Will Muffles Burn?

DEAR REVEREND: Yesterday I took my kitten Muffles to see Dr. Sligo, our veterinarian, and was shocked to learn that she has been wallowing in kitty sin! Dr. Sligo explained that abortion-- while inconceivable for humans--is smiled upon by God when used to control the cat population. I hate abortion, but I fear that Muffles' tiny offspring would grow up to lead lives of wanton recklessness, judging from the behavior of their very, very naughty mother. Should Muffles undergo the procedure, or should she take responsibility for her actions?

Agnes, Wilsonville.

DEAR AGNES: Many are the paradoxes of Christian pet ownership. Knowing our pets have no souls, should we still expect them to kneel in prayer? Is the body of Christ anything more than a doggy treat to them? Can our pets be buried beside us in orthodox graveyards? Or would that be considered "lying down with beasts?"

But above all, Christian pet owners want to know if they will be reunited with their beloved dachshunds, siameses, anacondas, and sea monkeys in the pearly posthumous paradise. Alas, salvation is no more easily achieved by dumb animals than by wise Adventists. If you hope to stroke your beloved Muffles in the afterlife, tether her today to the straight and narrow pet-path! Firstly, you must find the tomcat who fathered this illegitimate litter, and convince him to enter with Muffles in holy wedlock. Secondly, the kittens must be baptized and given Christian names. Thirdly, the whole lot of them must be spayed and neutered to blunt their beastly fornicativity. Many Christian veterinarians will perform the surgery, delivery, and wedding ceremony for a single lump sum--consult your local Pearly Pages directory of Christian businesses in your area.

But your responsibilities don't end there, Agnes. You must provide a better example for the pets in your life to follow. Where, I wonder, did Muffles learn her habits of easy pleasure and sinful excess? Certainly not from the Bible. I suggest you and your new extended family enroll in a Bible Study course tailored to the needs of loose, excitable women and their pets. It's not too late for Muffles, or for you, to rub against the gates of Heaven and spray the sofa of salvation.