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Funeral for a Furry Friend

May 23, 2012

Written by Marykate Wurster, mom of 3, from Riverside, Connecticut

Photo by Maartin Dirkse

Happy died.

“Let’s have a funeral party” you said through the gap in your mouth where baby teeth once poked through.

“A party?” I wondered. “Yes, yes a party with a parade of cars and the flowers”. Ah, yes of course. And so we did.

We told stories about Happy. We spoke about how soft her fur felt when we stroked her, how she looked when she would scamper across the carpet and how she ran on the hamster wheel with the deft of an Olympic athlete.

We made pictures and cards. We lit a candle at church and left flowers we picked from the yard beside her cage. Tricks and Butterfly, her hamster friends attended. Happy would want them to be there you said.

We finished with cookies and a eulogy.

A funeral for a friend. Have you ever lost a pet? How did you help your kids cope and say good bye?

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  1. Anne Schenendorf

      on May 23, 2012 2:29 pm

    I’ll never forget our cat Muffin. To this day I romanticise her life. The babies hear about how she(my husband and I refer to her as The Great Cat Muffin) followed me to school one day ducking behind trees when I turned to see if she finally went home. She would let us dance her around the yard. She would bat at your pencil when we did our homework. Ah, Muffin. Surely she would have had Happy for lunch. We did own a goldfish named Elvis. Luckily I didn’t own that poor chap. I doubt he lived a week, the poor fish. I remember vividly pawprints of water leaving the scene of the crime. She was an angel to children though. I definitly think encouraging them to talk is great for them, and Happy. It allows his spirit to live on.


  2. Marykate Wurster

      on May 23, 2012 3:02 pm

    Anne, so true. Pets can leave, forgive me, paw prints on our life. They really become a part of the family, especially a cat or dog. Funny enough their friends lost their hamster at the same time. He said they left it “gifts for the afterlife”. Its nice to give them a way to have closure.


  3. Tom O'Malley

      on May 24, 2012 1:03 am

    Anne, I’m sure you remember Muffin’s last two kittens, Muffy and Wu Tang. Raising them with you and John was really cool. Do you remember how we fed them with baby bottles that we put a hole in? It was really really sad when Wu Tang passed away. Did we really name a Kitten Wu Tang??? and strangely enough did that name fit???. That seems like a long time ago. I didn’t think Muffy would make it but instead it was her brother…. I think we buried him in the back yard but I don’t why I can’t recall. I do remember holding him in the back yard and crying. Poor little orphan. Did you stay in touch with Muffy’s new Mom? I think it was one of your roommates when you were at Duquesne.

    I remember the day we got Muffin and Pangur Ban II. We were in Cape May and I think I was the one who saw the sign that said Free Kittens. Muffin was the coolest cat. I remember her chasing a German Shepard down the street when her kittens were in the front yard. I remember when she got stuck on the roof in an ice storm. I remember when she got older and sort of lost her marbles, how she used to lay in the sun in the middle of Avon Rd. I remember hearing cars flying down the street slamming on the breaks and her just casually getting up and sauntering over to the sidewalk. She was a Great cat. How many Main Line Cats must be her descendants?? I guess it has been 15 years since she has passed away. Here’s to her!!! One of a kind!!!


  4. Marykate Wurster

      on May 24, 2012 8:04 pm

    Pets really leave lasting memories. And become a part of the family. Its a beautiful thing!


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