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Could my cat have been saved if I found her sooner?

(67 Posts)
Zoonose Wed 28-Nov-12 11:53:21

I am trying to get over the death of my cat who I think was hit by a car outside our house on Friday night.

We did not find her until 10am on Saturday morning despite going out searching about 9.30 on Friday night (we last saw her at 6pm Friday) and again at 7.30am on Saturday. She was lying in a gap between two bushes at the edge of a little park across the road from our house - I guess either someone had moved her off the road and put her there or she had crawled there.

What is bothering me greatly is whether if I had found her on Friday night at 9.30 and she had been run over, if taking her to a vet could have saved her. She had no visible injuries other than one slightly bleeding claw; her eyes were open and her tongue was poking out of the side of her mouth. I can only guess that she was hit - I can't think of another explanation. She would usually have been in at that time of night or have come back if called. And I was out calling her at 9.30: I am trying to persuade myself that if she was conscious then she would have answered me, and also if she was injured and could make it to the park, she could have made it to our house.

I don't know, I don't know if anyone can know really. Because I could see no visible injuries I don't know how she died. May seem like a silly question, but can a cat die from the impact alone of a collision without showing external injuries? I hate the thought that she was injured and couldn't move and died in the park in that freezing night (it was very cold that night) when we were only about 10 feet away inside our house. Or that she died in pain and cold and could have been saved if I had just shone a torch there when I was out looking for her in the evening. I must have walked past her several times.

I also deeply regret not trying harder to make her wear a collar with a phone number on it: if I knocked a cat down and it had a number on it I would call it to let the owner know. She was microchipped but that's no help unless she was in a vet's.

Sorry, a bit rambly. It's been a real shock and I feel responsible for her death. It's enough that she has died without feeling like it might have been preventable by me.

Horsemad Wed 28-Nov-12 20:33:32

Sorry about your cat Zoonose it's such a horrible shock when something like this happens.

ILoveSparklers Wed 28-Nov-12 20:41:36

I'm so sorry about your cat. Mine died pretty much instantly from car collision with no visible external injuries. He was my baby and I miss him dearly. 9 months on it's easier to cope without seeing him everyday but instill think about him lots and dream of him. My thoughts are with you.

Zoonose Wed 28-Nov-12 20:53:49

So sorry about your cat too ILoveSparklers

It sounds silly but I don't think I had realised quite how much it would hurt and how much I would miss her. Like my four year old said, 'But I didn't think our cat would ever die, Mummy, I thought she would be here forever and ever.' I knew cats didn't live forever but was more prepared to accept her dying in old age, in comfort, not violently and suddenly on a cold night. Given where she was, I wonder if she was on her way home sad

She was about 10 feet away from our house.

There are lots of little reminders here: her scratching post, her hair on the curtains in front of me where she used to squeeze through to sit on the windowsill, and some muddy pawprints on DS's windowsill where she climbed in his window one time recently.

tabulahrasa Wed 28-Nov-12 20:54:11

It was pretty horrible - though of course much worse for his poor owners.

I feed mine exactly the same, one is out half the day hunting, one goes in the garden if it's warm and sunny and waits for the other one to bring her back prey, lol. It's just what they do, they either go off and do at things or they don't.

mignonette Wed 28-Nov-12 20:56:43


I'm so sorry. My cat was found dead two weeks ago and we do not know what happened. He looked perfect. I am torturing myself in the same way.

Cats like many animals will crawl away and hide if sick or injured so maybe because your cat was out in the open albeit near bushes means a very quick death.

I wish I could ease your mind. It is clear that you loved your cat so much and i share your loss.


SecretNutellaFix Wed 28-Nov-12 21:00:31

I'm sorry. I have had 2 cats hit by cars and they were the same. It was pretty much near instant which is a mercy.

Fishandjam Wed 28-Nov-12 21:01:05

I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. It's heartbreaking to lose a loved animal in this way. Our lovely cat died suddenly 6 years ago in similar circumstances - though she made it up the path towards us before keeling over (turned out to have been cardiac arrest rather than trauma). Big hugs to you.

mignonette Wed 28-Nov-12 21:06:34


The pain of losing my cat is terrible. I have had to take sick leave because coming so soon after my Fathers death, it is all too much. We found our cat quite some distance from a road lying peacefully in the middle of a concrete yard where he used to go all the time. He was on his side, no injuries, nothing. Like he'd just keeled over. he was there all night after he went missing and that haunts me because I know he died sometime between 10 a.m and 1600 p.m when I saw him. DH said it wasn't him that I saw but a discarded bag (it was quite some distance away and in a locked yard) and I didn't get the binoculars and check until 7 a.m the next day. I will never forgive myself for not checking but it was getting dank and foggy and I took DH word for it.

