HomeHuman to cat relationshipcremationAre They Your Cat’s Ashes?


Are They Your Cat’s Ashes? — 9 Comments

  1. Sylvia thank you for writing on this very important subject which touches us all, your deep and beautiful words do baffle me at times as you well know, but I admire your style very much. I think your writing is the most eloquent I have ever read. I could never write as you do, I am just a simple soul.
    We can never know for sure that anyone we pay for their services will do the job we have asked them to do properly, we just have to trust that they will. Michael you watched your cat being put into the oven, then you left returning to collect her ashes later, but you don’t know for 100% certain her ashes hadn’t been mixed up with others before you returned. Did you see them take the ashes out of the oven? If not then you did trust them in the end that they actually were yours.
    I know from my vets days that everyone thinks their cat is special, I think our cats are! I was even offered money to ensure someone’s pet was treated as special, I refused of course because I DID treat each pet as special. All I’m saying is we can’t trust anyone 100%, there are bad apples in every barrel and I’ve met a few who you wouldn’t think would ever cheat, but if we start doubting every one we’d go insane. Nothing in this life is certain, nor in death.
    I know my sister cares for every ‘client’ and their bereaved families as if they were her own loved ones, but I doubt that everyone working in funeralcare is like her.
    What we need to remember is that it doesn’t affect our late person or pet at all, it only affects us, they have left the worries of this world behind, they are free!
    Your cats are free Sylvia as are all our lost loved cats, one day we will be free too.
    I personally feel it’s wrong to trap the ashes of another living being in an urn, I want my ashes to blow free in the breeze when my turn comes, to join the earth and renew in beautiful plants or flowers or a tree.
    But of course it’s only my own opinion, I’m not saying I’m right, after death it’s only for those left behind to do as they feel will give them comfort.

  2. Oh what a sad subject, something I usually avoid thinking about because of past and future sorrow. When we lived in our own home we used to bury our animals, I remember my dad burying our Alsatian many years ago in the early 70’s and crying all the time he did it. After he died the job of undertaker fell to Ruth and me and over the years we buried our beloved cats, crying all the time, a horrible, horrible task. The last cat we buried was Felix, my ginger soul-mate, my first husband in fact, an awful Sunday evening 1st June 1997, it was horrendous and I remember getting down on my knees and digging the last bit with my hands, just to make sure it was deep enough and wide enough to let him rest comfortably in his woolly shroud. I never want to do that again. And then we were more or less forced to move not much more than a couple of years later. To protect the living cats from dangerous neighbours we had to abandon the dead members of our family. Since then we have had our deceased cats cremated, asked and paid for them to be cremated individually and their ashes scattered on a little plot of land that is earmarked for August deaths, they are all scattered on the same plot even though they didn’t all die in August, but their free spirits all set off from the same starting point, the August plot. Neither Ruth nor I are believers in storing the cremated remains of loved ones, neither human nor feline, we believe they should be set free to blow wherever the wind takes them. We’ve never had cause to doubt that the pet crem we chose to use does anything other than what we have asked ands paid them to do, I don’t think they have done anything short of an excellent job but if they have I prefer not to know. My experience of human funeral services makes me believe that what is promised is done, I know that decency and honesty are important in the funeral industry, there are those who’s services fall short but they are the exception rather than the rule. I think the same applies to pet crematoriums.

  3. From the experience of both my cats going. I choose to bury them. One was buried out on one of the farm vets farm which over looks a sea area out in the countryside. Cassy is buried out at my parents home in a special area. Havent been out there since shes been gone. will try and be brave and visit her sometime soon. I would always choose to bury as in the rituial that helps with grief. I still think of her so much. i know its only been a little while but it feels like forever. It helps with jasmin but i still miss her dearly. I cried over jasmin the other day just missing cassy so much. i know things will get easier just got to take it one day at a time 🙂

    • Sorry to hear that you still feel very sad about the loss of your cats. I know exactly how you feel by the way. It’s completely normal. You make a good point about burial giving a person the chance to grieve because there is a place to go to where you can be with your cat again even though he or she is dead. I don’t know what is the best: cremation or burial. They both have advantages. As you know, I keep my cat’s ashes in an urn in the living room. That has comforted me for years.

      • Yea i just never had it done. I think they charge about 50.00 for it to be done. Maybe in the future it be a good idea but just never thought it before. yea Its hard saying goodbyes for our forever friends no matter how long they have been with us.

  4. I think I got most of your article, but I had a little hard time following sometimes.
    I’ve never had a cat cremated but can understand why there would be a concern whether the ashes were what they should be.
    I’m a believer in the “dust to dust” aspect and giving back to the planet.
    But, for myself, cremation is the only option unless someone would be willing to bury me in a cardboard box and not the steel crap of today so I can just dissolve into the earth.

      • No buria;s here.
        Long, long ago I selected a beautiful area deep in the woods where I felt that no building growth or industrialization would happen for many, many years.
        That’s where I lay my domesticated and semi-ferals to rest.

        The colonies are different. Most ferals just disappear. The few that don’t, I sometimes just find or they’re in the process of dying. I, usually, pick up my dying ones wrapped in a blanket and take home with me, regardless of whether they have any fight in them or not. But, they are all buried in their home, ie, their colony area.

  5. You seem to be saying that we can trust the animal crematoriums to individually cremate if they say they will do it because of the inbuilt safeguards. I don’t believe that. The fact that a disgruntled employee may become a whistleblower has not stopped people and organisations in the past from misbehaving.

    I certainly would not trust an animal crematorium to individually cremate my cat on my request without me being present and watching the process. This is what I did. I know that it sounds grisly and unpleasant but I watched my cat being placed in the oven and the oven door shut and the fire started.

    Then I came back and collected her ashes. I now have them in the wooden urn that you see in the picture on this page. The ashes are with those of my other cat whose name was Missie.

    My experience tells me that we cannot trust people with such an important task especially when there is profit involved because profit tends to undermine integrity. And when it comes to having one’s cat’s ashes on one’s mantelpiece we have to make sure that they really are the ashes of our cat because belief that they are is not enough.

    You make some very nice points and I enjoyed reading your article but actually it is not really an article. It is an essay, but for me, being brutally honest, your writing style interferes with your message. You seem to be more interested in the way you say things than the message that you intend to convey, which dilutes the message because it gets lost amongst the forest of fancy words.

    I hope that you do not mind me saying that. Nonetheless, I thank you very much for submitting your essay for publication on this website.

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