Soon, they came to a gate in the fence where, on the other side, they saw a nice grassy, wooded area surrounding a cool clear pool of fresh water. "We'd all feel better after a little rest in a place like that" thought the old man. But there was a sign over the gate that read "No Cats or Dogs" so they walked on.
Further on, they came upon a man in flowing white robes standing just inside a strong iron gate across a path that led to a beautiful, sunny meadow with a cool clear stream running through it.
"'Scuse me Sir," said the old man, "My cat, my dog and I have been on this road all day. Mind if we come in and sit in the shade for awhile?" "Of course!" The man said. "Come on in and rest. You look thirsty and tired." The old man said, "We sure are!" and started through the gate with his cat and dog.
The gatekeeper stopped him. "Sorry, you can come in but your cat and dog can't come with you. "You see, this is Heaven, and cats and dogs aren't allowed here. They have to stay out here on the road." "What kind of Heaven won't allow cats or dogs?" said the old man. "Well, if they can't come in, then I'll stay out here on the road with them. They've been my faithful companions all their life and I won't desert them now."
"Suit yourself," said the gatekeeper, "but I have to warn you, the Devil's on this road and he'll try to sweet talk you into his place. He'll promise you anything, but cats and dogs can't go there either. If you won't leave that cat or dog on the road, you'll spend all Eternity on the road with them. Better if you stay here."
"Well, I'm stayin' with my cat and dog," replied the man and he and his cat and dog walked on. Gradually, the fence became more and more faded and rundown until they finally reached a spot where the boards fell away completely leaving a gap. Another man dressed in old, ragged clothes sat just inside the broken fence under a shady tree.
"'Scuse me Sir," said the old man, "My cat and dog and I have been on this road all day. Mind if we come in and sit in the shade for awhile?" "Of course!" The man said. "Come on in and rest. There's some cold water here under the tree. Make yourself comfortable."
The old man paused, "But what about my cat and dog? Can they can come in, too? The man up the road said cats and dogs weren't allowed here, and they had to stay on the road." The other man answered, "Well, you look pretty tired and thirsty. Would you come in here and rest if you had to leave that cat or dog?"
"No sir!" the old man replied, "A glass of cold water and some shade would be mighty fine right about now but I won't come in if my buddies here can't come too. I didn't go to Heaven because my cat and dog couldn't come with me, so I sure as how ain't about to go to Hell without them neither."
The man smiled and said, "Welcome to Heaven, and bring your cat and dog!" The old man exclaimed, "You mean this is Heaven? And my cat and dog can come with me? Then why did that fellow down the road say they weren't allowed in Heaven?" The man replied, "That was the Devil and he gets all the souls who are willing to give up a life-long companion for small comfort because they think it will make their lives a little easier."
The man continued, "They soon find out their mistake, but, then it's too late. The cats and dogs come here, the fickle people stay there. God wouldn't allow cats and dogs to be banned from Heaven. After all, He created them to be man's companions in life, why would he separate them in death?"
- Author Unknown
- Submitted by Matthew DeLuca