The question that worries any believer who has or had a cat before is: “Are the pets endowed with the soul where the cats go after death?” We are so attached to the pets that we begin to humanize them and, of course, sincerely wish the animals also had a chance for the afterlife.
Where cats get after death - versions in different religions
Different religions are ambiguous in the question of where the dead animals go. Somewhere, animals are considered soulless creatures, so they simply disappear after their death. In other beliefs, pets, on the contrary, are equated with humans and are even capable of degenerating into people in subsequent lives.
In Genesis, animals, fish, and birds are called "living souls." In this they differ from plants, celestial bodies, stones.
And God said: behold, I have given you all the grass that sows the seed, which is on the whole earth, and every tree that has a tree fruit that sows a seed. This will be for your food; and to all the beasts of the earth, and to all the birds of the air, and to every creeping thing on the earth, in which there is a living soul, I have given all the greenery of grass for food.
Genesis chapter 1 verse 29:30
But there is also a mention in Scripture that “the soul of animals is in their blood” (Old Testament, Leviticus 17:11). Most theologians consider this phrase proof that after the death of cats and dogs they do not fall into the kingdom of heaven. That is, as soon as the blood freezes in the body of a dead beast, then the soul disappears with it. The man is three-part - according to the second epistle of the Apostle Paul to the Corinthians, in addition to the body and soul that gives life, people still have a spirit (or the spark of God), which is transferred to heaven or hell after death.
"Since, according to the Scriptures, the soul of every animal is its blood, and the thickened blood, along with decaying flesh, decomposes into the earth, the soul of animals becomes dust, but does not have the opportunity to go to heaven.
Saint Basil the Great
The Six-Day Bible Interpretation
Alas, in Orthodoxy, cats do not have the right to the afterlife, because unlike people they are not created in the image of God and do not have an immortal Spirit
In Hinduism, there is no Grave World beyond Christians with paradise and hell. And the concept of the soul is very specific. Man along with cats and other animals is endowed with an atman. It is written about this sacred substance in the Rig Veda: “Atman is what makes living beings see, hear, smell, smell, recognize speech, recognize sweet and savory.” The fact that animals and people have an identical atman supports the idea of reincarnation. Any person can be reborn as a cat, and any cat in the next life can become a man or a woman. The process of relocation continues until the spirit reaches moksha (liberation), as a result, it loses its individual nature and becomes part of the Absolute (Universe).
Among the Indians, the black cat represents the deity Shashthi, who is the protector of mothers and children
Buddhism is divided into several areas, among which stand out Theravada, Mahayana, Vajrayana, Lamaism, Zen Buddhism. Each of these areas has its own characteristics in understanding death. The first Buddhist movements are characterized by the concept of dharma - a combination of intangible particles that make up the entire Universe. “In Buddhist holy books, the soul is specific, as it is a combination of four elements: sensations, representations, desires, and cognition (or consciousness),” writes religion historian I. Krelev. And if there is no traditional concept of the soul, then there can be no question that it falls somewhere after the death of a person or a cat.
The interpretation of death among the Lamaists and Zen Buddhists is slightly different. According to their beliefs, earthly life, thoughts, deeds, the degree of "enlightenment" determine the subsequent fate of the deceased. If you commit a lot of evil, then with a high probability you will become a stone or an animal in the next life, including a cat. But after the death of a cat, her soul has a chance to go into the body of a newborn person.
In Buddhism, there is no practice of worshiping cats, but Buddhists believe that the souls of their ancestors can degenerate into cats, therefore they are treated with respect
In Islam, they respect the feline family. For example, there is a legend that Muhammad, while hiking in Uhud, saw a cat lying in the middle of the road and feeding milk to its kittens. So that the soldiers did not frighten the furry family, the prophet preferred to change the route of the soldiers. According to another belief, Muhammad forbade the sale of cats as goods, for which a cat nicknamed Hazrati strangled a snake preparing to attack the prophet.
