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To want someone else to tell my kids?

(53 Posts)
babymidgetgem Mon 18-Mar-19 13:55:27

DCat became very ill yesterday. Took her to the vets today, and after blood tests she is in end stage kidney failure. We are going to pick up the girls after school and take them to say goodbye before we have her pts. But I don't want to tell them sad can't bear the thought of their little faces crippling, please can somebody else do it? Sorry not really an AIBU, just feeling sad and lost.

StealthPolarBear Mon 18-Mar-19 13:56:25

I'm so sorry sad
Your kids want you to tell them. They wouldn't want the news from anyone else.

LtJudyHopps Mon 18-Mar-19 14:06:28

If someone other than my parents delivered bad news I would be gutted. Don’t do that to them, just be honest and tactful.

hedgeharris Mon 18-Mar-19 14:08:52

Have you got some books like ‘goodbye mog’, ‘when dinosaurs die’ etc - or something aimed at older children - get prepared and it will make you feel calmer. It is really hard but it can’t be avoided so think through what you are going to say - sorry for your loss.

EmeraldShamrock Mon 18-Mar-19 14:12:35

How sad. I have no advise but I wish you luck, it is terrible.

PanannyPanoo Mon 18-Mar-19 14:14:15

Such a horrible time for you all. It is such an enormous loss losing a pet, as they are such a permanent, constant fixture in daily life.

Will you be burying her in the garden? Maybe your girls could draw a picture to bury with her - or if she will be staying at the vets you could take it there. Any little ritual that will help them through.
Maybe you could make a photo book together and plant a pussy willow or something at the weekend, to give you all something to concentrate on.

So sorry for your sadness.

BeGoodTanya Mon 18-Mar-19 14:14:51

I think you may be surprised at how stoical and pragmatic they are. All you can do is give them the facts, tell them it isn't fair to let your car suffer more, that it's the kindest last thing you can do as pet owners, and that it's OK to be sad.

trancepants Mon 18-Mar-19 14:15:42

I'm sorry. Our dog died last month and telling DS that it was going to happen and then had happened was one of the hardest things I had to do. I went out and bought him some comfort food beforehand and just let him cry for as long as he needed. I also avoided telling him that the dog was put to sleep, as I think the fact that we were making a choice to end the dog's life is too hard for a small child to understand.

Unfortunately it's not looking good for our other dog now either, so I'll likely have to do it all over again in the next few months. And my parents' dog is unlikely to see 2020 if I'm honest. The perils of us all getting dogs 15-13 years ago.

BlueMerchant Mon 18-Mar-19 14:18:48

So sorry. It's you they need to hear it from.
Love the idea of making a photo book when the time feels right.cakebrew

Laiste Mon 18-Mar-19 14:22:43


How old are the DDs?

If they're young quite honestly i think you're very brave doing the taking them to say goodbye thing. I've never done that with DCs. I've always delivered the news as a done deal which happened earlier in the day and dealt with the rivers of our collective snot and tears sadness at home when they receive the news after the pet has been pts.

3 of my 4 are adults now and we've had lots of pets and loved them until they've died at home or been pts. Shielding the DCs from the 'front line' a bit while they were young hasn't done any damage. (before someone suggests it).

Nevergotobedfangry Mon 18-Mar-19 14:27:39

When I was little parents had our dog pts. Me and bro stayed at grandparents from r the night. When we came back we was told the dog had gone on a long holiday because he was sick and needed to get better. We forgot about the dog eventually. Then once remembered we was told the truth

Laiste Mon 18-Mar-19 14:28:59

The other thing i meant to say was in my case although i pull myself together ok quite quickly after the event i've been known to go utterly to pieces at the vets table (accidentally punched DH on the jaw last time! blush) and i wouldn't want a young DC to have to deal with the loss of the pet AND me wailing in there sad

cantbearsed1 Mon 18-Mar-19 14:33:00

OP this will be incredibly hard for you, but sadly you do have to do it.
For your DC it will be a sad time, but does teach kids about death and bereavement.

SugarPlumLairy2 Mon 18-Mar-19 14:33:20

Please tell them yourself and at home where they can cry and be comforted as needed.
Are you bringing the body home for burial/cremation or just having the vet deal with that? You can have a very meaningful goodbye ceremony of your own without everyone breaking down at vets.

Very sorry for your loss and hope you and kids will be ok. Xx

GreenFingersWouldBeHandy Mon 18-Mar-19 14:36:24

I don't think you should tell them beforehand or that DCat is being PTS. Just tell them after that DCat was very poorly and died. Also make sure they know it's fine to cry and be upset together.

Yes it's tough and they will be understandably upset, but that's part of life. And learning how to deal with grief is a really important lesson.

Jenniferyellowcat Mon 18-Mar-19 14:41:00

I am sorry about DCat flowers I know how hard it is.

When I took mine to the vet and discovered similar DD was with me in the room. I wanted to curl up and cry but I somehow held it together as she was there. On the way home she asked if the cat was going to die and I said yes and she said “can we get a dog?” grin

She was upset but she had her own way of showing it and she talked to me about it at later stages, one time quite recently. We just had a cuddle and I said it was normal to feel sad etc. I got Goodbye Mog and that really helped. There is also a good Alfie book, The Birthday Present.

