Thursday, April 4, 2013

Day 4: D is For Dead Cat

My friend Sally read yesterday's post "C is For Cat" and commented that she liked that I was giving hints for the following day's post.  What?  Hints?  At that point I had no idea what I was going to write about, so I emailed Sally and asked what she thought I was going to write.  She thought I would continue the dead cat story.  Unfortunately, there's not much more to that tale than what I told yesterday.  Paul picked Sarah and her husband up at the airport and told her, "Oh by the way, your cat died."  She didn't ask for details and it was years later that I told her the whole story.

This was not Sarah's first experience with dead cats.  When she was in kindergarten the kids found a stray cat who had delivered two kittens by our house.  One of the kittens died shortly after they found them.  It was spring but still a little chilly and the kids, worried about the surviving kitten, wanted to bring the mother and her kitten into the house. We compromised and fixed up a box with blankets in the spouse's workshop.  We left food, water and milk for the mother  and assured the kids that they would be warm and happy in the shop.  The next day the kids rushed out to the shop to check on the kitten.  We heard wailing and the spouse and I ran to see what the problem was.  Sarah was holding a tiny, stiff, dead kitten.  "You killed it," she accused the spouse, "It's stiff.  It froze to death!"  

A five year old experiencing death for the first time was in no mood to hear a lecture about rigor mortis or the lack of prenatal care leading to mortality.  We just dried her tears and hugged her...but later we couldn't help but laugh about the poor kitten that "froze to death" on a mild eastern Oregon spring night.


  1. Ho ho...
    How could you help laughing! What's funnier than a stiff dead kitten and weeping children?

    Just kidding.

  2. Oh, that's such a sad story. Learning about mortality still scares me when I think of it. Every time I think of getting another pet, I think about losing it and enduring the pain. So I don't. I am really enjoying your writing, Nana. This is a good idea! :-)

  3. Best possible approach when dealing with a five year old. My nephew was about 7 or so when he figured out that 1) their cat died 2) that he was eating a fish that used to swim in the ocean so therefore someday his parents were going to die too. Hearing that he'd put it together like that just blew me away.

  4. aw. poor wittle kitty...
    a tough lesson. glad you all can laugh about it now =)

  5. Hello, I've been leaving comments here for "Jann" but today I saw that you are going by "Nana." I apologize for not noticing that earlier.

    I'm a true cat lover and so the death of any of the cats with whom I've lived has been traumatic. I live alone and they become my family. So I found the posting today sad. Peace.


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