My beloved cat died. How can I integrate her collar into a memento?
April 18, 2011 9:26 AM   Subscribe

My beloved cat died. How can I integrate her collar into a memento?

My cat, Bristol*, passed away from cancer a few weeks ago. I loved her so much I made my MeFi username bristolcat. I buried most of her favorite toys with her but I kept her collar so that I could her that bell jingle whenever I needed to hear it. My question is, do MeFites have any crafty ideas on how to make the collar a memento? I thought about sewing it into the shape of a rosette or putting the bell on a necklace or something. I'm not sure what will work or how to go about it. Please give me your ideas, inspirations and suggestions!

The collar is this one (in brown...also have an old pink one).

Sorry if this is morbid. The whole idea here is to upcycle the collar into something that doesn't seem as morbid as just a collar hanging on a hook or laying on a shelf.

Thanks in advance.

*not named after any vice presidential candidate offspring...felt like I needed to make that clear!
posted by bristolcat to Pets & Animals (24 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Make a doorchime. Will keep the bell in use and be a nice practical reminder.
posted by fire&wings at 9:27 AM on April 18, 2011 [5 favorites]

Best answer: I've saved a few treasured baby clothes by letting my kids dress their stuffed animals in them. The big fox is quite cute in his truck shirt. If this isn't cheapening the memory, you could find a stuffed cat that you like, perhaps a realistic one, and let it perch in a place of honor somewhere with the collar?

Or you could integrate it into a picture frame, perhaps just glued across the top, and of course with a picture of your cat in it.
posted by artifarce at 9:32 AM on April 18, 2011

Or a light-switch pull in a closet or the bathroom.
posted by vickyverky at 9:32 AM on April 18, 2011

By the way, that picture is just over-the-top adorable. I'm sorry for the loss of your little tabby. I've lost a few cats too.
posted by artifarce at 9:33 AM on April 18, 2011 [2 favorites]

I'm sorry for your loss-- she looks like a very sweet cat. When I've lost a pet in the past, I've usually just kept the collar in a memento box, and I take it out when I want to remember. I wouldn't want it always in plain sight.
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:34 AM on April 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

*not named after any vice presidential candidate offspring...felt like I needed to make that clear!

Yeah, we had a cat named OJ (because he was orange) in the early 90s. Clarifications often had to be made.
posted by jozxyqk at 9:47 AM on April 18, 2011

Best answer: In terms of wearable mementos, here are 3 of my favorite recent DIY ideas, all of which use material fairly similar to that of a pet collar.

If it were me, though, I wouldn't want to irreparably alter the collar. What about making a simple vase? Find a glass that is the same circumference as the collar. Print a large beautiful glossy photo of Bristol, wrap it around the glass, trim & adhere. Wrap the collar around the glass, preferably somewhere in the middle and, perhaps, slightly overlapping the collar in the actual picture. Close it and secure it with a bit of double sided tape. Fill with water and flowers. Lovely but totally temporary in case you change your mind or just want to hold it or something.
posted by acidic at 9:53 AM on April 18, 2011

forgot to add-- you could do a similar thing without the glass. Instead, get a stack of glossy Bristol photos, roll them up, and wrap the collar around. Nice 3d object to collect your memories all together for when you feel nostalgic.
posted by acidic at 9:57 AM on April 18, 2011

Best answer: The little bell reminds me of the ones that sometimes decorate omamori. I have several (at least three of which have kitties) that I used to hang from doorknobs, fan pulls, the knob on my medicine cabinet, anywhere. Attaching her bell to something similar and hanging it somewhere you see it every day might be nice.

The collar itself looks like it would make a good key fob. I don't know if that would be weird or not.

I'm sorry for your loss. She looks like a real sweetheart.
posted by Metroid Baby at 9:58 AM on April 18, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks everyone for your suggestions! Metroid Baby hit home with the omamori idea, though. I happen to have a soft spot for Japanese things and I'm a fan of the omamori that my husband has in his car. I also have a lot of Japanese silk laying around...not sure if it is disrespectful to make my own or not, but I will do some more research. The bell will look very pretty attached to one.

