When I die, I want to be taken to a pet funeral home. Having my beloved cat Puddy pass away at home presented a bit of a problem. When I was growing up, we lived on a big piece of property and so we had a pet cemetery in our backyard (not the Stephen King kind – a regular non-flesh eating non-mutant kind). There we would lay to rest all manner of pets and road kill that would find themselves departing in our vicinity. What didn’t seem right to bury, we flushed and it all worked out.
Here in the city, I just didn’t know what to do with my cat. I couldn’t picture burying him in the jungle that I call our backyard or taking him to the vet where I couldn’t be sure what they would do with him. So, I called our vet and he told me about a pet funeral service called “Until We Meet Again” located in North Vancouver. I honestly didn’t know what to expect but I called the number. Jocelyn answered. She had a kind voice and, despite the fact that the only word I could coherently blubber was “cat”, she knew what I meant. I made an appointment to see her at 1pm.
I arrived at the address Jocelyn gave me but the door was locked so I rang the door bell. I didn’t expect to hear Amazing Grace but the doorbell made me smile. Jocelyn was an older, lovely looking lady with a soft tone who invited me into their family viewing area. I put Puddy, whom I had wrapped in his favourite fleece blanket and sealed in a blue Tupperware tub, on the viewing platform. The music of Yanni was playing and there was a fireplace burning. It felt like a lodge at Whistler….except with 100% more Yanni.
Jocelyn had a lot of experience in the pet funeral business and I instantly felt comfortable with her. I am sure she didn’t want to hear about Puddy’s fur ball problem or my theory on why Justin Bieber is such a teen heart throb, but she listened patiently to my ramblings. Then, we got down to the business of “the final arrangements’. I chose cremation given that the insane cost of even a cat sized plot of land in Vancouver would require me to sell a kidney. Soon the experience became fun as I realized it was a lot like shopping.
Hmmm…which urn would Puddy like best? The white one. He liked to sleep on the white desk…thus, the white one. My logic was flawless.
Then it was over and it was time to say good-bye. I left Puddy in Jocelyn’s capable hands and would return the next day to pick him up. His ashes will be scattered some place where birds are plentiful and there is long grass to eat. It helps him with his fur ball issue. I know some people will think I am going overboard for “just a cat” but to me, he was part of my family…my devoted companion and my loyal confidant. I am so grateful for the joy he gave me. Thank you Mr. Pudder-man. I will forever miss you.