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Six month old kitten run over - grief and guilt stricken. Loooong, sorry.

(24 Posts)
Gibbous Wed 10-Apr-13 12:44:39

In absolute bits after my darling youngest cat was run over and killed (still can't believe I'm saying this) on Monday night. The driver wasn't at fault, was incredibly kind, wrapped him up, brought him in and even took me to the vets and back (nearby, I'm car-less at mo, I need to thank him in some way.)

I have really surprised myself at how utterly distraught I am over this, we only had him since just before Christmas and he was meant to be really for my son but I have been crying ever since and feeling sick. The only other time I have felt like this is when I've had a relationship breakdown, I didn't have such a direct physical response even when my own mother died, possibly because it was expected and less of a shock.

Part of it is because he was so young and I was going through the anger stage yesterday as it was the first decent weather we'd had since he was born, and he would have loved it, he deserved so much more life, and I enabled that to be cut short (will get to the guilt in a bit).

Another part is that he really was extremely special. I have two other cats who I love just as dearly but they are pretty independent, sleep on my bed but that's about it. Thor was extremely mischievous, full of character and lively but equally was a real companion cat, wanted to be carried around, happily cradled like a baby (there's a clue!), would wrap himself around my neck, purring asleep and burrow right underneath the duvet so he was snuggled next to me. I have realised this is what I need, a companion, but obviously not thinking about the reality of this at any time soon.

Our morning routine became this: Alarm, Thor pulled at duvet to be let under, I'd lift it up and he'd run down and settle next to me (I have a photo taken only the morning before he died of his little furry paws wrapped around my hand as I stroked him when he was sleeping under the duvet), I'd snooze then get up half an hour later, he'd get up with me, I'd pick him up and cuddle him as I made tea, he'd squeak for milk, I'd give him a splash before sitting down with my tea and he'd then jump on my lap, shoulder or chest to settle immediately and purr contededly, making it extremely difficult to get ready for work once I'd finished my tea!

I can only imagine as he got older he would become even more loving but I'll never know and that kills me. It also kills me that he will never have that chance to play in the sun in the garden and really develop his life and happiness.

I let him escape out front and he was only a baby. I was putting some rubbish out and, knowing he sometimes liked to bolt out the door (never really did this with the back door funnily enough) I should have shut him in the living room to stop him doing it. Once he was out I tried calling him in but from previous experience knew this would be a long and fruitless process and had dinner on. Yes had dinner on, as if that was really important. The times he'd done it before and refused to come in while hiding somewhere unreachable I'd leave it for twently minutes, go back and he'd come in so I figured I'd do that. And I was probably complacent because we live on a reasonably quiet side road and my other two cats, along with many neighbouring ones, have always been ok. But he was just a baby really and a bit of a fearless one and I really should have known. I remember thinking to myself as he bolted to to th other side of the road this time that he would get in trouble someday and that I should have shut him in the living room to stop him and made a note to do so in future. But he didn't get a second chance and the pain of knowing I contributed to that is unbearable. He's now buried

The added problem is I am not a religious person, more scientifically minded. I have tried to comfort myself with thoughts of him being alive in a possible parallel universe or the fact his atoms and energy live on in a scientific sense but I really want to believe HE is up there, out there, somewhere at least having the life he should have had, having fun and playing and being loved. I can now see why reincarnation is such an attractive belief system. I would dearly love to think I could be reunited with him one day.

I am so sorry this is so long, just had to get it out.

dreamingofthefuture Wed 10-Apr-13 13:03:18

I am so sorry for your loss. I have a cat and a dog and the thought of anything happening to them makes me upset.

I think the grief can feel worse because pets become such a massive part of our lives and are always there so there becomes a void.

Sorry, can't really say much to comfort you but sending you hugs x

Gibbous Wed 10-Apr-13 13:11:07

Thank you Dreaming, I realise there's not much to say, I just needed to get it out. I think I've exhausted all my friends IRL!

I just keep thinking how very special he was and I will never find another cat like him, he was half Burmilla and more like a puppy, even friends who didn't like cats loved him.

I'm sure I will one day when the time is right and I am just being silly. I suppose it's just that he is so different to the other two.

Gibbous Wed 10-Apr-13 13:11:53

I am also going to ask the local RSPCA cat rescue centre about volunteering as a distraction and, I think, to help ease the guilt a little.

MrsGrumps Wed 10-Apr-13 14:59:16

I'm so sorry for your loss, I've been there too.

I've got two kittens, well not really kittens as they are 13 months now. And for the very reasons you put about them being hard to get in and wanting to explore a new enviroment they've so far not been allowed out. They have ample toys and amusements in the house and they look at the door when my older ones go out, but until I know they will not chase a leaf or something I'm retisent to let them out. I live on a road far busier than I would like but I'm saving to make my garden a cat only zone. I'll be installing Purr-fect fencing all around so they can be out and about at all times of their choice without being able to get out the garden any anywhere near the road.

