Although I don't exactly adhere to such a strict pro-life view when it comes to animal life, it is still an overwhelming circumstance for me -Gus is the first pet I really have had to seriously make a decision about. Gus' brother died of natural causes 7 years ago; my sister's cat wandered off to die of old age five years after the cat's sibling, my cat, died when the house was termite-tented. My dog Amie also died in her sleep.
Each animal when they finally died, caused me to grieve deeply. One friend remarked that I seemed more upset at the loss of a pet than I have been for some of my relatives when they died. I think this is a reflection of my understanding of the nature of human death versus animal death. For humans, specifically Christians, death is not an end, but merely a temporary separation from their brothers and sisters left here on earth. But when our pets die, there is no comfort that we will surely see them again, there is no promised resurrection to eternal life. They only live on in our memories -the funny times, the warm kitty laying on my chest after a hard day at work, the hungry cat waking me up early to be fed -will soon be only a memory. Yes, one day I will have new kitties and new memories, but for now I'm in the midst of a drawn out and painful goodbye to an old friend I've known for nearly 16 years.