A few days ago we brought Squatty’s ashes home. They were in a little redwood box that had a slot in front to place a photo. As we returned from the vet’s and drove into the neighborhood, we told Squatty he was home.
Many people in the neighborhood were familiar with Squatty but there was another house with a couple who also had cared for Squatty for several years. They named him Brutus and were as attached to him as we were. We had agreed that if either of us ever knew that something “bad” happened to our shared kitty, we’d let the other know. After we had him put to sleep, I let them know what had happened and said that we had him cremated and would be happy to share his remains with them. Of course they were very sad, but they were also relieved to know that we were with him as he left for Spirit World.
Today we buried a portion of Squatty’s ashes in our front yard beneath a tree where he often slept the afternoon away. I was a bit unsettled dividing Squatty’s ashes, not because it made me squeamish, but because I felt it was disrespectful to divide him into two. I selfishly wanted part of him buried in our yard, but I knew it was right for his other family to have some of his ashes too. So after burying some of his ashes we took the remainder in the redwood box, along with a few photos of him, to his other family. They didn’t have any photos, so there were glad to have those too, and really liked the one shown above. They were glad to have their “Brutus” home and were going to put a photo in the front of his box.
We also buried our hamster Nutmeg Strudel tonight. We adopted him from the SPCA about 18 months ago and gave him a fantastic life here in a huge cage. He got to come out for playtime almost every night and had lots of healthy treats like fresh carrot and pine nuts. We knew for a few weeks that his health was declining so we were prepared for his passing. This morning he was very listless, and I held him in my hands so he could feel the warmth and be cozy. I put him in a cozy spot in his cage and he passed away peacefully a few hours later.
I always feel that the process of losing a pet isn’t complete until their remains are home or they are buried. That step brings a finality to their physical presence but continues their everlasting presence in our hearts.