What is normal when it comes to pet remains? Cremation vs. Burial

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  1. profile image0
    girly_girl09posted 13 years ago

    My beloved 18 year old cat, Pokey, has almost died. We thought she had passed a few hours ago, but she is still holding on. What a tough day; my cat that I've cherished since I was a toddler is almost gone. Phew.

    My mother is bringing her to the vets tomorrow morning to be put down because we think she is in pain (loud yowling, very lame movement in her hind legs all of a sudden). i feel terrible & a bit selfish that she is doing this all alone but I simply can't bring myself to go. I said goodbye to my kitty tonight.

    I want to have Pokey cremated, as opposed to buried. She used to come with us in the summer to our summer cottage on the coast and she loved the ocean. I want to have her cremated and have an urn to keep some of her ashes in and the rest sprinkled into the ocean. My mother thinks it is "unnatural and weird" and "definitely not healthy."

    What are your experiences with this? As of now, we've agreed to keep her ashes but keeping some of them in an urn is still being deemed as "really weird" by the household. Some, if not all, of the ashes will definitely be spread at the ocean.

    I personally want an urn with some of her ashes so I can bring her remains with me no matter where I go in life. Is that really weird? A google search turned up tons of pet urns so I don't think it is totally unheard of. My only concern is that if I had an urn, it'd make me think of her every time I saw it, which in turn would be painful for at least a while.

    Thanks for listening (I figured posting this on a pet forum would ensure that people would be understanding to the situation) Not everyone has had a pet and those folks simply won't get it. smile I grew up an only child so I was *incredibly* close with this cat. I'm thankful that I have another cat, too, named Bentley, but it is still so hard to grieve over my 18 year old one!

    Basically, my questions are:
    What is normal when it comes to pet remains?
    Have you cremated or buried?
    If you cremated, did you keep the ashes and spread them or simply let the vets take care of them?
    If you did keep the ashes in an urn, do you regret doing so because of the memories that seeing the urn evokes?

    1. profile image0
      wordscribe41posted 13 years ago

      First of all, I am so sorry to hear your cat isn't doing well.  You're right, a lot of people just don't get the emotional attachment.  I lost my dear cat in March of 2008 and then my dog on Halloween of this year.  I was so upset about the cat, I literally couldn't deal with anything having to do with his remains.  He was cremated at the vet.  I regretted that wholeheartedly later.  I felt nothing was left for me to hold onto except some hair I kept.  I truly wish I would have kept his ashes in a urn.

      I don't think there's any "normal" when it comes to pet remains.  I think it has to do with each individual's wishes.  A friend of mine hauls her dog remains in the car everywhere she goes because that was the dog's favorite place to be.  Some people might think that's a little weird or unorthodox, I however completely understand.

      We brought home the ashes of our dog and I'm very happy we have them.  It's funny, but we still don't have an urn.  They came in a nice box and we go back and forth about what to do with them.  Sometimes I want to spread them around the yard, but then I worry I'll regret it if we move.  They were very hard to look at initially.  Picking them up at the vet's was a traumatic day.  It seems we've decided to keep them and have been shopping around for urns.

      I highly recommend getting a paw print of your kitty.  They did this for us and it's a really happpy memory.  The only hard part was knowing the impression was made after Maddie had died.

      Keep us posted on how she's doing.  I feel for you, I really do.  I have a 17 year old girl in kidney failure, it's very difficult.  Don't feel guilty about not going to the vets.  It's okay, it really is.  I was with both of my pets when they were put down and I'm not sure it was the best thing.  I still have that image of them taking their last breath.

      So sorry.

    2. profile image0
      girly_girl09posted 13 years ago

      Thank you so much for your response. It's 2 a.m. here right now and I don't want to wake my mom up, but I'm going to leave her a note, asking her to see if the vet can get a paw print. I would really love that.

      I feel so guilty because Pokey can barely walk today but she tried to come into my room and sleep on the floor tonight. We picked her up and brought her into Mom's room because I can't stand to see her dead, if she is to go during the night. I said goodbye to her tonight and know that I'll never see her again. I hate leaving her alone, but I sat with her for a while and just can't anymore. We thought she died earlier and I actually started hyperventilating (never had that happen before!) at the sight of her still body. I think she may have stopped breathing for a while, because it seriously appeared she was dead.

      Thanks for sharing your experiences about the ashes. My mother just thinks they are creepy, I guess. I've been thinking about this situation for a while (she is 18, so I've been trying to prepare) and have always thought that having ashes would be a good idea. I definitely want to spread a little at the ocean and keep the rest in an urn. I'm assuming that when they cremate her, they'll give us a little box and I can shop for urns later on.

      Good luck with your kitty that is in kidney failure, I read your article the other day. It sounds like you have done all that you can and that you definitely prolonged it's life!

