There’s something about pet cemeteries

ship cat

n Memory of Simon, Served as ship’s cat on HMS Amethyst – Simon’s heroic ratting saving the crew from starvation during the hundred days the ship spent trapped by Communists on the Yangtze River in 1949. Simon was originally the Captain’s cat, a privileged creature who fished ice cubes out of his water jug and crunched them, but after he survived being blown up along with the Captain’s cabin, he was promoted to ‘Able Seacat’ and became pet of the whole crew. Unfortunately, the decision to bring the feline hero back to Britain proved the end of him as he caught cat flu in quarantine and died.

Jeanne sent me an email with a blog post about a pet cemetery in the UK dating back almost a century:    Maybe because I’ve lost so many cats so dear to me over the past few years, but it really struck home.     I rarely get an emotional reaction when I visit human cemeteries, but by golly, a click to that blog did the job.

cemetery entrance

Unfortunately, the Ilford Pet Cemetery is currently closed to visitors due to safety concerns after a Eucalyptus tree was brought down by the snow, but you can contribute to a fund to remove the tree and reopen the cemetery by clicking here

For those who have read this blog for several years, but don’t recall their demise, Shiva the cow cat died while we were with Jeanne back when I was trying to finish dying on her couch in Olathe.     She’s buried in the backyard of the house where she first arrived in Kansas and had her litter of kittens.

Shiva in bathtub

This was taken when we lived in the mountains in Placitas, New Mexico. Shiva hadn’t yet graduated to the lofty status of ‘the cow cat’. That came later during the several years we spent together on a ranch in Central Texas.

Hydrox Top Cat RIP

Hydrox, Top Cat, RIP 2016, found his burial place among the ruins of out-buildings at the Blackjack Battlefield. That’s where John Brown and his followers attacked a group of pro-slavery settlers in an incident some prefer to believe was the ‘real’ first battle of the Civil War. It’s a middling distance from Leavenworth, but when I can trust the car I visit him as frequently as possible.


A couple of good cats just vanished from my life this century.    There was Mehitabel #3, whom I eventually found the hairy tufts of at the base of a telephone pole in Grants, New Mexico, where eagles often perched.    And:

MIA – Permanent Mouse Patrol – Niaid

Andrews, Texas, December 2013, when I was going through my diagnostic challenges with the VA in Odessa and Big Spring…. I suppose that was the most difficult aside from Hydrox, and the fact she’s in some anonymous grave in the sorriest part of Texas anyone’s likely to find anywhere probably suffices.     During those times I thought I might join her at any moment.

So I’m inclined to think those pet cemeteries, though mawkish, are something of a plus.     If we’re lucky we’ll have a lot of animalcules to share parts of our lives, and over the decades we’ll endure the consequence of their lives being so much shorter than humans.     Knowing they’re lying in some prepared spot where we can visit them if we wish, shed a few tears, and say a few more goodbyes seems worthy of them.

Old Jules

6 responses to “There’s something about pet cemeteries

  1. I’m right there with you, Jack. It’s nice to have a place where we go and get immediately down with our longing for them. Then again, even without a physical place, is enough some memento, a stupid piece of thread to put me on that track. Now if I miss mine too much, I stop by a neighborhood pet store to play with Lulu (and now, her fat siamese sister, Princess). Gotta a piece of thin chord with me at all times. I just have’t got the same energy, or years enough to spare, to get myself a new one. Perhaps a mature one, but what if I’m called? he or she would be yet another burden I’ll be leaving for someone else to bear. They did add extra lives to our lives, all of them. We were lucky that they’ve put up with us for all those years. Cheers

    • Hi Wesley….. yeah, I was feeling [thinking] much as you do….. But finally decided to take the plunge anyway. First Ms. Say What?, who only presented the problem of where to bury her a few months later [came to me as an older model]. And now Mr. Midnight. Maybe someone in the future will thank me for whatever burden he poses if he outlives me. No easy answers. Gracias, Old Jules

  2. My oldest pup has had a number of heart attacks and was left with only half her heart working. She is on three different kinds of meds which she gets twice a day. I know it is expensive but am trying to prolong her life for as long as possible. Yes, we have two other pups but she has been with us through good times and bad times and managed to put a smile on my face. Hope she hangs on and on and on and on. . .

  3. Sorry for the loss of your animal friends, Jules. I truly am. We’ve lost two dogs in the last three years and it’s been brutal. The loss of such great companions can be difficult to bear, and it’s good to know others mourn the loss of their animal friends like we do.

    • Hi Bela. Someone remarked to me the other day that our pets are the best thing about us, we humans. Seems to me there’s an argument to be made in that direction. Gracias Old Jules

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