Mancat Monday: The Best Or Worst Gift Ever.
It’s Mondays with Merlin with some help today from my fur bros. Domino and Odin, the best mancat pals a cat could ask for. When Layla got back from Florida, the first signs of spring had sprung and the boys abandoned me to spend most of the day on the porch or garden. It’s still not warm enough for me to me out for more than a few minutes because I have zero body fat. My auntie Sarah stopped by for a visit and was shocked to see how skinny I’d become and frankly, everyone is shocked I’m still alive.
There is a Finnish word my grandmother said I have bundles of and that’s sisu. It’s a dogged determination against all odds to persevere. The only food I want now is raw and I’m ravenous for it day and night. No, I will not go gently into the night. It’s driving everyone to re-examine what is best at a time when everyone is feeling their worst. My feline comrades look concerned at me at times with me flailing with blind (literally) determination to get from point A to B blind. They know. Cats have an intuitive sense about life and death. We don’t fear either but live in the moment as best we can.
Domino was out sunning himself on the big chair overlooking the burial mound. It was Gris Gris’ old chair by his grave and you could say Domino he looked mournful but let’s not anthropomorphize shall we? Okay, if we are going to go there, I could say his gaze is like “Blue Steel” from the film Zoolander. Domino gets points for surviving another winter. A big deal when you consider he spent 7 winters outdoors as a feral. We all survived but the toll was great. Sadness laced with anxiety and anger has crept into every crevice of our old house in anticipation of my demise. The humans would call it grace under fire BUT…blessed spring is here and I clearly have unfinished business.
Then the box arrived. A special delivery. We knew it was coming but it came early. We’re used to parcels and boxes arriving. After 5 years of testing hundreds of cat products and reviewing hundreds of cat books, we know the drill. This new box lay unopened until yesterday. When Layla asked my dad, who it was from, he went all silent like guys do when they know but rather not tell. You don’t have to be a mind reader to know this would not be a new catnip toy.
Layla carefully opened the box from PawPods and found another box but not just any box but a eco-friendly burial casket. Casket? Like a coffin a box to bury the dead in or the other meaning of casket (n.) small and often ornate box for holding jewels or other valuables. Holy Bastet and curl my whiskers, but this is either the worst gift in the world or the best. I stayed upstairs and wasn’t privy to the unveiling. Cats don’t care for fancy things. Simple and natural is our mantra. I trust Layla to consider what’s best for me and I know she honors every hair on my 21-year-old body.
Odin our #1 products tester, heard the rip of a box opening and showed up in Pavlov’s dog fashion thinking catnip, catnip, catnip, treats, treats, treats. It almost doesn’t matter what the item is if the box it came in suits him. Odin has never met a box he didn’t like. The PawPod is silky smooth and surprisingly sturdy considering it’s made of bio-degradable bamboo and rice husks. The lid snaps on nice and tight but easily removed if you need to make any last minute changes. You could take a marker and doodle on it or paint a design.
The great thing about having it before we need it is having the time to prepare and make it special. Layla is thinking of doing a mandala design on top and finding the softest silk to wrap me in. Sounds rather spiffy already. Pet loss rituals and memorials are healing for everyone connected to the pet.
Doing some prep in advance is like a dress rehearsal to rein in stress and inform more meaningful choices.
Odin sniffed and immediately jumped into the box containing the PawPod. As soon as Layla removed it, he had a moment of confusion but read Layla’s mind about the real purpose and lost interest. Okaaaay, no catnip, no treats, no toys. I’m out of here. There was an odd moment of knowing we were all in sync and it was all okay.
Humans can be so judgmental but cats never are. We accept your fashion choices, weird habits and poor decisions. Cats think life and death are natural, unpredictable and a divine mystery. Dear humans, we get it.
Talking about death, funerals, or grieving can be awkward or creepypants uncomfortable. But like all fear-based emotions, they ease once the conversation starts and action is taken, like right meow. Planning ahead, whether providing for your pet in your will, prepping supplies for a funeral, memorial or burial can bring peace of mind.
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See you next week for another Mondays With Merlin.
Special thanks to PawPods for the gift. Best or worst gift? In my infinite wisdom I have deemed it the BEST gift ever for anyone with a pet in deep decline. Pawpods also make urns for cremation. Not all states in the U.S. allow pet owners to bury their pets in the backyard so check you state regulations. Pawpods make cute little fish pods and they are keen on stopping the practice of flushing goldfish and other aquatics being down the toilet. Not only is it disrespectful for a child’s early experience of pet loss but goldfish are now considered an invasive species.
FTC discaimer. This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are 100% feline and true.
Special paws taps to Domino, Odin and Nou Nou for their friendship and acceptance for what is. Oh yeah, my mom could use a hug and it’s my dad’s birthday today!