A Goodbye

I wasn’t even in town when the decision was made to add to our family.

I admit, I was slightly annoyed that a big decision was made without me.

But then I got back home and saw just how in love my boys were with this new addition: a kitten named Mac- named after the orange color of macaroni and cheese.

And especially my kindergartener.


He’s always loved animals.

After school, you’d find Mac tucked under his arm as he played on the iPad or watched tv. He and Mac cuddled up together at night.


He loved that cat so much.

We don’t know quite what happened.

It’s not something we were prepared for at all.

But yesterday afternoon, my son came to find me in my room where I was cleaning and said “Mac is just laying down on the couch and won’t lift his head.”

I didn’t think much of it at first, thinking Mac was napping.

But then a sinking feeling settled in and I went to check.

And for whatever reason, Mac had passed away.

I tried to explain it gently to my boys.

The oldest and the youngest… they were a little sad, but somehow adjusted to the idea quickly. Whether it’s the resiliency of children or maybe it’s just that they didn’t really understand.

But oh,  my middle boy.

He sank down against the wall in my room and his face crumpled.

I pulled him into my lap as his tears started.

“I loved Mac so much. He was the only cat in my heart.”

Not knowing what else to do, I held him and rubbed his back and told him that I knew he loved Mac. That he had been Mac’s favorite.

He curled up in my bed and I ran my fingers through his hair, letting him cry.

We said a prayer, asking God to take care of Mac.

I wish there were more I could offer to comfort him, this little boy who loved his kitty with all his heart.

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  1. Our furry family members are such an important part of our lives.  Give your kids a hug.

  2. Oh, Shell how sad. I am so sorry for your loss! It doesn’t matter how long Mac was part if your family, he was family. Xoxo to all of you

  3. So sad! I remember when I lost my first pet, and I dont’ think I will ever be that sad again., I’m sorry to hear about your loss!
    carissajaded recently posted..I am a sloth.My Profile

    • My middle son will bring it up at random times and you can see his face fall when he remembers his cat is gone. :( 

  4. OH. So very sad. I’m saying a prayer for comfort for your middle boy (and all of you). 
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  5. I’m so sorry. We lost our cat Sammy in November and my eight-year-old took it so hard. I felt helpless to make him feel better. He even asked Santa to bring him back to life. Tough stuff to handle for a little guy!
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  6. I’m so sorry for your loss. Pets become part of your family.
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  7. Oh I’m so sorry for your loss. xo
    Alison recently posted..Catching The SunlightMy Profile

  8. I am sorry for your family’s loss. We said goodbye to our cat almost a month ago; it is a hard thing – especially for our little ones.
    Kim@Co-Pilot Mom recently posted..Mr. IndependentMy Profile

  9. Shell, I am so sorry. I’m sitting here with my own orange Henry and my heart hurts for you and your boy. 
    Awn recently posted..Movin’ On UpMy Profile

  10. OMG, Shell…I am so, so, sorry. Losing a pet is so hard, and I can’t even imagine having to explain it to kids. Thinking of you guys. :(
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  11. I am so sorry! It is so hard to lose a pet.
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  12. So sorry Shell..losing a pet is not easy at all. Hugs to your little guy.
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  13. I’m so sorry for your loss. It is heartbreaking to see our kids upset over the loss of a pet, who is very much a family member too. Hugs to you all.
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  14. I am so, so sorry for your  boys.  So sorry – and what a beautiful thing your son said – about the cat being in his heart.  
    ilene recently posted..It’s ComplicatedMy Profile

  15. I am so very sorry. We had to say ‘good-bye’ to our Scruffy recently. It is never easy. I’m sure Mac was well loved. Hugs to you all.
    Tara R recently posted..Cold comfortMy Profile

