Sunday, May 24, 2009

Serenity Garden for Skeeter Kitty

By Skeeter

We lost our beloved Skeeter kitty shortly after we moved into our Georgia home. Skeeter was our fur baby for 16 years going everywhere we did but outside. He was an indoor only kitty for his own protection. He did enjoy the outdoor of our patio and front porch at times when we could sit and keep an eye on him. He was a perfect cat and did not go where not allowed. When Skeeter left us to cross over the Rainbow Bridge, I picked the perfect spot for him under some shade trees. We planted a Nandina Royal Princess that my parents gave us as a memorial to him. In time we have added more to the area making it a Serenity Garden type area.
The Saints parents gave us 3 Confederate Jasmine plants which are currently blooming and giving off a wonderful scent that can be smelled from all over the yard!
Lola gave us this adorable Santa, I know it looks like a Gnome but remember the Saint does not like Gnomes so this is a year round Santa on the tree. Thanks again for this little treat Lola, and we will not tell the Saint it is a Gnome. tee hee... The Jasmine is creeping towards the face as it winds up the tree trunk. This plant is the only thing saving this Sweet Gum from the chainsaw!
My two fur babies, Sheba and Cheetah insisted that daddy Saint give mommy (that would be me) these two retro chairs for Mothers Day. Ah, what a perfect way to remember the good ole days of sitting in this type chair on the front porch while growing up on Commerce Street in Clarksville. Surrounded by my grandmothers, phlox, moss, roses, iris, marigolds, petunias, peony and all the other traditional southern plants.
I put a fresh coat of gravel in the area this spring covering up the once white gravel for a more natural look of River Pebbles. Don't ask how many bags as I do not want to relive that back pain! I like this look more so then the other gravel look. The two azaleas that the Saint parents gave us are really starting to get large now. I wonder how much longer before I have to extend the island planter? Hum...
A yellow kitty sits on the stone above Skeeter grave to give me something to talk to when I feel the need to chat with my Yellow Fellow.
Tina, gave me this wonderful handmade marker with Skeeter's name on it the first time we met. She had no idea about the name Skeeter when I started to chat with her on the Blog. She kind of wondered if I were a man or a woman as I did not have a picture with my profile at the time. This marker reminds me of the wonderful friendship that Tina and I have formed though this blog as well as my little fur boy...
I see a lot of my little furry girl Cheetah in Skeeter. He was shy, so is she. She hides under the covers, so did he. Skeeter lives on through memories and I am reminded of him with each passing day from my current fur babies to my blogging name to the marker and this serene area in my yard.
I was sitting in this chair a few days ago gazing throughout the yard and gardens. As I viewed the place from a different perspective, I was taking in the scents of the Jasmine and it was such a relaxing spot for me. The Saint joined me for a bit and we chatted as to how this yard has changed since we moved into this house. I don't get to sit back and enjoy all the work as much as I wish I could because like any gardener, I am always looking at a weed which will get me up and moving again.

I guess I am a bit blue today as it was May 10 (Mothers Day this year) that our Skeeter kitty left us. I cannot help but wonder how I will react when the day comes that I will have to remove that "Skeeter" marker and take it with me while leaving my baby behind. I cannot take my Skeeter with me but I can take the marker as a reminder of the SERENITY GARDEN FOR SKEETER,
In the Garden...

Do any you have a special spot in your garden dedicated to a pet? Creating this one was and continues to be great therapy for me in my grieving for him, even after all these years without him, I still grieve his leaving this world....

Tina, Thank you again for that marker! As you can see it is priceless to me...


  1. Dear Skeeter .. My heart goes out to you with the thought of leaving Skeeter Kitty behind (you are moving ?) ..
    This may sound strange but that is why I could not bring myself to bury my little ones in my garden .. my feelings are that the spirit is gone completely and I just can't chain them to a physical form .. I feel the same about myself, husband and son do as well (we are all going to be cremated and blown away .. I know .. that sounds terrible to some people)
    In any case, before I get too maudlin (I even tossed a coin whether I could comment to this or not).. dedicating a special spot in the garden to a little soul like this is a wonderful comfort.
    I will miss all my furry kids forever .. each one was such a unique individual .. but take comfort that we gave them good homes and loved them dearly .. they loved us back as much and more : )

  2. garden for skeeter, that s cool...
    have a nice sunday at your garden !
    liebe Grüße von Kathrin

  3. What a wonderful memorial to your beloved pet. We just added our 2nd Confederate Jasmine to our fragrance garden.

    Here, at this home, we lost our cockatiel (bird) last fall. We placed Murphy underneath a large kitty stepping stone that my son gave to me for Mother's Day when he was about 10 years old (he'll soon be 25). There's a cow stepping stone that son gave me the next year and that will be the marker for our other cockatiel (who is now 12, the age that Murphy was) when he passes.

