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Feature August 2019 Issue

Why Writing an Obituary For Your Cat May Be a Good Idea

Ironically, writing an obituary for your cat can help lift some of the sadness.

Why Writing an Obituary For Your Cat May Be a Good Idea

A process both therapeutic and healing.

People who lose a cat often experience what social workers have called disenfranchised grief, says veterinarian Karen Fine, a graduate of the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts. By which she means that the grief one feels upon losing a pet often is not considered socially acceptable and is given short shrift by others. “‘You’re still upset?’” people will ask cavalierly, Dr. Fine says. “That was a couple of weeks ago.” They don’t realize that people often have a closer bond with their cat than they do with many of the other loved ones in their lives, caring for their pet every single day and developing a daily rhythm through feeding the animal, perhaps sleeping in the bed with her, enjoying quiet kneading sessions, goofy antics, and being greeted by their pet when coming home from work.

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