She’s much better at drawing cats now. About the same with Hitlers though.

I wrote this over a year ago but I never published it because it got lost in my draft folder, but I’ve been recovering from food poisoning and I’m at that woozy stage where I think everything is funny or horrible and I’m pretty sure this is both.  

Conversation with Victor (and Hailey):

Me: Did you see what your daughter made?

Victor: No, but I already resent what you’re implying.

Me: I haven’t said anything bad yet.

Victor: Well, you called her “your daughter”.  I see where this is headed and I don’t like it.  You only call her my daughter when she breaks something.

Me: Not true.  She’s my daughter when she sets something on fire, or when she runs into a wall that’s always been there.  She’s your daughter when she does things I’d never do. So guess what your daughter did?

Victor: She left the toilet seat up?

Me: Nope.  Genocide.

Victor: Um…what?

Me: Or “promoted” genocide, I guess?  I don’t want to jump to conclusions.  I’m just saying that it’s a slippery slope and I’m concerned.

Victor: No. Start over.  Make sense this time.

Me: Fine. Your daughter made this at school:

hitler and friend

Victor: A lunch-sack puppet?


Victor: What…?  It’s not…  Well.  It does look a little like Hitler.

me: No, it looks a lot like Hitler.

Victor: Hitler doesn’t strike me as a waver.

Me: Maybe he’s Heiling.

Victor: What?

Me: Or whatever the active verb for “heil” is.  I DON’T KNOW THE VERB TENSES FOR THE THIRD REICH, VICTOR.

Victor:  Right. So did you ask her if it was Hitler?

Me: She said it was a man they read about in school but she couldn’t remember his name.

Victor: Why is there a cat glued on him?

Me: She said that he was lonely and that’s why he was so grumpy, so she made him a cat.

Victor: Well, that does sound like it could be Hitler.

Me: Which is why I’m concerned.

Victor: Did Hitler even own cats?

Me: Already ahead of you. According to the Internet he did have a cat, but then he ate it..

Victor: Hitler ate his cat?

Me: Well, apparently. I googled “Did Hitler have a cat?” and the internet said this:

I wouldnt put it past him

Victor: You wrote that answer yourself, didn’t you?

Me: No, and now I don’t like what you’re implying. Anyway, Hitler was a mass-murdering asshole so I don’t think it’s entirely outside the realm of possibility that the man ate a few cats in his time.

Victor: Hailey, can you come to the kitchen?

Hailey: Yep?

Victor: Is this Hitler?

Hailey: What?

Me: Answer your father, sweetie. Is this puppet of Hitler, and did you make him this cat to eat?


Hailey: That’s Mr. Putter. He likes trains and cakes.

Me: Cakes made of cats?

Victor: Drop it.

Hailey: I don’t know who Hitler is. That’s Mr. Putter from the Mr. Putter books. He doesn’t eat cats.

Me: Good. And you know it’s never okay to eat cats, right?

Hailey: Uh…yeah?

Me: And genocide. That’s frowned upon too.

Hailey: Huh?

Victor: Okay, I think that’s enough for today.

Me: Well, I think this is a teachable moment.

Victor: Well, I think she can wait until she’s nine to learn not to commit genocide.

Me: Fine. But just remember this if it comes back to bite us later.

Victor: Because she might dabble in genocide before she turns nine?

Hailey: What’s a genderside?

Me: Nothing important, apparently. I’ll just add it to the list of things to tell you when you’re older. “Menstruation and Genocide.” That’s gonna be one hell of a talk.

Hailey: You guys are weird.

And that’s how we decided (as a parenting unit) that we would wait until Hailey was nine before we taught her about genocide and why it’s not okay to eat cats.

Because, apparently, that’s just good parenting.

PS.  I just looked up this Mr. Putter character and apparently there’s a whole series of books about him.  And – I shit you not – this is one:

Full circle, y’all.

156 thoughts on “She’s much better at drawing cats now. About the same with Hitlers though.

Read comments below or add one.

  1. HAHAHHA…that’s quite a talent. I was at a party recently where a little girl drew ghosts with sidewalk chalk that looked like smiling dicks.

