When I arrived home, I put my shopping on the counter and peered out the window to see my daughter Kerry wrestling with the cat.
I opened the back door to and heard her shout, "Shut up Mr Kitty, why won't you just shut up."
I ran down the garden path and saw the poor animal squirm, thrashing against my daughter's grip; his razor sharp claws leaving behind fine red marks on her wrists and arms that oozed blood.
By the time I arrived she had let go of the family pet, which floated lifeless in the bucket of water. She breathed heavily and glared at the animal, satisfied it had now *shut up*.
She turned and looked up at me, "My arms hurt, mummy."
Somewhat numb, I ignored her and picked up the body and walked back to the house.
"Mummy?" my daughter asked inquisitively.
She is sitting at the kitchen table now. She winces as I dab the iodine soaked cotton wool to her wounds. She doesn't speak. She appears unfazed by what she's done.
I am careful not to be too hard on her.
"Honey, do you know why you did what you did?" I ask.
She shakes her head gently, as if she didn't understand herself.
"Mr Kitty wouldn't shut up," she complains, looking at the cat that lays lifeless in its bed.
I rub her arms before asking again. She absentmindedly stares at the far wall, at the paintings that adorn it.
"Why did you think that was okay?"
"Daddy does it that way."
"What do you mean?"
"I saw him telling Jason to shut up, before he took him out for ice cream."
I drop the cotton wool and kneel down in front of her.
"Sweety, when was this? It's important," I ask, my anxiety turning to panic.
"This afternoon, in the bathroom. Jason was very quiet after that, I think he fell asleep. Then he took him out for ice cream and I cried because he wouldn't take me.
That's when Mr Kitty started whining. That made me angry and I wanted him to shut up, just like Daddy does."
She sighs with her shoulders.
"Daddy says you should run yourself a bath. He's got something very special planned for us this evening."