Mormons and Death: Childhood Pets

My sister and her family recently moved across the country, just a few days after their pet cat gave birth to four kittens. When my sister’s family arrived in their new state of residence, they stayed with a friend of a friend while they looked for a new home. These hospitable strangers owned a dog.

A couple days into their stay as house guests, my sister and her husband heard their three-year-old daughter screaming. They ran to her aid but they were too late. The dog had killed all four kittens and my tiny little niece had witnessed the tragedy.

My niece was naturally traumatized. Her reactions varied from anger, manifested by attacking her baby brother; denial, such as requesting to play with the deceased kittens; to spiritual questioning about what happened to the kittens after the dog bit them and made them stop crying.

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