GLORIAM DEO • Honor and Praise to the Maker of All Things

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This morning, Sylvester left our temporal world and stepped into eternity.

Gloriam Deo • Honor and Praise to the Maker of All ThingsMy friend, Sylvester, died in my arms at 4:51 this morning, North Dakota time. Sylvester, a black and white tuxedo cat, was 19 years old (a fairly senior cat of great distinction and prominence in our world). Sylvester was my friend and constant companion for most of his life.

Sylvester was dignified and regal, and always formally dressed for every occasion in his black and white tuxedo. Sylvester knew a lot of wonderful things, although he kept his own counsel about most of his knowledge.

Quietly smiling to himself, Sylvester knew that to be born, to be alive, and to share in this splendid experience we call “Life” is to be chosen, personally, by name, by the Maker of All Things to share in the majesty of His creation. Sylvester fulfilled many special purposes in this world, known first only to the Maker, and later, in the unfolding tapestry of time, to Sylvester and to everyone he touched.

Sylvester was the King of Comfort and the Emperor of Relaxation within our busy household. As ambassador of one of the great nations of earth, the Kingdom of Cats, Sylvester brought serenity and wisdom to balance the craziness of our sometimes frenetic, anxious, whirling, rush of life. Sylvester regarded the world in soft focus, and no one could yawn and stretch quite like Sylvester.

Sylvester’s admiring subjects were d’Artagnan, also known as “Pooch”, a black Standard Poodle, and Pepper, also known as “Squirt”, a white and black Rat Terrier, with pretensions to a Jack Russell Terrier.

Loyal and true, d’Artagnan was Sylvester’s Minister of Exuberant Welcomes and Director of Joyful Happiness. “Pooch” excelled at catapulting himself excitedly into the air and turning circles in mid-flight when welcoming us home. “Squirt” was Sylvester’s Palace Guardian and Watcher by the Window. Absolutely everything was desperately urgent and crucial to “Squirt” and very little escaped his watchful scrutiny. Sylvester always knew when some small, blundering creature had wantonly trespassed the palace grounds.

“Squirt” was the palace Attack Dog, because he had so many. “Squirt” sometimes had coughing and choking spells, because of too much excitement, from time to time. “I don’t mean to interrupt people. I just randomly remember things, and get really excited.”

On one occasion, Sylvester took matters of home defense into his own paws. One time, a neighbor dog evidently made an ill advised remark while visiting in our home. Sylvester took umbrage and punched the hapless hound resoundingly on the nose, then chased the offending miscreant around the house. The desperate dog scrambled along the walls, wild eyed and frantic, looking for any way out. When I opened a door, the howling fugitive leaped to freedom and raced for the safety of his own yard, glad to have survived the unexpected assault of the terrible Tuxedo Lion. Sylvester stretched and yawned, plumped himself up a bit, and resumed his rightful place on his couch.

This morning, Sylvester left our temporal world and stepped into eternity. Instantly, he was welcomed to a thunderous ovation by a tumultuous, cheering crowd. Sylvester passed wide-eyed beneath the soft, fragrant flutter of rose petals, triumphantly riding along the eternal Avenue of Dreams to the most amazing place, where he met with the Maker of All Things.

When Sylvester had concluded his report, the Maker congratulated Sylvester, saying, “You have fulfilled your purpose with great honor, splendid style and grace, delicate panache and aplomb, and may I say, with a most trusting sense of quiet confidence. Your actions were far above and beyond the call of duty, at the cost of your own life. Your magnificent example is in keeping with the highest traditions of our angelic messengers, and reflects great credit upon yourself and those in our service.”

Tears of love for the Maker of All Things flowed freely from Sylvester’s eyes, as he quietly replied, “It has been my most profound honor, Sir. I am ready for my next assignment.”