‘I stuffed my dead cat and it helped with the loss and grief’

Chloe Lee, now 22, recalls how she wanted to find a special way of spending time with Nikki and she had already learned how to taxidermy when she was 14 years old

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Meet the girl who stuffed her dead cat

When a devoted pet owner’s cat died she was not ready to say goodbye so she taxidermied her favourite moggy.

Chloe Lee, now 22, recalls how she wanted to find a special way of spending time with Nikki.

She had been practising taxidermy since she was 14 and was able to put her skills to use, LincolnshireLive reports.

She said: “I always knew I would probably want to preserve my animals, but didn’t have one to do so until Nikki died.

“It helped with the feelings of loss, grief and pain.

“It’s not completely saying goodbye. She’s still here. Yes, she’s lifeless, but I’ve got a part of her.

Chloe Lee, 22, first started practising taxidermy at the age of 14


Lincolnshire Echo/James Turner)

“Some people have ashes to keep their relatives close. This is what I do with my pets. I’m fully aware she’s not alive, but it’s comforting to see that it’s still her fur and to look over to her and see she looks peaceful.

“In my head, if I’m thinking of her being buried, all I can think is of the animal rotting away in the ground.”

Chloe admits it was a gruesome process, but the end product was worth it.

She added: “My experience as a taxidermist prepared me. It is graphic and you can’t delete those images from your head.

“I’d rather see her like that and see her afterwards looking beautiful, than never seeing her again and knowing she’s rotting in the ground.

“I do this through a complete love of animals.”

Chloe first became interested in taxidermy at age 11 and has a collection of other stuffed animals in her home.

She said: “I started taxidermy quite young, because I found it nice to stop animals from rotting.

“When I was 11 I saw a stuffed bird at a pub with my dad and I asked what it was and he explained to me about taxidermy. I had an interest from then.”

Chloe took her hand to taxidermy just three years later, when she came across a squirrel.

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She said: “When I was 14 I found a dead squirrel outside my house and just felt the need to preserve it. It was so beautiful and only had a cut on her nose.

“I had bought beginner’s book and a blunt knife and that was it. No one helped me or anything.

“It wasn’t that messy but it was very slow because I was scared of ruining the skin.”

She said she had also attempted to stuff larger animals too.

She added: “I went through the preserving process of a deer, but I didn’t quite completely finish it.

“I was told there was a deer on the side of the A16, so I went over and dragged him and put him in my Fiat.

“I couldn’t bear the thought of it rotting by the side of the road.

“I had to start straight away before its stomach bloated.”

Chloe recently appeared on ITV morning chat show This Morning, with Nikki by her side on the sofa.

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