  2. I think Dr Seuss wrote a book about teaching pre-schoolers not to commit genocide. It’s called “Get off your asses. Don’t kill the masses.” or something like that….

  3. Thanks! I needed that laugh! Leave it to you, Victor and Hailey to make Hitler dining on cats funny.

  4. It sure looks like he is adding his cat to the cake. I like Cynthia Rylant. She wrote the book Van Gogh’s Cafe which is charming (not to be confused with Van Gogh’s Ear Cafe which is evidently in Union, NJ). Hope you’re feeling better.

  5. Cats and cakes and genocide. That is why the world loves you. You can string 3 words together that most people would never think to use in a paragraph and make it completely logical. I bow to the master.

  6. I’d like to throw in my support for your Third Reich verbs, because I saw the puppet and thought , “that’s totally Hitler, look he’s heiling!”

    I feel like the moral of the story is that Hitler is still out there and masquerading as this Mr. Putter character… clever hiding in books like that (I think I watch too much Once Upon a Time…)

  7. Are you going to tell her about menstruation and genocide in one conversation? Because I can see how that would be confusing…

    (That’s a lot of downers to deliver in one sitting. ~ Jenny)

  8. You’re a fricking genius because obviously you picked up that whoever the puppet person was… he secretly wanted to eat cats. Maybe he’s RELATED to Hitler?

  9. wait. jenny can’t be the master. the master was evil and ended up dying just to spite the doctor. because ten was all regenerate and the master was all no because you totally want me to so i win. but ten was also eleven and don’t get me started on that because i have epic fights about it with my who friends and eleven even talks about it at the end which made me happy because i didn’t think it was ever going to be acknowledged.

    wait. what were we talking about?

  10. I was having a shit ass day and this post was the only thing that made me feel even a little better. Stay weird, my friend!

  11. I was having a shit ass day and this post was the only thing that made me feel even a little better. Stay weird, my friend!

  12. I just laughed so hard I’m crying. Thank you for this. You are THEBEST!!!

  13. Wish I still had the Life Cycle Library that my Mom gave me instead of having “the talk”. (What does it say that she gave me the Parent’s Answer book as well?) Since I didn’t have an official chat, I’d like to book time with you for the “Menstruation and Genocide” conversation.

  14. I am concerned about what sort of puppet regime they’re having the children construct. But as long as parents eventually have The Talk (about genocide), it should be fine.

    (Hail Mr. Putter.)

  15. Once cats evolve thumbs, you’ll really see the genocide start. BTW, polydactyl cats are the leaders in the thumb-growing movement. Don’t trust them.

  16. Oh I wish you’d been my Parents, this would’ve been way more fun than ‘go and buy me sanitary towels I can’t be bothered to leave the pub’
    Awwww. Memories.

  17. Ooh…can we call it “mass murder” instead? People seem to be avoiding the “g word” lately… (right, Turkey?!?) 😉

  18. I could see how menstruation and genocide could end up in the same conversation. There have been many a PMS-y day when I wanted to eliminate the entire human race, with a few exceptions. Antidepressants helped. I feel much better now.

  19. Ah, teachable moments. It’s amazing how they show up just about everywhere! Thanks for the laugh and the information about Hitler’s cat – maybe a parallel to Shrodinger? Did Hitler actually have a cat? Well, yes and no… with mustard at the birthday party!

  20. “Menstruation and Genocide.”- are you fucking kidding me?!?! If there’s not a book for parents raising girls called this already GET ON THAT SHIT, JENNY!

  21. Prove he doesn’t eat cats! I laughed so hard that my kids came running out of their rooms to see what was wrong with me. Thanks for the laugh on a trying day.

    PS: I want a magnet or bag of the Hitler puppet.

  22. Hmmm, the term gendercide is actually a pretty appropriate term for something that most women have considered (not necessarily seriously) at least once in their lives. We consider it after certain moments in life, like our first broken heart, like when our husband leaves dirty underwear on the floor AGAIN, and when we realize that we make 23% less than the idiot guy who sits next to usher at work.

