ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Make a Pet Coffin

Updated on March 7, 2012

If you've read the other articles in this series, you'll know that I recently had to put my cat to sleep. You'll also know that it affected me profoundly enough to write so many articles on the subject. This one may seem a bit more morbid and odd than the others, but it's probably one of the most significant things I did for my cat before I buried her. Obviously, there are no rules for this, beyond that of following your own heart. I'm simply stating my experience in case it might help someone else who, like me, found themselves doing this for the first time since childhood -- and having no idea what they did back then, but knowing that they wanted to make this count for something.

Pet Caskets: Creating vs Buying

I was totally unaware that beautiful, handmade pet caskets exist. But even if I had been, they aren't available in this country. If they were, I would have certainly considered purchasing one, but I'm quite content with the one I made. If you can afford to purchase a pet casket, and if you feel compelled to do so, then, by all means, do it. But if you can't, or if you're not keen on the idea for whatever reason, do not feel obligated. Your pet is not going to be angry at you, regardless of your decision. What matters is that you do the best you can with what you can.

If you're handy with wood, you may want to create your own box. If you're like me (and not handy with wood, tools, or anything manly) than you'll probably need to settle on a regular box. In my case, I was burying a small cat and a suitable box was very easy to find. If you've got a large pet, this may be more difficult. I recommend visiting a local moving company to see if they've got an appropriately sized and sturdy box for you to use.

Final Touches

  • I'd said my goodbyes the night before, but there's an inherent feeling of guilt that accompanies the decision of putting a pet to sleep. I dealt with some of this by writing a letter to her, sealing it with a heart sticker and placing it between the bed and the box itself.

  • I gave myself a few moments (give yourself as long as you need -- it's important) to look at her in the box as she lay there, and to say one last goodbye before I closed the box. I then sealed it with very strong electrical tape, reinforcing the edges.

  • You may want to write something on the outside of the box, such as your pet's name. Or, you may want to simply create or purchase a pet memorial stone to serve that purpose.

Making the Coffin

In the case of my cat, I sat down for a moment and thought about what meant something to her. She loved her little cat bed and, as it happened, that cat bed fit perfectly into the box. I'd taken that cat bed with me to the vet and she slept in it before she was put to sleep, so I felt that that was an appropriate item to keep in the box -- and far more easy to see, than just setting her down in an empty box.

Because I didn't want anything slipping around in the box while I carried it, I looked around for something to fill the gaps with. I happened to have a good deal of beautiful colored tissue paper and so that's what I used. If you know cats, you know they love that stuff (and boxes, as well) so this all seemed highly appropriate.

I happen to love stickers and had a lot of Valentine's Day themed stickers at the time. I used these to cover the inside of her box, because, obviously, the outside of the box would be irrelevant.

Her body was still pliable at the time, and I set her down in the bed in such a way that she really looked very much as though she was just sleeping. I cannot tell you how much better it felt to see her this way before I closed the box, than if I'd simply left her body at the clinic for someĀ  type of disposal.

Burying Without a Box

In some cases, people may wish to give their pet a more "natural" burial and simply place them directly into the ground. If you're comfortable with this, I've nothing against it, but do be aware that once the body starts to decompose, this may attract scavenging animals more easily. A specially designed bag may be helpful to ward this type of thing off. Personally, I cringe at the idea of placing a deceased pet in a plastic bag, but this may be necessary in cases where the animal is too large for a box, or if the owner has some aversion to caskets or boxes for personal reasons.

In short, there is no wrong way to bury your pet. What matters most is that you take the time to put your heart into whichever method you choose.

Comments

Submit a Comment

No comments yet.

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)