Popuppippa Mon 18-Mar-19 14:49:23

I think however difficult it is, it has to be you who tells them.

It's really hard. I had to do the same when my younger two children lost a shared pet. Youngest was utterly devastated (pet had died at home) but he made a little bed to transport the pet to the vets and said his last goodbyes in the waiting room. I couldn't speak and the two receptionists were tearful but dealing with it directly and the children being involved helped them in dealing with the sadness.

MuminMama Mon 18-Mar-19 14:49:33

That is so very sad and I'm sorry. How old are the DCs? Mine were maybe five and three when my DCat was pts really and there were not as affected as I thought they would be. xxx

Kedgeree Mon 18-Mar-19 14:53:39

I think you may be surprised at how stoical and pragmatic they are

This ^^. When DDog got run over and killed, I was dreading picking up DS2 from school and telling him (it was his dog). I went and bought him a new toy, got him in the car, took a deep breath and explained. He pulled a sad face and then said "Can I have a rabbit now?" hmm.

babymidgetgem Mon 18-Mar-19 15:05:15

Of course I'm going to tell them myself, I just wish I didn't have to. They are both fully aware of the likelihood that she might not pull through, we have always tried to be totally honest with pets and death. It's just the knowledge that it will break their hearts to know she is going. But they both want and need to say goodbye. We are paying to have her individually cremated. Oh I hate this but of pet ownership sad

babymidgetgem Mon 18-Mar-19 15:05:54

Beautiful Poppy cat

TatianaLarina Mon 18-Mar-19 15:08:52

Poor pussycat. xx

Duckduckduck123 Mon 18-Mar-19 15:12:04

Gorgeous poppy cat flowers for you all

FurrySlipperBoots Mon 18-Mar-19 15:13:44


I'm sorry OP, how very sad. How old are your children? Peaceful passing vibes for Poppy.

babymidgetgem Mon 18-Mar-19 15:15:22

They are 10 and 5. We have lost a couple of hamsters in the past but this is their first "big" pet death sad thank you.

CheeseRolls Mon 18-Mar-19 15:18:47

Beautiful cat. I'm sorry for the pain and loss OP. thanks

Whatsername7 Mon 18-Mar-19 15:18:49

Dd7 fpund the rainbow bridge poem reallt helpful when we lost our cat a few months ago. Id had dd help me get her ready to go to the vets ans give her a big cuddle before going. Dd knew there were 3 outcomes - cat would be fine, cat needed medication and might die, cat was too poorly would be pts. I walked in to the house and she adked where the cat was and I just said 'im sorry' and dd howled like a wounded animal. It was horrible. But, the rainbow bridge and lots of talking helped. If you are planning to let your dds be there when she is pts, just be aware they can gasp even after they are are dead. Its pretty traumatic. Im glad I shielded dd from that. Sorry for your loss. flowers

MuminMama Mon 18-Mar-19 15:29:15

Lovely cat; hugs.

ohfourfoxache Mon 18-Mar-19 15:38:26

Beautiful Poppy sad

So sorry you’re going through this - it sucks sad

ShaggyRug Mon 18-Mar-19 15:40:51

So sorry about Poppy flowers

Twice I’ve had to meet DD at school to tell her that a Grandfather had died.

It’s the worst thing to have to tell them but I’d not have anyone else do it.

Easterbunnyiscomingsoon Mon 18-Mar-19 15:42:19

Would a funeral help?

HunterHearstHelmsley Mon 18-Mar-19 15:46:20

I remember one of hours been put to sleep. He was incredibly poorly and my DM didn't know he wasn't going to be coming home with her. We never got to say goodbye to him as we were at school.

It'll hard to tell them, but they will get to give her a last kiss and cuddle.

CabbageHippy Mon 18-Mar-19 15:47:08

so sorry, I lost my fur baby back in January & still miss her every single day

Slatkater Mon 18-Mar-19 15:52:42

💐💐💐 For you and beautiful Poppy.

LilQueenie Mon 18-Mar-19 15:54:53

tell them and don't pretend the cat has gone wandering or something. I was told my cat had wandered and maybe it was living with a new family. I spent 15 years blaming myself from the age of 4. angry It was actually ill and had been pts.

Travis1 Mon 18-Mar-19 15:55:32

Lots of love flowers

patchysmum Mon 18-Mar-19 15:56:32

I think it is your responsibility to tell them.My mum was like you and could never tell me bad news,she got my stepfather to tell me when the cat died and my bio dad really wished she had told me myself.Srely you now your kids better than anyone else and will know how to tell them

Knickersononeshead Mon 18-Mar-19 15:56:53

Aww I'm so sorry.

Our dcat passed away during the night last Wednesday and DD11 found her in the morning. They were absolutely gutted.

Take comfort in the fact that she was well loved and have a little burial for her. It's helped here.

claragolightly Mon 18-Mar-19 15:58:50

Poppy is beautiful, I'm so sorry for your news.

