Thursday, July 13, 2006

One Deep Breath - Ritual



We had an event this week that reminded me that we have evolved over the years a ritual for our pets when they pass on. We attract cats by the dozens and have a hard time not taking them in. Over the years cats have come and gone and in recent years we have had at least four disappear, most recently our kitty, Vinnie. We just discovered that one of our departed cats found his way beneath our house to curl up and die. This would have been Lindsay who disappeared about three years ago. The remains were found during the course of a termite inspection of all things. No termites but the mystery of one of our disappeared cats was solved. The whereabouts of Goldie and Poochie and Vinnie remain unknown.

From fish to hamsters to cats, we have had any number of these little family members join the roses in whatever backyard we happened to be occupying. Our newest rose garden addition is the very recently mentioned and very deeply lamented, Psycho Fish. Just three days after taking up occupancy in his new tank that he was harmoniously sharing with Kori the Koi (Yes, Corey, Kori. Blame Krista), Krista found him at the bottom of the tank and much drama ensued. Don gently lifted Psycho Fish from the depths and laid him in a little aluminum bed. Quanah carried him outside followed by Kris and with all due solemnity, buried him with the mini-roses and lavender.

A couple of days ago I realized that with so many backyard burials of hamsters, cats, and fish, we had indeed developed a special ritual of saying good-bye to our little creatures.


Pets enter our home
Living safe and loved lives
Then sleep with roses.

19 comments:

trailbee said...

I'm stunned that we both wrote of a similar subject. I'm sorry to hear of Psycho Fish's demise. It is amazing how much these animals add to our lives. Luckily, they can't talk, or we'd really be getting an earful. I think I shall bury the fawn's last remains near our children's Christmas tree which we brought back from LA.

the Caitlinator said...

Fish have a hard time adjusting to new waters. But you can definitely rest easy knowing that Psycho Fish had a very long and good life. R.I.P. PF.

Star said...

You have a ritual, indeed. We never got to do that when I was growing up and I never felt the closure I should have for special pets. Nice haiku, Annie.

Daisy Lupin said...

Its nice to have rituals for lost pets. My husband buried Pixie cat at the back of my garden underneath my Green Man plaque. I have planted a shrub to mark the spot and until it grows larger placed a pot of geraniums. Also put a little fairy garden statue there. This is the first pet plot in this cottage. We have left pet plots in our other houses though. Love xx

Becca said...

Poor Psycho Fish! We were just talking about his long life a few days ago.

But what a comforting ritual you have for the loss of your pets, and it's expressed beautifully in the haiku. You obviously send them off with as much love as you gave them in life.

Crafty Green Poet said...

That's a lovely haiku and a lovely ritual for when pets pass on. Thanks for sharing.

Colorsonmymind said...

Beautiful ritual. Always so sad to lose a pet...happy they find loving arms to take care of them in your home and then roses to rest in forever.

Sandy said...

That is so nice, what a wonderful place for a final rest.

Autrice DelDrago said...

Sorry to hear about Psycho Fish. Poor Krista.

Pets do touch our lives, bringing a measure of unconditional love. There is no shame in mourning for the loss of a beloved pet (even a fish), because our ability to express that love is a reflection of the goodness of our hearts.

vicci said...

Oh Annie....What a beautiful photo...a beautiful story...and the poem I will save forever...I am probably the biggest emotional baby when it comes to pets...I hope someday I am a caregiver to all animals in heaven.....anyway...I am sorry about Krista's fish....

Tammy said...

Oh Annie how horrible :( I'm a animal lover and think your ritual is lovely. So sorry.


The haiku and collage, however were awesome!

mikim said...

Oh no... I'm so sorry to hear that Physco Fish has passed away. Your burial ritual is a beautiful way to lovingly honor a much loved pet.

Jennifer said...

RIP Pyscho Fish

Thank you for sharing your ritual with us, very touching haiku

Deb said...

The loss of any pet, feathered, furred or finned is always so sad! In my adult life my dogs and cats have led unbelievably looong lives (my cats were 21 years old!) and it truly is like losing a family member. So I began having them cremated and now am running out of room on my mantle!!! Some may find this a bit morose and creepy, but I find it very comforting to still have them near me in spirit :0)

Jodi said...

Your haiku is beautiful and touching. I have four pets enriching my life right now (3 dogs, 1 hamster) and know that I will want to honor their place in my family in special way when the inevitable happens.

hazzbuzz said...

Sorry to hear about the fish, my friend keeps goldfish and she says they all have very distinct personalities. She gets very attached to them so it is upsetting when one dies. Some fish seem to be quite fragile and don't survive even though she does her utmost to keep them healthy. I'm sure psycho had a good life in your tank.

michelle said...

I love it! Beautiful!

Tongue in Cheek Antiques said...

Oh! Poor sweet fish, your rituals make your place a holy ground. Your words are bring meaning to those moments of tender wounds.

Cate said...

Oh, the many animals who have been blessed to call your house their home!

Touched by your ritual and your haiku. Lovely words that communicate such a deep respect for our pets. "Sleep with roses:" That's a line that I'm taking with me. Thank you!