HomeCat HistoryEpitaphs to Pets of Ancient Greece and Rome


Epitaphs to Pets of Ancient Greece and Rome — 3 Comments

  1. This comment is by Sylvia and entered by me (Admin) on her behalf:

    The ancient Egyptians’ veneration for cats had a dark side. Though parents shaved their eyebrows in mourning the loss of their housecat, enterprising tradesmen strangled or broke the necks of thousands of cats, then mummified, swaddled in linen and sold them to supplicants as offerings for their deities.

    Has the status of dogs and cats improved over the centuries? Nowadays they’re eaten, vivisected, used to test products and killed with hypodermics. As pampered as many are, how far beneath us are they?

    Several years ago there appeared in a newspaper, in the obits, a tribute to a beloved dog, and an invitation to friends to attend an informal gathering in the dog’s memory, at his parents’ home.

    Readers were aghast, and the editor wrote to apologize for the moral outrage.

    When a crow is overjoyed to mother-hen a kitten, will the day ever come when people understand that reciprocal love spans the abyss of fur, feathers and heaven knows what else, as if it were a puddle? If we ban them from our page, don’t our friends deserve their own, where we’d tell them – if we had the words – what their leave-taking did to our hearts?

    I know well enough that there have been dogs so loving that they have thrown themselves into the same grave with the dead bodies of their masters; others have stayed upon their masters’ graves without stirring a moment from them, and have voluntarily starved themselves to death, refusing to touch the food that was brought them.

    – Miguel de Cervantes –

    George Gordon Byron’s Epitaph to a Dog. Poetryloverspage.com

    The House Dog’s Grave (Haig, an English Bulldog), Robinson Jeffers, http://www.petloss.com/poems

    Crow and Kitten http://www.earthlngs.org

  2. I’m surprised no one else has commented on this article, Michael. I found it very informative and interesting. It’s amazing that all day I’ve felt kind of sad for the person who wrote about how happy he was bringing his dog home the first time and comparing that to the sadness he felt bringing his beloved friend to the cemetery. Amazing how thousands of years don’t really matter when it comes to things like love and grief. Some things don’t change.

    • Thanks Ruth. You are great! I thought you might like this post. I did it with you in mind 🙂

      It was not easy to write, I have to say. I agree with you that this gentleman (I think he has to be a gentleman) writes so tenderly about his dog and you can almost be there. I think it brings the history alive.

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