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Pet death

#1 Pet death
19/10/2007 12:03


Pet death

Our pet cat was run over this morning. How should my wife and I break this to our three year old daughter? (I'm aware I can search for help on Google, but would appreciate the insight of the sparkling minds on this forum).

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#2 RE: Pet death
19/10/2007 12:16

! to David (#1)

Tell her that death is a natural thing. Life's not cosmically special, it is absurd. Tell her about contingency, and about the revulsion of existence. Then she'll realise that death was the best way for this revulsion to end and the pointless life course to end. But then again, it's a cat., and she's three. Tell her it ran away.

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#3 RE: Pet death
19/10/2007 13:02

Mars A Day to ! (#2)

Hmm... I see Schopenhauer's ghost has turned up on the forum.

Tell her it has gone to live with other cats or something suitably sugar coated - why make the kid unhappy?

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#4 RE: Pet death
19/10/2007 13:10

k to David (#1)

You could tell them that it's gone to live on a farm and that, on this farm, it will be treated well and there will be men in expensive suits who speak a strange language who keep trying to herd it and put it into a nice square box. But, it always gets away and enjoys doing what it was doing before the men ever showed up

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#5 RE: Pet death
19/10/2007 13:58

Anon to k (#4)

Or you could avoid lying and say that it got run over killed by a car and that is was a horrible flea bitten stinking excuse for an animal anyway!!

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#6 RE: Pet death
19/10/2007 14:01

mac to Anon (#5)

Just get another one that looks the same and hey presto, no more problem!

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#7 RE: Pet death
19/10/2007 14:04

anon to Anon (#5)

I don’t really understand this. Why lie? Tell her like it is, it died but that sort of thing happens. The important thing to do is to remember the fun times you had together.

She’s only 3, she’ll get over it in a day or two, and she’ll have learnt that everything doesn’t always go your way. Sh1t happens, learn how to deal with it.

You could always help her deal with it by buying another kitten or something, but I think it’s a bad idea to lie.

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#8 RE: Pet death
19/10/2007 14:26

Paneer to anon (#7)

Young children never seem to really grasp adults' views on death - always asking when the recently deceased is coming back etc.

Why not ask her where she thinks animals and people go when they don't come back anymore and then go with her answer? If this is to work at all, might be best with a cat 'cos there's less chance she'll fret that it left 'cos of something she did.

Good luck. Be interested to know how you deal with it.

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#9 RE: Pet death
19/10/2007 14:28

hmm to anon (#7)

power point presentation giving background information on said animal, market (or environment) that the pet was a part of, method at which execution was carried out, issues faced by animal before untimely death and conclude that it created value by realising synergies post merger with tyre(s).

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#10 RE: Pet death
19/10/2007 15:02

for hmm to hmm (#9)

It's good, but it's not quite what we were looking for.

Have it reworked for 9am tomorrow please.

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#11 RE: Pet death
19/10/2007 15:17

Seeker to for hmm (#10)

We lie about Father Christmas and the Tooth Fairy to kids, so what difference does a lie about a dead cat make. Why not prolong the beauty of innocence. By the time she's old enough to understand what death is really about i'm sure she'll get over it. Or you could just buy her something. Consumption always has that nice little illusion of easing the pain.

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#12 RE: Pet death
19/10/2007 16:03

anon to Seeker (#11)

I vote in favor of telling her the truth and helping her understand it.

Grief is the first step to recovery and it is natural. Of course, that doesnt mean, the process should not be eased by those who can help.

Children, as paneer said, do not fully understand death as adults do, but the are more sensitive when we try to avoid an issue and "learn" that behavior.

Death is part of life and in fact the reason we should live it fully and joyfully.

My advice is to tell her that the cat will not come back, explaining it to her that it has left and will not return. (I am sure she has seen animals die too). Tell her, that the best way to keep her alive is by cherishing her feelings and sharing them with others (starting with you), because, above all, children are capable of having beautiful feelings. Maybe you will learn from her too...

Just my 2 cents.

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#13 RE: Pet death
19/10/2007 16:05

anon to anon (#12)

The best way to keep the cat alive instead of 'her' - sorry for the typo fellas.

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#14 RE: Pet death
19/10/2007 16:12

meoww to anon (#13)

Why can't you just lie? Say the cat's 'gone missing' and buy a puppy in the mean time. The kids will be so overwhelmed with the dog that they'll forget that the cat even existed.

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#15 RE: Pet death
19/10/2007 16:33

Seeker to meoww (#14)

Precisely Meoww - unromantic, but true. Why not start 'em on that ethos young eh?

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#16 RE: Pet death
21/10/2007 02:59

Corporate Whore to Seeker (#15)

Tell her the cat was homosexual and decided it would be better off with a family that understood it's needs and could find another homo cat.

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#17 RE: Pet death
21/10/2007 05:14

CapGrad to Corporate Whore (#16)

Tell her:

1) The cat died

2) Sh*t happens

3) She should stop any self-pity or crying and go watch the teletubies

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#18 RE: Pet death
21/10/2007 06:43

Bubble Bath to CapGrad (#17)

Act like nothing happened. When she asks you about the cat ask with a bewildered look on your face what the hell she is talking about?

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#19 RE: Pet death
21/10/2007 08:01

David to David (#1)

Hmm, not sure the majority have really read and understood the brief. I said Iwas looking for the "insight of the sparkling minds". AMAD, !, and Paneer aside, I'm not sure any of you really qualify.

If had requested generic alpha jock nonsense, you're comments would have been right on the money.

It's noteworthy that the thread turned into a lie/don't lie discussion. Lying was never an option.

For those that care/are interested (essentially the parents amongst us); we told her the truth, she is upset but appreciates the stark cause/effect of the situation. There is something extremly impresive about kids' ability to accept a situation; and her initial reply had a certain unintentional dark humour - "Oh no, he was hit by a car. Was he sore?"

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#20 RE: Pet death
22/10/2007 07:31

good for you to David (#19)

I am sure you did the right thing. With 3 cats and a young daugheter, I am probably dreding that conversation more than the one about where babies come from. If one of our cats died and I was first to find out, I think it would be harder to tell my wife than my daughter! I am sure my daughter would bounce back much quicker

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#21 RE: Pet death
23/10/2007 22:43

Schrodinger to David (#1)

Buy her an empty box and place the dead cat within. Tell her that within the box two seperate universes exist, one where the cat is alive and the other where the cat is still dead.

Tell her that until she opens the box and can determine which universe still exists her cat is still alive.

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