Rainbow Bridge I
By Joan Elias 2,724 (words) grade 7.2
March 2, 2011
This story is fiction based on real
events, real people, and animals.
It draws on my experiences living, working with, and rescuing felines
for the past fifteen years. I am
positive that all the animals that have passed over the ” Rainbow Bridge” have
made it to heaven and more than a few will be there to greet me the day I also
arrive. The tragic incidences depicted in the story have happened to hundreds
and thousands of animals despite the love and compassion of hundred of
thousands of people.
Place: Earth and Rainbow Bridge
of homeless cats
and white cat
by a student
Caretakers in heaven
A.C. (Archangel Cat)
Just this side of heaven is a place
called Rainbow Bridge.
an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to
are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play
is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and
the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those
who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember
them in our dreams of days and times gone by.
animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss
someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.
all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks
into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly
he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying
him faster and faster.
have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling
together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain
upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once
more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never
absent from your heart.
you cross Rainbow Bridge together....
Socks, a black cat with white bib
and socks, waited for his person at Rainbow Bridge, a
temporary place for animals before going to heaven. At Rainbow Bridge cats were
kept busy and Socks was no acception.
“We need to return to
earth to transport some cats and find Oliver, said Archangel Cat (A.C.). This
interrupted Sock’s afternoon nap on a cushion of a low flying cloud. But before
we leave, you need to disguise yourself as an earth cat.”
Socks made himself
look like a homeless alley cat. He
rolled in a pile of mud to cover the diagonal white streak across his
nose. Then he dragged his tail
through a puddle of grease. His
white socks were now unrecognizable and his striking black tail with its white
tip, now jet-black, drooped sadly. Would he be able to pull off his first job
and earn his final admittance to heaven?
Both cats arrived at earth with
new identities: A.C became invisible and Socks looked like a disheveled
homeless cat. They began their search in an alleyway
several blocks from Fong Chum’s Chinese Restaurant in Chadvile, Kentucky.
Empty trashcan lids were strewn
hither and yon behind the narrow alleyway. The two cats endured the rain and
darkness, diligently carrying out their assignment without complaining. Their
feet went splash on the wet concrete. The alley way was moldy and the steam
from the evaporating sidewalk rose above the sidewalk giving the alleyway a
heavenly aura. The sounds of their footsteps echoed off the smelly
urine-stained brick walls of the buildings reminding them they were on earth,
“I’ll just look behind
the trash cans,” said (A.C.) as he tried to encourage Socks not to overlook any
nook or cranny. But there was nothing but trash and broken bottles. Soon the
cold and hunger hindered their enthusiasm
“It doesn’t look like there is an orange and white cat back
here either,” Socks sighed as he lifted a waterlogged cardboard box.
A pungent smell of fish permeated
the air. Driven by their hunger, the two cats sprinted toward stairs leading to
the kitchen of a Chinese Restaurant.
As Socks and A.C. approached the
back of the restaurant they saw several cats: Miss Polly, a white cat with six
toes on each front paw, with her three kittens. Fluffy, Gwen, and Nishba waited
at the Restaurant’s back door while Krystal, a pure white kitten, stalked a
cockroach. But Oliver was nowhere in sight.
Miss Polly yawned widely revealing
sharp, stained feline teeth. She murmured repeatedly to her kittens encouraging
them to eat solid food as old Mr. Chum emptied a pot of greasy Chinese food
leftovers on a newspaper. The cat
took large bites of the slop stopping to chew only occasionally. From the
corner of one eye, she watched her kittens as they took their turns feeding off
the newspaper. She was happy that she would get some relief from their
“What is the deal with the white
polydactyl puss?” Socks asked A.C.
“Oh, Miss Polly is a typical
abandonment case” began A.C She was owned by an elderly couple who passed on
and left her and her three kittens to fend for themselves. She began using the neighbors’
flowerpot for a potty box. Yuck.”
