April 4, 2021 at 6:18 am #377168
A little while ago a kitten happened to visit our home. We took him in to our abode and he was living with us ever since. Two days back, in the morning, the kitten was attacked by a few dogs right in front of our house. I chased the dogs away and carried him in my arms inside our home. Though there were no considerable injuries, he was shell shocked and traumatised by the whole event. I tried comforting him, but within few minutes he passed away, right in front of my eyes. I never expected this to happen. I was convinced I had saved him just in time.
I am feeling extremely sad and numb for the past few days. I am unable to eat or sleep. I am feeling guilty about the whole episode. I feel as if I didn’t do enough. The whole scene keeps replaying in my mind. I can still hear and recall his last cries. Above all, I miss him. I miss his presence in our home. He was so little and so cute.
How do I cope with this? How do I move on?
srkApril 4, 2021 at 10:27 am #377189
I am sorry that you lost your kitten. Some of your anguish since is about trying to save him, chasing away the dogs, carrying him back to the house, checking to see if he was significantly injured, seeing no such injuries, thinking you saved him… only to watch him pass away:
Your efforts to save him failed and it makes you feel powerless, your best efforts having failed, doesn’t it?
When we feel powerless we also feel anxious. There is fear when we are unable to change or prevent bad situations. Do you relate to what I suggested here?
anitaApril 5, 2021 at 1:27 am #377221
Yes, I can completely relate to what you have suggested.
When those scenes keep replaying in my mind, I ask “what if?” or “if only”. There was about 10 minutes of time between me carrying him indoors and him passing away. Why didn’t I take a different action in that ensuing time? I ask myself why didn’t I foresee it?
Also, I am angry at fate or the Universe or any higher power there is, for having cut short his young and innocent life in such a cruel manner.
srkApril 5, 2021 at 8:39 am #377230
Regarding what killed your kitten: I read that people who died following a very scary experience, died not from fear itself, but from the fear affecting a pre-existing heart condition. It makes sense because almost all people who suffer terrible panic attacks do not die. I am wondering if your kitten had a weak heart.
cat health. com reads: “Feline cardiac or heart disease is the silent killer of cats. One in six cats can be born with or develop heart disease in its lifetime. Heart disease can be broadly defined as any abnormality of the heart, and therefore includes a wide range of conditions… Heart disease can be.. congenital (present at birth or near birth) or acquired (develop over time and with age).”
Under “Lifestyle Changes” on the same website, it says: “Environmental stress may activate the nervous system, placing excess stress on the already overstressed left ventricle, and possibly leading to heart failure”- the left ventricle is part of the heart, and the dogs barking at your kitten constituted a severe environmental stress for your cat.
Regarding your guilt feelings about your kitten’s passing, you may find something helpful in the website healing pet loss. com. Even though you did not cause your pet’s death, parts of the following website may be helpful to you: hoping for. com/ dealing with guilt when you caused your pet’s death.
Will you look into these websites, take your time and let me know what you got out of it?
anitaApril 5, 2021 at 8:56 am #377231
Thanks for sharing these links. I will read those articles and get back to you!
srkApril 5, 2021 at 9:05 am #377232
You are welcome, srk. I will read from you when you get back to me.
anitaApril 5, 2021 at 11:44 pm #377264
I read most of the comments on that article on hoping for.com. The comments are truly heart wrenching.
Few of the things I concluded after reading those comments are that every pet owner is trying to give his/her best to their pet. Everybody on there loved their pets unconditionally. But sometimes things just didn’t work out. Sometimes our best is not enough.
Our pets always deserve better. I just hope every pet that has ever crossed over, has found bliss in another world.
srkApril 6, 2021 at 7:27 am #377277
There is a special, simple love/ relationship between a man and his pet, one that is free from the complications, disruptions and dishonesty that to often exist in human love/ relationships. It is an honest, innocent kind of love.
Anytime you want to post about your cat, or about anything, please do.
anitaApril 6, 2021 at 8:17 am #377280
I agree with you. Maybe that’s the reason I have more affinity towards animals than with other human beings.
There are times, when I am overwhelmed by his memories. The memories come in waves. The place where he used to sleep, his antics, his cries for food, etc. I become dysfunctional during those times and tear up, hoping he comes back. I am too scared to let go of his memories, because somewhere I feel it would be disloyal to him.
I guess there’s no specific timeframes to recover from these sort of episodes.
srkApril 6, 2021 at 9:02 am #377282
Those waves of memories and emotion, when you become dysfunctional and tear up, try to not be afraid of those waves: you survived them and you will continue to survive them. You are okay and you will be okay.
About being disloyal to your kitten if you let go of his memories- if what you mean by it is that every once in a while you forget about him, and then you remember and you feel disloyal because you forgot- I suggest that you decide to think about him every day at a specific time and place, let’s say at 4 pm at home/ elsewhere, and decide that it is okay if you don’t think about him at other times. Does this make sense?
anitaApril 6, 2021 at 4:54 pm #377299
Okay. I will give it a try.
srkApril 6, 2021 at 5:18 pm #377300
Let me know how it works. Again, I am sorry that you lost your kitten. You loved him and you still do, even though you don’t think about him all the time (no one thinks about any other person or pet all the time, it is not possible and it is not useful).
anitaApril 16, 2021 at 4:37 am #377845
I am feeling a little better now. The worst of the grief has subsided. My mind and soul has come to terms with it. The grief has now evolved to gratitude. I feel thankful to my cat for illumining my life, albeit for a short while. Everything around me feels more appreciable than before. I am more patient and calmer while dealing with other living beings. The whole experience has evolved me into a better person.
Every once in a while, whenever his memories recur, they are the happier ones.
srkApril 16, 2021 at 5:20 am #377851
You are welcome, and thank you for updating your thread with such a positive, inspiring post. What a positive legacy your cat left behind: because he was in your life, you are now a better person, more appreciative, patient and calmer while dealing with other living beings.
It might be a good idea for you to print your recent post into paper, put it in a small frame and place it on a desk, or hang it on the wall in your room, so you can re-read it every morning as a meditative way to start each day.
anitaApril 16, 2021 at 6:18 pm #377895
That seems like a good idea. I will do that!