Having a frozen dead cat thawing in my garage was not a situation I would have ever thought that I would be faced with but, yet, there I was.
Earlier that morning, our five-year-old rescued calico cat, Daisy, was having difficulty breathing. An emergency trip to the vet brought the news that she was suffering from congestive heart failure, and there was nothing that could be done for her. I did the humane thing and had her pain ended there and then. I cried into her fur and left, having made arrangements to have her cremated. Or so I thought.
My Three Sons, after learning that she had passed, unanimously put the kibosh on her cremation. “You can’t burn her up!” they declared incredulously. I called the vet and told them the plan had changed, and that I would be back to retrieve her body.
In the past we had buried other cats in old toolboxes in the backyard. It was January and I thought the ground would be too hard to dig, thus the decision to cremate this time. Since I was fresh out of toolboxes, I stopped at Home Depot on the way back to the vet’s for a proper coffin. I gave the toolbox to the vet tech and asked her to please put Daisy in it for me. She returned a few minutes later with an empty toolbox and something wrapped in an old Mickey Mouse blanket.
“I’m sorry. She froze in such a way that I can’t fit her in the toolbox,” apologized the vet tech. It had never occurred to me that they froze the dead pets awaiting cremation. Honestly, this was information I could have gone my whole life without knowing
Upon returning home, I put her in the garage, hoping that she would be thawed enough by the next day to fit into the toolbox.
No such luck. She still had her legs straight out in front of her. We started looking around the garage for an alternative container.
“Hey! Do you think she’ll fit in this pickle bucket?” said Chip. I had purchased an empty, bright red Firehouse Subs five-gallon pickle bucket a few years ago (the proceeds go to their Foundation to help improve lifesaving capabilities). And, as luck would have it, she
fit. I hope that Daisy doesn’t mind the slight kosher pickle smell for eternity.
This whole experience does leave me a bit concerned. When it’s my turn to be buried, will my boys go to Firehouse Subs looking for a cast-off pickle barrel at a deep discount? At least they’ll be supporting a good cause if they do.