Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Cat VS Car

Well, it appears, that our cat Nemo, was no match for a car.
This is truly sad. And breaking the news to the kids... well... it would be no small task.
So me and my wife considered all the different ways to bring the reality of life and death to light with the children, in some non-Oh-My-Gosh-My-Parents-Are-Totally-Going-To-Pay-For-This-Later-When-I'm-In-Therapy sort of way...

Me: Uh-oh...
Wife: Whats wrong?
Me: Uh, just got a text from the person living at our house right now.
Wife: What broke?
Me: The cat.
Wife: The cat broke?
Me: Well, the cat got hit by a car.
Wife: Oh no. We gotta tell the kids!
Me: Okay... tomorrow?
Wife: Now.
Brother: Oh! Tell 'em the cat moved to Calgary!
Wife: That is a stupid idea.
Brother: No, that's totally what our parents told us when our cat died!
Wife: That is really, the stupidest idea ever.
Me: Oh, but they threw the budgies in the fire! And let us watch. In fact, I think WE got to throw them in there.
Wife: No, wait. THAT was the stupidest idea ever!
Son #2: Whatcha talking about?
Wife: (holding son) Nemo got hit by a car. And is dead.
Son #2: (starts crying)
Me: OR, he MIGHT have just moved to Calgary!
Wife: Okay, you GUYS just... (throws a carrot at my brother) just shut it!
Son #1: Hey, why is he crying?
Me: Nemo got hit by a car. And is dead.
Son #1: Oh, that sucks. Hey, can I have those Doritos?
Me: Uh, no.
Daughter #1: Whats going on?
Me: (since Wife was too busy consoling Son #2) Baby, Nemo got hit by a car... and... (she looks at me with those big eyes starting to fill with tears) ... and... he moved to Calgary! Got a government job out there... as... a... translator!
Daughter #1: Calgary?
Wife: Stupid! Stupid! Hold her!
Me: (holds Daughter #1) Nemo died baby. I'm so sorry.
Daughter #1: (crying)
Wife: Nemo got hit by a car baby, and she is dead.
Ping: WHY? NO NEMO DEAD. CASPAIAN (our other cat) DEAD.
Wife: No, Caspain is fine. Nemo is dead.
Ping: WHY?!

AAAAHHHH!!! WHY! Perfect! Now new parents... take note here.
When ever anything BAD happens, and your CHILD(s) ask WHY, this is a PRIME opportunity to push an agenda! Which agenda is totally up to you... but do NOT let this opportunity pass without sneaking in SOMETHING you are trying to teach them.

Me: Nemo died, because she did not listen to his Mommy and Daddy.
Ping: WHY?!

Wife: Nemo died because she did not look BOTH ways before crossing the street!
Ping: WHY?!

Me: She ALSO died because she did not hold his Mommy's or Daddy's hand when she was told to!
Ping: WHY?!

Wife: She died because she did NOT talk nice!
Ping: WHY?!

Me: Because she did not eat her food!
Ping: WHY?!

Wife: She did not brush her teeth!
Ping: WHY?!

Me: She ... uh... wore socks with sandals!
Ping: Oh. She no see car and car went (acts out with her hands a cat getting squashed by a car).
Daughter #1: Whaaa?! (WAILING)
Me: Yes, Ping. Thats right. Nemo got hit by a car.
Ping: NO NO! SHE GO like THIS (again, with the hand motions and THIS time, with added "squishing" sounds)
Daughter #1 + Son #2: (wailing increases, huge sobbing)
Son #1: What about THESE Doritios then?
Me: Yes, thats right Ping. Nemo got hit by a car. Now, thats enough.
Ping: NO! NEMO! CAR! LIKE THIS! (Again with the hand actions and sounds + maniacal laughing) Muwhahaha! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAAAA!
Wife: Is she "evil laughing".
Me: Yes. I think so.
Ping: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! LIKE THIS!!!! (she can barely breath she is laughing so hard)

It pretty much went down hill from there. I'm not even going to get into the "Frog Incident"... maybe another time.

But it is curious to see the different children's reaction to the news. With 3 of the 4, we could pretty accurately call how they would react. With Ping, well... sometimes, we're still trying to figure her out. Now, she IS very tender (at times). And she IS able to show compassion and patience... but there are some things, which she just finds funny... which she shouldn't.

Like, getting in trouble. There have been a couple times where we've gone to discipline her, and she is stifling a laugh. And a BIG laugh. Where I'm there busy in the middle of the "Good Cop/Bad Cop" routine, and she is holding both hands over her mouth trying not to laugh...


Anyway, I think its a nervous laugh, and she is trying to deal with the vulnerability she is feeling. She dose not like being vulnerable. So I think anything where she feels hurt, or gets in trouble, her "defense" mechanism kicks in... and... she... laughs. So odd.

I am thoroughly enjoying getting to know this little precious daughter of mine.

But for now, I have to go again... I can hear her doing the "Nemo/Car" routine again, and Daughter #1 is crying...


  1. Sorry to hear about your cat.

    I had a cat that ran off and joined the circus!

    I am guessing all the Doritos are gone.

  2. Really sorry to hear about the cat. We've done our share of "explaining" and comforting kids throughout the years and it is never easy.

  3. Doritos, gone. :-)

    I'm thinking we should NOT have any pets.
    So far, we've lost:
    1 budgie
    2 kittens given away (wife pregnant)
    1 dog hit by a Honda
    1 Hamster (Mr. Fluffy!)
    1 cat hit by a car


    I'm sure there are other animals that have died in our care.

    The good news is that we do MUCH better with children then with pets! :-)

  4. OY! Poor Nemo. Poor kids! Poor you - having to tell them!

  5. Sorry to hear about Nemo. Poor Caspian will be lonely!

    About the nervous laughter - totally normal. At least in my opinion. I suffer from it at the weirdest times, and it sucks. I remember getting in trouble at school and barely being able to hold it in, which always got me into more trouble! So not fair since I was nervous about being in trouble when I hardly ever was, not because I didn't think it was serious! The worst was laughing hysterically during the "silent moment" at my Dad's funeral...

    Now the laughing at the cat dying sounds a little different. Maybe she didn't attach to the cat and simply sees it as a fact of life that things like that happen? She has had different experiences shape her view of the world...

    Hugs to you all - can't wait to see you!! :)
    Tracy (&Alban)

  6. I feel bad for Nemo. I am kind of feeling your confusion about Ping. For us, Sarah speaks only two language - smile and cry. Smile is OK but I am often lost in her crying.