I want to tell you about an episode of a show named Caillou that I saw once. My cat was put down a few years ago, and I want to tell you an episode of this most likely infamous kids show that was very similar to what I had experienced.
I was in my room, playing on my DSi. The year was 2009. And I was on summer vacation, and after summer, I would be in 7th grade. I was so fixated on my DSi, My mom told me it was almost midnight, and that I had to go to bed.
We only lived in a 2 bedroom house as a result of the Great Recession a year earlier, and my 4-year-old brother had to sleep in my room, and I always used to wear headphones while playing quietly. We had to keep the TV on sprout for some time, so he could sleep. He liked Caillou, and I loathed it. During Sprout's Goodnight Show, I saw the Caillou intro playing. The title card was different.
This was a season 4 episode of Caillou, and he had more maturity than previous seasons. I remember everything, with even my thoughts revolving in my head.
The title card read "Caillou Says Goodbye to Gilbert."
There was no picture, it was only words.
The screen faded to Caillou's house, the sky was dark and grey. The house was different, it had no front porch, the windows were boarded up, the color of the house was purple instead of blue. The chimney was also worn down, and had no top. I kept watching, I couldn't sleep anyway.
Narrator: It was a very depressing day at Caillou's house. *sniff* I don't want to talk about it.
I never seen the narrator this depressed. It cut to Caillou softly crying in the playroom. He never cried in season 4. (I did research)
Caillou: Gilbert, why do you have to go? *hic* we were best friends!*hic*
I was surprised that this type of show was talking about pets dying. Anyway, Caillou's parents were talking in the kitchen about Gilbert.
Mommy: It's sad we have to put him down today, I just didn't want anything to happen to him when we're on vacation to New York.
Daddy: You've told me this so many times, I wanna scream. What about Caillou?
Mommy: Well, he'll be sad. But we had to do this anyway, he does have a Kidney failure, you know.
Daddy: What I hate is that he keeps going up into the bathroom.
Mommy: He's lost it, Boris! He can't help it!
Daddy: I know, Doris. I'm mostly concentrated on Caillou. I wonder how he's doing? I'll go check on him.
Boris walks into the playroom, where we see that Caillou is crying and Rosie is playing with her dolls. Daddy walks over to Caillou.
Caillou: Daddy, *hic* why does Gilbert need to go to sleep?
Daddy: He is sick Caillou... when we go, Grandma will babysit you and Rosie.
Caillou: I'm not staying here, Gilbert is my friend! He can't die without me there beside him!
I didn't believe it. Caillou was never like this in these episodes.
Daddy: Do you really want to be there?
Caillou: Yes! I don't care if I get scared, I LOVE HIM!!!
Daddy: Okay Caillou, calm down, and stop screaming. I hope you know this is too grown up for you. Do you understand?
Caillou: Yes Daddy.
Daddy: Okay, let's get in the car.
I was speechless. I watched the rest anyway. It showed Grandma going into the house, and Caillou, Mommy, Daddy, and Gilbert in the car. Daddy drove. This was silent and boring. After 12 seconds of driving in the car, Caillou had a flashback. It showed Caillou as a 2-year-old with the season 1 animation. He was with Gilbert, and Caillou looked happy.
Young Caillou: I love you Gilbert. You're the best!
As Caillou pets Gilbert, Gilbert licks Caillou in return for love.
The screen fades to white, and Caillou, his parents, and Gilbert were in a green room with a white couch. Gilbert has a band around one of his paws. As the doctor walked in, it was... weird.
Doctor: Hello you guys, I heard that Gilbert had a Kidney Failure. First, we will give Gilbert Saline. Then, we will give him the medicine that makes him pass away.
Caillou: NO!!! HE'S NOT DYING!!!
Daddy: Caillou, cut it out. I told you that we have to do this!
Caillou: I'M NOT LETTING HIM GO!!!
Mommy: Caillou, stop it now! Listen to your father!
Caillou: Okay, let him die, like I don't care. *sighs*
I watched in horror as the saline was injected.
Doctor: Here's the Shot that puts him to sleep.
The 2nd injection was worse. I was scared about this, cartoon or not.
Caillou lost it. He was crying uncontrollably at Gilbert's soon to be dying.
The doctor checked him with her stethoscope.
Doctor: He's gone. That was quick.
Mommy, Daddy, and especially Caillou, were all crying.
Caillou: (sobbing heavily) YOU WERE MY BEST FRIEND, GILBERT!
The screen faded to white, and this wasn't a flashback. Caillou was with Gilbert in a white room with no walls. The room turned dark. Suddenly, Gilbert faded into nothing.
Caillou: Gilbert! *gasp* where is he?*hic* he's gone!*hic*
Caillou started to walk in a straight motion, despite this scene looked more like a flash on Newgrounds when compared to the show's regular animation. This went on for a minute, with violin music playing in the background. This stopped when Caillou was pale, and was almost skeleton thin.
Caillou: (says raspy and dry) Gilbert...
The screen faded to Gilbert on a cloud, sleeping. A soft heavenly voice chuckled. The screen faded to black, with Caillou crying in the background. It faded back with Caillou in a hospital. He was pale and looked like he was going to die.
Mommy: Caillou, You are too young to die, you're only 7.
Caillou was 7 now? Well, it looked like Gilbert died 3 years ago.
Daddy: We love you, no matter what.
Caillou: I know. I will see Gilbert soon.
Rosie: Caillou, I love you.
Caillou: I.."breathes heavily"
Caillou: Yes Mom?
Caillou: What Mom?!
Mommy: ADOPTED!!! "sobs"
Daddy: We adopted you from an orphanage. You were a baby born with cancer. We couldn't bear to see you suffer without parents, so we adopted you.
Caillou: i ....love...you...
Caillou closed his eyes and stopped breathing. Mommy, Daddy, and Rosie were all crying extremely hard. I actually felt sorry for him. The episode ended with a shot of them crying. The credits rolled silently and they weren't than fun to watch either. It was just white text in Comic Sans scrolling on a black background. I only recognized the names of half of the people in the credits, the other half were people that I had never heard of. The copyright date was 2005, the year that season 4 came out. The screen turned to static. I watched the static until it stopped after 4 minutes. the regular schedule came on after the episode.
The next day, I woke up and heard my brother had strep throat. My Dad had to stay home from work that day. I spent the day (with my Dad's permission) to go on the computer and contact Sprout about it. Remember that it was 2009, so I contacted PBS kids and PBS as well. (NBCUniversal bought Sprout in 2013) All 3 didn't know what I was talking about sadly. I gave up and returned to my normal summer routine.
I'm still scared of that Caillou episode, but not as much as before. I did some research on Caillou as well, but now I don't because I gave up.
Well, that about sums it up. If you've ever seen this episode before, let me know!