Charles Clanton Rogers

Reflections based on poetry, music, visual art, book reviews, history of science, first-person history, philosophical essays and International Blogging


INTERNATIONAL BLOGGING    2015/12/22   “Darwin”  2011-2015



“Darwin” 2011-2015 
Our Felis catus tribe, part one. [added recording by Steven Rogers]

I don’t know if cats go to heaven when they die.

What I do know is that during the time that they live with us, that they have a soul like I do! All living things share the same DNA and spirit.  Cats [and dogs, and horses, etc.] are little people. Their soul is caged in a Felis catus’  body just as, whatever Charles is, is caged in this rather worn Homo sapiens’  body.

Ignorant of an after-life, let us focus on how we and our four-legged little people support one another.

“Not everything that counts can be counted;
Not everything that can be counted counts.” [attributed to Einstein]

‘Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.” John Keates

Darwin was beauty, inside and out.


On grieving: “Everyone requires five powerful words:  forgive,  love, please, thank you. 

I advise you to take these powerful weapons out every day.  Polish them the way we once polished the silverware. (but don’t just save them for company!)

Grieving for my friend, Darwin, is no less difficult than grieving for a human friend. It is different in that with Darwin, I don’t need to address forgiving, as one needs to do when reconciling the loss of a human friend. In his four years, he was only unconditional love and companionship. First-of-all, he loved Eileen, whom he believed to be his mother. They say that cats don’t come when they are called. (Darwin, who slept next to Eileen every night, knew and responded to her voice.). After Eileen returned from work each evening,  he ran to greet her. (do you know cats like that?)

One might have forgiven the poor little guy if he had been cross. It seems that he was ill all of his life. Apparently he did not have feline leukemia, but did have a blood dyscrasia which required several transfusions of packed red blood cells and he was on medication most of his  life.  Countless times Eileen put him in a cat carrier before dawn, to take him to the vet. where he would meet needles; countless nights Eileen had to get him to swallow pills which I had split into quarter-sized,  from too-large-dose pills. None of us has been so reconciled to our lot as Darwin was. When Darwin was “off his food”, Eileen made special trips to buy him fresh shrimp which he would eat  when he would eat nothing else (sometimes, hand-fed)

December 19, Eileen had been holding Darwin through the night; about 3 in the morning, he was with Eileen when he had the first grand mal seizure. When she brought him to me, he was in a post-ictal state but I soon noticed he was not breathing and his heart beats vague. I started CPR (mouth-to-mouth no longer is required). by alternately massaging his heart and pumping his lung externally.

I don’t know how long I did that [I had no sense of time while I was focused on his receussitation]. He regained consciousness and relative alertness. He held his head up and looked around. He held on to my arm and looked me in the eyes.


We did this 20-30 minutes; I thought we were out-of-the-woods, but he suddenly had a violent Jacksonian seizure and slipped away from me at 6:15 AM. I had to tell Eileen: “We’ve lost him.” There was not a dry eye between us for a long, long time.


eileen darwin and einstei                    darwin baby  IMG_0038

Baby pictures: Darwin and his brother, Einstein.

Every time We Say GoodbyeJan 21, 2013
by Steven Rogers and Lars Aukrust
MP3 Music
Available for download now.

Charles Clanton Rogers,    December 22, 2015

18 thoughts on “Do cats go to heaven when they die?

  1. So sorry. Maybe cats aren’t people, but we bond with them as strongly as we do with other people. And, my long-gone cat Spencer would meet me at the door and come when I called him.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. M. L. Kappa says:

    Oh Charles I’m so sorry. We haven’t got a cat at the moment, but the last two each lived to a ripe old age (20 plus and about 16!) and would follow us on all our walk like dogs, jumping from tree to tree and playing at hide and seek with the dog (with whom they’d share a bed.) They’ll came when called and were such fun.
    You’ll miss him terribly…

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Krissy says:

    My heart is heavy for you both. They touch our lives just like our fellow humans in my opinion. The know love and they love us so. We are pet free currently, yet I have so many memories of all our pets that have now passed. Jake, who lived just one month short of 19 years…was my quirky Siamese cat. Gosh I have so many memories–he loved to chase and retrieve a wadded up ball of paper. When we lived in Nebraska and Jake was young we would load him up into our little car with our two big dogs and take them all out to my husbands grandparents farm. They would all run through the fields. Grandpa had the back 80 in CRP, and had mowed paths for walking through out the 80 acres. People got such a kick out of seeing our small Ford Escort with a Rottweiler, a Red Doberman, and a beautiful blue point Siamese cat all along for the ride.
    I hope that Darwin’s memories can warm your heart.
    Take care and thank you for sharing!
    Bend, Oregon

    Liked by 1 person

  4. bbnewsab says:

    What a moving story! So full of love and sympathetic kind- & warmheartedness! Who can read this post without getting tears in his/her eyes?

