“Why would you make our cat die because he has a sore leg?” Were the words from my 5yo daughter.
I have taught my children to question. Question everything, to expand their minds, to think for themselves and not just accept what others tell them as gospel. To learn to listen to their feelings. I want them to never settle for something that doesn’t feel right for them. I want them to have the confidence to speak their minds, to challenge, be challenged, learn, strive and aspire. Annoying as it can be them asking questions constantly I feel it is better than them not having a voice and being pleasers.
We recently had the perfect real-life experience on questioning. My 20yo cat was hit by a car (he snuck under the open garage door) and returned home with a sore and bloodied leg. The advice from the Vet was to put him down. At 20 years of age, and a suspected broken paw it was the nicest thing to do. My cat sat cuddled in my arms, still bright-eyed, alert, had been eating, drinking, walking and was still very much alive. Through my tears and vulnerability, I chose to question the advice I was being given. It didn’t feel right. With a bandaged paw, and some pain relief I refused to end my cats life and made my way home to clear my head.
On entering my lounge room my 17yo dog jumped up to greet me, collapsed and went unconscious and appeared he had passed. I put down my injured cat stop crying for the cat and starting crying for my dog as I scooped him up in my arms. About a minute later my dog came back to life and went along his merry way.
I sat stunned. Within 30 mins I had been faced with losing both my dearest pets that have been the one consistent thing in my life for the last 2 decades. I was shaken but my heart was clear. A trip back to the vet, an x-ray later revealed only a small fracture in my cat’s paw. Yes, he had wounds that needed dressing but with love and attention he was going to survive and be ok. A month later and both animals are fine.
As I shared my morning from hell, both my children questioned the Vet’s advice and that makes me proud of them. My consistent, probably sometimes intense and annoying teaching hadn’t gone on deaf ears.
I hope that one day when they are feeling vulnerable and in a situation of choice that they listen to their gut and that nagging voice of mum in their head “question if it doesn't feel right”.