Rose Petals and Porch Cats

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Whenever I have flowers to compost, I first put the blossoms, especially rose petals, on the graves of our cats.  Rocky, Tracy, Eddie, Lilly, and Gretchen are all buried behind the front hedge. Some of those dear kitties died at the prime of life; others lived to a fine old age.

I speak to each of them as I toss. It’s a sweet ritual I’ll miss.

We’re moving, and the cat graves won’t be coming with us. And we won’t mention the graves to any perspective buyers, either. Add phantom cats to the other woes of our 180-year-old-house, and we just might scare off a buyer for good.

But if the new people end up being good people, Rabbit Hill people, I might ask if I can sprinkle a few more petals from time to time.

Cliff and I are going catless for now. It’s too sad to leave them when we travel, and if truth be told, I’m kitty littered out. But we’re taking the cat toys with us just in case a whiskered orphan trots onto our new porch and decides to stay.

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What about your? I hear others talk about going petless after the last one dies. Opinions? Thoughts?

The kitty in the porch picture is Eddie. He came one day and stayed for eleven years.

15 responses »

  1. That’s a lovely tradition. But your kitties will always be with you in your memories of them. We’ve enjoyed the many strays that have wandered into our lives and we are up to 4 now. However we look forward to having a fancy free lifestyle of not worrying about cat care when we travel. I’m not sure it will happen, though, b/c the strays keep finding us!

  2. You have provided lots of sweet kitties a great home. My last kitty, Myla, is 18 years old and still going strong. I can’t imagine not having a cat to love and take care of, but I agree it is too hard to leave them when you travel. Also cat boxes would not be missed. I am up in the air about getting another one. Research shows that having a pet is good for elderly people. And if we wait too long a new pet may outlive us. Then what would happen to them? Such a hard decision to make.

    • It’s tricky. Lots of people worry about not outliving their pets. I know my mom did, but luckily my niece stepped forward to take Smotey. We’d for sure better not get parrots. They live forever (almost!)

  3. You had the sweetest cats. I am trying to remember how many of them I knew….many I think. And we both had cats named Lily. We are also petless and I go back and forth and have no real answer. Except….someday! Life is easier, but maybe less sweet without a pet!

  4. We had dogs for 16 years. It took us a while to realize who was the boss because they were sheep dogs so always herded us. Went almost 10 years with out any pets. For the last 12 years we have had cats. I love the ease of cats compared to dogs, but pets are pets and you have to make arrangements when you travel or are gone. The trade off is the unconditional love they give making it worth it. Taking a break is good but…..

  5. Oh Barbara, this is a topic we have been pondering. We LOVED our pets over the years and are down to one cat now. She is nine and rules the house! We are newly retired in our fifties and have lots on our “to do” list, especially traveling. Pet care arrangements are never easy so we have decided when our girl is gone we will remain pet less for quite some time – it will be a struggle! Truly I’m not sure I’ll be able to hang in there! Animals are gems!

  6. Our dog died in 2009.. just when everything changed in our house- last child in college, boys off and getting married… we miss him but haven’t replaced as we took up biking and there’s too much pet anxiety leaving a dog all day. However, our daughter has a dog now, our grand-dog, she reminds us, and we’ll have him for 2 weeks end of December. I just hope it’s not too icy or snowy so I don’t fall when walking him. And cats.. we did have one– and never liked her. I just read an article in the recent Smithsonian magazine about how cats are the worst invasive species on the planet, making many species extinct. Worth reading.

  7. I remember burying cats, dogs and whatever. We had puppy and a kitten that were inseparable. When the cat died and we buried her, our lab puppy dug her up and carried her around. Good luck in your new. Sure that word will get around and some homeless cat will find it’s way to your door step.

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