Friday, December 4, 2015


Well, yes. I have.

I don't suppose they'd give him back, if I called.

Judging by the triple 6 in the phone number I'm guessing this is a hoax, anyway.

I was thinking what to do with Estorbo's ashes. It makes no sense to hang onto them. They live in a lurid little purple gift bag from the pet crematorium, in the back of a closet. Along with a clay-impressed paw print given to us by his well meaning vet, but which I cannot bear to look at.

Two options appeal to me: Scatter the ashes on his old rooftop, where he hunted and jumped and observed the world. Then he'd blow about in the wind that made him flatten his ears. Or put them on a little paper boat (the Frenchman is very good at making them) and float him into the Buttermilk Channel (between Brooklyn and Governor's Island), about which he used to tell tall tales - he herded his cattle over there for summer grazing. That would be neater, and would also ensure that no one inhaled cat dust by accident.

And if you have no idea what I'm going on about, hold steady. Regular programming will be back, shortly.



  1. Most of us know, Marie, exactly what you are discussing, and our sad hearts are with you, yet.

  2. That's a hard one. Our dogs are sleeping in our garden. I wanted them nearby. Ok the whole truth. the first one is sleeping in our former garden. There was no way to bring him with us when we moved, but i still thing of him as "here". The Don is always with you - in the closet or in your heart.

  3. He will be with you, whatever you do with his mortal remains.

  4. I had a beautiful small urn hand-thrown for my Black Kitty, Hooter--I like to think she'd be pleased to continue to be admired. I miss Estorbo, too; I chuckled thinking of his "caddle".

  5. Christina Li in Spokane, WADecember 5, 2015 at 1:50 AM

    You don't know me, Marie, but I've been reading your blog for many years now. My husband and I had to put our first cat, Coco, to sleep in 2009, when we were living in Virginia. She was young...just a few months shy of 6 years. Anyway, we've since moved to New Jersey and Washington State...and we are the proud staff to 2 orange kitties...and we still have Coco's ashes. To me, it makes no sense to part with them.

  6. Please call that number, it might not be a hoax and a black kitty is genuinely trying to find his/her owner.

  7. Replies
    1. Yes, we do want to keep the furry members of our families with us. My companion, Cinnamon, a boxer, is winding down her time with me. I am having a hard time with the idea she will no longer be with me and waiting for me to be there with her. I have planned her permanent place in an out of the way space in my garden. The garden is where I "am". And it will be where she waits for me, in the reverie of weed pulling, the smell of the fresh green grass, the beauty of the lilacs in late spring, and tart crisp bite of the Honeycrisp apples she would share with me in the fall..

  8. I still miss Estorbo, and still hope that when the time is right, another of his kind will find his way to you. But that's your decision. Just a thought for the Don . . . perhaps scatter him in one of the parks or public gardens you love? He might never have been there, but if it is special to you, he would be at home too. He could go back to the earth and do his part in the cycle of nature. (And wouldn't it be an eyeopener if you walked past his patch of land next year, and there was a thumping big growth of hen of the woods or something. Okay, or maybe catnip. :-)

  9. I vote for scattering the ashes on your old rooftop. When my cat Oscar died, I told them I did not want the clay paw print but then called right back and said I did. I am glad I have it although it is kind of creepy that the imprint was taken after he died. Carry the paw print with you and put in the base of a plant Estorbo particularly liked. XXOO.

  10. I doubt that cat dust would be the worst thing anyone has inhaled in this city but if feline cremains are like human cremains, they're more crumbles than dust -- which makes me lean toward the Viking funeral in the channel. Probably also not the worst thing to end up in the channel . . .

    Melanie, et al.

  11. I wonder about finding a covered urn-ish container that you can keep in your new garden. E can hang out with the sheep and he (the incredibly loved beeg blag cad) can also hang out with you & Beence while you work in your garden, are having cocktails and enjoying delicious dinners. That way he can carry on his many loves - herd his caddle, hunt for racoons, keep up with his security duty, keep you safe ;-) ... I hope you both eventually decide to adopt 2 new cats (I'm a huge believer in twos) now that I've lived with my boys, brothers from another mother, Oliver & Virgil. My entire Gang 4 cats and 3 dogs are sleeping tight buried in the back wooded garden at 29 Black Street now owned by new people. I know the area would never be disturbed and I feel comforted that they are in their "home". Much love to you and Vince this holiday season xoxo Susan (& current Gang)

  12. When Dubby died, our vet returned his ashes to us in an urn, which I never really knew what to do with. When we lost Kali, they returned her ashes to us in a simple but lovely wooden box with a space for a photo on the front. One day when I was at work, Mike opened the box, and put Dubby's ashes in with his sister's. My favorite photo of the two of them, which I didn't know at the time would be one of the last I ever took of them together, is in the frame. I think either of your ideas sound lovely.


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