Tag Archives: Pets


Blog friends, I seek your help. I think my cat is dying. Anthropapa and I are unsure about how we feel about this process. We don’t want to let the cat suffer, but we also don’t want to put him to sleep for sheer convenience of not having to care for or pay for a sick animal.

A few years back we had another cat who did not travel well into a new home and ended up with liver failure. He couldn’t keep any food down, and we tried force-feeding and giving him subcutaneous fluids to no avail. We had to put him to sleep, which felt like the right thing given the severity of his illness and the lack of response to our interventions. My first pet as a child had to be put to sleep in his old age because he was suffering too much from a heart condition.

I’m just wondering how we will know when the time is right. I’m doing small things for Harry — giving him lots of Petromalt in case he just has a giant hairball, trying to tempt him with different foods and different textures (in case it’s something with his teeth), brushing him more than usual, and so on. At this point he’s still mobile and able to climb on and off the bed, but he doesn’t appear to be grooming himself or eating.

I feel of two minds about pets: on the one hand, they are beloved companions who receive lots of love and attention from us. On the other hand, they are “just” animals and I can’t see spending a lot of money that we don’t have on them. It sounds so callous, but I just feel that the humans in our family have a higher priority, so to speak. I’m just waiting for the bloggy judgment to rain down on me for that one, as I know several of my 10 loyal readers have pets and are animal lovers.

I guess I’m just wondering what are your ethical/moral feelings on this. If you’ve had ill and/or dying pets, how did you handle it? What was your decision-making process? And if anyone has a better phrase than “put to sleep”, especially when talking to children, I would love to hear it.


Filed under Family, Health, life

Homeschool Days

SillyBilly’s school was closed today, yesterday he was off of school for a dentist’s appointment, and he will have the entire next week off too (teacher conferences and inservices). So, I’ve been thinking of this as a temporary homeschooling opportunity.

We’ve been taking walks:

Today was very cold and cloudy. There is a dusting of snow on the mountains to the south. SillyBilly was prospecting for rocks; he’s holding a rock, his toilet-paper-tube binoculars, and a construction paper pouch he made to hold treasures. We brought home several large rocks, which he scrubbed clean in the sink and then investigated thoroughly. I think the boy needs a book about minerals for Christmas!

We’ve been playing with masks:

This one was a cutout from the latest issue of Ladybug magazine, to go with a seasonal story about a snowshoe hare. For some reason, our cats totally freaked out over the kids wearing this mask. Puffy tails, arched backs, even hissing. We think they thought the kids were turning into some sort of large animal, yet still smelled the same, and the cats’ tiny brains just couldn’t handle it.

We’ve been making a new nature table:

SillyBilly did this one all by himself. We found a cool arch of bark on a walk, and he made it into a gnome’s cave, complete with hanging doorbell, mushroom garden, and a mossy bed.

We’ve been cooking:

SillyBilly made lunch for us today. And he did it all: choosing and preparing the food, the beautiful presentation, and setting the table. I especially liked the celery leaf garnish atop the sandwiches. He also helped make apple cranberry crisp for dessert tonight.

We’ve been sewing:

He wanted to make the cats a treat, so we hand sewed  a little square and filled it with catnip. Above you see the cat playing with his new lovey, the catnip pouch. Here’s the cat in his normal state:

And here’s the cat in post-drug use torpor (note the glazed look in his eyes. Of course the cat’s 14 years old, so he often looks like this anyway). SillyBilly also made this little “house” for the cats from a box and some play cloths:

And we’ve been taking pictures (obviously):

I let SillyBilly use my camera as he’s shown that he can be careful with it, and remember how to use it, and because he pesters me often enough. He ran around the house taking shots of random things. I praised him for this one’s nice composition (my nightstand — pardon the mess!) He also took a picture of me knitting, but I can’t share it as I was making a super-secret Christmas present.

We’ve also been reading a lot. Both SillyBilly and Napoleona are on the cusp of reading — sounding out lots of words, figuring out how words are spelled all on their own, and recognizing short words on the page. They’ve also been enjoying spouting math facts: I heard Napoleona say quite loudly “Five and five and one are ELEVEN!” while using the toilet tonight. She’s four years old. I’m scared!

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Filed under Crafting, Family, Food, Kid Talk, Napoleona, Nature tables, Parenting, play, School, Silliness and Mayhem, SillyBilly