Goodbye Mog, by Judith Kerr, HarperCollins, 2003.
Every time my son saw Santa this year, he asked for a Mog Cat. I may not be the quickest person in the world, but I knew what he was getting for Christmas. Since he was getting the cat, I wanted him to have some of the books, too.
Our little hamster, Fred, started showing signs of slowing down shortly after Thanksgiving. By this time he was around three years old, which is remarkably old for a hamster. I wanted to prepare my son for the inevitable, so I made sure that Goodbye Mog was among the Mog books.
The inevitable happen late on New Year's Eve. By this time, my son had already read Goodbye Mog a few times. As we were digging the hole to bury Fred, my son told me Fred was tired and he wanted to go to sleep forever. So he did. And that Fred's body was dead on Earth but his spirit alive in heaven. There were a few tears -- OK, mostly from me -- but my son accepted that Fred had had a good long life and now he was at peace. So, thank you, Goodbye Mog, for bringing my little boy some comfort.