Tuesday, August 28, 2018

The Purrfect 10: Ways To Honor Your Rainbow Bridge Cat

We love reading and researching anything and everything about cats, and wanted to find a fun and unique way to share the interesting facts we learn with you! Since top 10 lists are very popular in the blogosphere, we created The Purrfect 10 as a way to present 10 educational or fascinating tidbits about a wide variety of cat-related topics, everything from health issues to cat breeds to famous felines.


Today is Rainbow Bridge Remembrance Day, a special day created by Deborah Barnes – author, award winning blogger, and cat advocate in tribute to her cat, Mr. Jazz, who she had to say goodbye to on August 28, 2013. She shared the journey of letting him go in her most recent book, “Purr Prints of the Heart: A Cat’s Tale of Life, Death, and Beyond,” a warm and heartfelt book that is written in the wise and comforting voice of Mr. Jazz himself as he shares his life and death journey to offer guidance and understanding through a cat’s perspective as to why sometimes letting a pet go can be the greatest gift you give them.

Since every single one of us who loves cats either has or will experience their devastating loss one day, we decided to do a Purrfect 10 post with ideas on how to honor their memory and keep them alive in our hearts for all time...

1) Create a memorial in your home. Truffles is the first cat I had cremated because I wanted to keep her close to me always. Her portrait, paw print, various angel statues, and ashes rest on their own special table in the living room. You can also display a few of their favorite toys, their collar, favorite photos and a lock of their fur. A shadow box is a lovely way to preserve and display the items you can't bear to part with after your pet is gone.

2) Start new holiday traditions. During the holiday season when Truffles' table needs to be moved to make room for the tree I create a Christmas memorial area in another part of the room with her very own small tree and other various decorations. I also have ornaments on my tree that honor all the cats I've shared my life with. If you've saved any of your pet's fur (or if you haven't this is a good tradition to start with your current pet), it can be put inside a clear plastic or glass ornament so they're always watching over you.

3) Create a memorial in your garden. If your cat is buried in your yard, or even if she's not, consider adding an engraved marker or memorial stone with her name on it. A statue of St. Francis (the patron saint of animals), an angel, or even a peaceful water fountain can contribute to a special memory spot outdoors.


4) Donate leftover food and supplies. Every cat in your life is going to have their own personal likes and dislikes just like people do. Thanks to long expiration dates on pet food, when Tara passed away I bagged up and set aside her leftover cans of food with the intention of keeping it for the next kitty. Then Truffles came along and her tastes were very different. So the bag of food sat there. For 14 months. As silly as it seems, I could not let go of that food. It was Tara's. Finally a light bulb went off in my head and I realized that Tara would want that food to be in the tummies of kitties in need. It felt so good to donate that leftover food in Tara's honor, just as it did with the food Truffles left behind after Mudpie came into my life.

5) Commission artwork. Shortly before Truffles ran off for the Bridge I received an unexpected package in the mail from our friends at Chewy.com - a commissioned painting of her as thanks for our work for them as a Chewy Influencer. It meant the world to me then, but even more so after she was gone. There are many artists that specialize in creating memorial paintings for grieving pet parents.

6) Get creative. Whether you draw or paint, write stories or poetry, journal or scrapbook, get your creative juices flowing to honor their memory. Writing about Truffles, both a detailed account of her last day and a short story including all my cats who now reside at the Bridge, was very therapeutic for me.


7) Wear your heart on your sleeve, around your neck, & throughout your home. I have Tara and Truffles' images on countless pieces around my home - t-shirts, bracelets, necklaces, blankets, pillows, even a tote bag. Surrounding myself with these one of a kind items that I can see and enjoy on a daily basis brings me such comfort. Today you can even purchase special jewelry made to carry a portion of your pet's ashes, the ultimate way to keep them with you at all times.

8) Organize a supply drive in your cat's name. Shelters are always in need of food, treats, toys, bedding, cleaning supplies, and a multitude of other things. Reach out to those close to you, or even your entire community, for donations so you have a large amount to bring to the shelter in your pet's name.

9) Volunteer at your local shelter. It's so easy to get lost in your sorrow after losing a pet, choosing to stay at home and dwell on your grief. Instead, why not volunteer some time at your local shelter to help other animals in need? They crave one-on-one interaction with caring humans, and you can soak up the love that only a four-legged friend can provide. Who knows, you might just fall in love...

10) Open your heart to another homeless cat. After suffering the loss of a cherished pet it's the easiest thing in the world to say you never want to go through such pain again and decide not to adopt another cat. That's not the way to honor their memory though. Millions of animals are euthanized in this country every year because there aren't enough homes for them. Adopting another cat when the time is right for you will not only save a life but will also help to heal your broken heart. You're not "replacing" the friend you've lost - you're giving another deserving animal the gift of a beautiful life with you.


