Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Jewish Cats and Eastern Orthodox Dogs?

Now, I don't know much about pet cemeteries, but we have a little one in Binghamton that actually is home to a couple of extremely famous racehorses (that's a great story, for a later blog entry), so John agreed to play tourist with me and we visited "Whispering Pines Pet Cemetery" last weekend.

I couldn't help but crack up at the religious nature of some of the headstones: Was Buffy the Dog really Eastern Orthodox, as her grave marker indicates? If so, did she attend mass regularly? make holupki for the fundraisers? call bingo on Tuesday nights?

Judging by their headstone, Mazel and Yentl were a most pious pair of Jewish . . . CATS! They appear to have their birth and death dates listed in both the Gregorian and Hebrew calendars. I want to know, who is naming their cats "Mazel" and "Yentl"??

Anyway, I think this all speaks to a greater issue that John and I had just been discussing. The question was: What do you want done with your body and where and how do you want to be disposed of after you die? Do you want a grave? Cremation? What?

Of course, John said he wanted to be buried in a '57 Chevy in Arizona or something ludicrous, but we both agreed that we would be dead so we didn't care: we both wanted whatever would be soothing and peaceful for the living. I think this pet cemetery really drove that point home: obviously, the animals weren't religious, but those they left behind were, and it apparently comforted the living souls to see the religious symbols on their pets' gravestones.

So, as far as I'm concerned, you can put a big fat slurpie machine at my grave if it will make people happy to visit and soothed enough to stay awhile!

1 comment:

Pam said...

Hi, I loved your post! I think animals have souls as well as humans. I think it is touching that these people buried their pets like that.

I would want to be cremated and have my ashes scattered over the local ice cream parlor... just kidding. However, I am Jewish (a convert) so I will probably be buried in a simple pine box.