    I don't like to think of losing our dear Charm, although an unprovoked (she's harmless) attack by a new neighbor's unleashed dog gave us that scare on Thursday. She has puncture wounds, bruising and an overall beating, but is responding to her meds -- valium (she was traumatized), antibiotics, pain killers... and honey on the wounds. That's the latest vet treatment here instead of antibiotic ointments. This is partly why I've been "off" the last few days -- along with gardening from morning until evening.


  4. Dear Skeeter, I don't think I ever thought about leaving our fur babies if we move! Coal is our first cat here, so we haven't had to face that yet, but it's something to think about. Skeeter the cat will always be with you, no matter where you do... Some memories and feelings are never erased. Take care and have a good week gail!

  5. Hi Skeeter, my own orange kitty James is 16 today and I hope he'll be with me for a long time to come. The non-kill shelter where I created a garden for cats also had a little memorial chapel with photos and stories of cats who'd crossed the rainbow bridge. I really like the idea of a memorial garden for cats, especially in your own garden. (Those chairs are awesome, I love them!). I wish I had the ashes or body of my old cat Penelope, who died as I was going through a divorce and had nowhere to bury her. It's a big regret.

  6. Good morning all, I immediately check my email before I come to the blog and after reading Joy's comment I knew it would be a powerful post today. Joy, so glad you commented! We are all very progressive here and love to hear everyone's points of view. For the record, I am so with you. I'll be cremated and spread in my garden. (My mother has a totally different view as we shall see when she comes on), but each person is very individual and holds dear ones close to themselves in their own ways, as Skeeter has done. It is a wonderful spot Skeeter. Especially with the smell of jasmine. So many bloggers have talked of that wonderful scent. I hope you are not feeling blue now and are enjoying your beautiful garden that has changed. LOVE those chairs. The Saint sure got it right! Everyone have a great day!

    Cameron, I am so sorry about your beautiful Charm! Greyhounds surely do not get into fights and to have a neighbor's dog attack him is simply terrible. My best wishes for his speedy recovery and for the loss of your cockatiel. My mother lost one last year and she was so sad.

    Kathrin, Enjoy the spring in beautiful Germany!

    Monica, Happy Birthday to James and many more to come!

  7. And Skeeter, You are very welcomed for the marker stone. I am so glad we've gotten to know each other! And to all my blogging friends, life is grand for sure.

  8. Sorry about your beloved kitty. We planted a dogwood over our Harper dog and it bloomed beautifully this year. This will be such a nice memorial reminder of your family member. I enjoy your blog.

  9. What a thoughtful girl that Tina is and wonderful remembrance for your beloved cat. I don't have any fur babies buried in this garden but I've had to leave others behind in previous gardens. It's sad and I always worry they'll get dug up by a new owner. :-(

  10. What a lovely tribute for a beloved pet. I really like your Serenity Garden. It's so peaceful looking. I'm sure Skeeter knew how much he was loved by his "mommy". I'm truly glad you were able to find others to lavish all that love on. Too many have no one to be loved by.
    Love those chairs. That would be my color also.

  11. Skeeter, I lost my "cocker spanish girl" quite some time ago and it still saddens me (they stay looking puppyish) I'll never have another. She is buried uner a beautiful spruce with a poem painted on a flat rock. "Light fades, darkness appears, evening angels gather here."
    She has company now , two kitties ages 21 + 22 who both were inside kitties and lived to a FULLEST life. We will always love our pets to the fullest, we almost can't help it.
    Sorry about Charm, Camerom. I hope she mends.

  12. What a lovely way to remember a special furry friend Skeeter. The marker Tina made for you makes this area even more special. I've been wanting to make a memory area for my little dog Pepper who died in the fall of 2007 and bury his ashes there. He loved my garden so it seems a fitting resting place for my sweet pooch. :)

  13. I think your serenity garden is a nice idea, it is so hard to lose a pet. They really are like family. My daughter's finch died soon after her eggs hatched and we just felt like we had to do something special. We buried her by the birdhouse near the pond, it felt right because there is a chickadee family in there now.
    Your garden is very pretty, and yes gardeners have a hard time just sitting in their yards don't they?

