Well hello there, it’s me Merlin still here for another week. You’d think it would make Layla happy but she’s feeling melancholy. Maybe it’s the first inklings of autumn or the visit yesterday to the Hartsdale Pet Cemetery for the annual blessing of the animals. She brought photos of all of us to be blessed but got so wrapped up chatting with so many wonderful pet parents, she almost missed her turn. She was just about to get in line when she noticed a sad, older woman walk away from her pet’s grave. Something made her walk over and say hello and the woman led Layla to her dog’s grave. What made it heartbreaking was she’d had one loss after another over the past three months. First her son, in his 50s who lived with her and she found dead and then her beloved dog. When someone is grieving they need to tell their story, repeatedly and the kindest thing is to simply hold a space and listen. This wasn’t the kind of woman who wanted to go to a bereavement group, buy books on grieving or see a therapist. I’m so glad Layla tells me everything. Cats like that, you know. She was so immersed in her story, she completely forgot about the blessing.
Out of nowhere Layla got one her psychic flashes and asked the woman about her connection to the holocaust. I think she has some kind of radar because my cat dad’s parents were holocaust survivors. Stunned, the woman says, “how did you know? I was in Auschwitz with my parents when I was five. We were released just before the war ended.” She proceeded to tell some stories of the horror and how she was truly alone now, no parents, spouse, child or pets. What do you say to that kind of loss? Layla gave her card and invited her to call. The woman turned to say the blessings are over but hurry, go someone is still there. The ceremony was over but Layla rushed over and there was only time for one and she didn’t pick me. She picked Radish. Funny how these things happen.
It was such a beautiful day of such joy mixed with sadness and so many stories. People visited the pet’s graves, many with dogs, bringing flowers, sitting on picnic blankets, filling water bowls. I noticed Memorial pet tattoos are not only for hipsters. There was a feeling of celebration tinged with tinged and Layla wandered up and down the crooked hilly paths to read inscriptions new and very old. IYa got to wonder who Roma was who was found in Rome, Italy and died in 1909. So much love. Over a hundred years of love and devotion. Way more love expressed than in any human cemetery.
What does that tell you about humans and their pets? Our love is pure and uncomplicated without criticism. We give what every sentient being wants: to be loved and accepted. We love our humans just the way they are, warts and all. It’s so simple really. That’s it for now. Oh, I would like to announce the winner of our Fat Cat Art book giveaway is Jaguar. Hmm, not a regular commenter but I won’t hold that against them. I wouldn’t mind if Mr. Fat Cat himself would give me a few pounds. I can’t afford to lose any more weight.
Check out some sweet cemetery pics of pets who brought many blessings to the lives of their loved ones.
And to all our Jewish friends and readers many sweet blessing for the new year on Rosh Hashanah. A common greeting on Rosh HaShanah is: “Leshanah tovah tikateivu” – “May you be inscribed (in The Book of Life) for a good year”. Apples are dipped in honey for a promise of a sweet new year. I know I’ll be having my Manuka honey!