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I am a great believer that family extends beyond the boundaries of blood. I know that adoptees, in-laws and Stockholm sufferers are all capable of loving me just as hard as a real relative, but I have always been distrustful of a pet's affection. Dogs and cats it seems, are faithful not because of fondness but because of dependence. If you disagree, consider how quickly a dog or cat will eat you when it runs out of other food options. The name "pet-owner" itself should denote the exact nature of the relationship, and yet there are animal lovers who insist on calling themselves the pet's mommy or daddy, confusing the whole agreement between species. Though I disagree with the bond, it also makes for some hilariously misguided grief tools once that pet dies.

Funeral homes know that mourning has roughly the same judgment-impairing effect as 12 shots of plastic-bottled vodka; anyone in the business of sending off the dead can make a fortune through rituals and ceremony. It makes sense then, with all the socially incompatible men and barren women out there who equate losing a cat to losing a child, that there's a lot of absurd money to be made through pet loss. So, with the wrong half of an audience now alienated, let's get to work.

Freeze-Dry Your Dead Dog

For people who can't stand to part with the corpse of a pet but lack the freezer room to keep it, there is perpetualpet.net. The service will taxidermy your cats and dogs in the frozen position you remember them most fondly.

If I had to pick the craziest part of this freeze-dried dog, I would say it was the placement of the headphones.

Judging by the gallery, most people chose to stuff their animals in the sleeping positions, since dogs are at their sweetest when they're tired and sleeping is the only thing cats ever do. The site makes no mention of whether or not they'd be willing to stuff your pet in an attack position, which is a shame because I could imagine that would be helpful in warding off intruders and a real hit when I pretend it's eating me at parties.

Ultimately, freeze-drying your pet ensures that it will sit quietly in the corner of your apartment for eternity, something it refused to do for even five minutes while it was alive. At last, you'll never have to worry about urine soaked carpets, or shredded furniture, or incessant barking at absolutely nothing. Death and Perpetual Pet have distilled all best qualities of your animal: adorableness and the reflection of your own projected love shining back through shiny plastic eyes.

Turn Your Dead Cat into a Horrifying Ball

If you're concerned about the tastelessness of a freeze-dried pet, but you're also still suffering through delusions of permanence, you can always burn your cat and cram the ashes in a ball painted like its head. The painted kitty cat urn from custompeturns.com cremates your animal and then stores the remains in an urn resembling your pet's unblinking face. Each urn also features a nondescript wire tail and two pendulous balls I'm assuming are supposed to be paws to keep it from rolling off the mantle.

I like chicken! I like living!

Before you just assume that's terrifying without any background information about the company, let me assure you that it is. The faces are hand-painted based on a picture of your pet to guarantee that it looks just enough like the decapitated head of your cat sitting on the nightstand when you wake up in the morning. Also, trying to capture the life of an animal in painted eyes is something humanity hasn't mastered yet, so the stare looks more dead than the ashes inside it.

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Seal Your Dead Bird in a Vault

One of humanity's great achievements was the domestication of wild animals. We pulled our pets from nature, curbed their savage instincts with love and taught them tricks. As a pet owner, you worked hard to make your pet more human, and just because it died doesn't mean you're going to let nature get its filthy hands on that parrot again. Good news, you can buy an airtight, water tight pet coffin that withstands 1200 pounds of pressure. The Eternal Series Pet Casket/Vault on petsinrememberance.com will guarantee that the natural cycle never gets to use your favorite animal. The casket even comes with a pillow inside for your pet's weary head and decorative pallbearer bars on the side, to confuse the aliens sifting through the remains of our planet centuries from now into thinking your bird was pretty goddamn important.

"They wanted us to find this for a reason."

I have a hard time deciding if the most unnerving part of the petsinrememberance website is the guide to measuring your live pet for a coffin or the list of suggested animals to stuff in one of these boxes. Of course birds, cats and dogs are all on the list, but so are spider monkeys, sugar gliders and squirrels. If you need to bury your pet squirrel in a casket that's clearly designed for an infant then you have bigger problems to contend with than closure.

Crush Your Dead Rabbit into Jewels

For the stylish mourner, lifegems.com allows you to turn your pet's corpse into an elegant gem. No one will accuse you of inability to make lemons into lemonade when you can crush a sickly, cyst-covered rabbit into a girl's best friend. The process takes the cremated ashes of a pet and presses them into synthetic diamonds which you can then set in different presumably haunted jewelry.

Pictured: A true blood diamond.

The pets are really more of a side project for lifegems. Their real bread and butter is turning people into pretty stones. "A certified, high-quality diamond created from a lock of hair or the cremated ashes of your loved one as a memorial to their unique life." Just in case you breezed through that quotation, I'd like to pull out the most important part: a lock of hair. That suggests you can create diamonds out of a person who's still alive, a prospect that should terrify everyone who isn't a stalker. That said, I will admit that a diamond made out of a grizzly or a panther's hair might be the coolest ring with which you could ever propose.

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Make a Hat out of Your Dead Horse

For the ex-pet owner who likes the idea of wearing a dead pet everywhere but shies from the ostentatious, there's another option: you can have your pet woven into clothes. The Fuzzy Farm spins pet hair into wool so that you can remember your friend in a scarf, mittens or even a headband.

You honestly have no idea where that's been.

While the site doesn't just concentrate on dead pets, the most common suggestion they offer for remembrance is the memory square. It comes with a custom frame with the pet's photo, name and other things equally as useless as a hunk of fur-yarn. Though, I suppose if you are bad at owning pets then you could potentially have several of these made and fashion them into some sort of inter-species quilt for cold nights. To Fuzzy Farm's credit, of all the coping mechanisms on this list, this is the only one with a solid utilitarian application. I can really get behind their cause, especially considering that every strand of yarn was, at one point, a piece of someone's sheep anyway, and also because I'm hoping to seduce them into making me a vest knit from my own chest hair.

Get an Email from Your Dead Snake

If you are having a hard time letting go of your pet and you want to communicate with it one last time, Romanian Nina Petre is here to help. She is a psychic detective who specializes in contacting dead pets. She refuses to talk to clients on the phone or in person, but if you're willing to pay around $180, she will channel your dead python like Whoopi Goldberg in Ghost, except instead of making out with you, she will write an email as your animal. I'm not kidding. She will tell owners whether their pets are in heaven or hell and give detailed directions from the pet on how the owner should move on. One presumably desperate man paid this woman and received an email from his dog, Dicky that stated, "mean neighbor gave me poisoned food."

"Also, Dicky asks that you send me more money."

Despite the age difference and that unfortunate turtleneck, I am attracted to this woman. Her unapologetic, reckless approach to dealing with such a sensitive topic is breathtaking. Not only is she willing to profit off the misfortune of others but she's also willing to accuse neighbors of murder plots with no foreseeable gain on her end. Nina doesn't give a fuck. She's just here for the ride. If I'm wrong about her, then at the very least she's undercutting the reverence in which everyone holds the death of pets, and in that sense, I'm certainly no better than she is.

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