Cats, of course, are another matter entirely. Cats will not be in heaven for the same reason that Lucifer will not be in heaven: God casts down the proud. Clearly God created cats so we might better understand what devils are like and in a furry mirror see selfishness incarnate.
Before anyone reminds me that the Lord Jesus is called the Lion of Judah (and are not lions large cats?), I’ll simply note that lions are not cats; they are like cats, but awesome. Cats are simply like cats, which is to say, like the devil. If someone persists in drawing the equation between lions and cats, then I’ll simply note that Christ also likened himself to a thief in the night, and that does not require my approval of burglars.
Lynch and Webb both write as Roman Catholics, Hart as an Eastern Orthodox theologian. I write as an evangelical Protestant. What’s more, large portions of their essays deal in Thomistic metaphysics and discussions of hylomorphism, subjects which are, as the man said, above my paygrade.
While I have great admiration for Aquinas, I am no expert, so I will simply leave aside those aspects of the discussion and focus my attention on a subject I have done some thinking (and writing) about: the relationship between God and his creation, or, more specifically, the relationship between our delight in God and our delight in creation.