When Whisky was put to sleep, we initially decided to have him cremated, but during the night that followed, I lay awake, longing for him to come home. The following morning, we decided as a family that Whisky should be bought back to the happy place he spent his final days, and be buried under the tree at the front of the house where he would spend his afternoons sunbathing and watching the World go by.
We collected his body a few days after he left us, and I spent some time alone with him, stroking him and almost imagining he was just sleeping very peacefully next to me. I took paw prints from him and cut one of his whiskers for me to keep. He came into this World with his whiskers cut off, and he left the World with a whisker cut off!
I’d busily spent the last few days crocheting him a blanket. Before we moved to France, I had crocheted him one to have in his cage with him as he travelled, for comfort. He had continued to sleep on this since we got to France. However, I was unable to part with it. It smelt of him. His fur had meshed with the wool and had become part of it. The blanket was, I felt, my only physical keepsake I had of Whisky and I selfishly wanted to keep it with me. So, I’d made him an identical blanket with the same wool, and we wrapped his fragile body in it before we buried him.
The boys stroked him and placed drawings they had made in the bag next to him, and I placed his last bag of treats which he had never finished, in the ground with him. We then covered his precious body with soil and planted beautiful bright flowers in the ground above him. I felt so overwhelmingly happy that he had come home to rest. This was the right thing for Whisky.
As I sat on the wall beside where he lay, something brushed past my head, and as I stood and turned, I saw the biggest ‘black and white’ butterfly fluttering around me. It then landed on the ground directly above where Whisky had been buried, before flying over to the tree stump where Whisky used to sit. I watched it joyfully, my heart skipping.
Black and white – like Whisky. Was it a sign?
I had never seen a black and white butterfly before. Ever. Yet this little butterfly playfully flittered around me and the tree beside us, as Whisky had done. Cheekily trying to get my attention. Letting me know, he was there.
Whatever, it made me feel alive. And several times since, I have seen something in the corner of my eye: at the back door, prowling from the bushes, or on the tree stump in the garden, and my heart has danced believing it is Whisky – but sadly it is not.
Yet there is that black and white butterfly.
I took some photos of the area we had buried Whisky, and as I looked back through them, I was amazed to see a rainbow trickling through the trees branches and landing in the exact spot where Whisky lay.
Rainbows and butterflies. Now you tell me that’s just a coincidence.