  23. The second Hailey said it was Mr. Putter, I saw it. I shelve those books at the library every day. But Tabby does make it into a few more books later in the series, so he doesn’t eat her unless he keeps getting identical cats from the pet rescue and naming them all Tabby in order to trick his neighbors into thinking he ISN’T eating them.

  24. Hailey deserves some major props for that art (and for not committing genocide or eating cats). I am an elementary school teacher and as soon as I saw that picture I knew exactly who it was –Mr. Putter and Tabby. Mr. P is a little fatter and much kinder than Hitler. Your post about all this is hilarious as usual. Thanks for the laugh, Jenny!

  25. Oh my goodness this had me seriously hoping I wouldn’t choke on the banana I was eating…… well, for many reasons. This line got me:
    “Victor: Because she might dabble in genocide before she turns nine?”

    Man, I thought my abs hurt from my bronchitis cough, but apparently they’re different from laughter abs. Who knew? The things you teach us, Bloggess.

  26. In Mr. Putter’s defense, that’s pretty much what it looks like whenever I try to bake anything around here too. (And I agree with Victor that I think you had something to do with the ‘Answers’ result.)

  27. Totally LOL’d at “No. Start over. Make sense this time.” Love it!

  28. holy freaking hell!!! Gendercide…. LOL!!! My week has seriously sucked, and you just made it a ton better!!! Thank you!

    And I should thank Victor too… but… He seems to be way too cat-baking friendly for me! Also, its never too soon for those kinds of talks!!

  29. I’m pretty sure that Hitler didn’t eat cats. In fact he was one heck of an animal lover and was involved with getting the first law animal protection laws to take off.

    But he loved dogs mor then any other animal. He had a German Shepard named Blondie and Eva had Scottish Terriers.

    And no, I’m not fond of the man himself, and the things he stood for, but as with everyone- he had his
    Good sides too. Fighting for animal is a good side too me.

    (No, English is not my native language and I have taken a sleeping pill).

  30. Love the book at the end! To reassure all cat lovers, Hitler was apparently a vegetarian. Given his absolute refusal to ever be persuaded to anyone else’s point of view, I doubt he’d have eaten even a sausage for a dare.

  31. Number 1: I think skinning your cat is the first step, not beating the eggs.
    Number 2: My daughter is 13 and I have had the menstruation talk already… did I miss my window? Is she now at risk for genocide?

  32. “Hitler doesn’t strike me as a waver” should be the new “Not my circus, not my monkeys.” Making an inspirational Facebook macro as we speak.

  33. You killed me with this! And by the way- have you ever wondered if you are a woman with Asperger’s Syndrome? (We sure do think alike, but you’re a lot funnier… Keep at it!)

  34. I can’t wait to read your posts!! They are guaranteed to make even the worst day better!!! Keep it up, but no more food poisoning please!! You are much too valuable to be ill.

  35. I actually recognized Mr. Putter before I got to the bottom of your post! Hailey is awesome.

  36. Jesus FUCK, Lawson. My browser history is looking more and more circumspect because of the random Internet searches you make me perform. So, uh… thank you? Also, you’re officially responsible for clearing my browser history if anything happens to me. I feel as though you’re the only one who won’t judge me.

  37. If the dust jacket of that Mr. Putter book says he’s been cooking cats in Bolivia since the end of WWII, I’m going to be even more suspicious.

  38. Listen….its definitely Hitler. Victor put Hailey up to it to feel YOU out on the whole genocide issue.

    Victor’s mom missed her window on the whole “genocide is wrong” talk, because she waited until he was 9!

    It’s probably like the safe sex talk. If you wait until you think its a problem, they’re already doing it.

    If you feel unsafe at home because people around you may or may not be planning genocide, just comment back “Don Quixote was high”.

    Someone will be in touch to bring you to safety.

