Dealing with the death of a pet is an excellent way for a child to learn about death. My family has had many burials by flush for loyal fish. There was deep mourning for the rescued baby rabbits, and everyone was sad when Happy, my sister’s childhood companion, went to her reward after 20 years of living a luxurious lifestyle, traveling several times a year to the Palm Beaches and summering in Cashiers, North Carolina.
My beautiful longhair gray, Georgie W, twin sister of Doc Holiday, lost a lengthy battle with liver failure today. Doc doesn’t appear to be handling her loss well and is spending quite a bit of time with me.
GeorgieW was the most beautiful girl in the world. Dr. Franklin, her physician, said she was the snootiest cat he had ever encountered. She was very proud and terribly aloof. There were few people she would ever even associate with, let alone have them catch a glimpse of her. Once in awhile she would allow me to scratch her, right at the corner of her back and her absolutely magnificent tail.
She had the most exquisite tail any feline has ever possessed. It was as long as she and, when fluffed, was at least seven inches of soft, silky, feathery fur. She was terribly proud of her tail; quite vain actually. She always took great pains with her appearance. Only once was it necessary for me to remove a mat from her magnificent hair.
It is difficult to lose a beloved pet. There are a few cold-hearted people in the world who think the loss of a pet is nothing. There are those who act worse about losing a pet than they would a human in their lives. There is nothing wrong with mourning the loss of a beloved pet. After all, there are times when pets are much better than people!
When we lose them, we mourn, have a memorial, find a pet cemetery, or even have the deceased cremated like a friend of mine did with her beloved cat. Her ashes (the cat’s, not my friend’s) are in an urn on the mantle in her bedroom. Our family has a small pet cemetery where two dogs, Clancy and Donavan, and cats Gracie, Siggy, and now Georgie, are resting. A friend who is a local potter makes matching plaques for each one of them.