Thursday, December 29, 2011

Is Cheetah With the Lord?

Maureen O'Sullivan ("Jane"),
Cheetah ("Cheetah"), &
Johnny Weissmuller ("Tarzan")
If I close my eyes I can hear Johnny Weissmuller's "Tarzan" voice, and the sounds "Cheetah" the chimpanzee made. I am sure, as a kid, I watched every Tarzan movie, in black-and-white.

That was a long time ago! Today I read in the nytimes that Cheetah died, at age 80.

"Cheetah, a chimpanzee who was one of the most famous animal stars of the 1930s and appeared with Johnny Weissmuller in such Depression-era adventure films as “Tarzan the Ape Man” and “Tarzan and His Mate,” has died, The Tampa Tribune reported. Debbie Cobb, the outreach director at the Suncoast Primate Sanctuary in Palm Harbor, Fla., where Cheetah lived, told The Tribune that Cheetah was about 80 years old and died of kidney failure on Saturday."

Cobb said Cheetah was "very compassionate," an "outgoing ape with a gentle personality, who had long outlived the 35 to 45 years that chimpanzees typically survive in captivity."

Apparently, Cheetah knew the Lord. Cobb said "Cheetah was soothed by Christian music and also enjoyed fingerpainting and football, though she was unsure if the chimpanzee had any favorite teams."

How theological shall we get here? When Christ returns, he comes to restore all creation. There will be a new, recreated heavens and earth. That includes Cheetah, and your pet dog.

In addition, Jesus doesn't have any favorite football teams. So I think the chimp got it right.