LemsipLemsipLemsip Mon 18-Mar-19 16:00:17

Thinking of Poppy and your family too. flowers
We had to do similar a few years ago. My slightly older DC insisted on staying with her until the end. Thankfully her passing was peaceful. We had an individual cremation too and she now sits on her favourite windowsill. DC would occasionally leave her flowers etc, now I do!

SirGawain Mon 18-Mar-19 16:01:40

Breaking bad news is never nice but its one on the things you have to do as a parent. Whether it's a much loved granny or a much loved cat it's your responsibility as I'm sure you know. Just go ahead as honestly as you are able, it will be fine and they will respect you for it.

NotTheFordType Mon 18-Mar-19 16:03:02

I'm so sorry flowers

I strongly suggest telling them before, if you can, to allow them to say goodbye.

I was given the whole "he's gone to live on a farm" crap when I was a child and when I realised, once older, that it was a lie, the sense of betrayal was intense.

Ottessa Mon 18-Mar-19 16:05:40

I agree, NotTheFordType -- my mother chickened out of telling me my dog had died in his sleep, and lied about it, and I felt very betrayed by her.

stopfuckingshoutingatme Mon 18-Mar-19 16:10:08

goodbye mog is a
Lovely book highly recommended to normalise it xxx

Coyoacan Mon 18-Mar-19 16:14:40

I think the five-year-old is more likely to take it in their stride because they have no concept of death yet. My dd was like that at that age and for a moment I thought I was raising a psychopath.

Sorry for your loss, OP.

elfycat Mon 18-Mar-19 16:21:58

It's important not to say 'put to sleep ' to young children as they can get mixed up and worry about dying and sleep.

I've always described it as they get a medicine that makes them sleep, and then slows down their breathing and heart. My children are fairly pragmatic and when I explain the other option is an increasingly ill cat until they die in a short time frame, they agree that it for the best.

I've done this twice now. First time I knew DCat 100% would be PTS (abdominal mass) and told DDs that she was very ill, and that the vet and I were probably going to decide to let her die today, rather than get any worse and in more pain. DDs were 3 & 5.

Then 2 years ago (DDs were 6 & 8) another older cat lost an eye. We thought it was because of a scratch. She had some very odd blood results at that time, and then her other eye started breaking down. She had a form of leukaemia - not the feline virus one, but rather old bone marrow messing about. The DDs were told that we were going to let her have the injection and went off to school. DD1 was a bit tearful for a few days.

I've just mentioned to it now (DD1 is 10) and she's still sad that Dcat died - but not about HOW she died.

Have tissues and cuddled ready. flowers

Justsaynonow Mon 18-Mar-19 16:27:53

I'm so sorry. It is heartbreaking to lose a beloved pet.

I would tell them, allow them to say goodbye, and ask if they'd like to write a note or picture to bury with her (if you're burying the ashes?)

Our 17yo cat died 3 weeks ago, and our whole family looked after her on her last day. It was fortunate that everyone was here, as I think they would have missed out on a priceless experience. I didn't take her to be pts as she wasn't suffering and she hated going to the vet. We emphasized that this process is also an important part of pet parenting -helping them at the end.

My kids are early 20's now - last cat died when they were very young and at a very different stage, though they still know where her grave is.

We wrapped her in a favourite blanket, with treats, had a funeral in the back yard and dd20 wrote a letter to bury with her. We all go out to say hi, and it seems like she's visiting us - a nail or a clump of hair randomly appear, and we hear her throughout the house. It's amazing how much she was part of every facet of our lives. Three weeks on, they're now at the reminiscing stage.

This rainbow bridge cartoon practically undid me the other day, but is comforting.

thebear1 Mon 18-Mar-19 16:28:07

My cat was pts recently for end stage kidney failure. My ds aged 11 and 5 were upset initially but recovered pretty quickly. They didn't say goodbye. Hope you are okay op. They bring us joy but it hurts when they go.

ginghamtablecloths Mon 18-Mar-19 16:28:40

This news is sad, whoever it comes from, but it really is up to you to tell them. Sorry. Part of being a parent is dealing with the bad stuff as well. You have to be strong for them.

anniehm Mon 18-Mar-19 17:19:20

Just be truthful. Only last week our vicar was asked by a Sunday club kid if their dog was in heaven and he reassured her there was a massive park and a swimming lake (the dog loved swimming), it's not for everyone but it made a difficult situation a little easier for this child. Say what is right for your family, and don't be afraid to be upset yourself, they will get over it quicker than you.

babymidgetgem Mon 18-Mar-19 17:48:49

Thank you all. She is gone now sad the girls both chose to be with her as she went, it was very peaceful and she had lots of cuddles and kisses first, and then I held her until her heart stopped and the girls kissed her and stroked her after. They are pretty distraught, but both glad they were able to say goodbye.

nauticant Mon 18-Mar-19 18:09:14

Sounds like you handled it well OP.

FurrySlipperBoots Mon 18-Mar-19 18:27:54

I'm so glad we're able to do this for our pets. If only humans were allowed such a peaceful, loving and dignified death.

Do you have a garden? We always plant a tree for our furries when they leave us.

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