A Parting Stone employee’s experience with solidified remains
As a single millennial with no kids and no roommates, for the last 10 years my cat has been the most important being in my day-to-day life. I adopted him immediately when I moved into a house that allowed pets, at 19 years old, without thinking about it too much. Despite not fully grasping the responsibility of being the sole owner of a pet at that age, I was committed to giving him the best life possible. He was my best friend for that entire time, and I have the camera roll to prove it. He was there for relationships, break-ups, living situations with roommates, and in apartments where it was just him and I on our own. We even did a cross-country move together at one point. And it wasn’t just me–everyone in my life who met my cat loved him too. I can’t tell you how many times I heard “you know, I normally hate cats, but yours is an exception"
Knowing that, you can probably imagine how stressful it was when his health began to decline. My cat was dealt an unfortunate hand that nothing I could do would fix: Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease. I won’t go into what that is, but if you’re deeply curious you can look it up. All I will say is that it’s chronic, ambiguous to treat, and can sometimes create very urgent situations (read: Vet ER). Throughout his life, I fed my cat prescription food, got him a fancy water fountain, tried every home remedy my vet recommended, and even crowd-funded the cost of a surgery that was supposed to significantly decrease the likelihood of him having life-threatening issues related to his condition (spoiler alert: it did not work). Despite my best efforts, I was not able to save him, and he died after a devastating final trip to the emergency vet.
I knew right away that I wanted my cat’s remains solidified. As an employee of Parting Stone, I know firsthand the kind of profound impact solidified remains can have in the healing process. We’ve received countless messages and letters from families we’ve served explaining how much Parting Stone means to them. The folks I work alongside also care deeply about each step of the solidification process and take this work seriously–I trust them. When the vet asked me what kind or urn I wanted for my cat's remains, I said that the temporary cardboard urn they offered was fine. In the short window of time I had his ashes, I remember feeling so grateful that this was not his final form. The ashes were uncomfortable to hold, whether they were in the awkward cardboard cylinder, or in the rigid plastic bag inside of that.
When I got his stones back from Parting Stone, I felt an immediate sense of relief. They were smooth and the perfect size to carry around in my pocket, which I did from that point on. My cat came with me everywhere I went: coffee shops, bars, concerts, restaurants–anywhere you could easily take a small stone. They were the perfect thing to have with me when I was feeling anxious. Anytime I felt stressed, I could glide my thumb across the surface as if it was a worry stone, which in some ways, it was.
People loved to see them too, and always came with questions.
“Do they dissolve in water?” - No.
“What happens if you drop it?” - I demonstrated this on a concrete patio at a bar one time; the stone remained perfectly intact.
“How many do you have?” - I received 10 stones back from my cat, but that number varies greatly. An adult human, for instance, yields 40-80+ stones
I shared a couple of the stones with people in my life who had formed a bond with my cat too.
Over time, I felt more comfortable leaving the stones at home, where they now sit on a shelf in my living room among a few of my cat’s favorite toys and a photo of us. I still hold them when I’m anxious, and if I’m anticipating a particularly stressful situation I’ll bring one with me. Based on my experience alone, I am truly grateful that I was aware of solidified remains as an option when I experienced this loss. If you’re uncertain about how you want to receive a pet or loved one’s remains, I highly recommend looking into Parting Stone.