Pet Remembrance Day

Pearly Gates

Pearly Gates

If your reaction when people tearfully tell you that the family dog or cat has died is mystification at why they are so affected, you probably want to stop reading now. Because this post is all about remembering and celebrating the various and varied animals we have shared our homes with.
I was going to write this earlier, but MasterB demanded my participation in a game. I have distracted him by filling the treats ball, and he is engaged in rolling it around the floor and eating the biscuits that fall out as a result. He knows full well that there is a bowl of the same biscuits in the kitchen that he could get to without any effort, but this is much more fun.
Anyone who tells you that a cat or dog has no imagination has never lived with a cat or dog. getting a glimpse of the world through their eyes is one of the many joys of living with a pet. As the Guardian leader said yesterday, we learn a lot about ourselves by studying animals. Seeing my cat’s enjoyment of my company, of racing around the garden, seeing his feline friends, climbing trees and fox watching, among other interests, brings me immense pleasure. I am not alone. He is the only cat in this block of flats, and he is everyone else’s cat by proxy. Neighbours tell me they like to hear his bell in the morning and know that he is out and about. I hear one neighbour in particular talking to him. There is an eleven-year-old who calls round to play with him, and her little, rougher brother has learned to be calm and confident around him. I knew someone who worked at Number 10. Her ‘phone was full of photos of Larry the Cat. She reckoned having a cat in the office made people happier and made them behave better. No one wanted to upset Larry. PAT dogs do tremendous work in hospitals, hospices and care homes. Sophie the German Shepherd is not a PAT dog, but you only have to look at my mother’s face to see how she brightened the day.
Mum and Sophie

Mum and Sophie

That photo was two and a half years ago. I think it explains why I battle to ensure that Mother is visited by dogs in the care home where she now lives. Her love of animals has been a constant, something that dementia has not altered. She loved Freddy and was so proud that I could let him out of the car when I visited and he would walk straight up her garden path and through the catflap to greet her. I have some great memories of him and Mother together. Then there are older memories of our dachshund Beccie Brown Boots who skipped into the garden with Mother when she got home from work, dug holes beside her diligently as she weeded. Emily, the little Yorkie who lived near Mother’s bungalow. An open door was an invitation to Emily who must have been the friendliest Yorkshire Terrier ever. She was tiny, a pocket Venus of a dog, and Mother, and most other residents, adored her.
I could go on. Everyone who has loved a pet has stories. Hopefully some of these will be shared today on the web and aroumd the world for Pet Remembrance Day which started two years ago, a week after my lovely Freddy (the original Cat of IsobelandCat) died suddenly from heart failure. Light a candle, tell a story, toast the memories; whatever seems fitting and right, and let us celebrate the animals we have loved, who have loved us, and the animals we share our homes with now.
Spread the word if you will. Put up a post and link it back here.
I suddenly remembered this piece from the Guardian a few weeks ago. Enjoy, but get your hankies ready.


59 thoughts on “Pet Remembrance Day

  1. Pingback: Pet Remembrance Day | Under The Oaks

  2. My boy was ill yesterday and I stayed up all night with him and slept on the settee. They ARE family and I feel sad for people who don’t get to appreciate that close bond. Looks like my three-legged half-eared chap has pulled through again this morning, much more normal and eating, after what I hope was just a virus.

    p.s. I remember you saying how old your Mum is on a past post and, if I remember that rightly, then she’s looking very ‘well’ for her age indeed.

    • Oh dear, what was the matter? I hope he makes a full recovery. Have you posted a photo of him at all? I’ll raise my glass to him tonight too.
      Thanks for the comment about my mother. She doesn’t look so good now, partly because we can’t get her to wear her teeth any more, partly because the care home does her hair very very badly, and partly because she has not been well. But she loves male attention and I can guarantee that were you to visit her she would call you darling and probably, if you were nice and quiet and kind and held her hand, tell you she loved you.

      • I have posted a picture of him twice, along the way, but those posts have been deleted. I do intend to blog about ‘his story’ but it is one of the many taking a lot of time to pull together.