  14. Oh Skeeter, as I sit here with tears in my eyes, I wish I could bring Skeeter back along with my sweet cockatiel Alice who by the way was a male but had a females name. It has only been close to 10 months (Aug 3) since I lost her and with all the animals I have lost in my lifetime I never was as deveastated as when I lost Alice. We all love our pets and are very sad when we loose them but every now and then a "REALLY SPECIAL" one comes along. With the extra pain that brings I still hope everyone is lucky enough to have that "REALLY SPECIAL" one. My 2 remaining cockatiels and 2 parakeets still give me a lotta joy but they are not and never will be Alice.

    Cameron I sure hope that Charm has a fast and speedy recovery. I am so sorry about the dog next door. The poor next door dog must not have a good pet owner or it would not have happened. It is the owners fault more than the dog. However I know that does not help you and your family or Charm feel better. Are not cockatiels just the best?!!!!!

    Tina as you know I an leaving my body to the New England Medical school and the only way I can do that is to be cremated so my views have changed. I thought you knew that when I talked to you about donating my body. Then you kids can do what ever with me. Joanne is being thrown over the Giant Staircase so maybe some of me there and some of me on my garden. Will not matter to me.

    Profound and teary eyed post today.

  15. Whoops, I forgot Tina but Christy got off at 8:45 this morning so she is on her way. She is stopping in Philly for a day or 2 and then will be at your house. She is really excited about being with her dog.

  16. I had Garden Deva ( make a steel shaped dog that has spikes to insert in the ground for my Pepper. The cut out words say "Pepper's Garden." I could not bring myself to put his ashes there, as we were renting at the time before we purchased this house. So they are in a special box inside from the crematory. I planted flowers and herbs that had Victorian meaning (like rosemary for remembrance) that held special meaning around his big steel marker. I love that spot.

  17. Getting on here late today. We had camping planned at the lake but raining so our friends came over and enjoyed an evening of home cooking and playing Dominoes while relaxing! They stayed over night and I got up and cooked a big breakfast and we chatting in the sunroom while watching the wildlife outside.

    Joy, We are not moving any time soon. The Saint is always looking for employment closer to my hometown in TN. Until that job comes to be, we will stay where we are. We too have mixed feelings about being buried or cremated. Cemeteries in Europe are beautiful gardens but here in the States, pretty dismal so scattered ashes may be the way to go. Skeeter will be with us where ever we go though my memories. The marker will go with me as a reminder as well...

    Kathrin, thank you! Cloudy and rain so today is a day of rest for us...

    Cameron, I am so sorry to hear about your little Charm! I will be praying for a speedy recovery. We were just sitting in the sunroom with our house guests enjoying all the birds at our feeders and even though wild to me, I adore the birds. I know you were really upset over the dog attack and I hope the owners will keep doggie at bay from now on. So sad to loose a pet and not fair that they do not live a bit longer to enjoy life with us but that is nature. Enjoy the sweet scent of your Jasmine!

    Gail, thanks for your kind words. I too know that Skeeter will be with us no matter where we go in life. His memory will live on forever. We ran across some video tape with him in it recently and it was nice to see my little yellow boy once again. He was such a perfect cat unlike my two little black monsters we have now! LOL but I love them just as much but Skeeter will always stand out as the best kitty ever!

  18. Monica, Yellow kitties are so special to me as they remind me of my little boy. How wonderful that you created a Memorial Garden for the fur babies which have crossed the Rainbow Bridge! I think that is an awesome thing to do for your community! The chapel must be such a comfort for many people. Penelope's memory will stay with you forever so dont worry about not having ashes or a grave for her. The memories are the thing to hold onto. Happy Birthday to James kitty! He is lucky to have you…

    Tina, I too enjoy seeing different points of view on such topics. We have talked about it often and I cannot see me lying in the ground taking up good garden space. I would only want to be buried if I should pass before my parents, then they would have a place to go and chat with me for their well being. If they are gone when I go, then cremation is the way to go and scatter me in a beautiful garden! I was part of an ash spreading for a friend and it was a special moment so nothing wrong with that....

    Carole, A dogwood is a perfect reminder of your Harper! I am sure the spring blooms bring a smile to your face while thinking of the wonderful times with your beloved fur baby. Thanks for stopping by...

    Kathleen, When the time comes to leave this house, we will tell the next homeowners that Skeeter is located in this spot. When a child my brother and I were playing in the woods and were digging and found a trash bag. We opened it to find a decaying cat. Was not a happy moment in our childhood especially since we were thinking it could have been buried treasure we had found...

