Once upon a time there was a cat who haunted us. Not in the ethereal sense but physically. This cat had decided that we were going to look after it, no matter what we did. This cat hung around in our garden for extended periods and upset the status quo of our house cats. None of our house cats liked this cat so we resisted. Then it got cold. Then it got really cold. Then it snowed (a lot). We watched this very determined cat sit on our lawn, as the snow fell around it. The snow got deeper and and it still sat. In the end we gave in and welcomed this strange animal into our lives. We called it Darren.
Darren was an old cat, this much was clear. The teeth, fur and claws told us this much. Once part of the family we sent this cat for a checkup with the local vet. The one surprise from this visit was that Darren was an inappropriate name for this cat as she was a girl. Consequently she became Derina. She was disliked by all the house cats, and she ignored this. She just sat around, in a warm place and ate lots of food. She was painfully thin, but lovely all the same. She had no collar identification or chip, so we had no way of tracking down her previous owners, if she had any. So, for a short while, we adopted Derina. Actually a more accurate description would be that Derina adopted us.
After about a year she passed away, much to our discontent. We were sad to see her go, but pleased in the knowledge that at least the last days of her life had been comfortable and warm.
|Derina, in happier times.|
The vet explained some of the options regarding burial... there were several. We opted for ashes in a box, as we intended to scatter the ashes somewhere suitable at a point in the future.
Herein lies my problem. The events described above happened a year ago. The ashes remain in a box, well two boxes actually (it's a box within a box) sitting on our hall table. She is quite happy there, although a recent visit from our parents suggested that maybe not everyone is happy with this arrangement.
We thought that it would be nice to place her ashes in a pot plant, so I visited a number of garden centres seeking inspiration. This proved to be an interesting journey.
Garden centres are staffed by two types of people it seems. 16-18's who lucked out at the supermarket and the over 65's who lucked out in their investment plans.
My first conversation involved the latter and went like this:
- Excuse me, I am looking for a nice, portable pot plant that is big enough for a cat's ashes. Can you help?
- Oh, I am so sorry to hear that, I feel your pain. We had the same dilemma when Toby passed, God rest his soul. Now, he was a big dog so we couldn't get him in the orchid pot. In the end we planted a hedge for him.
- So, a hedge? Seems a little over the top for a small cat.
- A small patch of hawthorne wlll do the job.
- OK, have you any in stock.
- Unfortunately the last one has been sold to a gentleman who sadly lost his hamster just the other day.
On to Garden Centre No 2 then...
This time I met the younger generation:
- Excuse me, my cat has just died; I am looking for a pot plant suitable to bury him in. Can you help me?
- DUDE, you are sick.
- Ah, yes it may seem that way. However, I am aware that the word sick can mean a number of things. Am I cool or am I unwell? Can you provide me with a suitable pot plant?
- SICK, man
I walked away. I have no pot plant, no resting place. Derina remains on the hall table. My parents are concerned. Any suggestions dear reader?