Monday 28 April 2014

Are They Your Cat’s Ashes?

Are They Your Cat’s Ashes?

The link above takes you to an essay about the cremation of a domestic cat but it covers a lot more than that so make a cup of tea before you start reading it.

As I understood the article, the message is that you might not be given your cat's ashes even when you ask for an individual cremation at an established pet crematorium.

This may not worry people but it would worry me.  Although, it has to be said that once an animal or a human being is cremated there is no vestige whatsoever remaining of that person or animal.  There is no DNA in the ashes.  Ashes are ashes and they could be the ashes of a piece of wood or a piece of flesh or bone.  There are all the same.

Therefore, if you request an individual pet cremation you are doing so for entirely emotional reasons because what you receive back is an emotional connection with your lost cat but it is not a direct physical connection as nothing of her or him remains after cremation.

That said, an emotional connection is extremely important and therefore there is a lot of value in asking for an individual cremation and taking her ashes back with you to your home and placing them in an urn.

However, if you place a value on an individual pet cremation is probably wise to supervise the whole process from beginning to end by observing it.  Only then will you be sure that your pet has been cremated by herself and what you receive is her remains.

This is exactly what I did with my two lost cats who passed some years ago.  Individual creations are obviously much more expensive than a standard cremation, which is something that should be borne in mind but, as far as I am concerned, it is money well spent.

A lot of people will simply ask their veterinarian to euthanise their cat and then deal with the body.  Personally, and I'm not being critical of anybody, that is unfeeling or insensitive and possibly reflects the relationship that the person had with their cat.  I don't know.

I do know, however, that it does bring me comfort emotionally to have my two cats' ashes with me.  When I die I will be cremated and my ashes will be mixed with theirs and then they can be scattered at a place that I treasure or, if I have a partner at that time, she can take the ashes home with her if he wishes.

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