Giving back to the Earth :)

I would like to tell a story that I think has very much to do with being sustainable in several ways. One day before I left for school during the fall of my senior year of high school I found out that one of my cats died. His name was Teddy, named after Teddy Roosevelt because he was a big game hunter; and this cat kept the balance of life at my house. He hunted A LOT; moles, mice, squirrels, and occasionally some birds, which was a little unfortunate but hey that’s how the world works. This cat was a natural way for us to keep pests out of our yard, instead of using pesticides or mouse poison.

When one of my friends found out that my cat died she was very very disheartened; keep in mind that this girl really loves cats. She was so upset about my cat dying that she wrote invitations for several of our friends to come to my house after school to have a funeral for Teddy. That evening my friends came to my house for the service. We dug a hole in my back yard at the edge of the woods. My friend read a poem that she wrote for Teddy as she cried over his body. She placed the poem and some flowers in his grave as we buried him, giving his body back to the Earth. It was a sad time but it makes me feel better knowing that Teddy came from the Earth, and to the Earth we returned him. After the touching service had concluded we ate some apples from a tree in my yard, and some scuppernongs from a grapevine in my yard.

There are several morals to this story:

If you don’t have a cat your shed will be full of mice.

Don’t tell your friend that your cat died unless you want her to cry for hours.

If you want to dig a grave for a cat in hard red clay get someone else to do it.

If you offer your dead cat to the Earth as a sacrifice it will give you fresh fruit.

But seriously, disposing of degradable items by putting it back in the Earth, whether it is food waste or a dead animal, is an easy way to do something sustainable by nourishing the soil.



  1. aimeecastil7 · December 1, 2015

    So sorry to hear that your cat died. I didn’t realize that having a pet could be a natural way to eliminate pests from your garden. I also liked how you said that the cat came from the Earth, and when he passed away, he was returned back to the Earth. Literally the circle of life!


  2. kelpea · December 1, 2015

    It’s very interesting to think of death in this way. It seems as people bring more and more domesticated animals in our homes, we forget that they still are simply that-animals. Although a little off your topic, my peer teaching group is teaching about invasive and endangered species. Upon looking at wikipedia, I noticed that on every continent there was the same invasive species – humans, cats, and dogs. It never hit me that these domesticated animals we have are changing the environment. Yet, it seems that as we become more and more connected to these animals, we are less likely to give them up. This can sometimes facilitate inappropriate domestication like of that in tigers, lions, and other dangerous animals which remain in the environment.


  3. zmorgott · December 1, 2015

    I really like the morals of the story and I agree because my dad would hunt a lot and when he got squirrels, he would leave them in the woods. He would also put some in the garden near dying plants and a week or so later the plant would be growing perfectly fine. It is very true that anything that decays is very healthy for the environment.


  4. rogerwleblanc · December 3, 2015

    Hey Jess, thanks for sharing this post. The loss of the pet is a huge loss and I am glad you were able to gather with kind and loving friends during that time. It is very important to realize that our pets are a big part of the food chain now, and that their impact on the environment last after death too.


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