      Thanks again for reading and for your response. It was VERY helpful to me! Hopefully they can do a paw print. smile

    3. profile image0
      wordscribe41posted 13 years ago

      I will hope they can do the paw print, too.  There are companies that work with vets to provide this service, it really is nice.  Again, I am so sorry.  I feel teary just reading about your night.  What a lucky cat to have humans who love her so much.  I hope you can get some sleep, it's all so much harder when you're physically tired on top of emotionally drained.  Let me know what happens.  You are in my thoughts.

    4. earnestshub profile image87
      earnestshubposted 13 years ago

      I think that whatever you decide to do will be OK. I am sorry for your situation. On the bright side, you are one of the lucky people who can feel deep affection for animals, and for that the whole world should be grateful. More power to you whatever you decide to do!

    5. profile image0
      girly_girl09posted 13 years ago

      Thank you both so much for your responses. My mom has brought her to the vets, but I'm not sure if she had already died at home or was put to sleep there...I don't think I really want to know.

      Very strange to wake up and not have her near my door meowing, that is for sure. She was a great little cat and I'm thankful to have had her for so long; a good 80%+ of my life!

      1. profile image0
        wordscribe41posted 13 years agoin reply to this

        Oh, that's so hard.  I remember after my cat died last year all the funny things I missed that I couldn't anticipate.  Do you have any other pets you could snuggle up with? Did you get any sleep last night?

    6. LondonGirl profile image79
      LondonGirlposted 13 years ago

      All of ours were buried in the garden, with markers.

    7. geminimoon profile image61
      geminimoonposted 13 years ago

      Do what ever feels right for YOU!  In my own opinion cremation is perfect, yoy can keep your cat in a nice pretty urn and take it with you anywhere, anytime.  My dad was cremated in 2001 and my mom still has him sitting on her dresser.  We take turns keeping him, at her house then mine.  It's very comforting to have around.  Some day we will scatter his ashes up in the mountains some where, but when we are ready. Just do what is right for YOU.

    8. profile image0
      girly_girl09posted 13 years ago

      Thanks for the additional responses. The vet is giving us two paw prints  of her and will call when her remains are ready. Luckily there is a place in my state that specializes in pet urns (how unique!) so when I'm ready, I will go and look at their selection of them.

      1. profile image0
        wordscribe41posted 13 years agoin reply to this

        I'm so glad you're getting the paw prints.  This must be an awful day for you.  I hope you have lots of support.

        1. profile image0
          girly_girl09posted 13 years agoin reply to this

          Thank you, it has been hard but I am feeling a lot better about everything. Luckily I had no classes or other commitments today, so I'm able to just relax and sleep and watch movies all day.

          It's really interesting because we have two other cats, Bentley and Lily. Bentley has always been really affectionate, so it's completely normal that he is cuddled up on my bed with me right now watching movies. Our other cat, Lily, is REALLY skittish. She is a sweetie, but never comes into my room or gets on my lap or anything. Guess what? She has been sleeping at the edge of my bed all day with me. It's really incredible that she'd have the sense to do that. big_smile

    9. profile image55
      1twoknowposted 13 years ago

      I am sorry to read about your impending loss...Obviously you must be a very loving and giving individual...I have buried numerous of our pets tru the years ranging from a 190 pound bloodhound to a mouse that must have weighed just a few ounces...it certainly does't get any easier regardless of the pet...however you must follow your heart and do what's best for you...

    10. profile image0
      wordscribe41posted 13 years ago

      girly_girl:  How are you faring after your loss?  I hope you are okay.

      1. profile image0
        girly_girl09posted 13 years agoin reply to this

        Hi there! I just saw this post.

        Thanks so much for checking in. That is really sweet of you! smile

        Today has definitely been the easiest day yet. So things are getting better.

        My two other kitties realize she is gone now, I think. They are acting really quiet and not eating a lot (highly unusual for both of them!).

        I knew I had pictures somewhere and finally found some old ones of Pokey & me when she was a kitten & I was a little girl, so those are pretty special to look at. smile

    11. profile image48
      badcompany99posted 13 years ago

      Cremation for me just in case I wake up !

      1. profile image0
        girly_girl09posted 13 years agoin reply to this

        hey, it's happened before! lol How on earth people have been buried alive, I have no idea, but it definitely has happened. Although, I doubt it's happened in the last decade or so. smile

        1. profile image0
          lrigognamposted 13 years agoin reply to this

          Don't laugh. Jesus did the right thing.

        2. profile image0
          wordscribe41posted 13 years agoin reply to this

          I'm glad you're alright.  Those pictures were hard for me to look at initially, but now I cherish them.  I'm a little irritated with my new puppy for chewing my favorite picture of my cat I lost last year. 

          Glad things are on the up and up!

    12. psycheskinner profile image81
      psycheskinnerposted 8 years ago

      Both burial and cremation are totally normal options. It is about what feels right for the owner.


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