        He goes from calamity to calamity since I found him in the garden (he lived in a bush for four months) but he’s being looked after well on a none-meat diet (too rich for him now) and he’s had his teeth cleaned twice now (gingivitis in the past that fed into a gastric illness) but they’re getting dodgy again, and he needs regular ‘taking’ to the toilet, and regular feeding to stop something getting out of sink. Also he doesn’t drink (except in emergencies) and gets all his moisture from food. So despite all the special looking after I’m waiting for something to crop up and when he gets ill he’s very expressive and you sure know about it!

        He’s well-loved. But a man without a history. Just signs of it with all the bits he’s missing. It just shows with you Mum how much animals can brighten things up.

      • Run out of reply buttons… He’s been here three years now. Four months were spent in the garden whilst we tried to find an owner, several months more spent trying to “domesticate” him living with us, without him getting stressed, before a cold winter turned up. The first look the vet got of him got an estimation of “middle aged” and so we we’re going on 8+. So he should be at least 11 by now. Possibly much older though.

  3. It’s a pleasure to join in your Remembrance Day celebration Isobel…..I posted something special today too about all the great furry loves of my life. I’ll be toasting to them all this evening and certainly will include Freddy in my thoughts. Being loved by an animal is a most special feeling – one I hope to enjoy until I breathe my last breath.

    Hugs, Pam

  4. Having an animal around is, in my view, unbelievably important. I’m so glad that your Mom’s love for them stayed, no matter her illness. Petting an animal is good for ones blood pressure, sense of well being and so much more. I cannot imagine living without one. This is a wonderful idea, having a remembrance day. I might put one out, even if a bit late, such as tomorrow.

  5. I will remember Gorgeous Freddy and my own Gorgeous Jack Russell Manny tonight along with everyone. I had him from 6 weeks old until his was nearly 18, he could be very naughty but that didn’t matter we all loved him very much.

  6. Hello Isobel, I am a cat lover, but… the pet I will never forget is a woofie, our Looping. This dog was a gift from God, he understood everything, was so sweet, was always on our side, considerate, discreet (for example, when we had his… you know… little shellnuts… removed, we asked my parents to keep him one day, because we did not want the rest of the zoo annoying him, he did not complain, my parents were really surprised), I love and loved all my pets, but I will never have a Looping again! It’s a good thing to have a day dedicated to our gone friends! We are with you, Isobel!

    • I love both cats and dogs, and guinea pigs, rabbits, hens … Though I always considered myself a dog lover until Cat marched into my life. I explained a bit about this here: I am a bit confused by your story, but the important part, that you loved your dear dog, comes through loud and clear. He was called Looping? Do you have a photo of him? The first dog I really really loved was Tessa, a black labrador who was the best dog in the world.

  7. Animals are such a big part of my life…i can never understand how people don’t enjoy them. last night i toasted with a glass of wine, and lit a candle for the ones that I’ve lost

      • Charlie is still not 100% but he is better. Though our holistic vet has left to go home to the states they are getting a new one to pop down from Auckland. She is very qualified. So if we need to go back that is a plus. Chevvy is still Chevvy. I had a complaint from the council about her. When I went to visit Jess in Auckland last month she barked quite a bit. I am a bit annoyed though. The council did no investigating if the complaint was legit. And in 9 years she barks one day and I get put on notice. Apparently now if they get another complaint they can take her, so it is a bit worrying…I am thinking of challenging the complaint as none of my other neighbours [and they are a lot closer than the guy who did complain] have a problem…I went around and asked them all and they said bar that one day they hardly hear her at all. Jack is still grumpy…but that is just Jack.

  8. Love the cartoon, Isobel! That is a cat down to a T. Always on the wrong side of the door.
    What links in the Guardian??
    So good to have a day set aside for all these great wonderful beloved creatures. They were – and are – just the bees knees

  9. I can’t imagine life without pets. I’ve had them all my life except for a few years while I lived at University. We lit a candle last night Isobel. Those who don’t love animals are missing out in life.

    • I wonder if they have a different gene. I think we are programmed to respond to puppies, kittens etc. even the most hard hearted Hannah goes gooey when faced with a photo of polar bear cubs.

  10. i am reading this late – but it is never too late to be thankful for the pets that have enriched our lives in the past, even as we enjoy the ones we are blessed to have in our lives now. thanks for sharing.

  11. Pingback: Dogs and Dementia | IsobelandCat's Blog

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