I’ve had kind of a rough year in some ways. This dog has been an incredible companion, a real motivation to keep it together and to feel hopeful. I am fortunate beyond belief for this little girl. Thank you, Ace.

Here’s another short Dogster article I wrote about a Kickstarter campaign for a creative way to use your pet’s ashes to grow a memorial tree. It’s called Greenfiniti.

Regarding the story I tell at the beginning of the article: Usually when I tell this story it is darkly comical, but obviously that would have been inappropriate for the article. I mean no disrespect, but since this is my blog, I’m going to tell the funny version of the story here:

The gist of the story is that my dad buried our dead cats under the fig tree and then the fig tree went berserk, and to this day produces an insane amount of fruit every year. When the figs first started growing my brother coined the macabre term “cat figs” and noted that there is a little bit of dead cat in every fig. I think this was intended to gross out my mother (I think it worked), but now it is one of those stupidly funny jokes that never goes away. Honestly, it’s been several years and yet every time I say cat figs out loud or in my head I start laughing. Every time I see a fig at the farmers’ market or someone mentions figs or figgy pudding or Fig Newtons, I think of cat figs and then I laugh and spit out whatever I was drinking.

Those cat figs are by far the tastiest figs I have ever eaten, and you know what? There’s a little bit of cat in each one. And even though it’s kind of messed up, I actually feel happy when I eat a cat fig, because it’s like the cats are still around. (And they are still around, in my belly.) I think I would prefer for my remains to feed some living thing. It just feels right to me, like it would mean there really was no end to my life if it fed the life of something else.