This is my friend Cressi‘s beloved cat Pippin, who died recently. The photos were taken post mortem, not that you’d particularly know – pusscat just looks asleep, pretty much. Death in all its guises is strange and sad and sometimes uplifting, but the death of a pet is quite often just downright weird.
I know people who are hardfaced and unemotional in daily life, yet howled for weeks when a furry friend shuffled paws-first off this mortal coil. I still regularly cry over two separate cats that died twelve months and eight years ago respectively, despite having two very adorable current felines.
Perhaps it’s easier to be openly emotional about animals than it is about humans. Children certainly don’t worry about how their grief will be perceived. Another friend, Jacquin, lost her lovely Wilfie a little while ago:
Pets are simpler – they either like you or they don’t, and simply owning a can opener is often enough to ensure lifelong adoration. And in return, it’s simple to love them in return, and to miss them as much as any human.
This article was inspired by this archived blog post about a post mortem photograph of a Victorian terrier dog