Jump to content

Can't find the words....
please help me explain our beloved cat passing away to DD.


  • Please log in to reply
8 replies to this topic

#1 Flutter Bug

Posted 13 December 2012 - 03:57 PM

Sorry if I'm posting this in the wrong place but I wasn't sure where to ask for help with this.

We made the heartbreaking decision to put our beautiful cat to sleep today. He came to us as a stray and has been living with us for the past 5 years. He hadn't been eating and became very skinny  over a week or so. We planned to take him to the vet and that's when he went missing for over a week.  He returned home last night looking very frail, could barely walk and sooo skinny. We took him to the emergency animal hospital where he has been ever since. By estimate he was 12 or so years old. He may have become well again but we made the tough decision to let him go due to his age and having been unwell before he went missing. To find out how his quality of life was going to pan out he would have needed to stay in hospital for over a week with tests being done every day - we feel so terrible that this was partially a financial decision, the bill would have been well over $5000 which we just don't have. We felt the kindest thing to do was to give him peace. Sorry, I've digressed a bit...

He is home with us now, in a box. My daughter is almost 3 years old and keeps saying she hope he gets better soon and wakes up again. She wants to pat him. I don't know how to explain what has happened in a simple way that she may understand, can you please help me find the words? She is a very inquisitive little thing.

Thank you

#2 strawberry blondes

Posted 13 December 2012 - 04:01 PM

A few weeks ago I had to rush my neighbours to the vet with their very sick dog, all 3 of my girls were with me as it was 7am. When we arrived the dog and owners were ushered into a side room, the receptionist told me the dog was dead. My 2&4 yo's didn't know what that meant so DD1 who is 6 told them the doggy had to go and live in the fluffy white clouds. The younger 2 seemed to accept this explanation, I thought it was very sweet.

#3 la di dah

Posted 13 December 2012 - 04:01 PM

I remember one of my cats dying when I was about that age.  

I would just tell her he was very sick and not the kind that gets better, and he died. He doesn't hurt anymore, but he can't come back. It's okay to miss him. At least we can be happy he doesn't hurt. Its always very sad when something dies but we can remember them.

I'm very sorry.

#4 niggles

Posted 13 December 2012 - 04:02 PM

Sorry about your cat. sad.gif That's really sad. Our fish died recently but our DD was already familliar with the concept of death so it didn't need much explanation other than the fact we couldn't keep the fish in the tank now that he had died, and that it wasn't her fault for not looking after him properly (these were her concerns). She appreciated burying Bubbles in the garden and putting flowers on the ground for him for the next few weeks from time to time. Do you think that might help your daughter to grasp the concept that the cat won't be coming back?

Edited by niggles, 13 December 2012 - 04:03 PM.


#5 Velvetta

Posted 13 December 2012 - 04:06 PM

That's sad,and I would do the same, but lots of ritual will help. Maybe she can write a poem (Ode to a dead cat?).
I'd bury him quickly though as the fleas will be jumping off in no time.

#6 FiveAus

Posted 13 December 2012 - 04:06 PM

I;m so sorry. It's so hard to lose a pet....our pets are our life so I know how you're hurting.

With your little girl, keep it simple and truthful. Children are very accepting of what they're told by adults, just let her know it's OK to cry, and it's OK for *you* to cry too, because you are both missing the cat and are sad that he won't be coming back.

#7 mewsings

Posted 13 December 2012 - 04:11 PM

Sorry for the loss of your pet OP.

I'd let your daughter pat him if she wants to -  I'd gently explain that Puss was sick and unwell and is no longer in pain.  Little kids can be very matter of fact about death, which with pets I think is a blessing in disguise.  If you are up to it,  take a paw print for her and put it in a little frame as a reminder.

I wouldn't hide it from her,  particularly since he has recently been missing.  I'd just say he died, and that it's okay to be sad about it and that you are sad too.  I'd also say that sometimes it helps you to feel a bit better if you think of a time when she and the cat were happy together.  

You can introduce the Rainbow Bridge if it suits your philosophy.  My DD - and I - like the idea that they'll be waiting for us when it's our turn to join them.

#8 Flutter Bug

Posted 13 December 2012 - 04:38 PM

Thank you all for your suggestions, they have really helped me gather my thoughts and explain to DD what has happened. She is most definitely the sort of child you need to be matter of fact and truthful with as she asks a lot of questions.  I basically used your words, La di Dah so I thank you very much. I've let her see him and touch him. She has noted that he is not breathing so that helped. We will bury him together and she wants to draw him a picture, so cute!

So thank you to everyone who replied, much appreciated.

