Why new ‘craze’ chills me to the core!
This growing trend, which started in the US and is sweeping (apparently) across the world, has seen increasing numbers of the super-devoted or simply plain wacko, paying up to £2500 to have their dog, cat or any other beloved domestic companion animal frozen after death at minus nine degrees using ‘space age’ technology. They are then made to look as if they are ‘just sleeping’ or can be fashioned into ‘life-like’ poses, depending on the owners’ wishes.
The results as featured on sites such as www.perpetualpet.net look eerily life-like and a definite improvement on those pets subjected to taxidermy. I can thoroughly understand the need to keep the adored pet around, but I do think that this new ‘craze’ is a step too far. What next, freeze-drying relatives and having them posed in life-like positions around the house? Perhaps have Uncle Ted pipe in hand reclining in his favourite armchair? Yes, I agree, what a horrible, sick idea!
But why is it so different with pets whom we once treated as integral members of the family? What about their dignity in death?
A dog or cat is not purely defined by what they look like and I would argue that they are much more purely ‘them’ based on their unique characters and quirks of personality. When what defines them in life has gone, I firmly believe that what you’re left with is a mere shell that resembles the deceased pet but brings none of the joy and pleasure that having a real dog or cat with his / her own unique personality brings.
In fact, I would have thought that having this constant remember of a beloved deceased pet would, to the vast majority of people, be intensely upsetting. To have a cold shell where once warm blood coursed and a heart beat beneath the fur, where once a tongue could lick a face, where once a paw would twitch in a dream and eyes would ask for food or a walk, would be horible. I, for one, would be in pieces to have that sort of constant reminder. Wouldn’t you?