Loophole for the Unforgotten

Toronto is full of pigeons. Most big cities are, I’d imagine. Sometimes we half-jokingly call them sky rats because they’re everywhere and are thought to be dirty and potentially disease and pest-carrying.

Last winter I was walking to work when I saw a pigeon run over by a car. It happened in a slow instant. A heavy thud as the bird made contact with the car, sliding to the ground, one of the wheels possibly thumping over it as the car ambled on. If the driver noticed what had happened it didn’t affect his or her speed or control of the vehicle.

The bird lay in the middle of the street. I paused for a moment, watching it breathe, wondering if I should call a vet, if a vet would be willing to work on a wild animal, and if survival was ever a possibility in these cases. One moment it was breathing, one eye watching me, the next it twitched violently, and then the only movement was a slight wind ruffling feathers.

The silence rushing in was a flash flood.

As a child I was never satisfied with Mom’s answers about what happens to animals after they die. One time she told us that they stopped existing because they didn’t have souls but that we shouldn’t feel sorry for them because they weren’t self-aware. They didn’t know enough to know that they existed in the first place and wouldn’t be able to understand it even if we could somehow explain that people live on after death.

When our pets died the story changed. They still were un-souled, but Mom said it was possible for God to keep part of them in existence if there was a human who would love and miss them otherwise. That comforted me…

Until I thought about all of the pets who live and die abused, forgotten and unloved. They hadn’t asked to be created or to suffer. How could they never find peace in the end?

I decided to create a loophole: if I loved the forgotten ones, God would have to reconsider the rules. Mom’s asthma and my allergies prevented us from having family pets after a while, but the loophole has somehow stuck around even after my belief system evolved into I just don’t know. I still believe in second chances and in embracing those who have been rejected. I do not believe in the idea of worthless animals or people.

Respond

What are your remnants? That is, what small beliefs, hunches or inklings have you carried with you even as larger capital-B Beliefs evolved or were left behind? My example was about a leftover from religious beliefs, but any belief counts.

0 Responses to Loophole for the Unforgotten

  1. We had a pet cat (purebred Siamese). He was our first ‘baby’, predating our two children. He was 17 years old, showing signs of (physical) age and problems, and showing signs of slowly losing his mind.
    Eventually we made the decision to have him put to sleep.
    I took him to the vet.
    She asked me if I wanted to stay with him or simply leave him. (Of course) I chose to stay with him. It was the very least I could do. He was part of our family.
    After the injection, he craned his head upwards (I’m told that’s natural) – I saw the ‘light’ in his eyes go out, then he closed his eyes, then he went limp.

    … next to burying my mother, it was the most difficult thing I had to do. It was brutal.
    If there is a g0d, and if there is a Heaven, and if animals and pets are excluded, I want nothing to do with this fucken’ prick of a God. (Sorry ’bout the language).

    Love is love. It isn’t complicated. I think children hold the simple truth to this matter.
    Ask any kindergardener if pets go to heaven. Their answer will be a resounding ‘yes’.
    That’s good enough for me.

    • “If there is a g0d, and if there is a Heaven, and if animals and pets are excluded, I want nothing to do with this fucken’ prick of a God. (Sorry ’bout the language).”

      Hear, hear! 🙂

      No worries about the language. It doesn’t bother me.