About nine years ago we brought home two cats, Norman and Vera. Norman grew into a large, black lump of fat and fur who basically sits around and waits for someone to give him fresh water. And I'm not kidding. He waits by the kitchen sink for hours in hopes that maybe someone will walk by, take pity on him, and fill his water bowl with cold water. Norman and Rachel are pretty good friends, which works out well for both of them. Norman tolerates Ryan.
Vera, on the other hand...
Vera wasn't a horrible cat, but she did have some health issues for almost five years that kind of made me hate her. We tried really hard to help her, but about two weeks ago it finally became obvious that there was nothing more we could do for her. Somehow mom (me) had to "take care of the situation" (I guess that's listed under "Other Duties as Assigned" in my job description). In his defense, Jake helped. He loaded her into a carrying case when the kids weren't looking.
It was hard to say good-bye to poor Vera, even though it was for the best. The people at the vet clinic were extremely nice, and gave me privacy so I could cry in peace while I filled out the paperwork. They even sent us a nice card a few days later.
But....we, um, haven't told Rachel yet.
Vera went out of her way to avoid the kids so it wasn't unusual for Rachel to see her only once every few days or so. But last Saturday, two whole weeks after Vera left, Rachel asked me where she was. I didn't lie. I told her that I didn't know where Vera was which, technically, was the truth. I didn't know where Vera was. I like to imagine that she's sitting on a comfy pillow in a happy little corner of heaven, basking in the sun and eating while someone is petting her (that seemed to be her idea of perfection).
Rachel hasn't asked about her since last Saturday and I've got my fingers crossed that she won't ask again until she's about 13 and wonders... what ever happened to Vera? I guess if she does ask I'll give her my best, most honest answer.
"Go ask dad."