I miss him all the time. I took his food, flea treatments, scratch post, bowls and mats to the cat sanctuary but kept his Kong toys, fleeces and little catnip mice.

I'm so sorry.

bellarose2011 Wed 28-Nov-12 21:06:51

i also found my cat by the road the morning after she disappeared, she had no obviouse injuries buthte neighbour heard a car swerving by where we found her. i also always wondered if she had been there alive but its pointless torturing yourself.
you will feel better in time xxx

Fishandjam Wed 28-Nov-12 21:14:30

I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. It's heartbreaking to lose a loved animal in this way. Our lovely cat died suddenly 6 years ago in similar circumstances - though she made it up the path towards us before keeling over (turned out to have been cardiac arrest rather than trauma). Big hugs to you.

Zoonose Wed 28-Nov-12 21:15:43

I'm so sorry to hear about your cat too Mignonette

It's made me think a lot about our relationship with animals and how strong the connection is despite there being no language.

It is awful both the death and not knowing. I had hoped the same thing about her being in a space rather than hiding in the bushes.

I know it will never be OK that any of our cats died this way, it will just be something that has to be accepted.

Zoonose Wed 28-Nov-12 21:20:40

I cross posted with a few people there including your second post Mignonette. I can well understand how you are feeling. I am so sorry for the loss of your father too. The timing is horrible. After finding and burying my cat on Saturday I found out on Sunday that my grandfather is in hospital dying. It's a lot to deal with all at once. It must be awful for you not knowing whether he was hit or not, or what happened. Much sympathy.

So sorry to hear of all these losses sad

mignonette Wed 28-Nov-12 21:22:36

It will feel less overwhelming in time. I hope....I am thinking of you Zoo and everybody else on here. The connection, companionship and support they give is inestimable. We are now finding that out aren't we?

I never expected grief and pain like this. And I am not displacing losing my father onto my cat. The two are separate.

Hoping that you will soon think of your cat with smiles instead of tears. It would have been quick. You'd have seen evidence of your cat dragging himself about, lots of mud or dirt on him, marks on the ground etc and it really reads as though it was swift.

mignonette Wed 28-Nov-12 21:23:27

Oh Zoo

So much, so close together. I am so so sorry.

ILoveSparklers Wed 28-Nov-12 21:25:25

I buried some of his toys and blankets with him bit I have a memory box, we kept finding his whiskers everywhere after he died and I've placed photos and reminders of him in it. Too painful to look at now but one day I will. I so know what you mean about thinking they would just be there... I used to imagine him sleeping in my sons bed as my son got older. My Son is only 3 and doesn't remember him. It's a lesson in life I guess... Nothing lasts forever and need to make each day count with those you love smile

mignonette Wed 28-Nov-12 21:29:00

I keep finding little pieces of shed claw. He used to fight other cats and return home swaggering like John Wayne with other cats fur and claw bits caught up in his coat....grin

And there's still white fur and fluff everywhere! And fish shaped cat treats no matter how much I hoover and sweep......

ILoveSparklers Wed 28-Nov-12 21:29:28

I haven't even washed the top I was wearing when I found him and held him... Silly I know.

mignonette Wed 28-Nov-12 21:36:01

Not silly. Definitely not. I have left Thomas's catnip mouse by the kitchen skirting board along with a rolled up piece of paper that we used to use to prop up the wonky kitchen table leg. He was batting that across the floor the morning he died.....

Zoonose Wed 28-Nov-12 21:41:39

We have been through all our photos on the computer over most of the last 10 years and extracted every one where she features, even where she's just in the background while the photo was of something else. I am going to montage them to make one big picture, so in a way I can see all of her life with us all at once. Yet at the same time I can't believe I am having to do that and would give anything to have her back. It has even crossed my mind 'what if it wasn't her and I made a mistake and she'll just turn up again?' ... although I know it was.

I really sympathise with everyone here. Although it is so sad to hear of all these losses there is some small comfort in knowing we aren't alone.

I had had the same ideas too ILoveSparklers about the children growing up with our cat around. They loved waving a shoelace for her to catch.

ILoveSparklers Wed 28-Nov-12 21:41:40

smile, sometimes wish there was a "like" button on this forum.

ILoveSparklers Wed 28-Nov-12 21:43:22

We have a couple of pics of him running in the snow last them Jo on the kitchen so I get to see him every morning when I go downstairs smile

Zoonose Wed 28-Nov-12 21:43:54

Me too.

ILoveSparklers Wed 28-Nov-12 21:44:17

I think it's difficult when they are young and had so much life to live...only 3.

Zoonose Wed 28-Nov-12 21:44:27

The 'like' button not the snow pictures that is.

Zoonose Wed 28-Nov-12 21:45:44

3 ... that really is very young. Mine was 10 which felt young enough as she was still very lively and not at all 'senior' despite liking the senior cat food. 3 is not much more than a kitten.

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