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


Two children fall from second storey window

Two young boys have been rushed to hospital after falling out a second-storey window of a home in Eastwood.

Awards 2015: Vote now for a chance to win $2000

Vote for your favourite pregnancy, baby and toddler products for your chance to win your share of $2500 in cash prizes.

Victorian Labor to introduce same-sex adoption laws

Thousands of same-sex couples with children will have the right to be jointly recognised as parents by Victorian law.

Sneak peek: Maxomorra bee dress, t-shirt and romper for babies

Cutest snap find on the planet - bee rompers, tees and dresses for babies.

Toddler found two days after going missing

A two-year-old girl who disappeared on Friday night from her great-grandparents' home in rural Ohio was found alive Sunday evening in a nearby field.

Dad builds the ultimate bed for his toddler son

The transition from cot to big kid bed might be a little easier if every toddler had a bed like this one.

Is Woolworths now cheaper than Coles?

Woolworths appears to have taken the upper hand in its price battle with Coles after investing millions of dollars lowering the cost of groceries, according to new figures.

Aussie babies and parents stranded in Nepal after surrogacy ban

Parents say Australian babies are being "kept captive" and cannot come home after a ban on commercial surrogacy in Nepal.

Wannabe dads left behind in IVF debate

If virgin women can become mothers through IVF, maybe we're ready for another miracle - genuine equality for men in the parenting debate.

The health and fitness lessons I've learned

What I once assumed about health and fitness is wrong.

Our angel baby story: Hunter James

I have two children: one living, the next an angel baby.

Newlyweds send bill to no-show guests

Planning a wedding can be stressful – and, as most newlyweds can attest, it can be very costly, too.

Your choice or theirs: the tug-of-war over baby names

They had just decided on a name they both agreed on, but then the grandparents threw in an offer of $10,000 in exchange for choosing something else.

Dad-to-be's tearful reaction to pregnancy news goes viral

After 17 years of trying, this man had given up hope of having a family.

Claire Danes: acting out postnatal depression was difficult

Actress Claire Danes found it difficult pretending to have postnatal depression in Homeland, as she had just become a new mother herself.

The moment a 92-year-old meets her great grandaughter

It's a heart-warming photo this family will treasure forever.

How to prepare for breastfeeding when you're still pregnant

While every woman's breastfeeding journey is different, many hurdles are shared. Knowing what to expect will enable you to make informed decisions if - or when - you meet challenges along the way.

Sneak peek: new Love Mae bamboo dinnerware designs

We do love ourselves some brand new designs in tried and true products. The renowned bamboo dinnerware from Love Mae has just had several more members join the family, in addition to a brand new website.

Mum who killed paedophile gets reduced sentence

A mother-of-five who killed a paedophile has had her jail sentence reduced by a judge who described her case as a "truly exceptional" one.

Sneak peek: Geleeo self-cooling pram & high chair liners

We just spotted Geleeo, a brand new self-cooling pram liner you can buy in time for summer.

Toddler's silent debate with mum about naptime

He might not utter a single word - but this toddler is having a great debate with his mother about nap time.


What's hot on EB

Stella McCartney honours mum with lacy bra

Fashion designer Stella McCartney has honoured her late mum, Linda McCartney, by designing a special bra for post-mastectomy patients.

Don't panic: A granddad midwife's guide for dads-to-be

Mark Harris has helped deliver 500 babies. And he's now telling fathers what to expect.

How to be a calm parent when you're feeling anything but

Being a calm parent takes a lot of work, sometimes more than is obvious to those around us.

The joy and isolation of being a stay-at-home dad

It's cool, kind of like a second childhood. I love him to bits and think, on average, I'm an okay dad. But I also want to talk about the other stuff.

How baby Teddy's short life is helping save thousands of lives

He may have only lived for 100 minutes, but that didn't stop baby Teddy from saving the lives of others.

A heartbreaking trail of missed chances in death of baby forgotten in car

A haunting reminder to stay mindful about babies in cars, especially as we approach summer.

What to do if your baby has tongue-tie

Tongue-tie can cause feeding problems. However once it is diagnosed, the condition can be easily treated.

How to move house without losing your mind

Some people move frequently, while others like to stay put. But everyone finds it stressful.

'She had nowhere to go': how new mum's life began to unravel

The birth of her first child should have been happiest of times for Campsie mother Phuong Cao, but friends say it marked the beginning of when her life began to unravel. 

Women giving birth to a son keep some of his Y chromosomes

It was an experiment doomed to failure - they were looking for male cells in female bodies. And their search was stunningly successful.

Photos: How babies fit in the womb

A gorgeous photo series shows babies in the first hours after their birth - as they were positioned in the womb.

Baby tries to persuade stubborn bulldog to walk, fails

We don't know what he's saying, but this baby has a very clear message for his bulldog pal: let's walk - NOW.

The best toddler gift ever? Nine gender-neutral play kitchen picks

Without a doubt, one of the best gifts for a toddler turning two or three is a play kitchen.

9 easy steps to improve your baby photography

With a few simple tips you can take your images from random happy snaps to lovely clean images that create beautiful lasting memories.



What are your favourite baby products?

The Essential Baby Awards are on now, and we need your help! Have your say on your top picks and you'll go in the draw to win a share of $2500.

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.