It’s during the deep freeze of winter, and your favorite cat dies. They lived a good long life, and it came to an end, peacefully, naturally, and you want to honor their life. But the ground is frozen solid. And so, with a pioneer wagon train spirit, you bundle the sweetly sleeping-looking kitty, and bundle it up in a bag and stick it in the freezer. In the spring, when the ground thaws, you’ll have a proper burial. There’ll be a shoebox and a eulogy, and a bouquet of catnip on the mound of fresh dirt in the backyard. Maybe some rocks or a stick lashed cross will adorn the little grave. But it’s winter now, and so you wait.
But the space in the freezer fills up. Groceries from Costco are bought, things re-arranged, and time gets away from you. Spring comes, and passes, and suddenly it’s Fall and you remember the cat-in-the-back of the freezer and think ‘well now’s not a good time, it’s almost winter. plus I’d have to take everything out to get to him,” and then the pain is fresh and real again and you think next spring. That’ll be the date for sure. And maybe it will. Or maybe five years will pass. I don’t know.
And I haven’t actually had a cat since college, and he ended up living with a friend’s aunt, and I doubt is in their freezer, but when the New Year rolled around, and we were officially weaned for two weeks, and I thought back to the two times our freezer has thawed since Potamus was born I really thought to myself:
“It’s time to get rid of those bags of milk. They aren’t good anymore. They haven’t been good for awhile now.”
He only ever took a few bottles. And we mixed some in with yogurt around 9 mos of age, but he was exclusively breastfeed…and not always by choice. He refused the bottle. Screamed his ever loving head off any time anybody got close to him with it. He knew what he wanted, and mama’s milk straight from the tap was it. Stubborn as a mule that one!
But I kept pumping. Long past the point where he would ever switch to taking a bottle. I did it out of an animalistic need to provide and seeing the ounces fill the bags that he wouldn’t use was somehow satisfying. I tried to donate some to a friend but my freezer thawed and most of it spoiled and then it re-froze and has been sitting there, labelled with love, for now two years.
It’s time to bury the cat.