Symbol(s) of the month:  A camel and a family of cats

Due to a major mistake by my internet provider I have been offline for over two weeks but shadowsflyaway is back again!

The circular stone in Brompton’s Garden of Remembrance featuring the family motifs.
© Carole Tyrrell


Animals increasingly appear on modern memorials and I’ve often wondered if they are a totem for the deceased or maybe they just like them or maybe they had a pet.  Cats are very common and I’ve seen them either in 2D carved on a  headstone or in 3D form as a small statue.

But this one is unusual as it’s very personal, almost in a code, and is on a memorial stone in Brompton Cemetery’s Garden of Remembrance.   Most memorial stones are small and people use calligraphy or a very small motif due to the limited size.   The family name isn’t stated on this stone and the images are almost playful.

I was lucky enough to meet the widow of the man commemorated on the plaque. She is Maria Kacandes-Kamil and the mommy cat represented her.  The two her cats were her daughters and the camel depicted her husband, Steven, who died in 2011.  The significance of the camel is a reference

to the family name (you may have guessed it already) which is Kamil.   Also note that the mommy cat, Maria, is pointing at the camel to possibly denote the marital bond.

It was lovely to find a modern memorial which had a touch of humour as well as being very personal.

How many casual passer-bys like myself would have guessed the significance of the animals?

RIP Steven.


© text and photo Carole Tyrrell




4 thoughts on “Symbol(s) of the month:  A camel and a family of cats

  1. Nice to see you back! This is so whimsical and unusual. It made me wonder what animals would represent our family in a memorial. Daughter and I would be cats, Son would be dog, but what would Husband be? I will have to think about that. That memorial looks like granite.


    1. Hi Coastal Crone
      It’s good to be back – weird not having access online except at the library. I loved this memorial and she was such a cheerful person. I can’t remember how it came up in conversation but I asked her permission and she kindly agreed. It was great to have sucha witty and poignantmemorial to write about.
      Best wishes


  2. Tina

    Thank you for explaining this stone. I was puzzled about the camel being the Daddy Cat, but then you told us story. I’m happy you were able to speak with the widow about this.
    As far as animals go, I think birds are at the top of the list as symbols associated with the dead in several cultures. (Ancient Egyptians used beetles/scarabs frequently, but birds too.) What do you think?.


    1. Hi Angelina
      Glad you enjoyed the post – She was a very cheerful person and was happy for me to include the memorial on m y blog. It was great to have a memorial with a sense of humour about it and also very psoenal and unique. Now that you’ve mentioned the number of animals I should start counting the number of times I see them. However I did count 27 doves on memorials in Brompton cemetery! So yes you could be right!

      Best wishes


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.