“Yeah. Double yuck,” replied
“Soon afterward, Mamma cat,
Fluffy, and Nishba ended up here in the alley. It seems there was a big supply
of cats and kittens and not enough people wanting them. The third kitten, Gwen,
wandered away before the Animal Control incident.
“Oh… that’s pretty sad,” sighed
Socks. He padded away with a determination to find Oliver with a new urgency.
“Well I have to get on my way,
said A.C. Will you be all right by
“Guess so,” answered Socks
Suddenly the fog became thick and rays of rainbow colored
lights appeared as the cat felt herself being lifted higher and higher. It was as if gentle hands were
embracing her like a mother gently carrying her by the scruff of her neck.
The fog gradually lifted and the
sun shown through a blurred yellow-orange sky as Miss Polly and A.C. arrived in
Rainbow Bridge. The color of the
sky changed from deep yellow to brown and orange as they walked on a path of
palm trees surrounded by flowering magnolias shrubs. Occasionally a cloud
floated by sinking a few feet as if to wave to every new arrival.
Startled, Polly asked A.C.,” Where
am I? Is this heaven? And if so, where are my persons.” A.C. looked back at her
with a blank look as cats often do and continued to walk toward a large medal
gate wrapped with ivy and beautiful blue morning glories. They followed a large
longhaired Manx through a gate and under a sign which read “Tri- County”
SFPHC. (Society for the Placement
of Heavenly Cats).
Two staff members were
interviewing adopters. Under the eves of a thatched hut they talked softly as a
childless couple entered the room. “Welcome,” said a soft, soothing voice
inside the gate. The first evaluator asked, “Have you had any animals before?”
The woman dressed in jeans and a shirt printed with the words
“University of Stupidity” answered.
”Once when I was younger, I had a white cat, but I went off to college
and left her with my mother. I never saw her again.“
A.C. departed back to earth
leaving the couple discussing adoption and Polly busily nursing her newly
assigned kittens while a montage of cats lounged on cloud-like pillows
suspended in space.
Back in the alley Nishba and Gwen,
sat at the bottom of the steps discussing Krystal. Nishba flipped his tail and brushed his head against Gwen’s
head while A.C. and Socks observed.
“When this girl went off to
college, her mother took her to Animal Control since they did not want to be
bothered with feeding and changing the cat’s litter. She was euthanized there within four hours of her intake,”
whispered Nishba to Gwen.
“I did not know they would do
that,” replied Gwen.
“They can. Animal Control puts
down cats surrendered by owners immediately. That’s the word from the alley
Hoping to get clues about Oliver,
Socks was particularly interested in Gwen. Through his extrasensory abilities he was able to flash back
What he saw was a man, Mr. Schmidt
a middle age businessman, walking from the annual animal fund-raising campaign
for the Humane Society in the very same alleyway behind the Chinese
Restaurant. He was just awarded a
plaque for his philanthropic contributions; he wore a smug look on his face. A
cigar hung from his crooked mouth, the smoke encircling his ego like a tornado
circles the ground. Gwen a gray kitten, with a stub for her tail, stumbled into
the alleyway and made her way to the street corner. She rubbed up against the man's leg and gave a pathetic last
cry as the man walked away
Mr. Schmidt unfortunately suffered
a heart attack on his way home that evening. Only hours after he arrived in
Rainbow Bridge the train arrive at the SPHC. This was the last stop that would
determine which road he would take in completing his journey to heaven with or
without an animal.
At 11:00 am, Mr. Schmidt arrived
at the adoption center while a couple waited on a couch in the waiting room.
“Have you owned a cat
before?” The evaluator asked
politely as Mr. Schmidt looked at his watch several times out of habit.
“Mmmm... No, But
you have probably read about me in the Daily Times and my philanthropic
contributions to animals over the past years.” the man said, not looking into
her eyes and fidgeting with the cuffs on his shirt.
“And what kind of cat do you have
in mind?” asked the intake angel.
