I've been meaning to write this post for over two months, but I just couldn't bring myself to start it. I was just too heartbroken. On October 31, 2009 at 9:30 pm, I lost my sweet cat, Kokanee, unexpectedly to heart failure. He was my best friend and my little boy and losing him was like having my heart ripped out of my chest and stomped on. In June, Kokanee had an episode of shortness of breath. He had an x-ray which showed his heart a normal size and slight inflammation in part of his lung, which the vet said looked like a classic presentation of feline asthma/allergies. So needless to say, it was a shock that on October 30 Kokanee was acting normal and happy, and October 31 he went downhill so fast that he couldn't be saved. I still cry every day because I miss him so much.
I try not to think about Kokanee's tragic end, but rather focus on his happy life, because he was a happy kitty and had the best personality. He was laid back and outgoing, funny, a sweetheart, and loved to be the center of attention. All he wanted was to love and be loved. He loved every person or animal he ever met, and thought that all guests were here to see him, and took his responsibility of entertaining them seriously. He had a large presence that was more than just his large size (he loved to eat!). Kokanee was so full of life and love, which is why it's so hard to accept that he's gone. I miss his loud, snorty purr and his soprano, sing-song "me-ah-haha?" He made me laugh all the time with his silly games and naughty antics. With me being home sick every day, he was my constant companion and even on my worst days when I would wake up feeling as sick as when I went to bed, I would think, at least I can see Kokanee today.
I can't wait to see him again in heaven. Yes, I believe animals go to heaven and I think the Bible supports that belief. In the garden of Eden, before Adam sinned, there was no death, and that included the animals. Thus, it follows that they have immortal souls. Plus, they are innocent and can't sin because they don't have free will like humans do. Romans 8:19-23 says:
19The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. 20For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21that[a] the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. 22We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.
Someday, Kokanee will be liberated from his "bondage to decay" and be renewed with the body he should have had, just like the animals in the Garden of Eden, a body that will never get sick or die. I can't wait for that day, when Jesus returns, because I have placed my faith in Him and have received forgiveness from my sins! Until then, I will miss Kokanee every day; I'll miss his sweet, expressive face (an expressiveness that I could never quite capture on camera), his warm, comforting body, and his happy, loving attitude, especially his love for me.
Kokanee loved to get in boxes, but not as much as he loved chewing on the box flaps.
I'm so glad I stopped to take this photo as it shows his eyes without that "kitty laser eyes" glare from the flash.
Kokanee would sit on top of this pile of boxes to get attention and try to get as tall as possible. He would crane his neck around the doorway to ask for treats. He knew that treat time was at 10 pm and would show up in the doorway of my room right on the dot!
Thanks for reading my post about Kokanee. I know there are many of you out there who have lost dear furry friends and furbabies. If you are struggling with a loss of a pet, I encourage you to read one of the books listed below that have helped me. I don't know what I would have done without them. Also, seek out a support group, in real life or online. I read and re-read the comforting words of people who have responded to my grief when I reached out for help. And of course, I can't get through anything in life without the support of my Lord Jesus who helps me to bear my burdens and gives me hope for the future. Thank you, Kokanee, for loving me, and thank you, Lord, for lending him to me for a little while.
Who Says Animals Go to Heaven? by Niki Behrikis Shanahan
Cold Noses at the Pearly Gates by Gary Kurz
Coping with Sorrow on the Loss of Your Pet by Moira K. Anderson
I haven't read the following, but plan to:
Will I see Fido in Heaven by Mary Buddemeyer-Porter
There is Eternal Life for Animals by Niki Behrikis Shanahan