Doubts about cremation

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Doubts about cremation

Post by Julie67 »

My girl is still with me, and she seems to be doing okay. Currently stretched out and dreaming. I've been thinking about cremation. In all these years, I could never imagine having a pet's ashes, not because I think the idea is silly, or morbid,I don't, but because I always thought that it wouldn't make any difference, she'd be gone, and her ashes would only be what was left of the flesh and bone that carried her, her presence, everything that made her the sweet girl that she was, would be gone to a better place. Now I feel differently. I want to hold on to SOMETHING of her when she leaves me, and I would dearly love to have her ashes, but I'm plagued by the doubt that the ashes would truly be hers. I would want to find comfort in having her earthly remains with me, but how could I ever know that the ashes were really hers? I know it sounds cynical, but I would need to know for certain, and I just don't trust the vet/cremation people. The thought of letting her be cremated with other pets doesn't horrify me, like I said, my girl would be already gone, but I really want to have her ashes. Any thoughts? I imagine this is an international site, but I'm in the UK. Anyone else had these doubts?

Thank you x
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Re: Doubts about cremation

Post by Bertie 2017 »

Hi ,so sorry ,too hear about your cat ,as for the issue of cremation ,I myself ,in the past
Normally haven’t done it ,except for my cat Bertie ,who I lost at the age of seven last year .
I felt having his ashes ,would in time ,bring me comfort ,so I went ahead of course ,the
Overwhelmed pain ,of losing a beloved cat , made no difference at first ,but now a year on .
Having his ashes ,on the bookcase ,in a cat shaped ,casket ,with his name on ,brings me
Lots of comfort ,and Bertie loved spending time on the bookcase ,as too the question of
Is there ,other pets ashes mixed in ,I was told ,he was cremated by himself ,still having
A piece of Bertie ,at home on the bookcase ,, makes me feel ,he is still a big part of
My home ,I feel because I lost Bertie ,so young ,I wasn’t prepared ,too leave his body at
The vet , which is usually what I do ,only you can decide ,what is best for you ,hopefully
You will ,make the right decision ,for you ,my cousin in Australia ,has her cats ashes in
A special heart shaped locket ,which she’s wears all the time ,the rest are in a wooden
Casket ,so you have many options ,I do hope my advice ,has been a help to you .
Take care xx
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Re: Doubts about cremation

Post by Janey »

I have all my cats ashes at home although like yourself do wonder and very much hope they are mine. I have them done through the vets I’ve used for 30 years who told me they are so I trust they are truthful.
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Re: Doubts about cremation

Post by Ruth B »

Some may call me cold hearted for this, but every time i have been able to walk away from the body knowing that the cat I knew was gone.

The first one I took to be pts as an adult myself, i firmly believe i felt leave. She was ready to go and while I didn't see anything I was sure that I knew when her spirit left and what was left on the table was just like a pile of left over clothes. Another cat I felt had left even though his body was still breathing, putting him to sleep really made no difference to how he was. So for me there is no attachment to be felt to the body once the cat has left it, they are left at the vets to be disposed of in a suitable manner. My memories are tied to what they did and photos of them not to a pile of ashes.

Even if i did get the ashes I'm not sure i would keep them on a shelf in a casket, they would go out into the garden and where they were scattered a tree or bush would be planted as a reminder of them.

Even when I went to see the bodies of both my parents after they had died, I felt that what was lying there wasn't them, there was nothing left that I felt any attachment to. With my Mother the previous evening I had been called to the hospital and sat with her while she moaned in discomfort unaware of anything around her, it was heartbreaking but it was her, as they weren't sure whether she would make it through or not I chose to go home in the early hours and got the call about 4 hours later, she had already gone when I got there, there was nothing of her left, she even looked different more like a wax model than a person. Both sets of ashes were just scattered at the crematorium, my sister felt the same as I did, they live on in our memories not in an urn on a shelf.

I'm sorry if this upsets anyone and I know everyone feels differently about it and no one is wrong, but it is my experience and how i feel, the spark of life is what makes a person or a pet, not the flesh body or a pile of ash they leave behind.
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Re: Doubts about cremation

Post by BobbiRobbie »

Everyone is different when it comes to death and griefing. Some people want to keep hold of something "physical" and others don't feel the need; neither is right or wrong, we're all different :)

When my boy Charlie had to be pts, I couldn't bear not to bring him home. I didn't want to bury him in the garden as we rent our house and when we move I didn't like the thought of leaving him behind. In my rational mind, the ashes I have are not Charlie in the sense that they resemble nothing of his personality or physical presence when he was alive. However, it's a comfort for me to have him in the home.