  39. ” I DON’T KNOW THE VERB TENSES FOR THE THIRD REICH, VICTOR.” I would buy a tee shirt or mug with this on it. Just saying…

  40. I have a CAT who looks like HITLER, and darned if there isn’t a website for Hitler-looking cats. You submit a photo of your cat, and they decide if your cat looks enough like Hitler to be featured on their site. xox

  41. A very similar conversation was had in our house when my 3 year old received a puzzle of Alf grazing for food in a refrigerator.

  42. Hitler and his pussy. Too funny. (Sorry, I was assuming that someone else had already made an off-colour “pussy” joke, and that it would be OK at this point to follow suit. I really hope I’m not the first…).

  43. Look, I don’t know what this “Google” thing is you speak of but according to Yahoo Answers, Hitler was afraid of cats, although I suppose his eating his childhood cat could be a form of sublimation…

  44. Did you also tell her it wasn’t OK to build a death ray and enslave the human race? Because I had this friend once……

  45. I am laughing so loud I scared both cats. Maybe they were afraid that I got thw wok out……

  46. My mom waited till I was 9 and then gave me a book called “how you were born,” published by the Catholic Church. Which confused me since we’re Jewish (it went all the way up to the child’s first communion.) I haven’t committed gendercide yet…

  47. I can’t stop laughing – I definitely needed this today! Also, can I please come & live with you guys? I feel like it would be hilarious and educational and also I can bring two psychotic cats, so y’know, I’d be contributing* and all too.
    (*By contributing I mean to the menagerie of animals, NOT to the food sources…)
    (I’m not sure if this comment made sense because it’s my first time commenting and you’re my hero so I’m sort of word-vomiting…)

  48. Oh my goodness I can’t stop laughing… And then I read about the strap on ferret…

  49. Well, you know, there were all those Cat in the Hat books, so here’s a Cat in a Cake book,
    bake at 450°…

  50. Nope Jenny, it’s not just the food poisoning, this is pretty funny and scary too. And certainly a teachable moment, or even one of those after schools specials about why genocide and cat eating are wrong. You have half the script done already. Score!

  51. all I know is I want to be a fly on the wall during the menstruation/genocide talk. good luck with that one… oh, and I hear quite frequently how weird my husband I are…. if not verbally, by a very telling look.

  52. Haha… You could create a showcase website for her;) Hitler looks cute with a cat…. andy Really, what do we know, he could have nursed a secret love of cats… you know what they say about hard covers with soft inners ? 😛

  53. OMG! Thanks for the belly-laugh. And Michelle, was it the ghosts that looked like smiling d–ks or the sidewalk chalk?

  54. I was gonna read ALL the comments but ‘Thronecast’ just came on. So I’ll restrict myself to two points.
    1) Comment number 7 made my day
    2) Hailey? Never change 🙂 (I love her appearing in your and Victor’s conversations.)
    Oh, and 3)….. Gendercide might be appropriate to touch on in the menstruation talk. Just a thought 🙂

  55. OMFG Gave me the snorty laughs! Genderside.

    And I’m sorry you had food poisoning. That’s sucky. And barfy…

  56. In our family, my dad would threaten bad cats by telling them “Dinner is cat chops and kitty tail soup”. Bad kids got a rendition of the song “Dead kid lyin’ on the porch”. Poor man was (and is) constantly surrounded by bad cats and bad kids.

  57. Yeah, gendercide and menstruation. Show of hands, who HASN’T contemplated the former during the latter. Thought so.

  58. So the fact that Hitler didn’t wear glasses never even hit the radar, did it?

  59. I guess I’m the only one who thinks it was awfully nice of Hailey to give Hitler a cat to cheer him up, even if he was just going to eat it.

  60. Props to Kara up the comment line for the Life Cycle Library mention! I had a set, too. I’m pretty sure the marketing must have been “Hey, don’t want to talk about the icky stuff with your kid? Here.”

  61. Every time I come here I get an education. And a good strong belly laugh. It must be fun living in your house. Hailey is one lucky kid to have a funny mom, and Victor. 🙂

  62. I thought this post was hilarious. Like, there are pains from trying not to laugh loudly at work where I’m not supposed to be reading this. So, I guess that makes it NSFWF (Not Safe For Work Funny)? Yeah, that should be a thing.