#9 rainycat

Posted 13 December 2012 - 04:58 PM

We just lost our much loved cat and dog within a month of each other.  My twins just turned 3 and they loved their pets.
We just kept it really simple and said they were old and sick and had to go away.  We kept repeating how sad it was for us but Reg and Rainy were happy.
They both decided they were shopping?? and now a month later it has hit them quite hard with lots of tears asking when they can come back and that it is unfair.
We did explain about dying but they are too young to understand.
To much info gets lost on them so just big hugs for them and agreeing it is very sad.
We had our pets cremated and they are together on the piano. cry1.gif

Edited by rainycat, 13 December 2012 - 05:00 PM.





1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

Tot meets his heroes, falls apart with excitement

Two-year-old Quincy finished his potty training last week, and as part of his reward he was able to meet his idols.

Beautiful in our eyes: Georgia's story

I will never deny the fact that grief has a place when you give birth to a child who brings a set of circumstances very different to what you imagined. Because for nine months, I thought I knew my Georgie.

'It's been phenomenal': widower dad of quads thankful for support

There was nothing Erica and Carlos wanted more than a baby.

Vin Diesel names daughter after actor Paul Walker

The actor said there was "no other person" he was thinking about when he chose the name.

How midwives can help women who experience domestic violence

More than half of women who live with abusive partners experience violence during pregnancy.

Mum describes giving birth during Cyclone Pam

A new mother was told she must flee Port Vila hospital with her baby as Cyclone Pam bore down.

6 signs you're done having babies

There were a few signs I'm never going back to the land of maternity jeans, breast pumps and bassinets.

Marta Dusseldorp reveals breastfeeding cost her an acting job

Australian actress Marta Dusseldorp has revealed she was forced to withdraw from a Sydney Theatre Company production because a director did not approve of her breast feeding.

Female celebs (or their babies) with traditionally male names

Looking for a name that's a little bit different for a girl? Turn to names that have been traditionally used for males, as these celebs (or their parents) did.

'If you're anti-immunisation ... take a look at this picture of my son'

Greg Hughes is "an absolute shell of a man" as he and his wife Catherine struggle to come to terms with the loss of their newborn son Riley to whooping cough.

How an extrovert can raise an introvert

Introverts are often misunderstood as shy, and sometimes even rude. A timid child can be difficult to build rapport with, but it's important we nurture their sensitive natures.

Sheryl Sandberg's advice

'Choreplay': Help out at home to get more sex, Sandberg tells men

Forget foreplay. The new and improved route to intercourse is "choreplay" - it's good for your spouse, good for your house, and comes with the imprimatur of feminist du jour Sheryl Sandberg.

How to play with your baby

The first time your child learns a new skill at playtime is very exciting - for both you and your baby! Play is important to your child's development for a variety of reasons - here are some simple ideas for you to try at home.

I'm a single mother by choice

For me, being the best mother I can be means being a mum alone, at least for now. Thinking of my friends with inadequate partners, I wonder why more people don’t choose single motherhood.

Awkward wedding photos

Weird poses, surprise photobombs, bizarre editing: these are the wedding photos that should have never seen the light of day.

Four-week-old baby Riley Hughes dies of whooping cough

The mother of a four-week-old Perth baby who died after contracting whooping cough says her family has been left devastated by the loss of her "gorgeous, sweet" son.

Win a Ben & Holly's Little Kingdom prize pack

To celebrate the April 1 release of Holly's Magic Wand on DVD and Digital, we are giving away five DVD packs featuring the newest installment of Ben & Holly's Little Kingdom Holly's Magic Wand and many more hours of family entertainment! Enter Now!

Oh boy! Video shows family's reaction to baby surprise

Little Peyton Williams thought she was getting a baby sister named Charlee. But the two-year-old has had to settle for a doll dressed in pink after her baby "sister" turned out to be a boy.

How to help build up your baby's immune system

We all know that having a strong immune system is the best way to stay healthy – but what can we do to help it along?

'Nick, you need to call an ambulance': home birth mum's tragic death

A Melbourne mum who died after the home birth of her baby pleaded with her husband to call an ambulance because she felt she was going to die, the Victorian Coroners Court has heard.

When dads believe their baby doesn't 'like' them

Q: My two-month-old baby doesn't like me. He's perfectly content with my wife, but when I try to hold him, he gets upset and cries. I've backed off a little, thinking that he just needs a little time to get used to me, but that doesn't seem to be working. I'm starting to think I'm just not a very good dad. Is it too late for me to build a relationship with my baby?

When was the last time a stranger praised your parenting?

