Thursday, October 06, 2011

And the Oscar goes to...

Our kitty cat is no more. Actually, that's not true. She still inhabits the land of the living. But she no longer inhabits my house. We decided on Tuesday that she had healed sufficiently from her run-in with our boxer to take a little trip to the Humane Society. They interviewed me and examined her. After a 45-minute visit, they deemed her to be adoptable, but stipulated she go to a home with no dogs and no children under the age of eight. I happily left her there with the understanding that, once deemed adoptable, they would keep her until she found a home. There was no time limit on a pet considered adoptable.

Ruanita and I decided prior to taking Molly to the Humane Society—we assumed that she would be considered too aggressive for adoption and would ultimately be euthanized—that we would lie to our children about her demise. When she was thankfully not put to sleep, we decided to stick with the lie we had put together regardless. I am not above lying to my children. I have no qualms whatsoever about misleading them, particularly when it is for their own good or when it keeps the peace in my household.

As Ruanita and the twins headed off to pick Lucas up from school, I put Molly into her carrier and loaded her into the car. We told the children that I was taking her back to the vet for a check-up. When I came home cat-less, we (or rather, I) explained that the vet had suggested that Molly was not safe in our home. I told the children that the vet was concerned that Molly was in danger of being killed the next time she had a run-in with the dog. I made it appear that the vet suggested getting rid of Molly and that it was not our idea. It was not our fault. I told them that I left her with the vet and the vet was going to find her the perfect home. The kids bought it hook, line, and sinker. That is not to say that the whole scene was not hideously painful.

My children cried. Actually, they wailed. All three of them. The sounds coming out of them were nothing short of tortuous. Lucas was truly sad. He sobbed like a baby. Sophie, I suspect, was simply enjoying the drama of repeatedly wailing, “She's gone.....I'll never see her again....never! Nev! Er! ” Nicholas did not shed a tear. That is not to say that he did not wail with the rest of then. He laid on the couch. Closed his eyes. Scrunched up his face. And he howled. Occasionally, I would catch him peeking out of the corner of his eye to make sure he had a captive audience. Then he would yammer even louder. The whole scene went on longer than I am certain it would have if one of their own mothers had passed away. It bordered on ludicrous. But Ruanita and I were the ever-patient parents. We wiped away tears (except for Nicholas, of course) and we rubbed backs and we petted heads. We whispered, “there...there” and “we'll miss her too” and “she's in a better place now.” We warped into full-on grief counselor mode. It was really quite phenomenal.

The acting skills inherent in this family are nothing short of amazing. Lucas was the only honest one at our little pow-wow. He was the only one who was truly sad. The rest of us were simply acting. And they were Oscar-worthy performances all around. Sophie acted like she was being psychologically tortured in a foreign internment camp of some sort. Nicholas acted like he was not a sociopath who had to fake an emotional attachment to the cat. Ruanita acted like she was not thanking the Lord above that the unnaturally gargantuan clumps of hair that fell off the cat would no longer be clogging up her vacuum cleaner. And I acted like I did not feel a swell of maternal pride for having successfully lied to my offspring. I really think we should take it on the road. Von Trapp family-style. The Pierce-Ralph Family Players. What do you think?


Madgew said...

I kept thinking you were going to say you had this elaborate story and then the humane society made you take her back. I am glad she is gone. I am glad you had the strength to take her to a better place. And I would have loved to see this family drama play out. Your family dynamics cracks me up and I laugh out loud with your stories except the sad ones.

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