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<p>Looks like today might be the day for our beloved sixteen-year-old kitty. <img alt="mecry.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/mecry.gif"></p>
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<p>Our vet is able to come to the house. Just not sure how to handle things with 4 y.o. DD. She is ultra sensitive to others' distress--the most sensitive I have ever encountered. Not sure if being present for the euthanasia would be helpful to her, because I don't think that in itself would be distressing (or am I kidding myself?) I just worry about her reaction to my and DH's distress.</p>
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<p>It's possible that a neighbor could take her out for a walk at that time, but if she knows the vet is here she probably won't want to leave. Help!</p>
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<p>Also, not sure if being totally honest about the cremation would upset her--I don't see how it wouldn't. "What?!? The body gets burned up in a fire?!?" She'll ask a ton of questions once she sees and knows that kitty has died.</p>
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<p>SO sorry Mama.....loosing pets is so hard. And then having to explain it to little ones is even harder. Yes, I think cremation would be very hard to explain and I personally would not explain that to my 5year old but everyone is different. I probably also wouldn't have her present-I know someone (an adult) who was with their dog and the vet and they did not handle it at all-needles, shots, and the heart stops-she might think the vet hurt the cat etc. I guess I would sensor what she knows and doesn't know but again that is only my opinion and may or may not be what is right for everyone. My son is extremely sensitive and the idea of death (he knows his dog won't live forever) is very very hard on him. I dread the day I am in your shoes. Sorry...am sure this is not helpful at all.</p>
 

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<p>I just had another thought....perhaps the vet would have some suggestions as surely he/she has encountered this same issue before(young children and pet death) and may have some ideas. Could you call the office and ask-in the end, it's your daughter but I was just thinking the vet deals with these situations more</p>
 

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<p>We have a 13 year old dachshund so we'll soon be in your shoes...that being said, we've talked about him going to doggie heaven with DD (who's also 4 and quite sensitive) before so she's prepared to some extent. I would also not explain cremation to her, I do think details like that would be distressing. I don't think I would have her there for the euthanasia either. I would probably tell her that the cat is very sick and wants to go to heaven where she'll be all better etc (I've really talked about how great doggie heaven is with DD and how much fun our dog will have when he's there) and that sometimes, the vet has to help the animals to get there and she'll help the cat feel better by floating away out of her body where she feels so sick right now. Her sensitivity could really help her understand this, because she wouldn't want the cat to continue suffering and this being a way to make her feel better would be a comfort to your daughter.</p>
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<p>I have no idea if you're comfortable with the idea of animal heaven or if it sounds weird, but I think DD would understand that approach and for us, emphasizing the good parts of the animal's death (she'll feel better, she'll have all the treats she wants, etc etc) has made DD have a positive outlook on the dog passing on in the future. Of course I have no idea how it will play out, but that is what we've said. Good luck, dealing with an animal's death with a small child is very difficult.</p>
 

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<p>Our DD was present when our German Shepherd was euthanized last year - she would have been almost 4. It was not planned that way - it was an emergency situation because of bloat. We explained that the vet was going to give the dog some very strong medicine that would put her into a deep sleep, and that she would die in her sleep. We didn't get into the mechanics of it.</p>
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<p>We are atheists so of course we didn't talk about dog heaven (although at the time it was extremely tempting for her sake and for mine...) but we talked about her feeling no more pain and that she would live on in our hearts.</p>
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<p>Instead of talking about cremation per se, we told her that the vet would take our dog's body and have it turned to ashes. We then buried the ashes when they were returned to us. Since then as DD has matured we've talked more about HOW the body turned into ash but at the time she was satisfied with that.</p>
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<p>One thing that we realized later is that DD didn't realise that the dog died with us present - I thought she had but she told her grandparents the next day that Sophie "was going to die". In retrospect we could have made that clearer. But overall it went very well and while she occasionally cries about missing Sophie, she handled it well.</p>
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<p>I'm so sorry for what you're going through. We have a very senior cat here who I suspect is not long for this world, so we'll be going through it again shortly. :(</p>
 

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<p>So sorry for your loss, OP. It is so hard to lose a pet.</p>
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<p>My 6yo insisted on being present when our ancient, decrepit kitty was put to sleep last spring. I was not at all keen to have him there, but we let him and I've never regretted it. We obviously couldn't hide the cat's death, and it was actually a lot easier to explain because he was there. Also we have a very wonderful vet who has kids the same age. He was very welcoming to ds -- that helped a lot!</p>
 
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