The highs and lows of parenting and real estate.

A Memento

I got a box in the mail today from the veterinarian office who put Mac down for us. I cut the box open with a small amount of trepidation and found this:

These were my immediate thoughts:

1. OH THANK GOD IT’S NOT HER ASHES. I mean, I know some people like stuff like that, but really, what in the hell am I going to do with our dead cat’s ashes? Spread a little bit in each of the corners of the house where she liked to pee? Sprinkle them in the yard where she liked to sneak outside and eat grass that would eventually make her puke on the carpet? Keep them in a tiny little vase with a kitty shrine in our living room? Because I gotta tell you, we’re really not kitty shrine people. So, you know, whew, on that one.

2. Hrm. They spelled her name wrong. She probably wouldn’t have minded, though. She wasn’t a really fantastic speller.

3. Did they make this with her paws after she was dead? Like they made the ceramic mould and used her stiffening cat corpse to create the paw imprints? Jesus Hercules Christ am I glad I’m not a veterinary assistant. They did not mention that task in those late night ‘You, too, could have a fabulous new career!’ commercials.

4. I should probably hide this from my kids. We’ve already made it through all of that dead family pet junk, this will only rehash it. I’m not sure I’m stocked up enough on wine for a resurgence of that tonight.

5. Do they send one of these to everyone who had a pet they put down or was it because I was crying so hard? I mean… people cry when a pet dies, right? That’s a natural reaction, isn’t it? Or was I embarrassing myself by my lack of self control and naked grief? Was it because I went through almost an entire box of kleenex while I was there? They felt sorry for me didn’t they? I’m so humiliated.

6. It’s really, really sweet, though. *SNURFLE* I just… still have a cold. It’s mucus. And dust under my contacts. I’m not emotional.

6 Responses to A Memento

  1. actually, I think that’s a horrible idea that comes from a good place. most people will have by this point worked through the emotional haul, and to bring it back up seems cruel. on the day I put my dog down, I called, gave them a credit card.

    “we don’t have the bill ready yet. I’ll call when we do?”
    “please don’t.”
    “I’ll just mail you a receipt then?”
    “please don’t.”

    • Yeah, that’s valid. I was feeling kind of heartless that I didn’t want to show it to my kids, but that’s it exactly. We’ve worked through it and don’t need to make it fresh again.

  2. Agreed, thoughtful, but maybe something they should clear with you before they go ahead and it randomly shows up in your mail. And no you’re not the only one who cries. Last month Bogey had surgery, I cried at the check-up appt, cried when I dropped him off, cried when I PICKED HIM UP (luckily I had the foresight to have Mike drive to pick him up cause I’m a basketcase)& even cried at the follow up appt. I was just at the vet this morning with Guapo now, who also needs surgery, and you guessed it, I cried.

  3. Jeff Legge uses a PC. That’s what I’m learning here.

    • Jeff didn’t put her down. I took her to a specialist he recommended and they were the ones who actually did the deed. She wouldn’t have lasted through the night to get her in to him.

  4. Elizabeth it’s quite normal to cry when you put your pet to sleep. When I had to put my 8-yr-old akita (Lilly) down in 2009 I just held her in my arms and cried for a good half hour before they could come back in. The staff were kind enough to give me all the time I needed to pull myself together and just used one of their other consultation rooms while I did. I still well up when I think of her. Best temperamented dog I’ve ever had. Wish I could have cloned her.

    You should keep the paw prints to show the kids later. They’ll be glad for it. Find a nice place in your garden and sink it in like a patio stone, and plant a pretty cactus next to it, or some other plant, so you always have a place to remember your beautiful old kitty.

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