A Lesson In Parenting and Sarcasm

It turns out that the last thing you want to say to your seven year old as they board the bus is “Don’t be shocked if you come home and your cat isn’t here anymore! Okay, have a great day sweetie!”


Because that seven year old will then tell her bus-mates, her friends, her teachers, her lunch lady, her janitor, her people she hasn’t met before, that HER MOTHER threatened to kill her cat if it cost to much to fix him.


Go ahead. Live with that guilt.

Well honestly I had no idea there was any guilt to live with until Esther got off the bus crying and asking if Tyko was still alive as she ran into the house calling his name as that was all she thought about all day at school.


“Well of course he’s still alive – why wouldn’t he be alive?” I inquired.


“Because you told me you may just kill him if it costs to much to fix his stomach. I told everyone!” She replied.


Oh. “Well I was just kind of  being sarcastic. I mean I want Tyko to get better but we may have to make a decision that we cannot help him anymore. But I would never let him go without having you say goodbye to him first.”


“So, he’s not dead?”


“No, not dead. My wallet is currently hundreds and hundreds of dollars lighter…but your cat is alive. For now.”




“But Esther, we still don’t know everything that’s wrong and I’ve gotta be honest with you – I don’t know how much more I can spend. I know that seems weird and cruel and unfair…but honey I need to use our money to take care of you and your sisters and sometimes, as hard as it might be to understand, sometimes a cat is just a cat.”


And I don’t think that’s a cruel thing to say. It’s a reality. And I love cats. I love our cats. But even the vet understands the reality when they called me eight times yesterday to explain things and give estimates. They would not be itemizing a bill about my kids. They were itemizing because we were talking about a cat. They get it.


Just maybe next time I will make sure Esther understands that I would not just ‘kill’ her cat without her full knowledge and a proper goodbye. Maybe next time she’ll bear witness to her mother sobbing alone in the vet’s waiting room because it hurts everyone’s heart to make a decision like this. Even if it’s just a cat.


So for now, Tyko cat lives. And we wait to see what the next few weeks bring us.


And maybe I’ll get lucky and he’ll die when I’m out of town this weekend and it will save me from making any further parenting mistakes.


The Family Pet Died – How To Tell Your Kids…

(Crayfish photo credit)

When we arose one morning last week we found that the crayfish tank was empty.  Eloise calmly called out to me “hey mom, I think the crayfish is missing.”


What the appropriate response is when you learn a pet is missing:

“Oh Eloise I am so sorry. I am sure he is okay. Let’s divide up the house into five equal sections and let’s go on a family search for your crayfish. I am sure he is very safe somewhere like maybe on my pillow just taking a sweet crayfish nap.”


What my response was:

“OMG I hope they cannot live long out of water and that he is not crawling around our whole house! Maybe we got lucky and the cats got him right way! GROSS! OMG I don’t want a crayfish loose in the house!”


The appropriate crayfish search and rescue technique:

Get down on all fours and say calmly “Here fishy fishy..mama is here. It’s okay little buddy. Come out come out wherever you are. I know you are scared. It’s okay. We will find you and bring you home to your safe wet bowl.” Encourage your family to be very positive and upbeat.


My personal crayfish search and rescue technique:

Stand on the nearest chair and yell “OMG that damn disgusting crayfish better not be walking around my house. GROSS! OMG Eloise look under the couch – please tell me it’s not under the couch!”


Appropriate gentle words to say to your children as they are leaving for school and the crayfish has yet to be found:

“It’s okay sweeties. I am sure I will find him and I just know he is safe and just fine and alive somewhere in this house.”


The gentle words I said to my children:

“Okay, so odds are really bad that this guy is still alive – I mean he could’ve died from the fall off the counter. The cats may have already eaten him. I’m thinking he’s like totally dead and right now I just need to find the body.”


A few hours later I found most of his body laying face-up on the basement floor.  After screaming, I scooped him up and put him in the trash and covered him with coffee grounds.


There are three possible good scenarios in dealing with finding a non-furry dead pet:

Scenario 1 – Discard of dead pet and immediately run to pet store to secure a new pet that looks just like the old pet and tell kids that Mr. Crayfish has been found and life is again picture perfect.


Scenario 2 – Be honest and let them know of the crayfish’s passing into the next life.  Keep the body in a box with perhaps a nice blanket and ask if they would like to see the crayfish before you have a family memorial service in the backyard complete with burial and music. Have the girls make cards of remembrance. Fake crying.  Also ask if they would like a new crayfish or a puppy to ease their pain.


Scenario 3 – Tell the kids that you did not find him and that he probably escaped to a better life and is currently on the bus to New Orleans.


Instead I chose Scenario 4 – After finding and disposing of the crayfish I then washed out and put away his tank and tried to get the dead icky crayfish guts out of my mind. When the girls returned home I told them the cold, hard truth that Mr. Crayfish was dead. Very dead and the cats ate a bit which was like so completely gross, so I just threw him in the trash.


Mother of the year here.


Have you ever had to tell your kids a non-furry pet has met his maker?(I say non-furry as believe me, I’m a total bowl of mush when it comes to our furry friends)


Why Cats are Terrible Birthday Party Guests

Our twin terrors cats turned one on Monday. I am not sure if normal people have parties for their cats, but moms who love wine of small children LOVE to throw lavish parties for the felines in their life.  Our Donut cat’s birthday is a prime example of feline birthday merriment.

Turns out …   wait for it….. cats do not care about their birthday! Or a party!  Turns out… wait for it… it is only their people that care about this stuff.


Because cats lack basic participation skills!

Why a cat is a terrible birthday party guest...

1.  They don’t like chocolate or cake or candy and people do not like cat food so because the party is really for us – they get nothing to eat!

2.  They don’t play well with friends. The entire party was basically a WWF match gone wild. OMG are all boys like this?


3.  They don’t share their toys. Cats are selfish assholes. Especially male cats.


4.   Cats won’t wear party hats. Well if you can find party hats in their size as no way I am making special party hats for small cat heads after I slaved all night making cupcakes.

5.  Cats do not know how to sing happy birthday OR CLAP to appreciate your rendition. Cats are basically not trainable.


6.  Cats won’t sit still in a chair while you sing to them or serve cupcakes. Nor do they really care.

7.  Cats could care less that you make cupcakes that exactly resemble them as they are cats.  Refer back to #3 – second part.

(cat cupcake recipe below)

8.  Cats do not have the ability to blow out candles.

9.  Cats will not sit still for the camera. Nor can they smile. Or laugh. Or care. At all.


10.  Since cats do not have opposable thumbs, they cannot open their own presents.

So do you celebrate your feline’s birthdays? Or do I just need more hobbies? Knitting anyone?


Cat Cupcakes

Prepare your choice of cupcake – we did chocolate

Frosting of your choice – depends on the color of your cat – we did chocolate

Dip the frosted cupcake in sprinkles – choose based on your cat color

Use sliced gumdrops for eyes

Licorice for whiskers

Chocolate bars cut into triangles for ears

eat and enjoy

Cat Cupcake inspiration from here


Also, do you love cats? Do you want to read about how a family got their cat? Don’t you really want a cat? Go check-out Marinka’s newly published book, Wanted Cat and throw some support her way.