Sep 10, 2015
A good friend talked me into adopting a stray cat on Christmas Day 2011. I named him PatCat after my friend Patrick, and enjoyed his company immensely for over three years. PatCat was killed by a car on Palm Sunday of this year and I buried him behind our church. I still miss him, but have no inclination to replace him. It wouldn't seem right.
This occurrence opened again for me a question many people ask after their pets die: Are there animals in heaven? Although the Church has never pronounced on the matter, I believe there are.
The 1989 Book of Blessings (BB), the Church's official source for the blessing of persons, places, and things contains an Order for the Blessing of Animals. The introduction to this Blessing offers a statement of how animals have participated in God's work of salvation.
It reads as follows: "The animals of God's creation inhabit the skies, the earth, and the sea. They share in the fortunes of human existence and have a part in human life. God, who confers his gifts on all living things, has often used the service of animals or made them symbolic reminders of the gifts of salvation" (no. 949).