When Bean was little, her beloved Poppy got her a Border Collie puppy. She named her Molly May. I was happy with this arrangement since Molly May didn’t live in our tiny apartment. She lived at Poppy’s house. And Beanie loved her.

Molly was one of the sweetest dogs I’ve met. I didn’t grow up with pets around, so I’m not really a dog person. I like them as long as they don’t lick me, but I have to driving desire within me to have a dog around. (And that sound you just heard was all of the dog lovers out there gasping and immediately unsubscribing from my blog. Dangit!) Still, Molly ranks as one of the top 2 dogs I’ve ever known. I liked her a lot.

And then she was hit by a car and died.

Mimi and Poppy also had a cat named Pumpkin. She was orange. That’s why we named her Pumkin. Or Punkin. Depending on what we felt like saying…. Anyway, I’m not a cat person either. I like or don’t like animals based on their personality, not their species. Pumpkin was my all-time favorite cat. She was nice, she wasn’t snobby, and she actually played with my daughter. (Peanut was too little to play at the time.) She would run up, jump on Bean to tag her, and then run off. If Bean didn’t follow, she’d come back and do it again. She was stinkin’ hilarious.

And then she was run over by a car and died.

You can read more about these pets and the unconventional way I told Bean that they went to live with other puppies and kitties here.

But this post is about the zombie dog and cat….. See, after Molly died, Poppy had the chance to adopt her sister. The man who had taken Chloe couldn’t care for her anymore. So, Poppy brought her home. But, did we call her Chloe? Nope. We all called her Molly. We all acted like she was the same dog. But, she wasn’t! Personality was waaaay different. Under my breath and not around Beanie, I called her the zombie dog — the Molly that had returned from the dead.

I didn’t like Zombie Molly as much. She wasn’t as gentle with Bean. She didn’t have the tender and sweet temperment of Molly. She also liked to lick me too much. I hate dogs licking me. HATE IT. But, Bean was happy.

A week after Pumpkin met her maker, another orange cat showed up at their house. She just waltzed in like she owned the place. (Perhaps it was Pumpkin on another of her 9 lives….?) What did we do? We all kept calling this cat Pumpkin and acted like it was the exact same cat. Even though she’s older. And doesn’t play tag. In fact, she’s quite the scaredy-cat.

But Peanut likes her….

And she was pretty proud of herself for petting the pretty zombie kitty….

Here’s the problem…. Molly May II (a.k.a. Chloe, Zombie Dog, Zombie Molly) was hit by a car. She’s finito. Once again, we’ve told Bean that her puppy went to live with some others. (No, I did not write a letter from beyond the grave this time.)

It’s been months since this happened and Bean still asks where her puppy is. She also wants to go visit her. (Poppy… stop right there! Do not go out and buy a new dog! She will be fine!) I think we need to tell her that Molly got run over. (Poppy & Mimi’s house is a dangerous place for animals.) She’s not going to take it well. But, it’s better than having un-dead pets the rest of her life.

What about y’all? Have you been faced with the challenge of telling a small child that a beloved pet died? Or did you also have a convenient zombie pet come take it’s place? I’m also taking bets on how long it’ll be before Poppy and Mimi get Bean and Peanut another dog.