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Sunday, June 3, 2018

Guest Post - Thoughts On Losing A Pet

Stealth in his bed.

My Texas brother and his wife lost one of their kitty cats last weekend after a shortish illness. It was very sad. They did not recognize the symptoms that he had until it was too late to save his little life and he died from what was likely a bacterial infection.

My brother, Mike, wrote about it on his Facebook page, and he gave me permission to share it with my readers here. I found it thought provoking as well as encouraging.


by Mike Van Nattan

So this week we lost one of our kitty's. His name was Stealth and he more than lived up to that name. His ability to walk around without you knowing he was there, or hopping up on the counters without a sound hoping you didn't notice long enough for him to get a few sniffs of whatever was there.

But most importantly, we lost a buddy and a friend. He was the cat that pushed us to move, to get out more, and be more adventurous. The more we took him out, the more he wanted. Being on the water was so natural for him. He was part of the reason we came up with the idea that is now RV Fishing Adventures.

The experience of his death really hit home for me though. I've had a lot of critters through the years, cats, dogs, hamsters, gerbils... but though most of them have died while I owned them, I was never present at the exact moment they died. In this case, I was actually there when his little heart stopped and felt his warm body start to cool down while I sat there and cried.

Then as I sat there, it suddenly hit me why this was so traumatic for me: There is no "hope" in this death. It's all over. He's gone **forever**. His death was a stark picture of what eternal death is like and as having been a Christian since a child, this was a foreign concept for me!

The Bible doesn't promise us anything in regards to animals. A lot of people like to think their critters go to heaven, but this just isn't in the Bible. For me, I've been a Christian most of my life. It seems I've always had a hope for things above. When my grandpa and grandma died, it wasn't death, it was translation. I knew I would see them again someday. There was hope and therefore comfort in their passing. This is what the Bible teaches us for those who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for their salvation.

But for animals, there are no promises of another life. For animals there is no hope. They are just gone. This is likely the most disconcerting thing about the passing of our late "Stealth Kitty". I will never see him again. There will be no more early morning sessions of him trying to crawl on me while I'm sleeping. There will be no more sleeping in the recliner with a "heating blanket" on my chest. No more nose bumps by a cold nose when you were least expecting it. All of him is gone. Never more to return.

Except the memories. We do have many memories made with the little goober. The pictures here show just a tiny little bit. But we really are glad we did so much recording through the few years we had him.

So why all the depressed talk? Because to me this is a sobering reminder of why I believe in Christ Jesus. Why I believe for those creatures who have souls that there is an afterlife. And why I believe it is so important to know Christ and believe that Christ saves sinners like me.

Yet, not just that, but also that those who do not believe will not simply disappear like my cat, but will go on living eternal death. The Bible teaches that the soul of man doesn't cease to exist. It goes on in either eternal life, or eternal death. The choice is ours to make.

If you're reading this and this bothers you, I encourage you to grab a Bible and read the Gospel of John. The whole thing. Yeah, it's long, but an hour or two of your time is worth it compared to a million years of anguish.

When you get to John 20:31, you'll need to make a decision about what you believe. The verse says: "But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name." If you can't believe what is written in the book of John, then you too will have no hope of eternal life.

But for those of you who do believe John 20:31, you have an hope that will surely endure. One that will be fulfilled one day. For your loved ones that believe there is an awesome promise of being reunited with them. In fact, there is some indication they are watching us go through our lives.

I pray this is useful to even one person today.


Psalm 92:4 For thou, LORD, hast made me glad through thy work: I will triumph in the works of thy hands. 

My comment: We may have a lot of gladness and pleasure through the works of God's hands in the creation of animals for our enjoyment. But, let's not forget that people are not like animals. When we die we do not cease to exist. We go to heaven or to hell. There is no in-between or alternative place. This is why Today is the day of salvation if you are not born again.

2 Corinthians 6:2 (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.) 

Stealth on the kayak.

Stealth with his buddies, Shadow the Kayak Cat, and my brother, Mike.


  1. Thank you for sharing this! So very true, and a sobering subject.

    1. You're welcome. Yes it is. I'm glad my brother would let me share his post here.

  2. This is so true. we lost a precious Shih Tzu, our little girl and it hit us hard but more recently I lost my unsaved sister and she has rejected my witness for 50 years and our parents witness, when they were living. It has hit home with me that yes, people do die and go to their eternal choice,hell. Others pray for me and I pray for myself that God will help me through this reality. I was told if I visited not to bring my Bible or my religion. I said I cannot do that so I was told not to come. I didn't know she was getting worse since her children feel the same but Praise God her husband was saved about 22 years ago before he passed into Heaven.

    1. Thank you for sharing your experiences, Janice. I'm so sorry to hear of your unsaved sister and the way your Lord and your presences were rejected to the last. My family has also had an unsaved relative who rejected to the gospel to the end as far as we know. It is sobering and very sad, especially when the person had many opportunities and years of witness.