  63. I totally remember those books! And your conversations are pretty much the best ever, I aspire to have such great conversations with my husband. He’s not quite to Victor’s level of exasperation but I’m working on it!

  64. Nothing like a craft project to propel parents to catastrophize and recriminate. She has an art talent already, look at the reactions!

  65. Funny post. Recently asked my three year old granddaughter what she’d like me to draw- she said “A dead Crow”. Her folks are still puzzling over the fact she even knew what a crow was-let alone a dead one-day care seems to get the blame or the credit.

  66. It could be Hitler, but when did you ever see him wear glasses? It could be Teddy Roosevelt, or a cross between Hilter & TR. Hitlervelt? It’s a good drawing of the cat, though. I hope the critter doesn’t get eaten.

  67. I’m checking with Snopes about the cat eating thing. You have enough to do explaining genocide, you don’t need to add cat eating to your list.

  68. Worked 15 years at a children’s library – the Mr. Putter books are adorable. Also highly recommend one of Rylant’s other books: God Went to Beauty School. Paints a picture of a God who would definitely be a part of The Church of Bloggessianism. In other news, I used to sometimes call my now dearly departed cat “Kitty Pot Pie”. I don’t think she much appreciated it.

  69. Menstruation and genocide: Constructive ways to deal with those pesky mood swings. Sounds like the title of a best seller to me.

  70. How did I not remember that Hitler didn’t wear glasses? I just saw the picture and went, “Yep, that’s Hitler. Look, he’s even got the glasses.”….wait….is Hailey using mind-control? Maybe you should have the “we don’t perform mind-control on strangers” talk before you talk about genocide…just sayin’…

  71. When it’s time for the talk, Google “uterus pancakes”. It won’t help with the genocide part and surely will not help with the menstruation part either, but WTF UTERUS PANCAKES WHY IS THIS A THING

  72. Hailey is almost nine? I got my period when I was nine. No one told me that the cramps would feel like diarrhea nor that the blood can start out brown. I thought I was shitting my pants while my gut felt like I was being stabbed with knives.

  73. When I was eight I had already read the Joy of Sex and some other adult books on female bodies. I decided to ask my mother what a period was just to see what she would say and how it would compare. She tried to put me off until I demanded she do so. When she told me I told her that her information sucked compared to what I already knew.

    I have always had issues with my mother and I don’t trust her, but that was still such a crappy thing to do to someone. Once I got my period just a few months later, I felt she deserved it for not telling me what it was really like.

  74. full circle indeed.
    now run, tabby! run! run while mr. adolph putter is looking the other way!

  75. Holy cow, I totally would have gone with Hitler as well. But, as this is a year old, does this mean it’s now time to have the menstruation and genocide conversation with Hailey? My sympathies as this is the week my 10 year old son is getting the “family life” discussion at school. So, we’ve been discussing sperm and genetics at our house, which could seriously lead to the genocide discussion as the Master Race was about those good German genetics. My sympathy if this is where your week is headed as well. Love discussing human reproduction with 10 year old boys. Oy!

  76. Haha!

    It’s a very nice cat! But maybe Mr. Putter should shave his mustache so he doesn’t look so Hitler-esque. I mean kids who grow up reading Mr. Putter books are going to have history at some point and be all like, “Look it’s Mr. Putter! Where’s his tabby? Will he bake me a cake?” And then they find out the terrifying truth of what Mr. Putter did in his early years.

  77. Everybody assumes that their kids just won’t commit genocide without ever talking to them about it…but somebody’s kids did commit genocide. Somebody’s kids do commit genocide. Somebody else’s kids will commit genocide. (Hopefully this is not all the same family!) It’s an important lesson parents! Talk to your kids! Good for you Jenny, for taking the radical “No genocide means NO Genocide!” approach to raising your kid.

  78. My daughter LOVED the Mr. Putter books when she was younger. Grandma had all of them and would read them to her. Good memories.

  79. Oh, love! How you brighten my day! I seriously find you hilarious! Genocide… LOL You are my kind of people! BTW, I am listening to your first book! I LOVE IT!!!!!! Sound effects are a perfect touch too!

