By Shelly Allen
Pet Loss: It’s Never Easy. I lost my first cat in my mid 20’s. Meko was a little cutie and I just loved her to death. Her demise was rapid and totally unexpected as she was only a few years old. One day she stopped eating and developed fatty liver disease as a result. The doctor couldn’t pinpoint why she had stopped eating and neither could I, but she suspected Meko went through a period of not feeling very well and that’s why. To me, it didn’t really matter why as I was faced with the decision of what to do next.
As I pondered my next move, I had questions. “Who do you use for the cremation process?” “How do I know I’m really getting Meko’s ashes back?” “I can’t choose her urn?” The answers were surprisingly vague and really it came down to just having to “trust” the facility to do the right thing and take whatever urn they had in stock at the time.
That was 20 years ago and times have certainly changed. Now, not only do you get to pick your urn but you can pick your service provider as well, and nearly a year ago, I found myself in that very position yet again.
Alicia’s cat, Carmy was 19 years old and going through kidney failure. This was the first cat Alicia had ever loved and she had been through the best of times with her, and the worst of times. Carmy was the light in Alicia’s life, her constant companion no matter who came or went. I knew Carmy and shared my life with her for 13 years so it was easy to see how losing her was going to be extremely difficult for both of us.
Alicia did a lot of research about kidney failure and made the decision to allow Carmy to pass naturally in our home as kidney failure is not a painful death, in fact, it’s the way most cats who have lived in health pass away in their old age.
We talked a lot about what to do when it was over and there was only ever one decision for us, we would take her ourselves to A Rainbow Crossing and have Jennifer process her remains.
I’ve known Jennifer Collins since 2011 and have seen firsthand how passionate she is about helping people. Jennifer founded A Rainbow Crossing when she lost her own cat, Pepper. She couldn’t believe a more dignified end to her beloved companions’ life could not be had, so she created one for all of us.
A Rainbow Crossing provides pet memorial services and the process provides the pet’s family members with comfort, closure, and compassion. All pet cremations are performed at her facility and if you want, you can even be present during the cremation. She has plenty of choices for inurnment and you can even schedule a funeral service in their private viewing room if you so desire.
On the morning of September 5, 2018, at 5:45 am, Carmy passed peacefully over to the Rainbow Bridge. We placed her in her topless open carrier and allowed our other cats to say their final goodbyes. We called A Rainbow Crossing and waited patiently for the hours to pass so that we could drive her there ourselves (even though they do offer a pickup service) when they opened. Jennifer wasn’t there when we arrived but one of her employees took such loving care of us and our baby. Leaving her there was the hardest thing Alicia has ever done, she had never left Carmy anywhere and the realization that it was for good, was a tough pill to swallow. We cried all the way home, but knowing she was in good hands was a comfort I had never known before.
In a few days’ time, we were notified that Carmy’s remains were ready and I went right there to pick them up as Alicia was eager to get Carmy back home with us.
Anyone who has ever lost a beloved pet knows the process is never easy. Their lives are short but boy, do they get a lot of love in while they’re here and that makes it difficult to say goodbye. I’m just thankful we have a facility in our own backyards that makes the process much more bearable.
If you’d like more information about A Rainbow Crossing you can visit their business profile page by clicking here.