The rose I'd planted by Lucky's (our epileptic kitty who passed away not terribly long ago) sat askew. Suspicious, I tugged gently and, sure enough, it came right out. The roots had all been gnawed off.
I'm not sure what critter does this, not for sure. Top of my list is the vole. The cute little mouse-like critters are well-known for destroying what would be a relatively large plant compared to the vole itself (they can take out small trees!) in a relatively short amount of time. Their habit of finding something particularly tasty and hanging out eating on it until it's gone, whether it's a tulip bulb (sigh) or a rose, makes them far more destructive than other critters that may take a bite or two and move on.
Anyway, I had a moment of sadness, followed by irritation, and then I had to do something.
I was on my way to the store, so while I was out I snooped around for another rose. Nothing seemed adequate. I did find some lillies, Midnight Mystery and White Pixels, so I got those to plant to one side. And I went home with a plan.
I have rooting powder sitting around the house--gardeners are weird like that--so I put in some cuttings where the rose used to be, and I'm trying to start the rest of the cuttings from the rose inside the house. I also tried--in vain, I suspect--some rooting compound on the stump and set it in seedling mix. At the moment it looks very convincingly alive, if dormant. It seems to be a nicely-pruned rose waiting to be planted out later in the year. I used a clear plastic container on it so that I'll know the moment roots begin to form without having to disturb the rose itself. The normal-sized cuttings are all in peat pots, and if they take I'll put them out when the roots start to poke out of the pot.
If this works, it may become a strangely wonderful thing. The rose killed over my beloved kitty's grave might become many roses, a whole row that may live on well beyond my own lifespan.