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  by Barb Shelton

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Memorial Service for a Beloved Cat

Chrissy wrote: "Last Saturday we had our kitty put to sleep. She was 12 years old and suffering. Jonah put together a beautiful service. Tory constructed a sturdy casket and Jonah lined it with a blanket we bought when our dog Strider was a puppy. 

 

We invited Tory's parents and siblings. Jonah and Tory picked out a beautiful tree to plant over the grave. We decided to bury her next to Strider. (Both graves are on our ~ Dave and Barb's ~ property.)  They were best friends before Strider died a few short years ago."

 

Chrissy had posted her above thoughts on Facebook two years ago. Here are the two "best friends," who, by the way, were named after the characters on Lord of the Rings, which this family loves!

 

 

I (Barb/Mom) am not a dog, cat or pet person, but both Strider and Arwen were sweethearts, and I actually liked them ~ which was no small feat for animals when it came to me liking them. 

 

I still vividly remember Strider, a good-sized German Shepherd, playing with Arwen when they first got her. Arwen was a little tiny ball of fluff, and Strider was many times larger. I would watch as he played with this little fluffball, gripping her in his mouth, and wondered if, any moment now, Arwen would be crushed in Strider's toothy grip ~ which she totally fit inside!!! And Strider was a big, strong dog. But he was wise and gentle and knew exactly how much ~ how little ~ pressure to use with his little friend: just enough to keep the fun going, but little enough to keep the kitten alive, unharmed, and even comfortable. Never once did he come close to hurting her! It was amazing to watch this!

   

   

SAYING

GOOD-BYE

   

   

Arwen truly was a beloved pet. Before we get into the service ~ which was very precious ~ here are a few pictures of them together the day they took Arwen to be put to sleep... Notice that Jonah has a nice shirt and tie on? He took this very seriously and had gotten dressed up for the pictures and the forthcoming service! 

   

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Chrissy holds Arwen one last time.

 

A final family picture:  

  

And one last pic of Jonah and Tory with her:  (They are smiling, but this was hard.)

 

 

THE SERVICE

  

 

The service took place on our property close to where, as Chrissy mentioned, Strider is buried. Chrissy set up this sweet memorial table for the service...

   

Tory and Jonah carry the casket (that Tory built) with Arwen in it over to where we were having the service ~ which was the site at which she would be buried.

       

Jonah helps his Dad lower the casket with Arwen inside into the hole he had already dug.

   

With Arwen's casket now in the hole, the graveside service is about to start... 

       

But they removed the top first so that we could have an open-casket service. Chrissy (almost 8 months pregnant) plays guitar and leads us in a song. 

 

Jonah had requested that his Mom, Chrissy, play a song for the service.

  

After the service, Tory covers the casket with dirt.

 

And Jonah helps...

 

Tory plants the cedar tree they had bought especially for this ~ on top of Arwen's grave.

  

  

Chrissy ended her Facebook post with this:

   

"Way to go, Jonah! You did a great job helping us remember Kitty Arwen! It was a beautiful family day. Our pets are together again!"

  

  

And I (Mom/Barb) will end this post with these words to my son and daughter-in-love, Tory and Chrissy:

  

Just as you two were blessed by your son's heart to do this for Arwen, so you can probably imagine how blessed I am as your parent, seeing all that you two put into making this such a memorable and precious event for your son!!! I'm sure you did it partly for your own hearts, too ~ and for ours(!) ~ but you didn't have to go to this much trouble ~ or make such a nice casket for Arwen, or haul your guitar and the sweet remembrance table out to the side yard! But those all went into making it such a precious event! Even though it was two years ago (just a week before Henry ended up making his month-early entrance into this world!), it still brings tears to my eyes and a warm fuzzy ~ or furry ~ glow to my heart! It blesses me as your parent to know how much you valued this special event for and with your son! Thank you SO much for allowing us to be part of it!!!!!

 

 

   

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