This story was inspired by the people who like to predict the Rapture and by the fact that I had to take my cat Hazel to the Animal Emergency Clinic at 1:00 AM on May 21, 2011 a day that was toted as the Rapture.

It started harmlessly. One lone voice on the radio warning of the Rapture. The low rumbling voice seemed to sooth as it terrified. We were all doomed. The End Was Coming and sooner than we thought. Of course most of us didn’t pay any heed. The believers and non-believers alike felt it was something to laugh at. No one could predict the end, the Bible said. Others felt it was no longer up to God: that Man in his own stupidity would destroy the world long before the true Rapture came. Most shook their heads and went about their business.

The day came and the preacher’s soothing voice screeched into our ears.

“Today is the day heathers! We can pray for your sins no longer! Believers rejoice! We shall see the end of our suffering!”

As the time approached we celebrated the end of all things as we saw fit. Some partied and laughed at the ridiculousness of the situation. Some prayed for forgiveness but most simply went about their lives. Rapture? What Rapture? What did it really mean?

6:00 PM May 21, 2011. The end came but most forgot. Shelter workers were the first to notice. The sounds of barking ceased as the second hand hit twelve. Dogs and cats vanished off operating room tables, out of caring arms, out of cages. Vets, vet techs, volunteers grew very worried as they slowly started to realize that all the dogs and cats in their care had vanished, leaving nothing to indicate their former presence but their collars.

Those with pets noticed next. They wandered about their houses, calling names, offering treats, checking windows and doors to make sure Fluffy had not escaped. Checking yards and fences to make sure Fido was not in the street. Owners scratched their heads in wonder when they found flea collars, name tags and other pet clothing laying on the floor or ground as if discarded.

In the next few days, it became more and more obvious. All the cats and dogs were gone. The pets, the strays, indoor, outdoor, purebred and mutt. All were gone. The Rapture came as foretold, but not for the humans.

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