  19. Lola, Skeeter knew he was loved. Who else would drag their cat on vacation with them to make sure he was okay? lol, He was a trouper with our often home relocations from state to state but he always came to mind before we did anything in our life. We were with him the day he had to leave us and as difficult as it was, we had to hold his paw and say goodbye as he went to sleep. I do like the chairs as they bring back such fond memories for me. This color and blue were the choices and we decided the green would fit in better with the green trees in the background. They are really comfortable and a great shade spot to take a break when working in the gardens...

    Dawn, My first boyfriend had a cocker and I loved that girl. She was so sweet and I would brush her hair and keep the clumps out. One time the clumps were so bad that I had to clip the fur and I accidently nipped her skin. I was so upset that I hurt her but more upset that my boy friends family did not take better care of her fur. That boyfriend did not last. You were so lucky to have kitties stay with you for so long. I just knew with Skeeter's pampering, he would live to break worlds record age limits! But I was wrong as he left way too soon. But he had a wonderful life while with us. I really do like the poem you have for your fur Babies!

    Raquel, get busy and make that memorial garden for Pepper! You will enjoy the memories of him as you dig in the warm soil. And it would be a nice place to sit and reflect on his memory once the blooming begins...

  20. Catherine, It is not fair that we way outlive our pets but due to them leaving so soon, gives us a chance to open our hearts to more in the future. Our plan was to get a small dog then these two little fur balls came wandering out of the woods and into our life. I was sad as Skeeter had left us about 4 months earlier and they filled a big empty space in my heart once they arrived. They will never replace him but are wonderful with each day. Well, until they eat my plants. lol The Saint and I have no two legged children so in a strange way our pets have become our children. They just have fur. :-) Sorry about your daughters finch. I think you picked the perfect spot and the Chickadees are telling you as well. It is difficult to sit when a weed is calling your name...

    Jean, your words are so true. I love Sheba and Cheetah and cannot imagine life without them now but they will never compare to Skeeter. He was truly a one of a kind perfect kitty! I know what you mean about the dogs owners also. It is not the dogs fault but the owners instead. The dog was just being a dog when it went after Charm. I am dealing with OJ (the neighbors kitty) my new garden friend, stalking my birds. I have yet to see him catch one but I know he will sooner or later. He is a cat and that is what cats do. How nice that you are donating your body to science. I am too modest to do that. I dont like the thought of someone poking me naked even if I am dead. That kind of freaks me out but you are wonderful to be able to do that. I am sorry if I brought tears to you eyes today. I hope some of those tears were tears of joy when remembering your sweet Alice! :-)

    Yeah, Christy will be playing with her fur baby Bella soon! And Tina will be enjoying her baby as well...

    Brenda, how wonderful that you have a special spot for your beloved Pepper! My parents lost their Pepper Kitty just before Christmas last year. They have his ashes in a beautiful wooden box with a etched kitty on top. They could not put him into the ground by their dog as they do not want to leave him behind when they relocate some day. Wow, Garden Deva has some nice things!

  21. This is such a loving tribute to your precious Skeeter, and such a peaceful garden to sit in as well. I know that special pets such as yours stay in our hearts for many years, Skeeter. Our dog Roco passed on four years ago this July, and finally last year I got around to creating his little memorial garden, which I have intended to post about for a long time. Several months later, my daughter's cat Max died suddenly and was buried next to Roco. Then my granddaughter lost her, I have a pet cemetary! But for me, it will always be Roco's resting place, and I still talk to him there.

  22. Some pets like people are extra special and we still love them although they are no longer with us. We carry them in our heart where ever we go.

  23. Rose, I too had a pet cemetery when a child. I buried my 3 hamsters, stray cats, birds, squirrels that fell from the tree and died, etc. I placed rocks around each grave and made a cross out of sticks. Yes, I was a sensitive one as a young child and to this day also. Max and Hamster are keeping Rocco company in your garden and I bet it is truly a special place for you as well. Be sure to post on your Pet Cemetery some time as I would love to see it....

    Donna, you are so right. My Skeeter boy will be with me forever. He and I went through a lot together when the Saint was in Bosnia for 10 months. Skeeter was my best friend and kept me strong while the Saint was away. He was such a joy to have around when I got depressed as he knew just when to come to me for rubs. After a few stokes of his soft fur, I was no longer depressed. Ah, the joy of unconditional love of a pet...