Quick Ghlaghghee Followup

First, thank you to everyone for their kind thoughts and notes yesterday, here, on Twitter, in email and in other places. I had a sad day yesterday, and you folks helped get me through it. And it was also nice to have a day where I didn’t do anything but process. I’m still sad today, but I also have things I need to do. So onward.

But I did want to show you where Ghlaghghee is and will be. That’s the backyard maple tree in the picture above; where the small pile of logs is a temporary wood cairn under which you’ll find her. The logs are there both to note the spot (we’ll probably put a small marker of some sort later) and also for the practical matter that there are coyotes and stray dogs in the area and we would like to thwart any of their possible ambitions. Life in the country.

Ghlaghghee unintentionally did us a small kindness by passing away when she did rather than any later, because yesterday morning the ground was clear and it was still warm enough that digging wasn’t a problem. It started snowing almost immediately after we finished burying her. This morning her resting spot is looking very pretty.

In any event, there she is and there she will remain and it’s nice to have her with us. I’m not generally a huge fan of burials — I doubt I will be buried myself — but as I noted yesterday it made sense for this little cat. To the extent that she would think about it at all, I suspect this is what she would prefer. Her whole life was what I can see out my windows. It’s a good thing to be able to look out the window and still see her.

54 thoughts on “Quick Ghlaghghee Followup

  1. All lives are precious. I’m sorry about your cat, excuse me, your friend/companion/travel mate/sleeping buddy. I loathe the thought of burying my fuzzy buddy. My thoughts are with you.

  2. Our daughter’s late kitty sleeps under a rough-hewn piece of granite in the garden under our front picture window. That window was his favorite spot to perch and chitter to the birds, and we all agreed that the ground below it was a good choice for his final resting place. Every time I weed around that chunk of granite, I stop a moment to remember Tiger and his goofiness; he wasn’t the brightest feline in the world, not by a long shot, but he sure was a lovable critter, and nearly seven years after his death, I still miss him.

    I like the thought of Ghlaghghee resting out there under the maple, and I hope you think of her indomitable and unique personality often as you contemplate the peaceful horizon. I’ll look for her maple in your sunset photos from now on.

    Sending wishes for peace and healing.

  3. Wonderful place for her, will be even prettier in the spring. Maybe plant catnip around the base of the tree, or some other type of flowers she liked? I have two buried out in the back yard under the herb garden, and two small urns of cremated ash on one of the book shelves from the most recent two we lost. But even if we didn’t have the remains, we have those years of memories and a number of cat shaped holes in our hearts… And I wouldn’t have it any other way. The pain of their loss is more than made up for in the years of purring cuddles and furry snuggles.

  4. Firstly, HUGS to you and the family. There’s nothing else I can do or say about Ghlaghghee. Nothing will make it better. Nothing can prepare you either. Like Krissy said, knowing it’s coming is not the same as facing it down once it gets there.

    Trees are a wonderful resting place. That’s where our furbabies who have left us for Valinor, or wherever it is that all of us go to find each other again, are resting. It helps to see life growing in the wake of death, at least it helps me. I’ve seen the passing many animals over the years but there are a few I ache for still. And a few that are still with me, but that I know I will ache for forever, once they’re gone.

    HUGS again, to you and the family. And here’s to Ghlaghghee, waiting for you in the beyond, ruling over an ethereal bed.

  5. I’m sorry for your loss, and completely understand how you feel. We lost our cat Jake five years ago. He rests under a small cairn of rock in a flower bed outside the window where he would often sit and watch the world go by. We still miss him today, even with four new furry children in the house. I sometimes find myself calling one of the new cats by his name. The response, predictably, is being ignored by the fur-person in question until I can get their name right — and often being ignored after, as well.

  6. Yeah, this crying at work thing is getting to be a real drag.

    My condolences for your loss and congratulations on an absolutely perfect spot to Rest In Peace.

  7. We had to put one of our beloved dogs to sleep last summer after an extended illness. You’re right that knowing it’s coming doesn’t prepare you for it. I still miss her deeply. My deepest sympathy for your loss!

  8. That is a beautiful, beautiful place for her, and beautifully appropriate as well.

    Just caught up this morning and saw the news. I’m so sorry for your loss, and so glad that you had a wonderful dozen years with her and that her passing was as peaceful as it could be.

  9. Tammy’s and I’s condolences on your family’s loss, Scalzi. Losing a loving member of your family is hard, even when you know it’s coming….

    At least, Ghlaghghee is romping in The Summerlands now, waiting for her family to join her.

  10. What a lovely resting place (and a lovely tribute yesterday) for your beautiful Ghlaghghee. My condolences to you all.

  11. Thank you, John, For sharing with us about Ghlaghghee, and reminding all of us that we are not alone in knowing our family includes our furry loved ones as well as the naked loved ones. (This is how I assume the furry members of my family see me.)

