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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Ode to a Barn Cat: Rest in Peace Mr. Doo-Hickey

Sigh.....Last Sunday was the last official day of our fair.  The goat show started at 10:00, but after two storms and a hog show,  fishing derby, and free concert (in the show arena, RIGHT AFTER the hog show) in between the storms, this momma and her chicks decided the fair didn't need to see our shiny faces until at least 11:00.

I am sad to report that we did not make to church either; however, the Good Lord and I had been in constant communication most of the week about heat and no major snafus hitting the fairgrounds.  AND He was just about to tap me on the shoulder to lead a sermon on another Life Lesson:  Why we have pets.

The sky was about ready to cut loose here (that means rain around these parts) when the phone rang.  Our neighbors were on their way home from church and saw Mr. Doo-Hickey in the road as a result of a very unsuccessful attempt to cross it.


Neighbor Mike was coming over to remove Mr. Doo-Hickey from the road before the girls saw him, and Neighbor Wanda was worried about the girls seeing him before he was removed.  I went out to identify the remains, and then I did some thinking on my way back inside.

What to tell the girls?

I have, a couple years ago, chickened out and told them a departed barn cat must have left us for another home, but that news was met with tears and "Why didn't he love us?"  "What did we do wrong?"  Sooooooo................

I gathered the girls in the sunroom and explained that Mr. Doo-Hickey had gone to join our other pets in Heaven.  There were tears, and questions, and they both wanted to see him to say good-bye.  Little Bear said her good-byes from the front window, but Tink wanted a closer look.  Since I knew it wouldn't be too gruesome, I let her go out in the yard a ways.  Poor Mike was there by then to dispose of the body.  Tink took it pretty hard, but she did ok.

Back in the house, we had more tears, cuddling, and talks about life and death.  Do all things die?  Are you going to die Mommy? Why do we have to die?  and so on.  It was a good talk. (One that, once again, Tall Guy missed out on because he was already down at the fair!) In the middle, Bear sniffled and said, "I remember you telling us not to let our hearts get too attached to the barn cats because sometimes they leave us."  Sigh..... and so my little angels learn once again about Life and its many circles.

So Rest in Peace Mr. Doo-Hickey.  You were a good and loving pet for our girls.  You rubbed up against their legs, and you helped teach them about the responsibilities in caring for animals.

Just as we finished up our talk, a big storm hit so I let them bring Sadie in and the three of them along with the house cat, Pumpkin, headed to the basement to wait out all the loud noise.  It wasn't a bad storm, but I thought Tink and Bear could use a bit of bonding with their four-legged buddies.

It's always hard to lose a pet or a farm animal.  The fair kids didn't do much better when it came time for the auction.  Read a touching story from my friend Jent over at From My Front Porch.  This is what farm life teaches our children; how to enjoy and appreciate each day and understand the way of the world around us.  We are all here for a purpose.  Go out there and make this day count!


  1. So sorry about your cat! It's so hard to tell the kids. My 4 year old still says he misses our cat that we put down 2 months ago :-(

  2. Lana, I am so sorry the kids had to go thru this. It is awful to lose a pet no matter if it is an indoor cuddly pet or a barn cat. I think you handled it very well withe the girls tho. Be Blessed

  3. It is sad to lose a pet. Hugs to the girls.

  4. So sad to lose a precious pet at any age. RIP sweet kitty!

    I don't think you'll find Diamond Farm on the internet. It belongs to our friends in Lowell. They live there and grow corn and soy beans. The museum is a family one but has been open through the decades to groups upon request. We love being there.


  5. Sorry about the cat but we know that God gives and takes away I am taking care of your butterfly bushes.
    If we can find a time that we will both be at the fair maybe I could bring them up and put them in the apartment and get them to you before you leave to go home.

  6. i'm sorry to hear about this, and it makes me want my sweet cat with me right here, right now. it sounds like you really helped the girls by being honest about what happened.



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