Wouldn’t it be great to get some nice feedback every now and then? After all, everyone likes to hear positive praise, particularly when it comes to parenting.

Special Ticket Offer, Save $8!

The Essential Baby & Toddler Show is back this April! Save $8 off the door price for a limited time only!

15 names on the verge of extinction

If you're looking to revive an older name, or don’t want anything near the top 1000 list, check out these rare monikers for your unique baby.

5 characteristics of great dads

It’s great to see a generation of dads who are more actively involved with caring, nurturing and loving their kids.

Why doesn't Australia have more breast milk banks?

When there’s no question that milk banks are important, why don’t we have more of them in Australia?

Carrie Bickmore announces birth of daughter

Television personality Carrie Bickmore has given birth to her second child.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

Sign up to our 30 days of #PlayIQ challenge

Sign up to receive 30 amazing tips and ideas for play with baby during the month of April and submit a picture or tip on our social wall for a chance to win an amazing Fisher-Price prize pack.

Man faces jail after giving woman abortion pill smoothie

A Norwegian man is facing jail after putting abortion pills in his ex-girlfriend's smoothie, causing her to have a miscarriage.

'He's a blessing': family of baby born without eyes

Jordy Jackson was born without eyes. He has anophthalmia, which affects one in every 100,000 babies born.

Win one of 5 Cadbury Easter Hampers

With Easter fast approaching, Cadbury are giving away 5 Cadbury Easter Hampers. Enter Now!

Super fit model Sarah Stage defends her pregnancy body

Model Sarah Stage has defended her pregnancy body after critics claimed her slim figure at eight-and-a-half months pregnant wasn't "normal".

Win a Ben & Holly's Little Kingdom and Peppa Pig prize pack

To celebrate the April 1 release of Holly's Magic Wand on DVD and Digital, Essential Baby and Entertainment One are giving away five bumper DVD packs featuring the newest installment of Ben & Holly's Little Kingdom Holly's Magic Wand and many more hours of family entertainment! Enter Now!

Why I post breastfeeding photos online

I love to take pictures of my children. In some of the pictures, my younger son is nursing.

The day I broke my baby

There are things I wish I didn't know. I wish I didn't know that companies make tiny braces, small enough to hold necks no bigger than a wrist.

The place just for dads of multiples

When a couple discovers they're expecting multiples, the dad can sometimes be almost forgotten in all the excitement and preparation. But one group offers a space just for dads of twins and higher-order multiples.

Brave mum calls for domestic violence law reform

A brave mum of two has shared details of the harrowing attacks she suffered at the hands of her partner in a bid to help other victims of domestic violence.

Why I had the new test for Down syndrome

Early last year I turned 35, and having just found out I was pregnant, I opted to have the new test for Down syndrome.

Geeky baby gear

If your family is more into Star Wars, gaming and the periodic table than most, you might want to check out these geek-chic baby items.

2015: the year of the sheep

According to the Chinese zodiac, babies born in the year of the sheep are creative and enjoy spending quiet time with their own thoughts.

Breakthrough genetic testing now available in Australia

Pregnant women will for the first time have access to locally analysed, accurate, non-invasive pre-natal genetic testing when the first Australian clinic to offer the services opens its doors next week.

Grandbabies: the babies born looking old

Not a day under 65 and a lifetime of struggle! That's the look of these newborns, who look adorably older than their real age. Social networking site Reddit recently featured user submissions of adorable grandbabies, here are our favourites.

Family kicked off flight after toddler seatbelt drama

An entire family was kicked off a Cathay Pacific flight when a misbehaving toddler refused to put his seatbelt on.

Stolen baby found after 17 years

A baby stolen from her mother's arms shortly after birth has been found through an astonishing coincidence.

53 creative pregnancy announcements

Announcing that you're expecting can be a time to express your creativity, sense of humour and imagination. Check out how other parents and parents-to-be have broken the news to friends and family.

IKEA hacks for the nursery and kids' rooms

Are you one of those that know the whole IKEA catalogue by heart? Love their stuff but want to personalise it? Here's some inspiration to help you realise the potential of IKEA furniture and fittings.

36 baby names inspired by food and drinks

A French court may have ruled out Nutella as a baby name, but that doesn't have to stop you from taking inspiration from the supermarket (or bottle shop). See what parents in the US have chosen for their delicious little ones.

Clever breastfeeding products

Check out this range of products designed to help make your breastfeeding journey more enjoyable, manageable and convenient.

 

Sign up now!

30 days of #PlayIQ challenge

Receive a daily email from Essential Baby during April with great play tips and ideas, then submit your baby at play photos to our Playwall, Instagram or Twitter for your chance to win.

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.