As for the collar itself, I like the frame or vase ideas. And since I have more than one collar, I could do more than one thing. Thanks again for your nice words and thoughtful ideas!
posted by bristolcat at 10:04 AM on April 18, 2011

Could you use one of her other collars as a bracelet?
posted by patronuscharms at 10:13 AM on April 18, 2011

Best answer: Creating your own omamori-style decoration wouldn't at all be disrespectful, although it wouldn't necessarily be a "true" omamori without the talismanic paper on the inside consecrated to a particular kami. In fact, you can get non-religious omamori with Hello Kitty and the like on them in Japan for good luck or for decoration. It might be neat, though, to have your cat's name inscribed on the inside (whether you use paper or wood), if you know anyone who does Japanese calligraphy. (Or you could just do it in English calligraphy, for that matter.)
posted by infinitywaltz at 10:28 AM on April 18, 2011

Response by poster: I wanted to add that since I have an extra bell, I might have to do the doorchime thing, too. I found that idea to be quite charming.

And thanks infinitywaltz for the additional info on omamori.
posted by bristolcat at 10:44 AM on April 18, 2011

You're absolutely welcome, and if you want more information or have more questions along that line, feel free to send me an e-mail. She's a lovely cat, by the way.
posted by infinitywaltz at 10:46 AM on April 18, 2011

The door chime is nice. You could also maybe turn the bell into something of jewelry for yourself.

She was a cutie pie. I'm sorry you had to go through that. We are on borrowed time with our (kidney failure) kitty. :(
posted by stormpooper at 10:48 AM on April 18, 2011

At our vet's office, they usually have 3 or 4 cats running around that live at the office. When one passes, they take a nice frame (somewhat deeper than a regular frame), and mount a picture of the cat, with a little plaque with it's name and dates, and then below that they have the collar hanging with the cat's tags on it. Each cat always has a very unique and colorful collar, so it's a nice way to remember them when you see their little frame on the wall.

I'm also sorry for your loss. We had to put our cat to sleep in January of this year, and it was (and is) a hard thing to get over.
posted by ralan at 11:28 AM on April 18, 2011

My kitty died one year ago today. I still miss him (and so does my wife, and his kitty brother). I am inspired by your post to see what I can do with his collar.
posted by caution live frogs at 11:43 AM on April 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: If anyone else wants to go the omamori route, after much searching, I found a site that shows how to tie the knot.

Link (apparently steps 5 and 9 indicate flipping the knot over)
posted by bristolcat at 11:54 AM on April 18, 2011 [3 favorites]

Bristolcat, so sorry to hear about your beautiful kitty. I'm so glad you're doing the omamori - it'll be a wonderful reminder of your special friend and a fun thing to make in her memory.
posted by garnetgirl at 12:50 PM on April 18, 2011

So sorry about your loss. She was adorable.

I know someone who wears his old dog's collar as a bracelet - if it can be expanded enough, that may be a nice option.
posted by you're a kitty! at 2:09 PM on April 18, 2011

Sorry about your loss, just want to nth the omamori suggestion, it sounds lovely. Also, whenever I read these sad cat threads I have to go bother my kitteh from his nap or bath or sun or something for some grateful to have you petting, and he is now very cross with me.
posted by sweetkid at 2:58 PM on April 18, 2011

I would get a shadow frame (deep frame). You can get some lovely scrapbook paper and trinkets at a craft store. Make a collage memorial to Bristol that incorporates her collar and a picture/s of her. You can add some of her favorite toys to the collage. This way her collar is safe but you can see it. She will be a happy memory every time you look at the art.

I like the omamori-style talisman.
posted by fifilaru at 4:37 PM on April 18, 2011

I'm sorry for your loss. When I lost my beloved Jeepers, I put my favorite picture of her in a frame and just draped her collar over the corner of the frame. It sits on a table with her ashes (in a Classic Pooh urn shaped vase) and a candle.

OK. I'm gonna go hug my kitties now.

Sending love to you from Ivory and Gidgette.
posted by kathrynm at 5:14 AM on April 19, 2011

Response by poster: I just want to post one more time and say thanks - I love you all! This thread alone has made me feel better.

As for making the omamori, I couldn't find any decent tutorials on making them, so I'm going to examine my husband's driving charm (I promise I won't take it apart) and if there is interest, I will post a tutorial when I make mine.

Thanks again!
posted by bristolcat at 9:01 AM on April 19, 2011

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