  16. I’m crying! So sorry, Shell. I’m sending prayers your way for you and your sweet boys. 
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  17. Your’re killin’ me with this! So sorry to hear about your kitty and that your kiddos are having to learn to deal with this so soon. Our dogs are a big part of the family and I am hoping this is a situation I don’t have to deal with any time soon! Justin- Writing Pad Dad
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  18. I am so sorry! We just lost our cat 2 weeks ago and watching the kids grieve has been hard — we wish we could take all that pain away. sending love!
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  19. Oh…I understand. Our middle daughter still cries occasionally over our pup we lost. Heck, so do I. The bond between a child and a pet is so important. Give your sweet kid hugs for me – I understand that pain.
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  20. OH sweetie, I am crying over here with you. As a furbaby momma to many they are all my babies and losing them rips my heart out. It is hard to explain, especially when they have a love like your son did for Mac. Sending love and hugs to all of you especially middle man..
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  21. Oh Shell. I’m so sorry. Dealing with the loss of a pet is so hard, but I can imagine how it must be when it’s inexplicable like that.

  22. We recently lost our 8 year old dog and it has definitely hit me harder than I expected.  

    Please give your sweet boy a hug from me. 
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  23. Oh Shell, I’m so sorry for your loss.  Losing a pet can be so hard especially when it is sudden.  Big Hugs to your middle boy. Wishing him a lot of comfort. 
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  24. I’m so sorry for your loss….losing a pet is hard, and they really are so much a part of the family. We had to put our cat down a couple of years ago and I remember how hard it was on us and the kids — I can’t even imagine what it’s like when it happens so suddenly. Big hugs to you and your kindergartener.
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  25. oh shell. so very sad for you and the boys. especially the way it happened, suddenly like that. Our deweydog is getting up in age and I’ve often thought of how it will all go down–so to speak. Big hugs to all of you ~xoxoxo
    sarah @sundayspill recently posted..the sunday spill: the slurp heard ’round the worldMy Profile

  26. Oh, that is so hard…I’ve had several pets pass away, one just as suddenly as Mac, and it’s never easy.  It’s hard enough for me, I can’t imagine for the kids.  Have you heard of the poem “The Rainbow Bridge”?  It’s a sweet poem about where pets go when they die.  Maybe that would help your ‘lil guy cope.  All the best.

  27. ShellieAndBrutus says:

    We are so sorry to hear the bad news about your fur baby.   God bless.

  28. I’m so sorry for your loss, Shell.  I know how hard it must be on your son.  We had to put my 7 year old cat, Tai, to sleep a few years ago and Teddy was devastated.  He’ll still come to me sometimes and tell me, “Mommy, I miss Tai,” then give me a hug.  I’m sending a virtual hug his way for the loss of such an important friend.
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  29. I remember when I got the call about a month ago about our Copper dog…one of the saddest days of my life.  But I know he’s up in heaven (because all dogs go to heaven ;)) playing with our other members of the family.
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  30. Oh my gosh. How heartbreaking for you both. I’m so sorry.
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  31. Awww my heart feels for your little boy…I know it’s hard to lose a pet…they are family!
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  32. Oh Shell, that breaks my heart. I’m so sorry for your family and especially for your kindergartener. 

    I can’t imagine life without our houseful of pets. Animals love so unconditionally and that’s why it’s so devastating when they die. We’ve had our share of losses over the years and each one left a hole in my heart, but eventually another furry creature comes along with slobbery kisses and a waggy tail to help heal that hole. This circle of life. It’s a glorious thing, but it can also break your heart. 
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  33. Oh my gosh.
    I’m so not a cat person but this is the saddest damn thing I’ve heard in a while. :(
    Poor baby boy…poor kitty. :(
    My brother just had to put his 12-13 year old dog down…we have 4 dogs between us in my family of brother, parents, me and my husband. They’ve always been a part of our families. So when Rusty got put down I was dreading talking to my sons about it.
    Then a couple days later (when I still hadn’t nutted up to say anything) my sons were talking about Rusty and I remembered I needed to say something.
    It was a really hard conversation and my 7 year old still doesn’t quite get the whole symantics of taking a dog to the vet to be put to sleep. WHY would you do that. WHEN do they wake up? They’re NOT going to wake up? Ugh.
    Anyway. I’m so sorry. :(
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  34. How sad! I am so sorry – I can’t even imagine how hard it must have been to explain this to your kids. Hugs to all of you!
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  35. I am so sorry.  This breaks my heart.  Something like that happened to my mom’s cat. She was not very old.  Must have been a heart defect or something. So sorry. 
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  36. Oh how terrible! I’m so sorry :( Prayers for you and your sweet boy. I know how rough it is to suddenly lose a beloved pet.
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  37. How awful… I am so sorry for you and your sweet boys! You did the perfect thing for your sad boy…loved him where he was at. Hold him and comfort him and allow him to mourn without giving him “something” to take away the pain. (“We will get another one!” “Lets go get ice cream and make it better!” “What can we do to make you feel better?” etc.) It sucks to see our kids hurting… but unfortunately, life has pain and our children need to know how to cope with those feelings. Praying for healing…
    Chris Carter recently posted..“My Awesome World”My Profile

