We got the bad news today that our much-loved kitty needs to be put down.
Any advice anyone has as to how to get through this experience-- the actual euthanasia and the cremation-- with my kids, ages 5 and 3, is most welcome.
Oh dear, I'm so sorry to hear about your kitty. I'm sorry I don't have any advice but I can empathize with how hard i must be to go through this...our 2 kitties were/are our first 'kids' and we adopted them 7 years before we had our first child (who is almost 7). An author I really like (Cynthia Rylant) has a children's book called Cat Heaven--haven't read it, but it gets great reviews on Amazon. I think the important thing would be to just address the situation at your particular kids' emotional levels. The 3 year old probably won't remember anything long-term but the five year old may and might be interested in participating in the process to a certain extent for closure--but you would know best how to go about that within the comfort level of your child. Maybe get a couple good pictures of each of them with the kitty beforehand, outside perhaps, and have those framed and set out somewhere soon. I know it's kinda morbid, but I think I would like having a bit of my cat's fur--just a little clipping or something--in a little charm box or something--something tangible to hold on to. Boy, even thinking about that is really tough! I'm so sorry you're having to deal with this at such an otherwise happy time...hugs to you and your kiddos and your kitty.
I am sorry, hugs to you mama. I know that for me as a kid, it helped to have my parents tell me what was happening, let us cry and explain that it was ok to be sad, have a funeral, then check in with me for many days past and let me know it was ok to still feel sad and that it was ok to feel sad all of a sudden at different times and that we can just talk about the kitty and remember them. Many hugs to you and your family.
Thanks, mamas. It's all over except for the crying, as they say. :( I think I have lots more crying. 13 years is a long time to have gotten so used to his little soul. The house feels lifeless without him, even with the kids running amok.
In the end, I went with Rasa's suggestion to have the boys take photographs with him, but not be there at the time of the injection. It was the right thing for us. I also saved a bit of his soft white fur.
And did I mention that we have a house-call vet? What a little luxury turned huge. I can't imagine having to say goodbye to him in a clinical exam room. She actually gave him a tranquilizer where he was resting-- on our bed, in his favorite spot-- before she shaved his arm and found his vein. It was as peaceful as it could have been. I am so thankful. And as I am hoping for a homebirth in the next two weeks, it makes me recognize afresh just what home is-- this nexus of life and death, all wrapped up together.
Neither boy has asked where MacKenzie's body is, and I'm not looking forward to talking about cremation with them, but I will. I wanted him cremated so I can take his ashes later this summer to the place where he found me- my small college town. He would wait for me to return from class in the evenings at a certain spot, and race me to the back door to get his dinner. Literally. We would run all the way across the park together. When he was younger, he was part dog. :) So that's where his ashes are going. That waiting corner.
I'm so sorry you had to go through this at this time. I had this same situation when I was pregnant with DS. It's never easy to loose a beloved pet. I found comfort in the thought that my sweet kitty wasn't left to suffer. Just try to think about the circle of life, and focus on the beautiful baby you're about to bring into the world.