What have you done to honor the memory of your cats waiting for you at the 
Rainbow Bridge?

19 comments:

Mickey's Musings said...

So many good ideas for remembering our beloved kitties(or other pets).
Purrs Georgia,Julie and JJ

Memories of Eric and Flynn said...

Those are all good ideas. We have a Memorial Garden for all the cats who went before. Each has a rose bush planted above them with the colour of the rose being as near to the colour of the cat they honour as possible. We have also built a zen like garden with potted shrubs all around the sides and a water feature with a resting cat on the top of a gently trickling waterfall. It is very peaceful to come out and sit listening to the water on a warm evening or cooler daytime.

Summer at sparklecat.com said...

Purrs to you as you remember Tara and Truffles. My human can't do this day - or any remembrance -nbecause it's too painful. She was doing a podcast with someone last week, and she mentioned her soul cat, Harlot, just once, and she almost broke down. And Harlot has been gone for 16-1/2 years.

Deb Barnes said...

What wonderful tribute ideas. I know what you mean about the food and not wanting to part with anything that was once something your beloved pet ate. We all cope in different ways - to this day I still can't wear the shirt I wore when I had to say goodbye to Jazz. Love and purrs on this day of remembrance from Deb, Mr. Jazz, and the Zee/Zoey gang.

Patricia T said...

The best thing I ever did was rescue another tortie after losing my two girls in 2016. She has been a blessing.

The Island Cats said...

What great ways to honor and remember those that came before.

Eastside Cats said...

We rescued Manny and Chili Bruce, in honor of the loss of Chuck. Knowing that black cats are often overlooked, finding two bonded black cat brothers seemed as if Chuck was directing it all from heaven. So I did not question, and having Da Boyz has been a joy from the get-go.

The Menagerie Mom said...

This is such a perfect post for Rainbow Bridge Remembrance Day. Your ideas for honoring our angel furbabies are absolutely spot-on. One of the first things I did after my Rosie gained her wings was set up a corner just for her in my bedroom. It's where I keep her ashes, patches of her fur, some of her whiskers, and lots of art created for her. After she passed, our vet clinic sent flowers to my home, and I keep that vase in Rosie's corner with a pretty fake rose in it for her.

Purrs and prayers to you as your remember your angels today. (P.S. I always admire the beautiful memorial you have set up for your Truffles. It's absolute purrfection.)

ANGEL ABBYGRACE said...

I think I did 10 out of 10 on your list and I added one more. I started learning every single think I could about Grief. It may sound weird, but I just had to understand better...and surprising enough I have found even 5 years in I still don't understand, so I'm still searching for answers.

Marie Symeou said...

Such great ideas!

Thanks for sharing

Purrs xx
Athena and Marie

pilch92 15andmeowing said...

Wonderful ways to pay tribute to our angels. I have 2 necklaces with ashes of my beloved kitties. XO

Cathy Keisha said...

Great post. We have kept Faith, Chizzy and Autumn's favorite toys and have multiple pics around the condo. TW has lots of Nicky pics since he didn't play with toys. I think she should only have my picture up around the condo.

The Florida Furkids said...

These are great! Mom has all of her kitties/woofies creamated and they have special urns. She even takes them when we evacuate.

The Florida Furkids

Momma Kat and Her Bear Cat said...

This is funny - we talk about giving away our extras in our post today too. I used to have more of a shrine to Kitty - but Bear kept stealing her catnip mouse so I had to hide it where he can't get it ;) A lock of fur - and her picture ... but I still remember her like it was yesterday.

World of Animals, Inc. said...

This is a wonderful post. So many great ways to pay tribute to the little ones that have passed away. We hope everything has a chance to do some of the stuff you listed. Thanks for sharing the terrific ideas. Have a wonderful day.
World of Animals

meowmeowmans said...

Sending you purrs and prayers as you remember your beloved Tara and Truffle on this special and important day. I just couldn't do it this year; for some reason, I am really missing our Zoe, Moosey and Sammy, and it just felt too painful.

Caren Gittleman said...

this was a great way to honor your babies on this special day! I loved these tips and a number of them I have done, such as adopting a kitty (Cody was the one!), and creating a memorial in the home (I have numerous collages of Bobo all over that I created within days of his going to the Bridge. (((hugs))) as you remember.

Three Chatty Cats said...

These are all wonderful ideas! I really like the idea of commissioning artwork.

Priscilla King said...

The Cat Sanctuary is the memorial to our Founding Queen, Black Magic (the first social cat I'd ever seen or heard of). She always had to have foster kittens, so I've carried that on.