Above is a picture of Marmalade my cat who died last week, right after I posted about him. Poor thing, I think his heart just gave up. It was a quick death, my boyfriend found him curled up under the dining table. It was not a neat death though. I have never been part of the mucky parts of pets dying before but strangely enough it was cathartic. It helped, to get an old towel and wrap him up. The other grosser parts helped too but I won’t write about them here.
We buried him in the garden with the dog, the other cats of old, several hamsters and the rats. This was the first time that I dug the hole and buried the pet. It was tough physically and emotionally. So strange to be wrapping him up so tenderly and then putting him in the ground and covering him up with all the soil and worms. But it was ok, it wasn’t so terrible. It’s what happens to us all in the end. I think being part of the process helped. I was able to acknowledge that when my boyfriend brought out his body I labelled that as “Marmalade my favourite cat” but when I covered him up he was no longer there. My cat has gone, there’s just this matter there that will rot and go into the earth.
It brought up a lot of discussion between me and my boyfriend about how different cultures deal with death. About how important it is to acknowledge death and treat it as a normal and inevitable part of life. It’s easy for me to say, death hasn’t touched my life much yet so I don’t know what it is to grieve. But with Marmalade I feel like I’m getting practice. It’s a little grief.