2464. Crossing the Styx
© Bruce Goodman 27 June 2022


Over the course of a lengthy life Carmel had had five cats. She had only ever had one at a time, and each had lived for a reasonable number of years. Only Tallulah had died young from cancer.

And now it was Carmel’s turn to pass away. The specialists had given their prognosis. It gave Carmel a little time to prepare. “I do hope,” said Carmel, “that they allow cats in Heaven and I shall have the joy of once again seeing my sweet five.”

They were almost her last words on earth. They were certainly her first words after death. She told the man rowing the boat across the River Styx, “I do hope that they allow cats in Heaven and I shall have the joy of once again seeing my sweet five.”

“You’ll be lucky,” said the man rowing the boat.

Carmel wasn’t sure how to interpret the man’s statement. Did it mean a yes or a no? That is why she repeated to the nice man at the Pearly Gates, “I do hope that they allow cats in Heaven and I shall have the joy of once again seeing my sweet five.”

“Only one cat per person is allowed,” said the man at the gate.

Carmel returned to the man in the row boat. “Take me to the other place,” she said.

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