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Remembering Alfred.

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I had to say goodbye to Alfred this morning. He's been with me for 15 years but stopped eating last week so there wasn't much else to do. He was the first and only pet I've ever had so I wasn't sure what to do after his death. The vet provided a cardboard coffin which was much nicer than the shoebox I had found so we buried him in a relative's back yard. I hope there's not any rules against that or something. I was wondering though, what do other people do with their pets after they cross over? A friend of mine is a dog owner (big dogs) and he said he left his with the vet, but I was wondering what other people do too.

A few months ago I realized that I didn't really have any pictures of Alfred and if he were to suddenly pass I'd have little to remember him by, so I decided to try out a new digital camera I had gotten. Pet owners always seem to have at least one good shot of their pet but I really don't, so I decided that needed to be changed. I took some pictures here and there when he was striking a cute pose and I stopped worrying about it. Last night when I realized that he wasn't going to make it I wanted to make certain that I had some good, healthy pictures of him, so I loaded the pictues off the camera to see what I had. Unfortunately while they looked fine in the camera's tiny window they were all incredibly blurry full-size and it hardly looked like Alfred at all. I decided then and there that even though I had very little time left with him I would figure out how the camera worked to make sure I got a good picture of him. So, I just started snapping away throughout the night (the few times he wasn't in my lap) and eventually fgured out how to get a good picture. I really didn't want a bunch of pictures of Alfred wasting away but I didn't see any other choice.

So now Alfred is buried and I've decided to look over all the pictures I took. I've gone through and picked out the ones that look good and don't make him look sickly, however I'm quite sad that half of the 50 pictures are still rather blurry since I was experimenting. As I look at them I'd really like to print the good ones and make a little photo album for me or anyone else who knew him, but there's one picture that I don't know if it would be appropriate to include. In pretty much all the pictures Alfred doen't look particularly happy or healthy, but there's so few good shots I don't have much to choose from. I was so touched by how we prepared his cardboard coffin that I took a quick shot of it. It's the very last picture I took and it came out fantasically. It's the only clear picture where Alfred looks like he's resting happily and doesn't look at all sick. It seems to be by far the best picture I took but I'm wondering, would this be inappropriate to include in the photo album? I think it's clearly the best picture, but... well... it's a dead cat. This is uncharted teritory for me and I don't wish to cross any lines.

My lap will miss Alfred, especially with winter coming, but at least now I know I'll never forget his cute fuzzy face. The vet also made a paw print mold and said it would arrive via mail in a few days. We placed a rock from the yard over his grave and I was thinking of getting a tiny plaque made to place on it, so now I think I'll try looking into that. Farewell Alfred, I'll miss you always.

Edit: Hope I wasn't too blunt with this post. I was trying to find out more about what caused Alfred's illness and I came across this site and figured I'd try posting something. I've never had any pets other than some fish and my sister's parakeet, and you just can't bond with a parakeet like you can a cat. Besides, I'd have trouble talking about this with someone right now anyway.
Usually when I'm feeling down I'd turn to Alfred. There's something about a purring cat in your lap that just makes it hard to feel sad. Now that he's gone though I don't know where to turn and the place feels so empty. I guess I never realized just how much I rely on him. He's been with me since the 4th grade and I've known him longer than most of my friends. I can't believe I miss this little guy so much already.

post #2 of 16
I am so very sorry for your loss. Its hard to loose our best friends when they have been with us for so long. 15 years is a great life and shows the love you had for Alfred

I am so sorry that not many of your photos worked for you, I can imagine how heartbreaking that must be now that he has crossed. As with the one that turned out perfect - maybe its Alfreds way of showing you that he is now in a beautiful place and in no pain? His way to show you that he is now happy, and you should not grieve for him too long, instead try and smile at the happy times you had together?
I am not a religious person, but I fully believe in the Rainbow Bridge and fully believe that it is a better place.

