Excerpted from the article Advice on Benefiting Animals by Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche:
It’s not enough that you keep the animals and they give you comfort. You must do something of practical benefit for them. This is what you can do every day:
Take them around holy objects — circumambulate. Everyday you can put on a table many tsa-tsas and statues, and take the animal around chanting mantras at the same time. This way it also helps the person who carries the animal around.
Recite prayers in their ears, verbally, to plant the seed of all the realizations of the path to enlightenment.
This makes a huge difference. It has inconceivable result, unbelievable result. That makes them have a good rebirth next life, to be born as a human being and meet the Dharma.
But I’ve always kind of thought just the opposite.
Being a human being is hard. I like to think if we live a good life and do our best, perhaps the gods will take pity on us and let us live our next life as a nice woman’s lap-cat, to give us a chance to catch our breath.
I’m not really convinced that being human is the top of the pyramid, anyway. As Don Marquis once pointed out, to a mosquito we’re just something to eat.
And I’m pretty sure cats think that they are the species to aspire to.