Friday, May 28, 2010

Bring Out Your Dead

We have had lots of small pets in our day (fish, frogs, hamsters, etc) and it only stands to reason that we've had a lot of little funerals as well. Hence, we have a pet cemetery on the not-so-large grounds of Casa de Kautz.

As much as I love the little guys, hamsters and fish have a very limited life span and it just wouldn't be fitting to toss their beloved bodies into the trash. Nope--everybody under the one pound limit gets a funeral at our place, complete with tears and fond words of love and remembrance. When it comes to pet funerals, we do 'em right.

So, while we have tender hearts, we do not have a very large piece of property here in Weirdville and when I refer to the back forty, I mean feet, not yards. And while you admire the thick green carpet of grass in the photos, you gotta know that almost 98% of the yard is gardens and very little space for things like grass and pet cemeteries. When somebody goes to the Great Beyond, I'm totally scrambling for burial space. And when the cats die--don't even think about taking their carcasses for a home burial--it ain't happening.

The problem with having so many gardens is that you are constantly moving and planting things all over and there isn't much space for a body to lie undisturbed. So, over the years, we've sort of designated the landscaping in the front of the house know...Heavenly Acres. Bushes and shrubs don't get moved often, so there was the perfect spot for Keith the Fish or Muffin the Hamster to lie for all of eternity.

And while I get credit for a lovely funeral and services, rarely does our grief lead to tombstones for the dearly departed. Oh, there are a few rocks with hamsters' names on them, but it was starting to creep me out and I finally just painted one rock with a fish on it to remember my earliest generations of pond fish. It's more of a marker really, a reminder to Joe not to dig up the soil there, just in case he might unearth a skeleton and completely freak out a kid in the process. It's worked so far, nobody has been traumatized. Well, not yet, anyway. God help the new homeowners should we ever move.

I went out to water the other day, and as I dragged the hose out front, I found a sweet sight. Apparently Mother Earth decided to remember the dead as well and took it upon herself to plant a flower right at the stone that marked the eternal slumbers of our departed fish. I guess my efforts to honor the earth and its beings has paid off--it seems the earth chimed in to remember its own as well.

That's the kind of stuff that makes my day--simple joys, funny happenings, silliness in the world around me. Maybe others don't have these things happen or care if they do. Maybe it is just me that notices. Either way, it makes me laugh. Life is good. And apparently, so is death.

Well, at my place anyway.


JODI said...

That flower is proof that those under 1 pounders just turn to rich bones to unearth ;-)

DG at Diary of a Mad Bathroom said...

What a sweet surprise. You have given to the earth and the earth gave back.

Catherine said...

Well I think every living thing needs a proper resting place and it looks like you have done well. As for the 'little surprises' the next home owners may have, hopefully they aren't much for gardening! :)

Have a Happy Friday Lin!
xo Catherine

Dori said...

I love how the flowers sprouted up. I do believe that was a beautiful sign :) Have a great weekend!

Hot Rocks said...

How lovely that the flower just popped up in the right place. We too have a pet cemetery on our acreage, that holds the remains of 4 hamsters, several fish as well as prairie chickens and birds that have unfortunately flown into our windows! My son makes crosses out of branches to mark the sites.

Anne said...

What a beautiful memorial. Now you have a true resting place for all your beloved pets.

Secondary Roads said...

A pretty flower grew to say,
Beloved critters passed this way.

vanilla said...

I like this story. I hope the present inhabitants of my former abode never dig too deeply in certain places along the fence behind the garden. Golden retriever remains could be quite stunning, I suspect. (I did take the markers with me when I moved.)

Poet Chuck provides a nice verse!

Jen Chandler said...

And that's one of the many reasons I love coming to visit :) I love how you see the silly things, the simple things. There are so many out there who don't or who just don't care.
Mother Nature left you a nice surprise.

Happy Weekend!

Grace said...

The yard of the house I grew up in is chock-a-block with frog,snake, bird skeletons. My brother has buried all of his cats in his backyard - oh what fun if he ever sells the place and the new owners decide to do a little landscaping! I'm not one for burials. Once the Soul has passed on the only thing left is decaying meat, or fertilizer, if you like. I guess your fish were fertilizer. It's the way of the world and nothing goes to waste unless humans interfere.

Pricilla said...

