My cat Jerry got hit by a car about two weeks ago. I don’t know for sure what exactly happened, as Jerry left the house in the morning and never came back.
In my neighbourhood, it happens all the time that cats get hit by cars and that the drivers throw the cat into the trash cans. I am sure that this is what happened to Jerry because she wasn’t the type to run away or even stay away for more than a couple of hours. And, as crazy as it may sound, people do mourn for their pets. And so did I.
Kabbalah teaches that many people have a Neshama. Meaning a higher soul level. However, plants and animals also have a soul level called Nefesh. The Nefesh level is lower than the Neshama level, as a Nefesh only thinks of desires such as food, drink or pleasure. The very basic existential desires.
A Neshama level also wants a connection with G – d. These people don’t only consider pleasure, money or food as their life but also strive for spirituality.
In Judaism we believe in the reincarnation of souls. Not every Jewish soul will be reincarnated and sometimes it is only a part of the soul that needs to be reincarnated in order to reach its final destination in the World to Come (Olam HaBah). Jewish Kabbalists teach that there are different levels of reincarnations and that Jewish souls can also get reincarnated in animals, plants or stones. Those three kinds or reincarnation would serve as a punishment.
After my cat died I thought about this concept and hopefully I was able to help a Jewish soul being reincarnated in Jerry. Just in case there was a reincarnation.
We were together for almost three years and I hope that a lost soul may have found its place in Olam HaBah.
By the way, the Zohar (Book of Splendor) teaches a lot about this subject in Parashat Ki Tisa (with the Golden Calf).