January 11th, 2010

Do Kitties Go to Heaven?

Lisa Kerr

We’re bracing ourselves for a part of parenthood we’ve been lucky enough to avoid thus far: the loss of a beloved family pet.  It’s not upon us yet, but our 16 year old cat “Dizzy” (of floor-pooping fame) has begun a fast decline into feline senility.

I will be devastated when this cat passes away.  He was our first “child”; a rescue that The Hub and I found together early in our dating life. When we were madly in love and dreaming about a life together. When we thought that caring for a kitten by securely wrapping it in a towel and bottle-feeding it somehow meant that we had parenting abilities.  When we were sure being awakened several times a night to the shock of pointed little claws dug deep into our toes would somehow prepare us for the long nights with a newborn.

We were so stupid.

Anyway, we’ve never really gone through this with the kids before.  We lost another cat when the Monkey two, flushed several fish, and mourned one ill-fated gecko that survived a grand total of three weeks in our house.  (Before anyone calls PETA – this was a lizard that was in decline BEFORE we brought it home.  Gecko II has lived a very long and prosperous life with us.)

There’s no way to shield our kids from the pain of death; it’s a part of our every day lives.  A side of me knows the passing of a pet provides us with the opportunity to teach them about loss and share with them healthy expressions of grief.   However, another part of me might let the kids fend for themselves as I lie on the floor in puddle of tears, blubbering and singing Baby Mine.  (Don’t bother picturing it…it’s not pretty.)

This is the part of parenting I fear; the part where the Hub and I have to be the grown-ups.  This is the part where we walk the fine line between feeling and sharing our own emotions and rising above, if you will, the situation so we can hold the space for our children to feel safe and secure in their own experiences.  This is the part where we lead by example with our own humanity, while maintaining some sense of calm within the storm for our kid’s sense of security.

This is the part that stinks.

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This Weeks Tip

We did a review a while ago of dry shampoo. Here’s an alternative when you don’t have time to wash, but want to get rid of the oily-ness. Sprinkle some baking soda on your hair, comb through then quickly fluff your hair with a blow dryer. (note: You can also add a little scented baby powder to keep your hair smelling clean!)