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The New : When You Care Enough to Send the Very Best

November 14, 1985

P.S. Your cat is dead.

Well, that's a rather brutal way of putting it, isn't it ? Until now, though, there simply wasn't much alternative. But wait! Northridge residents Ronnie Hegedus and Bonnie Strassman have created a line of sympathy cards just for pets.

So now you can send a two-color card depicting a cat on a pathway to the stars or a dog frolicking in the clouds and inscribed with messages such as: "An empty bowl, a favorite spot/at first will be hard to bear/but comfort comes from knowing/you had wonderful moments to share."

The cards are called Sym-pets, cost $1 each and are available at selected stationery stores, pet shops and veterinary offices. There are a few for occasions besides sympathy too.

If the pet is not dead but merely sick, you can send a card picturing a basset hound in bed with a bone on a bed tray. "I can't help but pout," reads the message, "until you're up and about." What basset wouldn't appreciate such thoughtfulness?

It should be noted, however, that etiquette books say that a handwritten sympathy letter is always better than a store-bought card. A memorable one, full of good advice as well as sympathy, was the personal note a woman we know addressed to the brother of a departed cat.

"Dear Max," it read. "I was so sorry to hear of the untimely demise of your sister Malka. I hope, however, that you will learn from this sad experience and refrain from taking naps on the tires of cars."

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