“That one, the gray and white spunky kitten with shiny eyes
playing with two other kittens reminds me of my earth days and a kitten I once
knew,” he said to the evaluator. He glanced over his shoulders and stared into
the eyes of the kitten. The kitten
turned away and slunk under a cool tree.
“ Oh, I am sorry, sir, but that
one doesn’t seem to want to go with you.
“If you will stay around, perhaps
you could volunteer your time and get to know the cats better. We are a little short-handed some
days,“ said the intake woman to Mr. Schmidt kindly.
Mr. Schmitt thought for a moment. “It is peaceful here and
really there isn’t any reason to rush off. Yes, I think I just might do
that. After all, I am in no
hurry.” He was immediately put in charge of painting the bridge and feeding the
A.C.’s arrived back to the alley
way with a beautiful pink Cadillac to gather up Miss Polly’s kittens. Socks was
off hunting for Oliver, tracking down a lead from a new Tomcat that showed up
at the feeding station behind the restaurant. The three kittens, Nishba, Fluffy,
and Gwen and the cat Krystal boarded withoug hesitation with the help of A.C.
Contented meowing sounds came from the back of the pink Cadillac and it quietly
disappeared into the sky. It left a white dust of soft clouds and the smell of
chamomile and heather trailing behind. Through the purplish diffused light and
golden rays, the car reached Rainbow Bridge only minutes later.
In Rainbow Bridge, the kittens and
cats played under the trees, hung from the branches, and chased one
another. Some munched on tasty
morsels of kibbles growing on bright blades of grass. There were golden bowls filled with tuna. A cool mist hung over the sky and the
air was filled with the electricity of love and anticipation. The cats took in
the sunlight and listened to the blades of grass rustle under heaven’s loving
arms. The optimism each cat felt was contagious.
When the kittens saw their mom,
Miss Polly, they dashed toward her. She cleaned them from head to toes with her
rough tongue and gave Gwen a few extra licks.
Under a tree between two fences,
the couple continued with the application process for a new cat. An intake
angel returned with a white cat in her arms.
“We have a cat called
Krystal. We think you will be pleased with,” said the intake angel, after a few
intake person came back with a short-tailed gray manx cat and put Gwen into the
arms of Mr. Schmidt
Heaven is a forgiving place and
once a person agrees to mend his ways and make a new commitment, all sorts of
wonderful new adventures are in store. The couple agreed to take the cat on the
conditions that the cat would have a forever home no matter where they moved.
Mr. Schmidt agreed to give Gwen all the love and attention she needed as his
priority and put his pride in his accomplishment second to the needs of the
The couple and Mr. Schmidt walked out of the shelter with
their cats wrapped up in the love, their faces wearing a smile and the cats
purring like motor boats. They boarded the train to heaven.
At the intersection of the tracks,
the train came to two signs. One read “Pets and Humans” and the other sign read
“Humans Only.” The train continued
on the track that read “Pets and Humans.”
That is the way cats of the alley
met up with two people in heaven. Miss Polly, her kittens, and other cats from
the alley eventually found new homes with people who always wanted cats but
could never have one for one reason or another. More cats and kittens arrived
daily but here was always room for one more cat at Rainbow Bridge. The Bridge
got painted that year and all the kittens under Polly’s care thrived, grew up
to be happy adults, and were adopted. Miss Polly stayed on for several years
nursing new kittens. Ironically, Socks found Oliver at Rainbow Bridge under
another identity. After identifying him, Sock’s mission was over. Socks made
the ultimate sacrifice and decided to stay on at Rainbow Bridge and take Oliver
as his assistant. The two cats looked forward to the day all animals and people
would live on earth with mutual respect and understanding so they, too, could
give up their jobs and go the heaven with a human of their own.
we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may
receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether
good or bad" (II Corinthians 5:10).
To be continued… (Rainbow Bridge II – Socks and
Oliver Return to Earth.