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30 September 2012 @ 03:16 pm
He Always Did Love It Outside.  
It has been one year since I lost Papa Bear. I just wanted to share a few things.

On Sunday, the 9th, I finally put Papa Bear’s ashes in the ground. You may remember, a week after he passed away I suffered a concussion and ended up in the hospital. By the time I felt even remotely well enough to deal with the task of burying him, the weather had changed to winter. So I decided to wait until spring. All summer I have been wanting to do it - frankly I was feeling worse about leaving him in the container on my TV shelf than I was about burying him because that is no place for him to be left. But I was needing my sister’s help to do it and between the two of us, we just hadn’t had time yet.

I was mostly relieved to finally be putting him in a proper place. He is in the side corner of the backyard now, next to Zippo. His ashes were in a red container with paw prints on it - it looked like the perfect little tin for him. When I opened bag that it was in, I found that the vet also had his paw-prints done up for me in clay. That was a nice little surprise. It must be something new they started in the year between when Zippo passed and when Papa passed. hiyacynth had also sent me a headstone for him and it is the perfect one for my little man. She had previously sent us one for Zippo as well and the lettering on it was very rounded, open and it felt very fitting for Zippo, as did the heart underneath her name. Papa’s is rougher looking, darker with a little paw print, which is just right for him. Even the stone is fitting for him.

I didn’t expect to get overly emotional because I really was just happy to finally put him where he belonged. But when I saw his ashes it just struck me that was all that was left of him. That was a hard thought. It’s weird because most of the time I am fine, but every so often I get the thought that if I turn around, he’ll be standing there. So to see his ashes was a shock. My sister explained that with Zippo, she put the ashes right in the ground, not in the canister and that she would for Papa Bear too, so that he could be with the Earth. That actually made me feel better because Papa loved it outside. Even as a tiny kitten he loved being outside and would escape any chance he got. The vet always said Papa was a breed of wild-cat and he was surprised how well he did being indoors most of the time because it wasn’t in the nature of that type of cat. Here at the house, when he started getting older, he was happy just to go out on the sun porch. He just wanted to be outside, you know. So putting him in the ground felt right.

I used the little red paw-print tin to put his favorite toys in - his Felix doll (though it is Felix #2 because the first one got lost in a move). When he was a kitten, I would say to him, “It’s time for bed, go get Felix,” and he would find that thing wherever it was and drag it to bed, even though it was almost as big as he was. And his pink pig. One of the suede mice he liked to rip the skin off of. His collar and tag. His pillow - they must have gotten 300 of those Humane Society pillows over the years but that was the only one he ever cared about - it was his and he loved it. And of course, his Clyde Frog, who was with him when he went to sleep for the last time. The canister, a framed photo of Papa Bear and his paw-prints are sitting on one of my bedside shelves now.

Papa Bear Grave

Papa Bear Memorial

He was my best boy and I am glad he is resting somewhere that he loves. Now as long as he doesn’t start after-life fights with Zippo.
Jojo: Animals ⇒ Kitten [kuk]jojothecr on September 30th, 2012 07:47 pm (UTC)
I'm so sorry for your loss. It looks lovely though. May he rest in peace.
dodger_sister: animalsdodger_sister on October 3rd, 2012 02:32 am (UTC)
Thank you. I feel good about having finally put him to rest, even though it was a hard day.

My thoughts are with you and your darling right now too.
Kate: cat faceceitfianna on September 30th, 2012 08:23 pm (UTC)
Aww, that's a wonderful place for him and the pawprints from the vet are amazing.
dodger_sister: animalsdodger_sister on October 3rd, 2012 02:33 am (UTC)
Thank you, darling. Next time you are down, you can check out the paw-prints in my room - they look even better up close.
Kate: fox kitsceitfianna on October 3rd, 2012 02:35 am (UTC)
I will, I'm not sure when it will be but I know I'm going to really need my breaks this year.
lizibabeslizibabes on September 30th, 2012 09:51 pm (UTC)
*hugs* I'm glad you finally got to put him to rest.
dodger_sister: animalsdodger_sister on October 3rd, 2012 02:34 am (UTC)
Thank you, babe. I am glad Papa Bear is finally some place he loves.
Shirebound: Rainbow - Mucunshirebound on September 30th, 2012 10:44 pm (UTC)
*gentle hugs for you*

I'd like to get my Pippin's footprints memorialized like that. It's so forever.
dodger_sister: animalsdodger_sister on October 3rd, 2012 02:36 am (UTC)
Thank you, darling.

The paw-prints were such a surprise. They may have asked me if I wanted them but I was such a wreck that day, I don't remember, so when I opened the bag and saw them, I was thrilled. I definitely recommend everyone get them for their special furry friends - I wish they had offered it when Zippo passed away, my sister would have loved them.
Ironlily - Making My Marque: EyesMothvikingprincess on September 30th, 2012 10:47 pm (UTC)
Oh, sweetie. I'm all weepy now, but not exactly in the bad way. More the melancholy nostalgia way. *hugs*
dodger_sister: animalsdodger_sister on October 3rd, 2012 02:38 am (UTC)
Thank you, babe. It was a relieving cry, yes, but it felt good to finally put him in the ground. /hugs back/
Why all the pearls?Why all the hair?Why anything?: Buttersrhymephile on October 1st, 2012 06:28 am (UTC)
Aww, that made me teary-eyed. I'm glad you found peace by interring his ashes. Sweet baby.

My dad still has Bosco's ashes on the mantle. I don't think he'll ever bury them. He was going to take some and scatter them at the park where Boss liked to walk, but I know dad talks to the little wooden box all the time and wouldn't be able to part with them yet.
dodger_sister: animalsdodger_sister on October 3rd, 2012 02:44 am (UTC)
Thank you, babe. He was a sweet baby - to me anyways. Sometimes he could be a holy terror to my sister. :) It did feel good to finally lay him to rest and now I don't have to see his ashes sitting on my shelf every time I look at the TV (I don't think that was very good for me).

I understand your dad talking to the ashes of his dog, for sure. I probably would have done that too if it weren't for the other cats in the house. They are good to talk too. Your dad'll get there, eventually.

My dad was a wreck when he lost his dog and for a few years before that we had been urging him to get a second dog, because we wanted him to have another pet for when Sammi passed away. He refused but then a year or so after he lost her, a friend of my brother's became ill and needed a place to stay and moved in with my dad. He brought his dog and it has been so great for my dad. And the roommate always says that he feels reassured that if he goes before the dog, that my dad will care for her like his own baby. Heaven forbid that dog go before my dad or the roommate - those two guys will lose their shit.
ranuaranua on October 1st, 2012 11:57 am (UTC)
I'm glad you got to finally lay Papa Bear to rest. *hugs* The paw prints are wonderful. I wish I had something like that for my Cookie. Her ashes rests on my desk where she liked to sit though so it's not like I've not got a reminder.

dodger_sister: animalsdodger_sister on October 3rd, 2012 02:49 am (UTC)
Thank you, babe. The paw-prints are amazing. I think they may have asked me if I wanted them on the day I put him to sleep, but I was such a mess I can't be sure. So it was a sweet surprise. I wish you had something like that too but at least Cookie's ashes are in her favorite spot - (I would have done something like that but Papa's favorite spot was at the foot of my bed which doesn't really work and anyways, Kirk has taken it over as his spot).