Bloody hell no, not me. I’d hate it. This topic is going to polarise opinion. I am one of those people who strongly dislikes turning a deceased cat or dog into a rug. Taxidermists sometimes do it on request because the cat or dog’s owner really can’t say goodbye to their pet. This is, at root, a human problem. Humans do it for their own benefit and for emotional reasons. But it disrespects the cat or dog doesn’t it?
I say that it is self-indulgent, but others will say that it’s a nice thing to do because they can keep their pet with them after death.
A taxidermist, Maddie (Maddy), operating out of Melbourne, Australia at the Chimera Taxidermy, has recently been in the news and receiving some criticism. She is defending herself after one of her dog pelts went viral last month on social media.
The picture here shows an example of her handiwork on Instagram. It is the preserved pelt of a beloved pet cat. It was an orange tabby and you see the cat’s collar at one end.
I’ve mentioned that the pelt looks like a “rug”. I presume that the owners of these pelts do not walk on the rug 😒. That I think is an issue because it is designed to be placed on the floor or other surfaces. That means the owner is going to have to walk around it every time they pass it. This would be an inconvenience.
Regarding the orange tabby cat pelt, Maddy said that “He passed away from natural causes and so his owner chose to preserve his pelt”.
She started doing this work at 18 years of age and now exclusively works with family pets. She’s been asked to preserve “pretty much any pet you can think of”. She admits that “It’s definitely not for everyone. It’s sometimes difficult working with pets compared to other animals.”
She believes that what she does helps pet owners to grieve the loss of their companion animal. She believes that “It’s more rewarding to be able to help people with their grief and allow them to keep a part of their pet forever.”
Maddie admits that her pelts are not something that should be walked on. I guess that means you’ve got to put the pelt on a bed or on a sofa for example. But then you’re going to lie on a bed and sit on a sofa which means that you lie and sit on your former’s cat skin. I just don’t see it.
Maddie says that she creates “alternative pet memorials for those that want to keep a physical reminder of their pet”. I believe that it is far more morally justifiable or ethical to keep a memory reminder of your pet. You hold those memories in your head and that’s where the memorial should be.
To try and have a physical and tangible reminder of your deceased companion animal is, I believe, the wrong way to go about it. It feels wrong to me. It feels immoral actually. It is disrespectful of your companion animal.
A test that I have about how we treat animals versus humans is to ask whether we would ask a taxidermist to turn a deceased human partner into a pelt! It sounds ridiculous and horrific and it would never happen so why do we do it with a pet?