    According to the Kübler-Ross Grief Cycle (see below) you, KK, and your wife Eileen seem to be in the middle of stage 5 and beginning to enter stage #6 at the moment. Maybe stage #5 is the hardest and toughest stage to endure.

    I really hope that you both soon will reach stage #7.

    Here are the seven stages of grief according to the Swiss doctor Elizabeth Kübler-Ross:

    1) Shock stage*: Initial paralysis at hearing the bad news.

    2) Denial stage: Trying to avoid the inevitable.

    3) Anger stage: Frustrated outpouring of bottled-up emotion.

    4) Bargaining stage: Seeking in vain for a way out.

    5) Depression stage: Final realization of the inevitable.

    6) Testing stage*: Seeking realistic solutions.

    7) Acceptance stage: Finally finding the way forward.

    BTW, the other day I read some interesting stuff about the inner life of our feline friends: .

    I recommend you and Eileen to read that Q&A post. I dare say that at least some of the comments/answers are consoling for grieving minds like yours. Cf. the comments below your own post (and above my own comment), KK, by Dinata Misovec and M.L. Kappa.

    The message in the Q&A post/article seems to be that cats are, indeed, capable of feeling gratitude. An emotion that indicates higher cognitive complexity can be found – and is taking place – in a cat’s brain.

    I just think of your own words, KK, in your post above: “[Darwin] regained consciousness and relative alertness. He held his head up and looked around. He held on to my arm and looked me in the eyes.”

    I’m convinced those eyes you saw at that moment, KK, expressed gratitude. It even reminds me of a peculiar phenomenon called Terminal Lucidity. Read more about TL here: .

    Finally, I have a question to you, KK: Has Darwin’s brother, Einstein, showed any strange reactions? Does he seem to miss his brother and playmate? I’m curious to know, because the other week I saw this touching video of a motherdog burying her stillborn pup: .

    At least sometimes our pets behave as human-like as we humans ourselves do.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. clanton1934 says:

      Thank you PV for such a sensitive response with such empathy. I will carefully re-read your kind words review your references. Yes, Darwin’s brother, Einstein was very affected. He saw the body and watched as my son wrapped Darwin a shroud. I think he looks around the house for him. Einstein is staying closer to my wife.
      There is no doubt in my mind that our pet cars and dogs have the same feelings and many of the skills we consider as human. ( Sapolsky & our posts) Furthermore, they are far, far better at a vital quality, that is “living-in-the-present-time! ( re-read:”Three Dog Life by Abigail Thomas”).
      Thank you, K

      Liked by 1 person

  5. bbnewsab says:

    Thank you, KK, not only for your blogpost but also your comment above!

    I just re-read your post “Three Dog Life” ( ), and I now feel I just have to recommend other followers of this beautiful blog, so full of thoughts and emotions worth considering, to read (or re-read) that same blog post.

    And if there is enough time, why not also read this article: ? In it, Michael Robbins, ponders this topic: “Why cats are [sometimes] better than people.

    Here is an appetizer, a paragraph, taken from that essay:

    And Perdita [, my cat,] makes me smile every day. She runs to greet me when I come home, and she flops at my feet in the morning to be petted. She loves boxes and balled-up pages of the Nation. She is afraid of vacuum cleaners and tornado sirens. She lies on her back in squares of sunshine with her paws in the air and looks perfectly ridiculous and content. My friend Kristen tells her cat Mouse each morning that he’s her best friend, which is the sort of behavior that makes non-cat-people roll their eyes. But there’s something to it. Perdita and I don’t discuss novels or anything, but we really are friends.

    Even though Darwin didn’t use to discuss novels with you, KK, or your wife Eileen, I’m sure he brought sunshine into your lives. He was, indeed, your beloved friend, showing both of you unconditional love, all the time.

    It’s easy to understand how terrible it must have been for you, KK, to have to tell your wife Eileen this awful sentence (consisting of just four words): “We’ve lost him.”

    And then you finalize your moving blogpost/eulogy by telling us, the members of your Readers & Writers Tribe (RWT), in an unusually pithy, laconic and concise way, “There was not a dry eye between us for a long, long time”.

    What an understatement! There is no doubt this must have been an extremely stressful event for both you, KK, and your wife Eileen. As a doctor you are certainly well acquainted with the broken heart syndrome. So, please, continue listen to your heart, both literally and symbolically. And take care of yourselves.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Katy Adams says:

    I read your story about Darwin with complete understanding as I have always felt the same way about the cats we have loved. I believe we experience a little bit of heaven every time we pet and talk to our beloved cats. They teach us about unconditional love and being kind in every interaction.


