It’s my personal hunch that there are more people on our planet who have dogs as pets than cats. I believe others hold a similar opinion. I would speculate that for every four or five caretakers of dogs, there is only one who takes care of cats.
Earlier this year, I published I Will See You in Heaven: Cat Lover’s Edition! It features a cat on the cover, as shown here. My previous two books in this series, (which we might call the “pets in heaven series”) had dogs on the cover. Their respective titles were Will I See My Dog in Heaven? (2009) and I Will See You in Heaven (2010), which has a Golden Retriever puppy on the cover.
In case some of Friar Jack’s readers believe that I may be biased in favor of dogs, I would like to make amends. I invite those of you who care lovingly for your cats to send me the names of your cats and tell me something special about them. I will publish a few of the best entries in the next “Friar Jack’s Inbox.”
The Whole Family of Creation
In the first book of this “pets in heaven series,” Will I See My Dog in Heaven?, I carefully chose the following words for the book’s subtitle: “God’s Saving Love for the Whole Family of Creation.” These words express the main theme of that book. The book, by the way, was never meant to focus simply on dogs, but on God’s desire to bring the whole family of creation together in heaven. As a matter of fact, I would like the subtitle to be seen as expressing the central theme of each of the three books mentioned in this E-spiration.
I had a further objective in each of the three books, namely, to offer a good supply of evidence from 1) Scripture, 2) Christian tradition and 3) the life of St. Francis of Assisi that God desires all creatures (including our beloved pets) to find a home with their Creator in heaven.
Personal Comments on Each Book
1. Will I See My Dog in Heaven? This is my favorite book because it serves as a sourcebook for the other two (abbreviated) versions of the book. This book contains more information from Scripture, Christian tradition and the teachings of St. Francis than the shorter versions do. For example, this book, includes a colorful account of the feast of St. Francis of Assisi as celebrated each October at the Episcopal Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City.
2. I Will See You in Heaven (with a Golden Retriever on the cover) and I Will See You in Heaven: Cat Lover’s Edition! (with a cat on the cover). Both of these have special attraction because of their hardcover “gift book” style. Each also has a special dedication page at the front of the book that allows people to give it to relatives and friends in memory of a pet that has died. For some, these books will also turn out to be an easier read as well.
3. I Will See You in Heaven: Cat Lover’s Edition. For cat lovers, especially for those who may not feel a special affection for dogs, this will likely be the most satisfying and pleasing of the three editions. The book’s cover features an appealing photo of a cat. In addition, many of the longer sourcebook’s dog stories have been replaced by stories of cats in this edition. Also, the sketches of cats inside the book are more numerous than those of dogs. Some of the cat stories also have a special poignancy. (All three books are published by Paraclete Press, Brewster, Massachusetts.)
Because St. Anthony Messenger Press is a distributor of all three of Friar Jack’s books (published by Paraclete Press), we are making a special offer to our readers for Will I See My Dog in Heaven? and I Will See You in Heaven and I Will See You in Heaven: The Cat Lover’s Edition. By purchasing the books from St. Anthony Messenger Press, you will receive a copy of the book personally signed by Friar Jack Wintz, O.F.M. The cost of each of the books is $11.99 (plus shipping and handling). Order the books here.
Dear Friar Jim: Thanks, Friar Jim. Children really do speak from the heart. Thank you for your E-spiration on this subject. I am privileged to care for my two grandsons every weekday. They will be five and two years old this month. Marion
Dear Friar Jim: I’m a fifth-grade catechist, and my girls always have such wonderful little thoughts coming out of their minds and their mouths. I call them my “Sham-Wows” because, better than sponges which drip out what is soaked in, they actually retain everything and make teaching our faith such a joy! I learn so much from them as they do from me. God is good all the time! Thank you once again, and God bless! Michelle
A: Dear Marion and Michelle: Thanks for your comments. Children are able to simplify complex issues and see right to the heart of the matter. That’s why Jesus said, “Unless you become like a little child….” Friar Jim