You can have your pet cremated with other pets, which is cheaper, or have them cremated alone. There is bound to be remnants of other ashes mixed in with your pets ashes because they probably can't get every spec of ash out from previous cremations, but I had no reason to believe that the ashes weren't Charlie's. I guess that's something we just have to trust.

I had a ring made with some of Charlie's ashes too, and a little pendant. It gives me comfort to wear those.

You do what feels right for you :)
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Re: Doubts about cremation

Post by Lilith »

Hi, and I'm so glad Onion's holding her own :D

It's awful to have to think about when they die, but better making a considered decision than a last minute one; all the same it is distressing.

I did a bit of googling, don't know if you've done the same, and of course there are lots of sites and adverts but I did find one impartial, well-balanced factual site - and dammit I can't find it again, or I'd have posted the link.

I hope this doesn't distress you or anyone else but it seems there are 3 kinds of animal cremation:

Individual, where the animal is the only one in the chamber

Tray, which is sometimes described as 'individual' but, although all animals are placed in separate containers, several containers are put on to a tray and the whole thing placed in the chamber. The animals are labelled clearly, but during cremation ash may drift and mix; therefore the remains aren't isolated.

And mass cremation of course, where a number are cremated together and ashes disposed of.

It seems there are regulations, but not enough regulations - so I think you're right to be wary. One thing I did notice was the amount of places offering individual cremation only. Some places actually let you view the facilities and discuss what will happen. A good vet ought to be able to advise, I think; they're far more sensitive nowadays to bereavement.

I remember over 20 years ago, losing a cat and arranging for cremation. The practice was marvellous - except for one very pompous and bullying receptionist. This woman was obnoxious. I've always had cats cremated and not wanted the ashes back - but that's just me; it's a personal preference. When I said that I didn't want Shashi cremated separately, this receptionist - 10 minutes or so after Shashi had died in my arms, said, quite nastily, 'Oh? So you want her put in with all the other animals then?' Then, after I'd paid, she tried to force a leaflet about bereavement on me. I refused it. But I don't think there are any monsters of that sort left. If I met one they'd get the rough edge of my tongue nowadays :twisted:

But there again it was made clear that individual cremations were supposed to be individual.

Good luck, and I hope it's a long time before you have to come to this decision. Fusses to sweet Onion x
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Re: Doubts about cremation

Post by AndyMac »

Hi - I lost two cats this year and got their ashes in urns.

When I first decided to get Jet my first cat cremated I wondered if she would get a joint cremation with other animals or a seperate one - I never thought to ask at the vet after her death so I phoned the crematorium and was assured she would be receiving a seperate cremation as this is what I wanted as I decided when I depart this world she and Mia are coming with me.

I am part of a Cat Breavement Facebook page and cremation is not for everyone - some people just want the memory whilst others bury the animals in the garden but I always maintained that when I lost Jet I would get her ashes and with losing Mia even though I only had her 2 months I thought it only fitting to get her ashes also.
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Re: Doubts about cremation

Post by Mollycat »

If you pay for an individual cremation then that is what you should get. If you don't want the ashes back then they will almost certainly not be alone. For me a keepsake is a special food bowl, a shed whisker, a favourite toy - something that meant something in life.

For the first time I am having to consider all this. Until now there has been a garden and three little bodies lie there, but things change and now there is no garden. I won't be alone in making the decision but I think we think along the same lines, thankfully.

Ruth I half feel the same way you do, it's just an old coat they don't need any more and the little character we loved so dearly is gone the moment the light in their eyes went out. And yet ... I suppose it's the ritual of saying goodbye, of making it final, of being as respectful of their earthly possessions as we would be of Grandma's old vase, or watch, or her favourite teapot. But dealing with death and memorials is as individual as we are. Every year I buy flowers for the Christmas table and on New Year's Eve I throw them into the sea, it's my little ritual of remembrance for my loved ones whose ashes were scattered or whose graves I never visit. I live near the Severn bridges and on that day viewed from the middle of the old bridge the sun sets bang in the middle of the new bridge, so I do this at sunset and that somehow makes this ritual complete.

The last one I had to set free, the vet threw me with the simple question - did I want to donate his eyes? I'm happy that I made the right decision on the spot but I wasn't prepared for it. Next time ..
And as for people, please don't let their jewellery or valuables go with them. They are removed and vanish. As hard as it can be to think of a wedding ring being removed, be brave and ask for it back if you can't bear to do it or witness it being removed.
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