But what is the situation with the soul of cats in Islam - does this religion recognize its presence and are animals entitled to the afterlife? Animals have the spirit that gives them life, but is not a “pass ticket” to paradise. And meanwhile, after the final judgment, cats and other animals will be resurrected along with all people in order to answer to Allah for each of their deeds. “Everything that was once alive will be resurrected on the Day of Judgment in order to weigh its rights among itself. Even a horned sheep will be rewarded for every harm caused by his malice ”(Muslim, al-Birr).
There is no clear indication in the Torah whether animals go to Heaven. But there are works of authoritative rabbis who speak out on this subject. For example, Saadia Gaon, in his philosophical article Sefer Emunot Vedeiot, writes that an animal is ultimately rewarded for all the pain it has experienced, and for all the happiness it has brought to people. The reason for this opinion was a quote from the Talmud: "The saint, blessed, He does not leave anyone without the remuneration due to him." Rabbi Saadiya Gaon believed that this applies to any living creature, and not just to man.
Opponents of the opinion of Saadiy Gaon argue that after death all animals disappear, since they have no soul. As proof of this, they quote from the Scripture: “And He breathed into his nostrils his soul of life, and man became a living soul.” There is no indication that God did the same with cats, which means they are soulless and cannot go to Paradise.
According to some orthodox Jews, cats are soulless and dishonest, since there is not a single mention of these animals in the Torah, which means that a person should not only keep the purr in the house, but even touch them
Why they say that dead cats go to the rainbow
At the very edge of the sky there is a place called the Rainbow Bridge. When an animal dies, especially if it was very loved by someone in this life, it falls on the Rainbow Bridge. There are endless meadows and hills on which our friends can run and play all together. There is an abundance of food, water and sunlight, and there our pets are warm and comfortable. In this region, all sick and old animals turn into young and full of energy; those who have injuries and injuries become healthy again.
Paul C. Dahm
“Legends of the Rainbow Bridge” (translation by Irina Petrakova)
At the heart of the legend of the rainbow bridge, on which dead animals leave, is Bivrest from Scandinavian mythology. This is the name of the transition between Asgard (the heavenly city of the gods) and other worlds, including the underworld, where the souls of dead people live. There is not a word in the myths of the Scandinavians that dead animals live on this bridge - it is nothing more than an artistic invention of poets and writers inspired by ancient legends (the very first author to talk about the Rainbow Bridge for cats is Paul Charles Dam, published in 1981 "The legend of the Rainbow Bridge"). But readers liked this touching and beautiful version, so it quickly spread. Many began to sincerely believe that their furry favorites after death fall into a beautiful rainbow world.
The fact that dead cats go to the rainbow is a sad and beautiful tale that has nothing to do with any of the religions
Reviews of people about the afterlife for animals
Animals do not have a mind like a man, are not an image of God, Christ did not die for animals, therefore their souls die with the body.
Read Ephraim the Syrian "On Paradise." I like how the reverend said - God knows how we love animals, for us He created them. And if in the afterlife there will be trees that don’t have a soul at all, then our pets should probably be there ...
I had a cat named Juliet. She was very graceful, like a ballerina. And pussy was an excellent mouse hunter. And my other cat named Joey is a very awkward hunter. Alas, Juliet once died. But the amazing thing is that after her departure, Joey immediately began to catch mice. I am sure that this is the spirit Juliet taught Joey to hunt well, which means that cats, even after death, remain with us.
Laura Stinchfield, clairvoyant
My parishioner's daughter died a cat. The girl cried a lot, and after a few days in a dream she saw her favorite - healthy and cheerful. The most interesting thing is that the radiance emanated from the animal. As this girl then told me: “I stopped crying because I realized that my Maryska is in a better world.” How to relate to this dream? As a fantasy, or as a sign from God? Do not be tormented by this issue. There are dozens of different theories, but they are all invented by people. How and what will actually be - only God knows, and we can only gratefully take his every decision.
Priest Konstantin Parkhomenko
Different religions have different opinions about what happens to cats after death. Somewhere it is said that these animals do not have the spirit, therefore, alas, they cannot meet their favorites in paradise. Adherents of other beliefs are sure that animals are equal in rights with humans. In eastern religions, even they believe that a cat can, after death, be reborn in the human body.