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Compelling Cases for Souls of Animals

Comfort for Believers - Thought-Provoking Reading for Skeptics

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Some time ago I took the subject of "cats' souls" to my readers in a poll: "Do cats have souls?". Many of the thoughtful comments to my blog provided resources which backed up my position.

For those of my readers who have lost beloved cats to death, I'm passing on these resources as comfort in the belief that we will see them again in the hereafter.

For those who believe (or don't) believe that cats have souls, you may post your experiences in the form below. NOTE: Questions or responses to others will not be published. Think of this as your own mini-article.

"Ghost Cats: Human Encounters with Feline Spirits," by Dusty Rainbolt

Ghost Cats, by Dusty Rainbolt
Photo Credit: Courtesy of PriceGrabber
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. Look for my review of this book in the near future.

"Does God Ever Speak Through Cats?," by David Evans

Photo Credit: © David Evans
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.

David Evans himself posted a comment referring to this book, and I definitely will review it.

Book: "Souls of Animals," by Gary Kowalski

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."

I have ordered this book and will post my own review here after I have read it.

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"There is Eternal Life for Animals," by Niki Behrikis Shanahan

There is Eternal Life for Animals
Photo Credit: Courtesy of PriceGrabber
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 68 reviews on Amazon.com, the book received a total of 5 stars, the highest rating.

Look for my review on this site in the near future.

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Book: "Animals on the Other Side," by Sylvia Browne and Chris Dufresne

Book Cover: Animals on the Other Side
Photo Credit: Courtesy of PriceGrabber
This "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.
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Simon and James

A 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.

Web Article: "The Souls of Animals," by Gary Kurz

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."
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The Rainbow Bridge

"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.

"Ghost Stories of Pets and Animals," by Darren Zenko

Ghost Stories of Pets and Other Animals
Photo Credit: Courtesy of PriceGrabber
This illustrated book contains 35 accounts of animal ghost stories, based on eye-witness accounts. Included is the fascinating tale of The Telepathic Cat, featured with permission on this site.
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Do You Believe Cats have Souls?

Vote in the poll, then post your comment.

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