Deliver bad news to someone on (their) vacation or not?

[Note: this is purely hypothetical]

You have agreed to feeding a friend’s beloved cats while they are out of town for a couple of weeks on an expensive and much-anticipated trip. The animals all appear to be healthy when you take over for their care. Three days after your friend departs, through absolutely no fault of anybody, one of the animals suddenly dies; it can neither be foreseen or prevented in any way.

Do you contact and tell your friend immediately, certainly ruining their trip, or do you wait until they return?

Well…I’d want to wait, but what to do with the poor kitty in the meantime?

No way, don’t tell them.

They’re cats. Let those folks enjoy their vacation.

What you do with all dead cats. Put 'em in a shallow grave, to keep the smell down; or burn them.

You could always bury it before going on vacation: just to be on the safe side.

When we go on vacation we leave emergency contact info with our pet sitter, including what to do in case of all emergencies: vet info, card on file at the vet, etc. Depending on what kind of trip we’re on, depends on what I want to know. I love my dogs and cats like no one else, but if i am on the vacation of a lifetime, someplace far, I don’t want to hear about their demise. If I am on our annual Disneyland trip or camping or something, I don’t mind leaving early if tragedy strikes.

Should have been a poll option.

This is why I don’t petsit. Eek.

Cat death on vacation anecdote, a favorite of my dad’s:

Quite right, you don’t want to come back from Sorrento to a dead cat - it’s so anticlimactic.

I voted “depends on…” It depends on the person on vacation. Unless it’s really horrible news that needs some kind of immediate action, I don’t want to hear about it.

OTOH, when my friend and I travel together, she is in constant contact with her friends and relatives who share every big and little drama going on in their lives. It’s a rare day when she doesn’t get upset by something going on back home in non-vacation land.

Only if it involves the death of a human being. Otherwise, it can wait.

That’s funny!

I love the urban legend about the dead rabbit.

Dog owners move into a new neighborhood. They know that their neighbors have a pet rabbit. While the rabbit owners are on vacation, the dog owners notice that their dog is walking around with the rabbit, now dead, in it’s mouth. They don’t want the blame for the rabbit’s death, so they clean it up and put it back in its cage, hoping the neighbors will think that it died there.

When the neighbors come home, they are asked how their trip was. “It was fine, but the strangest thing happened. Just before we left, our rabbit died, so we buried in the back yard…”

That one sounds more like it probably happened somewhere, somehow. :smiley:

Yeah, I’d tell right away because it seems way more weird to me to come home to no pet and hear that someone else took care of its body and everything. Some people might be weird about what they want done with the remains, so I’d want to find out their wishes.

I actually had something close happen.

The pet owner was not on vacation, but working out of town. The elderly dog had a pancreatic tumor and was in a lot of pain. I was able to call the owner and convince her the dog needed to be put down, and no, it shouldn’t wait 'till she could get back to be there for it. I think this is the only time I can recall myself in uncontrollable, as in can’t breath right, tears as an adult. It was way, way worse than when I had to put my own dog down…also no picnic, mind.

If they call and ask how the cat is doing, I tell, but otherwise, I wait for them to come home.

Body is double-bagged and placed in the freezer.

I love cats, but they’re cats. I wrap it in a bag and stick it in the freezer, and tell them when they get back.

I would want to be told. For me, a vacation is from routine, not from pain.

Hahahha, we asked our neighbors to feed and water our two finches while we were away for 10 days. We came home and both of them were lying dead on the bottom of the cage:eek:, little feet sticking up in the air. They never said anything and we didn’t either, what do you say??? We moved away shortly and never saw them again.

It made me a little nervous when we subsequently left our two kids with a different neighbor when we went on job interviews. Thankfully the kids were both still alive when we returned.:cool: We are still friends with the kid-sitters 30 years later.