Awwww, how sweet. You have to admit that fish makes good fertilizer....

BeadedTail said...

What a beautiful surprise to find in your yard! We don't have any animals buried in our yard but we have two dogs and two cats that were cremated and their urns are in our closet. I never wanted to leave them behind if and when we move.

Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...

I love those sweet reminders. Precious!

Janiss said...

Funny, I don't remember any small creature funerals when I was a kid. I DO know that when a cat, or the one dog we had growing up, would die, my dad buried them in the backyard. Which was fine, since my parents didn't do much landscape rearranging (I guess I inherit my lack of desire to garden from them). But they moved 15 years ago and their house has passed through several different owners since then. I dread to think of what any of those people might have excavated along the way.

Nowadays? Any small creatures of mine (i.e., the aquatic frogs I had for a few years) get tossed in the trash. The vet takes care of anyone else. When they're gone, they're gone and if they die after a long illness (which is usually the case), I've already mourned in advance. I'm afraid I am totally lacking in sentiment, probably not one of my better qualities.

Just a note: I get the feeling that this whole paragraph above will be belied by Sparkle's Saturday post.

Ann said...

I love your little rock marker and the flowers are the perfect touch. Nice little surprise to find

Lin said...

Jodi--Gosh, I hope you are right, Jodi, and I don't ever have to find out.

DG--Yeah, or the fish did. :)

Catherine--Oh good, so it isn't just me, eh?? I would think they would break down pretty quick, but I don't want to risk it. I think I would be more freaked out than the kids!

Dori--Hi, new pally!Isn't it funny how that came up right there by the rock?? I like stuff like that.

Hot Rocks--Okay, so I'm not alone doing this!! Hooray! I always feel guilty tossing their little bodies in the garbage and I'm afraid some animal might drag them out. And besides, I like the funeral luncheons too much. ;)

Anne--Yeah, well, except for the cats. They just have to stay at the vet. I once was offered my 18 pound cat's body in the middle of winter--I just laughed. And what was I supposed to do with that???!

Chuck--Wow--that was GREAT! You are quick, my friend. ;)

Vanilla--Isn't Chuck good??! ;) Do you think there are any bones left after all these years?? Yeah, I hope they didn't dig them up either--that would be creepy.

Jen--There is joy in little things, but most people don't get that. I think they are missing out.

Grace--I think the bones of little creatures probably break down, but I don't know about dogs and cats. That would creep me out finding some of those bones!! Yikes! I'm with you on the burials for the cats--I just let them go when I say goodbye. I think it's just too sad to dig that big of a hole.

Pricilla--I would think so. I can't imagine there is anything left. But it is a nice thought that they made their own flower.

Beaded Tail--As much as I love my kitties, I don't ever feel the need to have them cremated--isn't that weird? I can disconnect with the body pretty easily, although I do have a fur clipping from each of them.

Chocolate--It was sweet how the earth reminded me of the little friends I lost.

Janiss--I'm with you on this one, believe it or not. I can disconnect with my pet's earthly body and leave it with the vet when they pass. But, I am always afraid of some animal digging a little body out of the garbage or the smell stinking up the can, so I typically bury the little ones. As for leaving the cats at the vet--it is more realistic than sentiment.

Ann--Isn't that funny how the earth reminded me of long lost friends?? I like stuff like that. :)

Your Daily Cute said...

Aw, what a beautiful little post. I love the flower for coming up there. :)

I (paws crossed) have personally not have to bury a cat before, but my parents do have two in their backyard right now. I understand them wanting to keep them close, but my mom is such a gardener... That corner section always worries me. What if she wants to change the plant?

Ozark Mountain Cats said...

My first pet funeral was when I was about eight. My mother and her friend came out of the house just as me and my eight year ole catholic friend were giving last rites to a snail. No he wasn't really our pet but all souls deserve a nice protestant/catholic funeral.

DJ said...

If I ever move and the owners of my house decide to put in a pool, they will be in for a surprise. 20yrs as a vet tech,orphaned
wildlife, kittens, puppies, not to mention my own pets, are all there. This includes 3 large dogs. I've seen the way our pets are handled by the companies vets use for picking up remains and not to freak anyone out, but it's less than gentle. Just always bury them deeper than you think you need to.

Petula said...

Wow, that's really cool. Mother Earth has given you her blessing. :-)