Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Pepper up-the-bum of the establishment....

"...pepper up-the-bum of the establishment..."

Lindsay Anderson (the 'If man'), was described thus (or by words to that effect) this-morning on the esteemed Radio4. I was driving up a steep hill at the time and had to stop a guffaw of laughter from swerving me recklessly into parked cars that people had left on each side of the road.

Dunno who said it - I suppose listen again could inform me - but somehow, the phrase not only tickled my fancy, but it described me to a tee.

I passed it on to Charlie (Good Funeral Guide...) and he recognised himself in it too...I am going to have it on my tombstone. He agreed. I suppose now, we have to see which of us goes first and claims it in carving. Second time round on a grave (however far apart) could be thought so very passe darling.

I had been down to my local FD, to collect my equipment. I don't suppose many people know what 'equipment to embalm' looks like - my car was full to the brim with it.

Dog was there too. He often is. I am reassured to know that Zoroastrians consider Dogs to have the power to ward off evil spirits. Dead Zoroastrians are always shown to a dog as a precaution against such contamination.

My dog is happy around coffins - he knows, I think, that he has a duty to perform - as far as I know, he does his best. (It surely isn't for nothing that dog spelled backwards is deemed an important word...to some humans).

Peoples dogs and cats should go to their owners funerals...it got me thinking.

I have been to a couple of funerals where anonymous cats have appeared and partaken actively with no bidding. The first memorable time was in a very, very cold cemetery. Parents were burying the ashes of a much loved daughter - aged 23. A tragic time, much sorrow, many tears and hankies.

Suddenly and with much purpose, a cat came towards us and looked into the hole at the ashes casket, then it proceeded to wind itself round the legs of the parents - completely ignoring the rest of the small group of onlookers. The FD tried to usher it away - but it persisted around the two 'chosen' for a number of minutes - before going off in the direction from whence it came.

Afterwards, we realised that donations for the funeral were being collected in aid of 'Cats' Protection' and that the daughter had been a real proper cat lover and owner of several. We never managed to find out who's cat it had been...we asked around.

The parents loved it - it made the day really special for them. They said so.

Second memorable cat was black and sleek and very vocal. It came from nowhere and marched in front of the hearse up the hill towards the Crematorium accompanying the FD who again tried the "shoo! go-away!" handbag technique...Not easy when you are trying to walk in front of a hearse with unsuspecting but onlooking mourners.

The hearse stopped - the cat stayed around and insisted on coming in to the funeral - the family decided to let it; why not? It behaved perfectly and didn't sing till after the service. It liked funerals, (It was black for a reason I guess).

It stayed around the crem this black funeral cat, (helping...where it could), for a week or so, till it was adopted by the cremator attendant who took it home. He and his wife lived in a cemetery gate-house, so the cat was still in it's absolute element.

So I think that animals too can be 'pepper up-the-bum of the establishment' - frankly, who would want to stop them?


BlouKous said...

I'm allergic to cats. Love them, but cant go near them. Think the feeling might be mutual as they avoid me like the plague even though I always try and pick them up against my better judgement. They get all uppity with me, I in turn get all uppity with them and I'm left with two swollen & very itchy eyes wondering when I will ever learn...


Thankyou for your comment, it was heartfelt. Another great post that gets the axons firing. I believe that cats are incredibly spiritual, or whatever it is they possess. They have an insight which is unique. The way they seem to have telepathic conversations with each other can be amusing. Having a cat or two around the funeral home is a great idea, as it is known that petting a cat can lower blood pressure and can calm.:)
Take care