    • It’s tempting to try to come up with something that would make it all better. But it’s not like a replacement actually would anyway. 

  38. Oh, that makes me so sad for you guys. Having to witness your kid mourn like that? Awful. 
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  39. The photos that you have posted of your boys with Mac won me over and I’m not a cat person. I couldn’t hold back the tears on this one. Animals take up a space in our hearts that is pure good. I’m so sorry for your loss and hope the boys are doing okay. 
    Kristen recently posted..From Fairy Tales to Reality TVMy Profile

  40. Oh no!  This is so sad, I’m so sorry for your family’s loss.  =(

  41. Oh that is so hard. We lost our dog this summer which was absolutely heart breaking for me as it was my dog but my youngest (2) just couldn’t understand. She still sometimes talks about him and then says “moose is sick. Moose go byebye. I love my moose” and it breaks my heart all over again. I think it’s important to keep the memory of the kitty. Maybe frame one of those photos?
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  42. I’m sorry Shell. Losing a sweet family friend is never easy. My heart goes out to you and your family! We lost one of our cats on Thanksgiving and I still miss her. Hugs!

  43. Oh Shell, this is so sad. It brought back all the kittens I had as a child. You love the so much, and then the pain when you lose them is so big, it tears a hole in your heart. I would always swear I was done with pets. They just weren’t worth the eventual pain. But then after a bit, that pain would fade, and I’d remember all the joy. So sad, I feel for your son.

    • He was around our friends’ dogs after this and he was totally freaked out. It’s heartbreaking. 

  44. Oh no!!  I am so sorry.  That was just way too soon.  
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  45. I’m so sorry :( My kids would be heartbroken if our cat died too.
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  46. Oh, poor kiddo!!! We lost our dog in August, and while it was expected as he was old, it was still so hard to deal with. Xoxo
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  47. Oh my heart is breaking for your boys. So very very sad. I hope your middle guy starts to feel better. Sending really smart vibes your way to give you the wisdom to know what to say to help him feel better.
    Making It Work Mom recently posted..Happy Birthday Golden BoyMy Profile

  48. Oh, I am so sorry for your loss. My heart breaks for all of you. Sending you love and hugs.
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  49. Oh no! I’m so sorry. Sending lots of hugs and love to your whole family.
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  50. Oh Shell. I’m so sorry for your loss. 
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  51. I’m so so sorry for your loss of your kitty.  It is such a hard thing for the entire family. We lost our family cat of 9 years unexpectedly this past June.  I still miss our Emma cat! 

  52. I’m so sorry that you lost Mac. :(
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  53. I’m so sorry, losing a pet can be extremely difficult. Children are strong and they bounce back quickly. 
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  54. :’[  Give him a big hug from me!  It’s so sad to lose a pet, even more so when it’s out of nowhere.   
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  55. Oh, how sad. I can just imagine how he felt. Breaks a mama’s heart, doesn’t it? 
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  56. I have no idea how I missed this post. I am so sorry to hear about Mac and hearing how hard your middle guy took it, broke my heart. “He was the only cat in my heart…” That is the saddest thing ever. Sometimes life lessons are so hard. It sounds like you handled it well, just loving him trying to ease his pain. There isn’t anything else we can do.
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  57. Shell! My heart is breaking. I hope you are all doing okay. I so know what the experience is like and it is so rough. Let me know if you want a book red for the kids. My daughter found and still finds some comfort in one we read now and then. (hugs)