, and that (or so I've heard) some Buddhist's believe that the cat incarnation is one of the highest and most enlightened state.
07 of 09
Gary Kurz bases his argument on the Bible, quoting various scriptures, but returning often to a passage in the Book of Job, that says, "In whose hand is the soul of every living thing". He analyzes further that we humans are not "human bodies with souls," but rather, "souls that exist in temporary human bodies. He goes on to say,
- This is our essence, that we are a soul, not a body. The body is temporal, but the soul eternal.
It follows then, that cats and other animals are also... eternal souls in temporal bodies. I like that concept.
If you enjoy Gary Kurz's writing, you might also be interested in his book, "Cold Noses at the Pearly Gates."
08 of 09
"Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge." This lovely poem comes in various versions, each of which has been for years a source of comfort for those who have recently lost a pet. While its origin is steeped in legend, there are several contenders for authorship of the current version. A few years ago, I did some research, trying to track down the original author of the Rainbow Bridge. During my Quest for the Rainbow Bridge, I discovered yet more newer versions,... including the one that is my favorite, which honors animal rescuers.
I have a feeling that this poem will continue to bring comfort to grieving animal companions for eons to come, even when organized religion fails.Continue to 9 of 9 below.
09 of 09