I’ve always been incredibly sentimental. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always squirreled away a little piece of the each pet I’ve lost over the years.
Tufts of fur, kitty’s favorite pillow, even some teeth that my cat Sam lost when he got older. I didn’t cremate any of my previous cats, but when it’s my current kitties’ time, I know it will be something I consider. What other options do we have?
Enter pet memorial jewelry.
I scoured the Internet and found that almost any way you could imagine memorializing your cat, you can make it happen. There are cremated remains (or “cremains”) jewelry, various options involving fur, or even DNA. There are many personal ways to create a lovely reminder of your pet.
I know it’s never fun to think about when your kitty will go to that great big cat box in the sky, but when you are confronted with that life event, here are some options that might bring some peace and beauty to your mourning process.
There are many pet hair memorial options out there, but two that stood out to me were Fur and Steel’s earrings and necklaces made with your cat’s own hair, and Blue Moon Pottery’s kiln-fired pet hair jewelry.
With Fur and Steel, simply contact Flora Davis when you are ready to place your order, then mail her one to four “handfuls” (depending on the piece you want) of your cat’s hair. Within a couple of weeks, you will have a fluffy piece of jewelry that is completely unique to your kitty.
Blue Moon Pottery asks you to send them a small amount of your pet’s hair. They then lay the hair over the piece of clay jewelry you’ve chosen, and fire it at over 1000 degrees in a kiln. “A small deposit [of] carbon and smoke is absorbed into the clay, leaving a permanent trace of your pet’s hair on your jewelry!”.
A really personally and lovely way to keep your pet close to you after they have passed is an urn pendant. Eternal Paw Prints and Ashes to Ashes makes tiny little pendants that you can fill with a small amount of your pet’s ashes, then seal.
Some are so dainty and pretty that the only one who will know that it’s an urn is you. If you would like to be able to actually see the ashes inside the pendant, there are also glass options that are very discreet and tasteful. My favorite one is a tiny hourglass from Eternal Paw Prints.
We live in the future. If hair or ashes is not your style, then perhaps a pendant created using your cat’s DNA appeals to the science fiction fan in you. I know it does with me. MementoDNA will create a jewel pendant with “a piece of” your pet’s DNA saved within it.
All you have to do is swab the inside of your pet’s cheek using the swab in the kit they send you, mail it back to them, and within a few weeks you will have a sparkly reminder of your four-legged family member.
If you are especially close to your kitty, you can even commingle your DNA with theirs in a piece of jewelry so that you can be “together forever.”
I was lucky enough to chat with Paula McDonough of The Venerable Bead about her glass cremation jewelry.
“My goal is to create a piece of jewelry that tells a story for the person wearing it,” McDonough says. “I want the wearer to connect to the piece and remind them of the relationship and memories of their loved one or pet, but I also want it to be a touchstone to help them talk about their family member if asked about the piece. I included the stamped sterling tag so that the customer could really personalize the piece with quotes or names and dates.”
A clinical social worker by day, a glass melter and jewelry maker by night, mom to an American Hairless Terrier named Lily, and a breast cancer survivor, Paula has been selling her jewelry since 2007. However, following her cancer treatment she “was searching for more meaning in my work as a glass artist. ”
“Then a lovely long-time customer asked me if I could memorialize her son by encasing his cremains inside a pendant. I wasn’t sure about the request at first so I researched it a bit and finally agreed to try it. The results were beautiful and Venbead Cremation Jewelry was born.”
Paula sees her cremation jewelry as “a tangible way that I can contribute to the grieving process. You could say it’s one more tool in my mental health tool box and it sort of brings my two lives together in a very meaningful way. ”
What I love about Paula’s pieces is that they are so the opposite of what you’d expect from this kind of jewelry. With your pet’s ashes encased in the glass, the jewelry is bright, playful, yet heartfelt. It appears as if you are simply wearing some original art. The importance of the piece is private to you, and the people you decide to share it with.
“The emails I have received from my customers who have purchased a cremation pendant have brought me to tears every time. They appreciate the pictures of the process and my handwritten notes that reflect my feelings about the making process, and what I hope the jewelry will mean to them. It has been a very special dynamic and honor getting to know their loved ones and pets through them and pouring that into these creations. At the end of the day, I am making pretty things not just for the sake of pretty but for a higher purpose and that is a truly a gift.”
Paula is offering a promo code to Catster readers through December 31, 2013! Use code CATSTER for 20 percent off at www.venbeadcremationjewelry.com
What do you think of pet memorial jewelry? Is this something you would do when it’s your cat’s time? Have you memorialized your cat with jewelry or in other unique ways?