Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a
twelve-year old seal point siamese named Belkah.

The cat's owners; Ron, his wife Lisa and their little
boy Shane
, were all very attached to Belkah and they were hoping for a
. I examined Belkah and found he was dying of cancer. I told the  family
there was
no more miracles left for Belkah and offered to perform the  euthanasia
procedure for their cat in their home.

As we  made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they
thought it would be good for the
four-year-old Shane to observe the
procedure. They felt Shane could learn  something from the experience. The next day I
felt the familiar catch in my throat as
Belkah's family surrounded him. Shane
seemed so calm,
petting the kitty for the last time that I wondered if he
understood what was going  on. Within a few minutes,
Belkah slipped peacefully
. The little boy seemed to accept Belkah's transition without any
difficulty or confusion.

We sat together for a while after Belkah's death,
wondering aloud about
the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human
. Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, "I  know why."

Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his
mouth next stunned me - I'd never heard a more comforting explanation: 


He said:

 "Everybody is born so that they can learn how to live a good life... like
loving everybody and being nice, right?"
The four-year-old continued: 
"Well, animals already
know how to do that, so they don't have to stay as long."

(author unknown)