with Lynne and Leslie

“Pet Semetary 3: What To Do With Babycat?” or Letting Go Of My Friend

by SweetMidlife

Every breath I take, every move I make, she’ll be watching me. And judging. Always judging.

Leslie here! There is a humor that those of us who have suffered loss – whether that of a parent, a spouse, a pet or a job – employ sometimes as a conscious defense, and sometimes because that’s just the weird space we live in now – that might seem inappropriate to others who expect us to cry, or rage at God, or at least eat something creamy-fried and wallow. I don’t know if you saw “Game of Thrones” this past week, but tiny Arya Stark, who’s lost pretty much her entire family in a series of gruesome, kingdom politics-related events, got all the way to the castle of her aunt after a long bloody journey on foot, during which she kinda became a tiny cross-dressing killing machine (you had to be there).

And when she got there, she was told, “Dude, your aunt, your only living relative maybe, died three days ago.” And instead of bursting into tears, or jumping off a cliff. or just getting stabby, she laughs. It’s a beautiful, frightening “Are you kidding me with this, Fate?” laugh, unhinged and hearty, and anyone who’s ever been backed against a wall and then seen the other wall hurtling right toward you understands that emotion. It’s a grasp of the ludicrousness of the moment, the bitter realization that there’s a hidden trap floor below the bottom you just hit. It’s awful and funny and stupid and cathartic, because what are you gonna do?

And it’s here where I find myself, six days after the death of the esteemed Babycat, my feline companion, good friend, confidante and cat overlord. We have until today to tell the vet staff, who loved her, what we want to do with her remains. I originally told them that I wanted them to just cremate her and keep the remains or do whatever they do with them, because I don’t want them in an urn. I am not an urn person. My husband went to the other extreme, asking me to look into pet cemeteries, headstones and perpetual lights, like the one his mother had erected for their late dog, Lisa.

“That’s a really stupid idea,” I told him, and I know that this sounds judgey and wrong, so for any of you who have perpetual lights on your beloved pets’ graves, I am so sorry to say that. That’s where I was, less than 24 hours after Baby’s death, in the middle of a very stressful week otherwise, and when he started talking about permanent tributes to a cat whose litter box was still my responsibility to dump one last time, I was in a very Arya place, like “So I’ve spent maybe $10,000 in vet bills, cat food, litter I had to scoop, special serums to give her so she would poop the poop I had to scoop when she was backed up, boarding and other stuff, for a being who I loved but who was often disdainful, rude, hairy and poopy, sometimes in a defensive manner all over my place of residence.

And now that I lost her, this fascinating, gorgeous, haughty, mean, loving, snarky little thing, her final gift could be either sitting on my shelf as ashes forever, or in very expensive digs that I will have to pay maintenance fees for, forever. Again, if this is your choice, I’m cool with that choice and you choosing it for you. But I am not about that choice, probably. My husband really wants to, because he’s sweet like that, but he’s left it to me. I am inclined to keep my memories and my love and heartbreak in my soul (because when the heart breaks it bleeds into your soul. Because science.) and let Babycat’s earthly remains recede into the earth or whatever.

What do you think? Am I being cold? Unsentimental? Cheap? Realistic? You tell me.


4 Responses to ““Pet Semetary 3: What To Do With Babycat?” or Letting Go Of My Friend”

  1. tcandori@gmail.com' Tess says:

    I don’t even want my own body buried in a cemetery, so you can guess where I stand on the question of cat graves.

  2. ladypeace1971@gmail.com' Robin says:

    I think what you did was fine. You remember people and pets by the things they did (or didn’t) do. A head stone or urn will not change the love you had for her or make you miss her less. You have pictures that you will treasure more than an urn or a tombstone. Let the naysayers say what they want. You did the right thing.

  3. kromaine@fastmail.fm' Jill says:

    You are being you. My two dearly loved and fondly remembered dogs remain in my heart, not in an urn or in a gravesite. My choice.

    This is how you choose to let go of your precious friend, Babycat. And that’s what counts.

  4. you are being honest and genuine! you have to do what’s right and comfortable for you. i totally see both sides.

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