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Dear Richard Madeley: ‘I feel conflicted about getting a new cat since our last one died’


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Dear Richard,

My five-year-old child was bereft when our much-loved cat was killed by a car outside your house after Christmas. I was quite shaken by it myself.

The difficulty is that she has actually requested a brand-new kitten for her birthday, and while part of me wishes to state yes, the death of the last cat has actually made me understand that although we have a big garden, the nation lane beyond is utilized irresponsibly by vehicle drivers and, rather merely, I don’t believe it’s safe for a cat.

Then once again, even if a brand-new family pet went the method of its predecessor in due course, we’d be offering it a comfy life in a caring home – and my child was respectable about doing her share of family pet care, so I believe it’d benefit her. Should we go on?

— Rosemary, through email

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Dear Rosemary,

Firstly, commiserations for the loss of your cat. Many years ago my own cat – a stunning, charming silver-grey tom we’d christened TC (for apparent factors) – needed to be put down. It wasn’t up until he passed away silently in my arms that I understood rather just how much I’d liked him. So I really sympathise with your clashed sensations about getting another one.

However. We’re not simply discussing you now, are we? We’re discussing your little lady, and what she desires. Small kids are excellent at processing sorrow; they can be remarkably practical about loss, bless’em – much better than us oldies. Your child is 5, and she’s prepared to start once again with a brand-new family pet. I believe she’s the concern here, don’t you?  So my clear recommendations is to do as she asks – since that will make her very happy.

As for your fret about the threats of the lane behind your house… well, a lot of cat-owners live near a roadway of some sort, don’t they? You understand that there’s a danger, however it doesn’t sound to me like an excessively high one – and it may put your mind at rest if you take practical actions to reduce it, for instance producing a safe enclosure on the rear end of your house with pet-proof fencing.

You can discover more reader issues for Richard Madeley here or send your own listed below.

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