Touched By an Angel
Guiding, guarding, warning, comforting and
teaching—are these cat angels?
By Cal Orey
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|Image used in Cats Magazine with this story|
Recently, Jude Balthis had a dream. Her cat Satie appeared on her bed, green eyes staring down at her owner. “It was clear that she had a message,” Balthis says. “She told me she knew I had done the best that I could to protect her.” The large calico had just died a month earlier.
“I felt very guilty about her death,” Jude recalls. “In her later years, she wasn’t able to defend herself as well as when she was younger. I had secured the porch from other animals by installing gates, but it wasn’t enough.” One night, while Balthis and her family were away, raccoons broke into the barriers and killed Satie.
Upon awakening from her dream, Balthis felt instantly that Satie had absolved her from blame. “I didn’t cry, even though I was on the verge of tears, because the dream allowed me to understand that she was in a safe place.”
Companion animals bring us comfort and love, but are they also spiritual messengers who understand more than what seems possible?
“An angel cat would be a messenger who would help you to know that love is all around you and that miracles are possible,” explains Linda Anderson, coeditor of Angel Animals, Exploring Our Spiritual Connection with Animals. Bernard Ward says in his book Angels: They’re All Around and They’re Watching Over Us, “Angels are here to guide us, warn us, comfort us, teach us or just be a friend and companion.”
ANGELS AMONG THE LIVING
Years ago, when Stephanie Laland was in her 20s, she was distraught about her life. She remembers sitting on her bed and crying. “Suddenly, my two-year-old calico cat Yoko jumped up on my lap and put her paws on my face and licked the tears away,” she says. And while some cats are deeply affectionate, Laland confesses, “this wasn’t the sort of action that my cat would normally do. At that moment she was my little angel.”
Since then, Laland had turned her life around. She is the author of Peaceful Kingdom: Random Acts of Kindness by Animals and Animal Angels, and teaches workshops for people wishing to boost their bond with animals. She feels she knows firsthand how it feels to be touched by an animal angel.
Many of the stories in her work suggest that the notion of animal angels isn’t merely whimsy. Take, for example, the story of Mrs. Sweeney, an elderly woman who had always welcomed animals in need into her home. One winter evening, she became ill and wasn’t able to move from her bed. As the fire from the stove went out, the house grew deathly cold. Too feeble and ill to move, she was sure she would freeze before daybreak. In the morning, when her neighbor came to check on her she discovered the freezing temperatures and raced to the old woman’s bed, fearing the worst. But Mrs. Sweeney was safe in bed, very much alive—and not cold at all. She was quite comfortable, with seven cats and a dog draped over her warm body like a fur blanket.
Many near-death survivors have reported feeling a sensation of leaving their bodies—or traveling through tunnels of light. Some people report encounters with relatives or even family pets.
During a down-and-out period, reports Anderson, Debi Reimann, a legal secretary from Lacey, Washington, felt herself floating through a gray mist. She recalled seeing light and feeling an overwhelming sense of love. She saw a vision that appeared old and wise. Even though the “being” told Reimann that it wasn’t time to die, she didn’t want to go back to her painful existence in life. The “being” turned her around, directing her toward the tunnel that would take her back to life. At the other end she saw her cat, Missey Kitten, waiting for her. “The cat was the one being on earth that could touch her heart, and Debi made a decision to come back,” recalls Anderson...
(Reprinted with permission from Cats Magazine, December 1999 issue.)