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A Publication of
Catholic Concern for Animals


Selections From The Ark Number 206 - Summer 2007

A new CCA member sends this heartfelt plea – in verse:


At the start of the year my beautiful cat died,
And, though a full-grown man, I’m not ashamed to say I cried
Repeatedly and helplessly after nature took its course,
The fact of loss compounded by a feeling of remorse
That the need to clean up ‘accidents’ (as her kidneys neared their end) Had outweighed the joy of living with this gentle little friend.
She was buried in my garden, with prayers beside her grave.
I’d feared the job of burial, but managed to be brave.
The peaceful and natural cessation of her breath
Set me thinking on the question, ‘Can there be life after death
For the animals, the insects and the birds who (since the birth
Of time) adopted as their own God’s plan to “fill the Earth”?’
I’m looking for the answer, but it seems hard to defend
The thought that when a creature dies that really is its end.
My reasoning recoils from the idea that we must say
That God wastes His lovely handiwork by throwing it away.
A Catholic should be ruled by what the Church may have to say,
And I hope to find such information through the CCA.
I’d love to get ‘a line’ from anyone who’ll write to me,
Especially from America, which I’ve always longed to see.
May be pleasurable learning is a ‘silver lining’ that
Will develop on the ‘cloud’ of the departure of my cat.
Exciting prospects seem to come from ideas such as these.
With hope aroused, I wait to see. Will you help me, please?
To clear the way for sharing it, I decided I would dare
To seek episcopal approval for my ‘home-made’ graveside prayer.
It seemed to be innocuous, but after he had read
What I’d written, he surprised me. This, in brief, is what he said:
It’s not part of our tradition as Catholics to behave
By burying an animal or praying at its grave.
To the bishop’s greater knowledge I defer ungrudgingly,
But the objection to my conduct is a mystery to me!

Anthony Hofler

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Return to Number 206 - Summer 2007

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Deborah Jones at Catholic Concern for Animals

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