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While having a pet pass away peacefully in their sleep is undoubtedly best for the pet and all, it is very hard on every other animal in the household.

Because whenever I see one of the animals sleeping now (and the cats are cats and the dogs are elderly so everybody sleeps a LOT) I am constantly poking them or going “Brandon! Brandon, are you alive?” or “Gir! Are you breathing!?”

Fortunately Emily snores loudly, so she’s safe. Everybody else is having a hard time getting a nap in when I’m home. (Kevin is lucky that I generally sleep later than he does, because otherwise he’d wake up to concerned poking.)

I am totally dealing with this well on every other level but the animals are probably going to be glad that I’m going out of town for a week because this has got to be aggravating for everybody.


ETA: It is totally okay to laugh at this.

Originally published at Tea with the Squash God. You can comment here or there.

I know the feeling all too well (though the way you phrase it makes it funnier, which can only be good). Our cat was recently diagnosed with cancer, and I'm constantly interrupting her naps to check for breathing.

But since she's taken to sleeping right next to me while I work, she can't mind too much.


Heck, after you posted about Ben, I had to go poke my cats to make sure they were breathing, too! And they were also awfully disgruntled. Although with some of them, it's kind of hard to tell, since disgruntled is their natural state.

I have regular scares with my rabbits; they'll lie on their side, all stretched out and motionless.
And I go over to make sure they're still breathing.

I'll sometimes make a high-pitched noise at my bunny. One ear raises to try to figure out if the noise is worth interrupting the nap, so I know it's the fake dead bunny and not an actual dead bunny.

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Some of ours sleep very soundly with their eyes partly open. Yeah. They get poked when I get freaked out. :D

Ugh, Monkey occasionally does that, and it's creepy! Thankfully he has a little persistent wheeze, so if I get close I can usually hear his breathing without resorting to poking. If the cat is still going mrrrf-mrrrf-mrrf he's probably alright. :P

I don't poke, but I watch. Sometimes it's subtle, but I can usually see the body rise and fall with breathing. If I can't see that, I'll poke. Petting or scritching will also work, and isn't as disruptive as poking.

We have one cat who sleeps with complete limp abandon. No tidy curl, no paw over nose, just flopped over like he was shot and fell there. So we always laugh and go "Dead Ron!" when we see him. But I *also* have this tiny voice that says "Murphy's Law dictates that somebody we'll laugh and go 'Dead Ron!' only to find out that he really has died, and it will be the most horrible thing ever."

But the little voice just can't keep it from being funny, because seriously, he sleeps SO ridiculously. And it's not just the poses either, he's out like a rock when he sleeps, you can poke him for ages before he wakes up. He does sometimes snore though. He used to snore louder than anything, but that was before he had surgery to remove a polyp.

http://www.sparkcostumes.com/photos/albums/userpics/DSCN1993.JPG <--here's him asleep in a tub of faux fur scraps. I've had to start keeping lids on them to keep them from ending up with more cat hair than faux hair in them.

His little back paws sticking up in the air are hilarious. XD

My friend has a floofy orange kitty named Fred (I'm assuming orange cat named Ron is a Harry Potter reference) that also sleeps like the dead. He goes all floppy and limp and you can shake him for a while before he starts moving. It's kind of creepy...

I used to poke the sleeping baby when she wasn't very obviously breathing. So, yes, definitely understood.

I was going to say that new parents tend to go through a phase of checking to see if the baby is still alive. It's nerve-racking being responsible for the lives of others.

Ooops! Sorry, I laughed before you granted permission. I tend to worry also but I don't poke, I just watch - very very carefully.

This is totally normal and will pass eventually.

Hrm. I'm not so sure about that. I'm another one for the "watch very closely" list, and I still do it despite not having lost a pet for ... uh ... five years? Isis went expectedly but also peacefully in her sleep (whew), and I hadn't ever realized it, but I think that might in fact have been when I started peering at sleeping cats for signs of life. Also my husband. Also my husband's fish. ("Did that fin twitch? I think that fin twitched.")

Also: Icon love. :)

Honestly? Been there, done that. For the last year or two of our Maine Coon's life, I was always poking him to make sure he was alive. He'd always blink up at me with his big owl eyes and be all "Mrrowl? Why are you bothering me?"

Our tabby is very good at playing "Dead Cat" as well, and she's always so cranky when we wake her.
Cats are bad that way.

totally did this last weekend.
Teen-aged dogs should not learn playing dead as a new trick.

I do this all the time, even though I've never actually had a pet die on me. My childhood cat was put to sleep at the ripe old age of 18 this year, but my folks took care of that. All of my (more recently acquired) pets are still ticking. Maybe I'm just particularly morbid? Or have some kind of fear of imminent separation?

I have done a fair lot of cat poking in my life, especially with Heckle the last few months of his life. He was 20, with kidney failure, and tended to breathe lightly, so my usual putting a gentle hand on his side to feel for breathing didn't always work. His brother, Skunk, who died a year earlier also aged 20, at least had the decency to snore loudly.

The kittens, Kaylee and Mal, got poked a lot during the months after Heckles death, because they were sound sleepers, as kittens are. It does mostly wear off in time, but it comes back. The "kittens" are now over 10, and starting to get poked occasionally on their own merits.

I'm working at Yellowstone National Park this summer (!) and today I printed out a copy of the Bighorn Pear, with accompanying text, and posted it on the bulletin board in the workroom at the Old Faithful Visitor Education Center. It took about thirty seconds until someone was reading it, and then my supervisor came in and saw it and immediately guessed it was me who put it there... Got some great laughs!

I'm planning to wait a week or two and then put up the Lemonlopes...

Oh, wow. That's the best intersection of two of my favorite fandoms ever!

I love Yellowstone so much I wrote two novels set there.