A Florida taxidermist takes clients nobody else will: grieving pet owners
Published in Cats & Dogs News
INVERNESS, Fla. — Allison Doty has washed her cat, Cakes, twice.
Once, during her life, scrubbing Cakes in the bathtub when she was too dirty to clean herself.
The other time was after her death.
Doty stood in front of the sink of her dimly lit kitchen, pale light streaming in from the window as she lathered Dawn dish soap into the white fur. She moved quietly, and quickly.
Cakes had died about a year and a half ago. She had been waiting in Doty’s freezer since then.
“She was a really sweet cat,” Doty said. “My kids have been begging me to mount her.”
Doty, who bills herself as Florida’s only professional pet taxidermist, is used to helping others grieve. She’s there at all hours when her customers drop off beloved hamsters, Chihuahuas and once, a 6-foot monitor lizard. She cries with them.
She knows it can be controversial, cutting up and stuffing man’s best friend. And she knows she cannot bring animals back to life. But what Doty can do is craft a convincing illusion. She can erase that final image of death and swap it out for something happier: pets looking healthy and whole again.
This is the part Doty was excited for. Soon, Cakes would be back home.
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