    Liked by 2 people

    1. clanton1934 says:

      Thank you Katy! Merry Christmas, c. 🎀🎀🎀


  7. bbnewsab says:

    I just noticed that we can now listen to one instrumental and one vocal version of the tune “Every Time We Say Goodbye”.

    In the instrumental version we can hear KK’s and Eileen’s son Steven playing the saxophone. This instrument accentuates the sadness of the words in the lyrics. It’s almost as if the saxophone itself is crying when performing the melody, thus symbolizing the sorrow and gloominess that must be felt by Charles and his wife these days.

    Diana Krall, in her version, sings the lyrics of the same melody in a dull, gloomy, and cheerless voice, thereby conveying the same message as Steven’s saxophone does, but by using words

    To fully understand the semantic content of the lyrics, here are the words:

    Everytime we say goodbye, I die a little,
    Everytime we say goodbye, I wonder why a little,
    Why the Gods above me, who must be in the know.
    Think so little of me, they allow you to go.

    When you’re near, there’s such an air of spring about it,
    I can hear a lark somewhere, begin to sing about it,
    There’s no love song finer, but how strange the change from major to
    Everytime we say goodbye.

    When you’re near, there’s such an air of spring about it,
    I can hear a lark somewhere, begin to sing about it,
    There’s no love song finer, but how strange the change from major to
    Everytime we say goodbye.

    To me it’s evident that KK and his wife Eileen are still in the middle of the despairing mourning process and consider the decease of a very cherished member of the Rogers family as extremely painful.

    The loss of Darwin the cat is felt in their hearts. Obviously they feel that what happened is similar to – at least to some extent, and now I quote from the lyrics – “to die a little” themselves.

    And that, my friends and members of the RWT “family group”, means that our Medicine man KK and his wife Eileen must be two persons with extremely loving and caring hearts.

    I strongly recommend all members of the RWT Community to listen to both the available versions of the melody “Every time we say goodbye”. It’s worth it.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Aquileana says:

    I Love cats so much and tend to interact a lot with them…
    I truly believe that cats are special and have abilities such as feeling our sadness… and understanding our thoughts, somehow…
    Cats go to heaven and I sure yours is there.
    Thanks for sharing. Merry Christmas and all my best wishes to you. Aquileana 🎄

    Liked by 2 people

    1. clanton1934 says:

      I’m so pleased we share our appreciation and love for cats. Our family has had a dozen in the past 3 decades. Our children learned unconditional love from their personal pet cats; also respect for another soul. (perhaps a future post) All my best to you my new friend!🌹🎀

      Liked by 1 person

  9. bbnewsab says:

    I know it is a bit ill-timed to wish you, KK, and your wife Eileen, a Merry Christmas, bearing in mind the loss of Darwin, your “angelic” cat the other day.

    But at the same time I’m convinced that Darwin, if possible, would have wanted you to feel happy and not being sad.

    After all, what happened pertains, in some ways, to the rules of life here on Earth.

    Death is an intrinsic part of life. It’s inevitable – sooner or later.

    No matter how you look at the creation story and life in the Garden of Eden as told in Genesis.

    According to this article – – scientists know of only one species that can live forever (outside of Heaven or Hell). But then at the same time I have to confess, that I prefer being a mortal human rather than being an immortal jellyfish. That’s my free choice, so to speak.

    Back now to Darwin. I also think, IF he had the possibility and ability to do so, that when his eyes met yours, KK, in his last moments of conscious life, those eyes were expressing gratitude for all you and Eileen had done to him. Maybe he, in that moment, even remembered all the delicious shrimps you gave him, by hand feeding him, when he had lost his appetite.

    To get shrimps to eat must be a heavenly experience for any cat.

    So I dare wish you, KK & Eileen, if not a Merry, so, at least, a Happy Christmas Holiday. And a Happy New Year 2016, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. clanton1934 says:

      Thank you so much! We are already have a wonderful and happy holiday season. My son (teacher) has been with me the past two days teach me how to edit music for the Internet with Audacity program. (25 years I taught him to assemble a PC from parts; now he zips around computing over my head) We are grateful for what we have and were very fortunate to have had Darwin for 4 years. Merry Christmas, PV 🎀🎀🎀K

      Liked by 2 people

  10. bbnewsab says:

    Can I borrow your son after you? I, too, need lots of help. What about a free trip for him in my private jet plane (Swedish Air Force #2), to Sweden, and back to the U.S, again. Plus $30,000 a day? Or does he want even more? 🙂

    Merry Christmas greetings to your sons as well. And to Einstein.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. clanton1934 says:

      Well, he is in great demand! (Take a number, like at the butcher shop; and why can’t you get Swedish Air Force # One???😱


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