Drawbridge Studio pal Amy "Matter" Finkel is directing an amazing documentary called "Furever", about the practice of freeze-drying departed pets as a sort of eternal monument to your favorite fuzzy pal. She's got it up on kickstarter right now, where you can pledge some funds and stake your own claim to immortality.
Anyways, here's my own first experience with the practice of freeze-drying animals. For awhile I worked part-time at a really awesome store in Soho called Evolution where they sell bones and bugs and stuff like that. One of the store's hottest sellers were freeze-dried mice, that arrived packed in boxes just like what I pictured above. They were all captured in extremely lifelike poses, standing up on their hind legs to sniff at something, or curled up in sleep, all looking adorable. The theory around the store was that the animals had probably been placed in the flash-freezer alive, and been captured for time immemorial in whatever pose they had taken.
Anyway, we sold these things like hotcakes, including to the A-list movie director who liked to buy them to prank the crews on his films, and the rockstar who incorporated them into one of his stage outfits. They were soft and silky and surprisingly light, and they kind of smelled a little. One of my coworkers liked to put them in his mouth, which was unspeakably foul. We also had a freeze-dried cat at the store, but I never touched it because it was just too horrible.