Cat Behavior 101,  Cats

It’s National Pet Memorial Day — Life After Loss

If you love cats, sharing makes us purrrr :-)

This post is in honor of my cat Coco who died last year on September 14th.

Today is National Pet Memorial Day designated by The International Association Of Pet Cemeteries. I’ll be visiting my local pet cemetery today for a special blessing of the animals ceremony.

Coco-Rainbow bridge-pet-memorial-Day-cat

Over the past year, I’ve often walked past her grave on our property in a sunny spot by an old barn. Sometimes Merlin, her brother joins me. A sadness clouds his eyes when we stop and pay our respects.


We know her physical form has transformed and we miss her, but every time during every season, I’m reassured that there is life after loss.

One of the reasons I found grieving her easier than previous losses was the quality of the grieving process and how she died. I believe ritual is an important part of grieving and I wasn’t afraid to feel my feelings. All of them.

The pain of grieving isn’t bottomless. It ebbs and flows and I found solace from fellow cat lovers. I found journaling helpful and I blogged about the time leading up to her death. In this updated and edited post Kitty Heaven Can Wait, I share advice on preparing emotionally and practically for your cat’s euthanasia including the importance of spouses or partners being in agreement.

Please note: The following links from a very old defunct blog are dead. However, I will try to find them from my archive and repost.

In this post, Sweet Sorrow: Death Takes A Holiday I explain how I made the decision for euthanasia and how cats are our spiritual teachers. Ironically, the single rose blooming in the garden is blooming again right on schedule.

In this post, the decision is made.

All the details in this post.–end-of-an-era.aspx

Since National Pet Memorial Day coincides with the anniversary of 9/11, I’d like to pay tribute to all the rescue dogs and pets who died on that day in the after math of the attack. When I think of 9/11, I think the twin towers but I also think of the Statue of Liberty. This was my post last year with an unusual shot of Lady Liberty.


  • Milo and Alfie

    The mom speaks:

    I understand. I still grieve for my beloved heart cat Henry (1985 ~2004) ~ a beautiful lilac point siamese, we shared almost 20 years together. The grief comes and goes in intensity and these days I am more easily able to recall happy times together.
    I still have his ashes in a beautiful casket in my study ~ I can’t part with them. When I move house, beloved Henry comes with me. I’ve moved several times since his death ~ and could never have left him behind.
    When I eventually die ~ our ashes will be scattered together, for ever.

    Jan x

  • Cheysuli

    We had no idea there was such a day–and we honor your tribute to the pets who have gone before. Loss is loss and to make a comparison will only diminish the loss for each. Purrs.

  • Brian

    I didn’t know there was such a day, but all those thought are very important. Thanks for putting it together so nicely. Here’s to hero critters everywhere, every day!

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