‘We sponsored an opera seat for our cat’: readers on commemorating their beloved pets

From a pottery paw print to a treasured tattoo, contributors share their ideas for keeping their pets’ memories alive

‘We sponsored an opera seat in the name of our cat’

Mr Horatio Parmouk, our beloved cat, turned up at my house as a stray and never left. He was a large, black tom cat with the sweetest disposition and was named partly after Nelson, partly after a character in Downton Abbey. Everyone loved him; he had his own Facebook page, wore various outfits in return for a cat biscuit or six and even starred in an advert for a hat company. Before he passed, we sponsored a seat at the London Coliseum in his name, so opera-goers can now sit in his seat. He was a real feline character. Cathy Peake, nurse manager, Barnet

‘I decided to realise a dream and have Kimi tattooed on my leg’

Lindsey Manton’s tattoo of her yorkshire terrier, Kimi.
Lindsey Manton’s tattoo of her yorkshire terrier, Kimi. Photograph: Lindsey Manton/Guardian Community

I lost my beloved yorkshire terrier Kimi Raikkondog Manton four days after his 10th birthday. He collapsed and passed away at the vet’s without me by his side, due to Covid restrictions. After receiving a lump sum of holiday money from my old job and a bonus from my new job, I decided to realise a dream. So I booked to have Kimi tattooed on my leg, more than 320 miles away in Edinburgh. Even though I could have bought a slightly better car with the money, I needed that tattoo more. The tattooist was fantastic – we talked non-stop for the seven hours that I was in the chair and I cried when I saw the finished tattoo. It means the world to me. Lindsey Manton, Leicestershire

‘I will have my dog’s ashes turned into a diamond, then set into a ring’

Stephanie and her cairn terrier.
Stephanie and her cairn terrier. Photograph: Stephanie/Guardian Community

I had to have my beloved cairn terrier put to sleep this summer, after 15 years of having him constantly by my side. His death left a huge void, a deafening silence and a sense of loneliness and emptiness. To commemorate him, I will have his ashes turned into a diamond, which will then be set into a ring, so he can continue to accompany me wherever I go. His amazing, lively presence is missed so, so much. Stephanie, freelance translator and interpreter, Midlands

‘I stamped my cat’s paw print on to the sides of a pottery project’

Valeria’s milk jug with the paw print of her cat, Catherine Cattington.
Valeria’s milk jug with the paw print of her cat, Catherine Cattington. Photograph: Valeria/Guardian Community

After our beloved Catherine Cattington was hit by a car, we had her cremated. Some of her ashes were incorporated into a beautiful resin model of a sleeping cat by an artist we found on Etsy and we also had an imprint taken of her paw. I was having pottery lessons so I made a stamp from the imprint and transferred it on to the sides of a milk jug I made, in lieu of a handle. In the absence of being able to hold my cat again, it helps to have tactile objects that remind me of her. Valeria, archaeologist, Oxfordshire

‘We used gold paint to fill in the hole our hamster gnawed in the floor’

Jennifer’s hamster, Daisy.
Jennifer’s hamster, Daisy. Photograph: Jennifer/Guardian Community

After our hamster Daisy died, we used gold acrylic paint to fill in the hole she had gnawed in the kitchen’s vinyl floor. It’s still there: a lasting memorial to an amazing pet. She was a very lovely hamster, who would rush around the kitchen floor in the morning while we all had breakfast. She would come to us when called by name, sometimes running up our legs and into our hands. Jennifer, Cambridge

‘I carved the names of my dogs into a plaque when they passed’

Remus and Roman’s plaque.
Remus and Roman’s plaque. Photograph: Andrew Lewis/Guardian Community

I made a simple plaque carved with the names of my two German shepherds, Roman and Remus, who died within a short time of each other. It’s erected overlooking the garden where they are buried, and where I know they had happy lives. I don’t think I’ve much of a future as a carver, but the thought was there. The plaque is pictured here alongside our new German shepherd, Bear. Andrew Lewis, carpenter and builder, Staffordshire

‘We gave Nelson’s toys away to our neighbours’ dogs’

Nicholas Cook’s dog toy giveaway in memory of Nelson the lurcher.
Nicholas Cook’s dog-toy giveaway in memory of Nelson the lurcher. Photograph: Nicholas Cook/Guardian Community

When our lurcher Nelson passed away during lockdown, it was crushing. It took us some months to pluck up the courage before we placed a post on the local Facebook site asking dog owners to pop by and help themselves to one of his toys from his basket on our driveway. As a beautiful tribute, people started posting pictures of their own dogs with his toys. It was a small comfort to us to know that other dogs were enjoying them. Nicholas and Sam Cook, Nottingham


Guardian readers

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
‘My soupmaker is so quick!’ 15 lockdown buys that helped Guardian readers
From a treadmill and a puppy to 19th-century curtains, here are the purchases that have helped cheer people up in the past year

Guardian readers

19, Feb, 2021 @12:06 PM

Article image
Sanity, stability and stress-relief: why our beloved pets have never been more important
They are time-keepers, normality-bringers and playthings. Here’s the science behind how cats and dogs help support our mental health

Jules Howard

08, Apr, 2020 @11:12 AM

Article image
‘I’ve seen a heron, deer, a hare …’ Guardian readers’ lockdown garden transformations
From wildlife ponds to private pubs with their very own toilets, here are some of your most successful pandemic projects

Guardian readers

30, Jun, 2021 @12:03 PM

Article image
‘My dog showed no remorse’: Guardian readers on the damage done by their beloved pets
From the labrador who won’t stop chewing TV remotes to the cat who undid a year’s work, meet the destructive animals their owners can’t help but forgive

Guardian readers

27, Mar, 2023 @11:30 AM

Article image
Rise and shine: nine quick and easy breakfasts – from on-the-go onigiri to deluxe pilchards on toast
Readers share the dishes they make to kickstart the day, from herby eggs with tomatoes and feta to zhuzhed up baked beans

Guardian readers

15, Sep, 2021 @5:00 AM

Article image
‘Alice the rat was so special’: readers on their brilliant, beloved pet tattoos
During the pandemic, every pet became an emotional support animal – and many people decided they wanted to commemorate them indelibly and incredibly

Guardian readers

07, Jun, 2021 @5:00 AM

Article image
‘Melon seedlings make good pets’: how lockdown made us love houseplants
From orchids to apple trees, readers share their stories of the plants that kept them busy, lifted their spirits and distracted them from the endless Zoom meetings

Molly Blackall and Guardian readers

06, May, 2021 @12:06 PM

Article image
‘It’s just like the Caribbean’: readers on eight beautiful, tranquil British beaches
Birds, animals and the waves provide the soundtrack at readers’ favourite quiet, unhurried coastal spots

Guardian readers

15, Jul, 2021 @10:30 AM

Article image
‘The path was alive with army ants!’ – readers’ holiday encounters with nature
A manta ray in the Maldives, wolf tracks in Portugal and mischievous seals in the Scilly Isles are just a few of your spectacular sightings

Guardian readers

22, Sep, 2021 @10:00 AM

Article image
‘It’s very moreish!’: readers’ delicious cherry recipes, from frozen margaritas to strudel
Flavoured gin or sweet frangipane? Readers share their favourite ways to put a glut of cherries to good use

Guardian readers

07, Jul, 2021 @1:40 PM