RIP Alfred - you will be deeply missed. Watch over those that love you
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thank you very much. I've read some other posts here and I wish I had heard some of those keepsake ideas before he was buried. I wanted to spend every waking (and sleeping) moment with him right until the end though and I don't regret it. Luckily the vet did the paw-print thing so I'm glad I didn't miss out on that. He loved being groomed so I left him with his groomer and he also loved those plastic rings that come on milk cartons so I took one of those off of a carton in the fridge. That's when I took the picture and I can't look at it without crying yet.
post #4 of 16
I know exactly what you mean about how peaceful looking Alfred was. We just had to put down our kitten, and he wasted away and was, if not miserable, at least pretty uncomfortable. When I felt him finally relax that last time, it was such a peaceful feeling. We wrapped him up in a towel like a baby and just held him for quite a long time because we felt so happy he wasn't suffering any more.
post #5 of 16
You gave Alfred a lovely, happy life. I know you will miss him a lot. ***hugs***
post #6 of 16
I am sorry for your loss. It is easy to tell that Alfred was a much loved cat. At this stage, you do whatever is right for you. Make the album and include any pictures you want to. I am glad you buried him in your yard. My special cat died in July and we buried him in the back yard. His grave has a decorated stepping stone right now. My husband is in the process of pouring a concrete marker so we can put Max's name and the dates on it. I am sorry your pictures didn't come out any better than they did. You have your memories though and they will always be real special. One thing that I did when my Max died was I wrote a story about his life with us. I included some pictures and made two more copies. I gave a copy to the family who gave him to us and I gave the vet who took care of him a copy. I didn't want to ever forget anything about Max. You will see his picture in my siggy at the bottom of this post. Cry whenever you feel like it. It will help. Rest in peace little Alfred. You were a blessed cat to have had such a special person to love you for so many years. You will be missed.
post #7 of 16
Condolences on the loss of Alfred. I lost a black kitty, Mattie last summer. I was going to keep her, and adopt out the other kittens, so most of the pics I had taken were of her littermates. And being black, she just didn't show up real well in a lot of pics. I only have one real good pic of her, and her tail is all fluffed up because something had scared her!

Then this spring, we had a litter of babies born to a foster kitty, and the black kitten died at 2-3 days old. I realized I didn't have any good pics of the baby, so I took a picture of B.B. after he died, laying in my hand. I thought about posting it online, but didn't. I thought it might be too sad for some people who had recently had a loss of their own.

If you know someone who would like a memory book of Alfred, make one. But make another one just for you, including the blurry pics if you want, including the pic of him after he was gone. Its ok, its for you. So whatever makes you feel good.

It is difficult to lose a kitty. Like you said, they become such a part of our lives that it is hard to go on without them. I am very sorry you lost your kitty. But whether you have a picture from every day you were together, or just from the end time, Alfred doesn't care. What mattered to him was the time you spent together, and the whispered secrets you shared. Maybe in time you will find room in your heart for another kitty. Not a replacement, just another friend.
post #8 of 16
Condolences on losing your special friend. I agree with Huggles that the peacefulness of the final picture is a sign that your kitty is enjoying the good reward of a faithful servant over RB. Hugs, susan
post #9 of 16
Bless his little heart!. What a wonderful companion Alfred was to you

Hold onto all 15 years of happy memories that you both shared and Alfred will never die

RIP Alfred Play happily over the bridge with all the other rainbow bridge kitties
post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thank you very much everyone. I really like the picture book idea so I've been taking pictures of his favorite places and things. I was wondering how I'd ever be able to pack up / throw away his things and this should really help. It was nice and sunny this morning so I was able to get some shots of his favorite sunbeam spot. It hadn't occurred to me to keep the blanket he went to the vet in but now that I think about it that seems like a good idea. It's just an old, beat up towel that we'd always use to carry him to the vet and line his carrier with.
post #11 of 16
I'm very sorry to hear of your beloved Alfred's passing. It sounds like he was quite the loving pet. Having a photo album of him is such a lovely idea.

RIP Alfred
post #12 of 16
Alfred was very beautiful. I'm sorry he had to leave you, but he would want you to be happy now, knowing you gave him a very happy life. Please take care.
post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
I'm feeling a lot better now. Yesterday I packed up his things from his cage (food dish, litterbox, towels) and packed up or threw away the rest of his things (food, litter, treats, toys, etc). The cage was used as part of a plan to get him back to using his litter box several years ago and became his home away from home wherever I moved. It was really tough clearing out his stuff but now that I'm done I've finally been able to get him off my mind for a bit. It'll be tough to clean the cage and pack it up but who knows? Maybe another kitty will be able to use it someday.

I also finished snapping pictures of his favorite places/things today. I've started writing down memories of him starting with the last few days while they're still fresh in my mind, then I'll jump back to when he was a kitten. Writing really helps so I'm glad I saw that idea here now as opposed to later. Thanks for all the kind words. I really miss my furry little friend but this has really helped me to let go.
post #14 of 16
This is so heart breaking. Alfred lived such a wonderful life and your love for him comes through in your post. I'm so sorry you lost your dear friend. Precious Alfred now runs and plays joyfully over the Bridge in perfect health!
post #15 of 16

post #16 of 16
RIP sweet Alfred
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