All Akimbo: Help?

By Kim Blakely, mama to Mojo

Mojo has been counting everything in our house lately – we have three televisions, he’ll note, or we have four sinks and three beds. There are four people here, if you count the baby, he’ll explain, and there are four pets: a dog, two cats, and a fish.

Except that very soon, we’ll be minus one cat.

I just got home from the vet, where I heard that one of our cats has lymphoma and the doctor guesses she’ll only be with us for a couple more weeks.

She’s the loving cat – the other one is not mean, but far more aloof and not at all interested in the hugs that Mojo bestows on her litterbox-mate. He loves her, follows her around, talks to her, pats her … and she’s always patient and tolerant of his efforts. I daresay she even returns his affections as much as she can.

I’m trying to reign in my emotions for Mojo’s benefit, although when he asked me on the drive home why my face looked like that and why I needed a tissue, I did tell him that Zooie is very sick and that I’m sad about that. I want him to know, after all, that it’s OK to feel sad about it, and I want him to know it’s OK to show it. But beyond that, I’m not sure what to say.

I’ve yet to read up on how to broach the topic of soon-to-be declining number of pets in our house with a 4-year-old, but rest assured, I will. I have to know the best way to explain this so it makes some kind of sense.

In the meantime, do any of you have any practical advice on what to do/not to do? I know some of you have been through this recently, and I could sure use some guidance.

1 Comment

  1. Kim,

    I’m so sorry about Zooie. We went through this same thing when Ladybug was about 4. I tried so hard to rein in my emotions — but not so much that she couldn’t see that I was grieving. There is a great book called Cat Heaven by Cynthia Rylant that was helpful to us. In fact, we discovered it in the vet’s office the day we were told that Peep only had a few days left.

    I would advise not to say the vet “put her to sleep” if it ends up going that route. That might make him worry about going to bed at night. I avoided those words. I just told Ladybug our cat was really, really old and sick and that she was in heaven now, surrounded by all the things she loved (like mice, birds and ponds). Sometimes we just have to muddle through. I know you’ll do a great job helping Mojo. It’s you I’m worried about… hang in there. I know it’s hard when people say it’s “just a cat” but she’s more than that to you. XOX, Shan

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