  80. I am sitting in my office supposedly working hard but instead I had to jump up and shut my door because the picture of Mr. Putter and Tabby baking a cake sent me over the edge after your post. I guess I must not have had far to go. I am still having uncontrolled giggling outbursts Holy crap. I have got to pull it together before my 10 o’clock meeting. If anyone says the word “cat”, I’ll be done for.

  81. I feel like I knew about Hitler and menstruation for as long as I can remember considering my father compared every injustice to the Holocaust and my mother constantly talked about her period and all the other terrible goings-on in the world because apparently it’s perfectly acceptable to tell a 5-year-old girl that the world is an evil place and to trust no one, especially men.

    (Side note: When you said, “I DON’T KNOW THE VERB TENSES FOR THE THIRD REICH, VICTOR.” I laughed so hard I cried for a minute.)

  82. My six year old just glanced at the last picture and said, “Mom, he’s making cat stew!”

  83. Jenny, please please please tell me you are working on a sitcom based on your life.

  84. OMG I”m dying over here.

    Partly because when I was nine and in third grade I checked out a book about Hitler from the school library and my mean-and-nasty teacher made me return it because I couldn’t give her an -on-the-spot definition of democracy so she said I didn’t know enough to read the book. Guess Hailey would really have been in trouble with that teacher for making Hitler puppets.

    And I’m also dying because it’s been a really cr*ppy day and you made me laugh. So I’m glad you fished this out of your draft folder. I am sorry it took food poisoning to do it though.

  85. Oh, great. Now I have “Did Hitler eat cats?” in my Google search history.

  86. Mr. Putter committed catocide? I never read about that in school. Sorry about your vomiting. Possibly caused by cat hair in the chicken salad?

  87. Oh commenters…you had me at ‘my daughter made a strap on ferret’. That giggle burst out from my inner laughalogue and scared my cat. Can’t wait til my daughter reaches school age! So far she likes to drown her bath toys while laughing maniacally and I caught her reading ‘the art of war’ at 20 months. Oh and she did say ‘come inside delicious kitty’ last week (24mnths). I’ll be having the genocide talks early, methinks.

  88. Oh my gosh. Thank you so much for this. I’ve been having the worst day, and I have laughing tears in my eyes now and my toddler is yelling at me to stop laughing.

  89. And here I am still waiting for my menstruation and genocide talk. I knew my parents were missing something when they gave me the sexysex talk…

  90. I don’t think Mr. Putter is trying to bake the cat. The cat looks like he got into the pan of his own free will so as to be in the middle of things, as cats will do. “Whatcha doing? I’m going to snuggle in right here and help…” Like my cat who had to “supervise” the house renovations. It’s not like he was trying to get into trouble…

  91. Wow if she did that with a paper lunch bag…Think of the possibilities with a large hefty trash bag,it`s wide open for creativity!

  92. I can’t set the table for dinner. If I do, at some point I have to turn my back and then one or the other of my cats plants his butt on the empty plate. I used to think they were just hoping for the first taste of dinner, but now I’m wondering should I be worried? Are they despondant and depressed and want to be eaten?
    Do they make Pissy Prozac, or should I just share mine?

  93. It makes so much sense to discuss menstruation and genocide in the same conversation, because no matter what you discuss first, you have the perfect segue! “And while we’re on the topic of rivers of blood…”

  94. My 14 year old son just learned that Fanta was invented by the Nazi’s during the War. Now, we can no longer have Fanta and can only drink SUNKIST or else there is a lecture on the DAMN NAZI’s. Education is a powerful tool…use it wisely.

  95. This post is hilarious and the build up to the picture is classic. I was crying I was laughing so hard.

  96. I cannot wait for the menstruation and genocide post. Is that next year that you’ll be having that? My kids are only one and three but I suggest perhaps an ebook on the topic(s) so we have something to work with over here.

  97. Now that you mention it, I don’t remember my parents ever sitting me down to have that “genocide is bad” talk. I’m glad you’re not making the same mistake my parents made. It restores my faith in humanity.

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