Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Cat Funeral ... Pardon me while I debrief

On my way home from school this afternoon, I pulled around a corner and was met with a horrific scene of a house cat instantly killed by a van.  There was quite a lot of blood, and the driver of the van was standing on the road, clearly traumatized.

I was about six blocks from home, so I raced home, grabbed rubber gloves, a sheet, a garbage bag and a plastic box and zoomed back to the scene.  All I could think of was the scads of kids in this heavily residential area soon being dismissed from school and seeing the outcome of this accident.

By the time I got back, two neighbourhood men were scooping up the cat with a spade, and depositing him in a garbage bag.  I asked if they knew who's cat it was, and they pointed across the street to a woman standing on the sidewalk (also, very upset, weeping hysterically).  The man asked for my box, and put the bagged cat in it, and carried it over to her.

I asked her if I could help her bury the cat, and she was so grateful for the offer.  She told me she felt completely helpless, and didn't know what to do, and was thinking about her three kids who would soon be coming home from school.

So we chose a place in the back yard together, near the fence in a back corner, so she could plant something over top of poor Gizmo.  We each took up a spade and began to dig.  When the hole was deep enough, I told her I was going to prepare the cat but I didn't want her to look, and she agreed. I told her I thought it was important that he be taken out of the garbage bag, because he certainly was not garbage, and she appreciated the gesture. 

So she stood by the hole, while I talked to Gizmo, and carefully shrouded him in a clean sheet. While I was wrapping him up, I spoke to the cat, "This was an accident Gizmo.  You just wanted to explore the big world out there, and were happiest when you were outside.  No one is to blame here."  Another cat came over to watch me, and I petted him, and said aloud to the cat, "You can say goodbye to your friend."

I carried the swaddled cat over to the hole, and gently put him in his grave.  We quietly buried him, and when it was over I gave the cat owner a hug and talked to her for a few minutes about the sadness of her loss.


  1. Your classes seem appropriate don't they? You did such a good thing.

  2. Aaarrgghhh! Now I'm crying at work! I hope no one comes looking for me. What a kind and generous heart you have!

  3. Got to admit I got teary too!! Thank you for helping this lady deal with a terrible loss!! I know I have been in that lady's shoes..the man who ran over my cat kicked him to the curb...and I was thankful for that as I did not want Louie to get hit again! Bless you- you made a horrible ordeal a little better to handle!

  4. Oh no Nancy! How tragic! When I first read your heading I thought 'Oh God, not Nancy's sweet cat', but very short relief, as this story is so sad and being a cat owner myself, I can't imagine how awful it was for that poor woman. How grateful she would have been to have a nice lady like you there to support her during that terrible ordeal. I assume the van driver would have also been quite upset.

    I hope you gave your cat an extra long cuddle when you got home, Sam xoxox

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  6. I'm so glad for the cat's owner that you came along when you did. Your kindness was sure to help her deal with her loss.
    I once hit a cat that came up out of a ditch - black cat, at dusk, on a gravel road... I went to the nearest home to look for the owner, and when I told him what had happened and how sorry I was, he just said "Okay" and went back to his beer and the hockey game...

  7. How sad...It seems you came along at the right time and were able to help a neighbour..that was so kind.

  8. You are so nice. What you did must have meant so much to that poor lady. I'm so glad she wasn't alone.

  9. Oh my gosh Nancy you made me cry! That was so generous and kind of you to help a total stranger in such a loving way. Thank you.