The crab is dead. Long live the dogs.

It should come as no surprise to anyone following this blog that Kayla, the
nearly legless hermit crab
, is dead. I did what I could (which wasn’t much), but I couldn’t save her.

Where Kayla spent her last days

I delivered the news as kindly (but directly) as I could and did my best not to appear flabbergasted when my girls were surprised by it. The crab was literally falling apart in front of their eyes, and they believed all could still be well. This is a testament either to the optimism of youth or to their blessed lives. Maybe both.

As expected, they cried. Sarah cried during Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium
when the sock monkey reaches for a hug and doesn’t get one. We had to stop the movie. Because a stuffed animal didn’t get a hug. So it’s no surprise that she went to pieces (no pun intended, Kayla, wherever you are!).

Grace, being a sophisticated almost-ten-year-old, didn’t cry at first but crumpled as soon as her sister left the room. Amid sobs, she asked if we should have piped the sounds of the ocean into Kayla’s little house, if that would have made the difference.

We buried Kayla where the dogs can’t get to her. A stone inscribed with her name marks her resting place.

I hate to see my babies sad, but I won’t miss Kayla. She never did much of anything. Her presence gave me yet another thing to clean. Also, she smelled.

So far I am holding firm on not getting any more pets in cages. I do not believe this makes me a bad person. I have no interest in housing a poop collection apparatus that I am responsible for de-pooping.

Also there is the matter of not wanting to cage a creature that would be happier in the open. I’m not kidding; caged animals make me sad. Just imagine Kayla scampering on the rocks by the seashore, crawling away from a hungry seagull. No guts, no glory, eh Kayla?

We’ll see how long I stick to my guns. Sarah has already pointed out that kittens don’t live in cages. *sigh*

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19 Responses to The crab is dead. Long live the dogs.

  1. Your poor sweet girls. I love what Grace suggested about the ocean sounds. We had two cats that we gave up before my son was born because they had become spectacularly incontinent and there is only so much poop one person can handle. We have fish. And they will do, until the kids are old enough for me to win my ongoing negotiations for getting a Great Dane 😉

    • Spectacularly incontinent. There’s something you don’t hear every day. I love dogs. Mine are lying on my feet right now. They are so sweet and so funny. Kayla never had a chance of winning my affection.

  2. notquiteold says:

    I hope Kayla went to hermit crab heaven and is scampering sideways to her heart’s content. And kittens are awesome! I vote with the kids.

  3. bigsheepcommunications says:

    I’m with you – no poop producing critters who live in cages is a great policy. I’m certain that Kayla has now been reunited with her appendages in that big eternal ocean.

  4. Donna says:

    Oh pet hermit crabs, how do I hate thee, let me count the ways! Spending a lot of time at the sea shore I have fallen to the cries of my children for hermit crabs on more than one occasion. My daughter’s crab (who incidentally creeped her out so much she would not touch) was an escape artist. One morning we heard a tink tink tinkling on our heating registers in the bedroom. My husband thought I was crazy but low and behold we discovered the little devil had gotten out of it’s cage and into MY bedroom. Incidentally they creep me out so much I don’t want to touch them either. Both me and my daughter failed to shed a tear on that crab’s demise….

    • She was pretty creeped out by ours too. She seemed to think it was regurgitating its food. The interwebs said nothing of this. Kayla stayed put, but it’s hard to go far when your legs keep falling off.

  5. Muff says:

    Sad day…We went through the hermit crab era as well. This came as a result of vacationing at Brigantine Beach near Atlantic City every summer for a good number of years. Every Saturday morning, they have hermit crab races at the library. Hence, the racing hermit crabs. They smelled, they died, we moved on.

    We have been through the guinea pig era as well. Dash was cool, but died suddenly in my sons arms. Talk about apoplectic responses…geez. Dash was soon to be replaced by the pregnant Ruby. Interesting lesson in birth…did you know that guinea pigs are the only mammals to give birth with full fur? I didn’t either… The worst part about Ruby was that she lived for (wait for it…) 7 YEARS. You know how many times a cage gets cleaned in 7 years? We used vinegar and water to rinse the glass, and now my son’s room still smells like a hoagie. Gross. Of course he is a 12 year old boy and it is entirely possible that it is just him, but denial mechanisms have me still blaming Ruby.

    We are dog folks. Dogs rock. Although they do have cages and have poop maintenance involved.

    Overall, pets are good. Tough days happen, but kids win in the end by having had them. Have you considered reptiles????

    • Never! Dogs poop outside. The only thing I have to do is throw it in the woods a few times a week – much easier and less smelly. Also it is funny when my dogs crash into things. And fall off of things. If we are rating pets based on inherent degree of slapstick (and I think we should, don’t you?) dogs win hands down.

  6. workmomad says:

    Better tears for a hermit crab than tears over the fact that your mom failed to stop at the drug store so you could pester the life out of her for a package of mints….

    I’ll have to hand it to your girls – I thought no-one could get more dramatic than my 9 1/2 year old, but it appears that they have her topped over the hermit crab! I just had to tell Kayla last week, when she wanted to keep a small lizard she had caught as a pet, than the only pets I allow are certain mammals. Hold firm to that line and they will adjust! Of course, we have three dogs that stay indoors and so I can also tell her that any other animals that she would get (such as rabbits, birds, etc.) would have a pretty miserable quality of life with the dogs around!


  7. Gilly says:

    Aw man, this reminds me of my sister’s hermit crab. Same long death and we were in denial… We never wanted a hermit crab after that. So we got a hamster and bunny instead! :p

  8. So funny — seeing as it’s a post about death. Your girls sound very sweet and sensitive. I almost feel badly for laughing at the part when you had to turn the movie off because a stuffed animal didn’t get a hug. I can relate. They always get you with the music…although I haven’t seen this movie and don’t know if it’s actually a sad part of not. Anyway, I enjoyed this post and agree that you shouldn’t have to clean any poopy cages!

  9. missumerica says:

    Guess what I just did… My son got one of those “Create your own hermit crab habitat” kits for his birthday (yay??) and we sent the little certificate off to the hermit crab breeders or whatever. He’s been anxiously awaiting the arrival of “Lucas” for weeks now with no response. When he got upset the other day thinking that at this point, Lucas has died in transport, I realized that I didn’t include the shipping costs with the certificate. 1- I haven’t fessed up yet to being so distracted with life that I forgot to even pay for the little fella 2 – It was a birthday gift from someone that will cost ME money. 3 – I will go down as Mother of the Year for already getting my little one upset about a crab’s death BEFORE it even became a beloved pet 4 – I’ve already used the sand that came with the kit in my own cute little vase and topped it off with candles since I knew that Lucas will never arrive. Yep! We’ll be heading to the pet store now where I’m sure something that is furry and much more expensive than the original $6.95 shipping costs will catch his eye and sucker me in.

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