There have been a ton of books written on what happens to our beloved pets when they pass on. The bottom line is that all good pets go to Pet Heaven where they chase imaginary flies, fertilize perfectly manicured lawns at will and lick their privates while waiting for us to join them in the afterlife. The bad ones that routinely devoured mailmen, manuscripts and Manolo Blahniks go to a place called Pet Purgatory where they atone for their sins by watching on television the other good departed pets having sex on white, puffy clouds all while being fed grapes by Rin Tin Tin.

If you have ever read any of these fine literary tomes, you’ll easily spot one common thread: all the people giving testimonials on how their late furry friends have given them a sign from the afterlife, all inhale inordinate amounts of Magic Marker fumes.

Michele and I have never been sent anything even resembling a sign that our past brood is all right and loving the great beyond and, for the record, you couldn’t find better pet parents than we were. Little urns, complete with names and dates, cover our mantle and we acknowledge them every morning. Do we get one tiny sign? No, we don’t. Why? Because we clearly don’t sniff enough Magic Markers!

Just how badly do people want to believe that they’re actually getting messages from their deceased pets? Do they want to believe so much that they take any miniscule thing as a sign? I’ve done some extensive research on the subject during commercial breaks of a fifty-year old baseball game that the YES Network has been prone to show every night for the last four months, so I clearly qualify as an expert on the subject.

Here’s what Mary P. had to say about her communications with her recently departed Siamese feline Fluffy.

“I was sitting there all alone, just drinking a jug of wine when all of a sudden, I heard this distant meow. I looked all around and didn’t see anything. Just then, a leaf blew in through the window and I knew it must have been Fluffy telling me that she’s doing well and misses me.” What? A leaf that managed to blow in through the living room window must have been a message from her deceased cat? How much wine did Mary have anyway?

Susan from Olympia, Washington, had this to say.

“I cried myself to sleep for months, missing Mr. Fartypants so much. I often called his name hoping he would send me a sign that he was okay. Then, one night while I was taking my bath, the candle by the side of the tub just went out all by itself. I thought for sure it was a message that he was doing fine. Seconds later, I began to pick up what I thought was the scent of his wet fur as I remember it from giving him his weekly bath. However, my joy quickly turned to disappointment when I realized that it was only a pile of damp, moldy towels balled up in the corner. Just then, it happened: a sure sign had arrived. A bird came crashing into the window and I’m positive it was Mr. Fartypants telling me that he still loves me. I’m sure of it. He just wanted to tell me that he’s fine and that he’s forgiven me for those rare occasions when I fed him cut up Slim Jim’s telling him instead it was a new Alpo flavor.” It’s hard to dispute the story that Susan tells because, honestly, what could say “I love you,” more from a deceased pet than having a bird come crashing into your bathroom window?  It’s fairly obvious that Susan has cornered the market on Magic Markers but I also wondered aloud if she had been sharing a jug with Mary as well? As I’m sure we all know by now, wine and Magic Markers DO NOT MIX!

Can we be the only ones who have never gotten any kind of sign?  C’mon guys, show us something here. Make the lights flicker or put a little cat head indentation on our pillows, anything. We really want to know that you’re doing well in Pet Heaven. Hey wait a minute (cue Twilight Zone theme).  I’m hearing something. Is that the faucet dripping? It’s never dripped before. OH MY GOD!!!  Can it be? Yes, I hear it. I love you, too! Thank you. I love you. What’s that? You’re happy because you get to eat delicious heavenly mice and all the grass is really catnip?  I’m so happy! I love you guys!  We both miss you so much!  Thanks for the message. We love you!  Wait. You’re starting to fade. I can’t hear…Wait! Please don’t go. Just hang on and let me get a fresh marker!


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