  12. It’s a beautiful spot.

    I owe you an apology. Next time I will read the introduction to the comments, so that I don’t give offense when I am trying to offer comfort! I am sad for your loss.

  13. I am so sorry to hear that she is gone. A small comfort that you didn’t have to take her to the vet. My thoughts are with you all, especially the other animals. They will also miss her, and they will grieve. Hugs to all

  14. I couldn’t bear having a grave for Rufus (I have a hard time with graves in general), but when my husband and I have a breathing moment we’ll scatter his ashes around the grass in our backyard. It helps that our backyard is a lot smaller than yours. I decided that that was what felt right to do when I thought of it as him marking his territory. All of our cats are indoor-only but we did take him out there a few times in a harness and he would’ve loved to spend more time out there. Which I was going to take him out to do when I got back from Thanksgiving, dammit, but he died the night I returned. My one regret.

    Anyway, I’m glad you’ll be comforted by seeing her tree.

  15. So sorry for your loss, but you have done well memorializing her, and burying her in a spot that makes sense for her and you.

  16. Heartwarming and touching. Again, bless you all, and may the bright memories ever light your lives.

  17. I have always HATED having to take a sick animal on a car ride, to a strange place that smells Wrong, to strangers, and then euthanizing them. It just seems like adding torture to misery.

    Sometimes there is no choice, and it has to be done that way. Sometimes you can be lucky and a vet will come to your home. And sometimes the animal will take care of matters themselves, and that is a great mercy for everyone, I think.

    I’ve had my last several pets cremated, and when I go, I want to be cremated as well, and have my ashes mixed with theirs and scattered someplace wild. I buried two cats, and then moved, and have always felt guilty for leaving them behind. I don’t think that will happen to Ghlaghghee, somehow. I like your memorial for her. (This turns out to be more about me than about you and your cat, for which I apologize. When someone loses a pet, my own come more sharply to mind.)

  18. I love your thoughts on her burial spot. I have my dog’s ashes that I need to find a spot for (I’d prefer to scatter them somewhere, but my daughter wants to bury them next to my parents’ dog in their yard). I’m fine with that idea except that my parents have been talking about selling their house, which means in addition to leaving my childhood home, they’d be leaving the dogs behind. So meanwhile the ashes sit in their box.

  19. Just wanted to pile on to the list of people offering condolences. To be honest, I am not a regular reader, but I saw your post on twitter and now I’m sitting here at work tearing up. I’ve lost my share of pets and currently have a much beloved 9-year old lab who went from being extremely active, strong, and healthy, to having two rear legs that don’t want to work, almost overnight. It is bitter and horrible, because she should have had a few good years left, much like your kitty. My life right now basically revolves around caring for her and I measure my own happiness based on how well she’s moving around and whether or not she’s pooped or peed for the day. Her condition is perplexing to the vets I’ve taken her to – she makes a bit of progress and then goes backwards. It’s maddening. She is fighting so hard to get better and I’m not willing to give up yet, but it’s so damn hard. I’m trying to hold out for yet another specialist that’s booked solid for two months. Fingers crossed.

    Anyway, your post really hit home and losing a pet is the worst. In some ways it can be worse than losing a person. The hurt never really goes away. It sounds like Ghlaghghee was well loved and cherished and I’m glad for your family that she passed peacefully at home and didn’t need to take that last trip to the vet.

  20. I’m sure whatever you ultimately do will be done with love, and properly honor Ghlaghghee’s memory and your love for her. I would not presume to advise you.

    Yesterday’s post, which I linked on FB, caused blurry-monitor syndrome among my friends.

  21. Sorry to read about your loss John. It’s never easy when we lose our fuzzy kids. That’s a very fine resting place and I’m with you, it’s very fitting that those furry companions who have spent their whole lives in and about your home deserve to be laid to rest nearby. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and memories with us.

  22. You did well by her. Look upon her resting place with fond memories and the peace knowing you gave her a wonderful life.

  23. Scalzi family,

    So sorry for your loss. I just learned of Ghlaghghee’s death a few minutes ago, and I understand very well the sensation of loss.

    I spent a couple of hours this morning with Spike (a tortie girl named for her nature, sharp!) at the vet. She had quit eating last week. After a long physical exam, blood work, xrays, no real reason. So Dr. Witt gave her a pill which was supposed to give her an appetite back. Oh, wow, did it. She’s been a pest since before we got home.

    But traveling to our vet clinic this morning, you can’t help but fear the worst, which we have encountered with many cats over the past 43 years we have been together, Mrs, J and I.

    Best wishes for everyone in the Scalzi homestead!

    Take care of each other, and have sweet memories of your late kitty.

  24. That’s a nice spot for a little cat to rest.

    As much as we can, we’ve buried our furry ones where they each chose to bask in the sun. I like to think they are there, perhaps no longer flattening the daffodils or disturbing the birds, but still where they loved to be.

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