Memorializing your cat
Losing a beloved cat is devastating. While there are commonalities in how we mourn, grief is a very individual experience, and no two people will deal with pet loss in exactly the same way. But there are some things that can help ease the pain of loss. Finding ways to memorialize a cat who has passed on can be an important part of the healing process.
Here are some suggestions on how to memorialize your cat:
A photo tribute. This can take many different forms. One of the things I’ve always done after losing one of my cats is surround myself with photos. I would place them all over my house. In some small way, it made me feel like the lost cat was still with me in a somewhat tangible way. You can also create a physical collage suitable for framing, or an online photo album. Going through years of photos may bring tears, but hopefully, it will also bring smiles as you remember your time together.
Plant something. Plant a tree, a rosebush, or a flowering plant in your cat’s memory. Doing something life giving is a wonderful way to remember a cat, and you can visit with your memorial plant whenever you feel you need to be close to your cat.
Have a portrait painted. After Feebee passed away, a friend surprised me with a painted portrait. To this day, it’s one of my most treasured possessions.
Write or journal. Write down all your favorite memories of your cat. You may think you’re not going to forget, but time has a way of blurring memories. Writing things down while they’re still fresh in your mind preserves these special moments. Feebee died twelve years ago, and whenever I go back to read what I wrote shortly after he passed away, it brings back memories of things he used to do that I had long forgotten.
Make a donation to your favorite shelter or rescue group in your cat’s memory. Sponsor a shelter cat in your cat’s memory. Donate to the group you adopated your cat from. Some shelters will even provide a memorial stone or plaque with your cat’s name.
Create a craft project. If you enjoy a particular kind of arts and crafts, consider creating a project in your cat’s memory. When Virginia, my first office cat at the animal hospital died, the entire hospital staff spent an evening creating mosaic memory stones. We made one for Virginia, and three more for other hospital cats who had gone before her. We placed the stones in the hospital’s front garden. Working on the stones together as we shared memories of the cats was a wonderful healing experience for everyone.
Create a special memorial space in your home. Gather some of your cat’s favorite toys and display them in a pretty basked in a spot that was meaningful to your cat. Find a special urn for your cat’s ashes. I have all my departed cats’ ashes on the dresser in my bedroom. There something very comforting to me to see them just before I go to bed each night, and when I first wake up each morning.
Ultimately, the best memorial is the one that has the most meaning for you.
What brings you comfort when it comes to remembering a lost cat?
Photo of Amber ©Ingrid King