Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Sad Day

This morning, I took my 12 year old cat Zeke to the vet. Unfortunately, Zeke did not come home with me.

He's been in gradual decline since Thanksgiving, which accelerated over the past two weeks. Xrays this morning showed he had cancer through most of his major organs with nothing we could do. The vet kindly talked me through the euthanasia procedure and I was present when it was done.

Zeke was always an stubborn right bastard, but we loved him very much. I am very sad, as is Tom. We have no idea what to tell Christopher--so far we've only told him that Zeke had to stay at the animal hospital. We were very clear to him this morning that we were taking Zeke to the vet--an animal doctor--not at all like his doctor.

All Christopher knows about death is from Lion King--he tells me, "Lion King fell down and got dive." He doesn't know the actual word. Any tips on how or what to tell him when he asks?

8 comments:

Tooz said...

Go find "The 10th Good Thing about Barney", by Judith Viorst. When you have it, read it to Christopher. Until then, let Zeke "stay" at the vet's. I'm sure there are other good books about death of pets at your library. Ask your children's librarian for suggestions. I'm a great believer in the appropriate book at the appropriate time. Good luck. Oh--and don't tell Christopher that Zeke "went to sleep", unless you want to have a bunch of bedtime battles!

Jenn-Jenn, the Mother Hen said...

I'm sorry for your loss. Pets are (and should be) a part of the family. I would explain that Zeke was very sick and in pain, and that now Zeke isn't hurting anymore. Explain to him that eventually all things die, and that Zeke was an old man in cat years. I would tell him it's okay to be sad that Zeke is gone, but that Zeke will always live in CJ's memories. I agree with Tooz, as well. The right book at the right time can help a bunch! Again, I'm sorry you guys have had to go through this.

Strangeite said...

I am really sorry and have no advice for you.

A loss of a pet is very hard. My dog had surgery last month to have tumor removed and I was scared to death. It was cancer but hopefully the vet got it all.

I am so sorry.

Mrs. Allroro said...

Becca, I'm really sorry for your loss. I'm sorry I didn't read this sooner and I hope I haven't made any terribly insensitive related comments on Facebook since then, and I'm sorry if I did. I still miss Ralphie and also the kitten I had for a short time.

I had a student last year who was 6 when his dog died. He knew his parents had taken him to the vet. He told me the dog was in Heaven, then a little later he said, "He might still be at the vet, I'm not sure." I asked, "Did your parents say he is in Heaven?" He nodded, and I said that if his parents told him the dog was in Heaven, then the dog wasn't at the vet anymore. He nodded and teared up a little. He had a hard time, but I think he was comforted knowing the truth from his parents. (To him, "in heaven" was his best understanding of "dead", I think.)

I guess you could tell CJ that the cat will not be able to come home and that you will not be able to visit him, but as Jenn said, that you could visit him in your memories (an alternative if you're not ready to talk about death.) Maybe you could even create some kind of memorial for CJ (and the rest of you) so he has that tangible reminder that his memories are real and his love was real (and both can stay).

Tooz said...

Knockknock.

Jenn-Jenn, the Mother Hen said...

Hellloooo? Becca, you home? I'm not going to hound you too much because you did post on R.O.U.S., but I must say, a new post seems to be in order on this blog. :-)

Tooz said...

Just curious--are you ever planning on posting again?

Becca said...

Eventually.