Sunday 25 January 2009

Buried with Your Cat

Being buried with your cat is illegal in the State of Washington, it seems (this is after your death by the way!). Which brings to mind a host of thoughts about how we would like be put to rest on our death. Lots of people are cremated (sorry if this is a bit morbid but people think of these things, at least I do) and they cremate their cats too. I would like my cremated cats to be with me on my death. My first cat who died about 15 years ago was cremated and is with me in an urn. When my current cat passes over the rainbow bridge she will be cremated and join my first cat in the urn and so on. When I go to join them I insist that I will be next to them in that urn and the ashes mixed together and kept in an urn.

Pet cemetery in Ireland
Pet Cemetery in Ireland -- something different. It would be nice for some people to be in the same cemetery and in the same box as their cats. Photo by Ivan JRG

But back to being buried next to your cat or your cat being buried next to you - I am surprised that is is illegal in Washington. Maybe some States allow it? (yes, see below). What reason can there be? As far as I remember in ancient times in Egypt people liked to be buried with their cat. The trouble was the cat was still alive.....! Actually I am not sure that is true and I am sorry to be frivolous about it.

Being buried with your cat is a beautiful thing to happen and a Senator (Jacobsen) has introduced a Bill to make it legal in Washington. Apparently cemetery owners are opposed because they have to deal with people of all cultures and in some cultures it is forbidden to be buried near animals. One has to respect that but it seems wrong to me. On what logical basis can an argument be made out for that?

There is though the problem of opening a grave to then inter the deceased dead cat. I have not read Jacobsen's Bill but maybe the answer is a compromise in that a person could be buried with his/her cat provided the cat is cremated. That would or should satisfy the culture problem as one is only burying ashes. And as cats live much shorter lives that people it is unlikely that is would be necessary for a grave to be opened for a cat to join the deceased person. The cats ashes would simply be with the person in the coffin.

Apparently, the only State in the US allowing being buried with your cat (or of course any pet) is Florida. There is a big divide here. Some people who keep pets would still feel uncomfortable being buried with them. I just don't get that. Except some people keep pets in a way that is different to others. Some actually live with their cats, talk and engage with them. Others keep pets and cats in the same way they possess furniture and a car. The latter person will possibly be the one who would argue against being buried with your cat. The pet burial bill is Senate Bill 5063. Thanks to

Being Buried with Your Cat to Home Page

Presidio Pet Cemetery, San Francisco Photograph - Beautiful 16"x20" Photographic Print by Carol M. Highsmith

Photo published under creative commons:

1 comment:

  1. hi there:

    I think having your cat buried with you should be up to you if that is what you want and if in a pet urn then there should not be any problem you would think. The body of the cat is already in its own container so the two should should never meet. This you would think satisfy the laws. I sell pet urns on my web site and I enjoyed your story on people wanting to have their pets buried with them. They are after all a family member.


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