Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Heart, Breaking

Yesterday we spent the afternoon at the park and running errands. I got home and began unloading the kids from the car a little after five. I usually let Sam out first because he can run around on the porch as I get Lucy and/or packages. As he bolted towards the door he spied the cat. Two seconds later he was crying and screaming 'No! No! No!' as he ran onto the porch, where he then got down on the ground and covered his head. 


The cat was working on eating a (not quite dead) mouse. A baby (not quite dead) mouse at that. There was blood and sounds of small rodent death, and it totally spooked him. Since Lucy was still in her car seat I scooped him up and we went inside for a minute. He clung to me and kept asking over and over 'Why cat do dat, mommy? Why?' 

Once I got my non-traumatized child in the house I attempted to gather some words up that might make sense to a two-and-a-half year old child. He has seen other dead mice that the cat has left for us, but they are usually totally intact. (In fact, I was kind of surprised to see the cat actually eating this mouse since most of the dead ones I find don't even have wounds.) How do you explain food chains to a toddler? That the cheese burgers he loves used to be a cow, which is also something he loves. So I just told him that sometimes the cat likes to eat things from outside. Since he frequently observes the cat eating grass, this was enough for him (and me) for the time being. 

I'm not ready for my first baby to have to learn about death. I'm just counting my blessings that it was just a mouse and not a family member or friend. 

Then I distracted him by letting him watch some TV. For once I was glad because he didn't hear me crying in the kitchen. 

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4 comments:

HeatherK said...

Oh no! So far I've dodged dead squirrels in the street and other unfortunate things. Poor little guy!
And you!

Arizaphale said...

Life's rich tapestry......

Stacy said...

That's a tough one. My mom and dad's dog is probably going to be going to doggie heaven this year and I'm not looking forward to that discussion. It is also so hard enough trying to explain why daddy's daddy isn't here on Earth - since he was gone before they were born. :(

susan said...

And here we were thinking we'd have a few years before we had to start answering life's big questions...