I've lost too many on the roads, even a quiet cul-de-sac where I thought I've have no troubles or that sort next to open fields, but also I hadn't factored in the mad old lady who would zoom up the road and eventually got my little lady, but that is another sad story.

((Hugs)) to you, grieving is the first step in a long road of recovery. He was loved and adored which is more than a lot of cats have, take peace in that.

StuffezLaBouche Wed 10-Apr-13 16:28:42

I'm so sorry for your loss. I think the thing with kittens is that they're so tiny and vulnerable but so independent , lively and curious. They just kind of bewitch you.
Please don't blame yourself and feel guilty, but I'm sure any cat rescue place would welcome your offer of help. Thinking of you x

Gibbous Wed 10-Apr-13 19:54:12

Thanks Grumps and LaBouche. I have had to rationalise this and be aware that even if I hadn't enabled him to bolt out and had only kept him in the back he may well have eventually got out to the front anyway and the consequences could have been worse with the driver not stopping or whatever. It's still utterly heartbreaking.

Now I have to ask, sorry but I have to. As mentioned my two older cats aren't really cuddly and companionable like he was. I realise there will never be another 'him' but how likely is it that one day I will be lucky enough to own one as friendly, cuddly and loving as he was?!

Gibbous Wed 10-Apr-13 19:56:12

I do feel a bit treacherous even asking that by the way, but I sorta need to also be assured in the knowledge that wasn't the only chance I will have for a baby substitute fluffy best friend.

MeDented Wed 10-Apr-13 20:11:57

I've been incredibly lucky and all the cats I've owned have been very loving and sociable and so full of personality even friends that didn't like cats loved them. My last cat sadly died a year and half ago aged 19. A few months later we got 2 kittens supposedly for the children. Brother and sister kittens, boy cat is very loving and follows DS to bed every night but enjoys cuddles from everyone. Girl cat is far more choosy, can be very affectionate when she feels like it but most of the time prefers to ignore us unless we are feeding her. That made me realise all my previous cats were boys. Could just be my experience?

StuffezLaBouche Wed 10-Apr-13 20:13:25

Oh you will. Mine is similar. If I hold him cradled in my arms he doesn't squirm to get down, he pads my nose and just looks as me. I have no children and in a strange kind of way, I would rather cuddle my baby kitten than a baby.
You are not being treacherous at all - we have pets because they inspire a desire in us to nurture and give love and protect.

Gibbous Wed 10-Apr-13 20:33:19

Ah thanks both (great name MeDented!). In my younger experience boy cats have been the most affectionate,although there were exceptions, I just think I've probably had an unusual experience as an adult with the older two both being not overly cuddly. When the time comes I will come on here to ask the experts in how to choose a supercuddly creature smile

Thinking about it he was really quite uncat like in his affection, no padding or bumpy heads or rubby cheeks, just would plop on your lap to be stroked and purr.

Mumcentreplus Wed 10-Apr-13 20:48:40

I'm so sorry Gibbous it's never easy to lose someone you love, take care and remember all the good times you had with him even if it was only brief <hugs>
MeDented in my experience boy cats are more affectionate, especially when they are young and territory free..I still think fondly about 2 male cats I had as a child both super floppy and fun to be around..we even gave a kitten we had away totally pure black and beautiful one of the most agreeable cats I have ever had the privilege to know smile

dobby2001 Wed 10-Apr-13 21:18:53

Oh Gibbous I am so sorry for your loss.Thor sounds such a special kitty and they get to your heart so quickly. It is hard now and there are always what ifs, but it does get slowly easier, and your memories of Thor will always be therex

dobby2001 Wed 10-Apr-13 21:19:30

Oh Gibbous I am so sorry for your loss.Thor sounds such a special kitty and they get to your heart so quickly. It is hard now and there are always what ifs, but it does get slowly easier, and your memories of Thor will always be therex

Gibbous Wed 10-Apr-13 21:27:31

Thanks Dobby, they do, they really do, and they leave such an aching loss. I really do hope I'll find another as special as him one day. Mumcentred, he was black too, very silky fine black fur due to his Burmilla mum, but with a tiny white star on his tummy. Bless x

dobby2001 Thu 11-Apr-13 14:48:27

How are you feeling today Gibbous?

NeverTooManyCats Thu 11-Apr-13 18:55:12

Hi Gibbous, I am so sorry for your loss.

I found that male kitties are more willing to be "babied" and coddled. My 1 1/2 year old cat is just like you described Thor. I find female cats a lot more independant and aloof if that makes sense, male kitties always seem to want the snuggles.

Thinking of you

BruceyBaby Thu 11-Apr-13 22:43:13

Hi Gibbous,

I am an old mumsnetter but it's been so long that I lost my details (memory failing clearly!) so have just rejoined. I can completely empathise with you as tragically I lost my lovely Bruce last Wednesday when he too was killed by a car on the road behind my house. He would have been two on 14 April. He also was so affectionate and would follow me everywhere. He'd head into bed into his basket next to my side of the bed at the same time as me. He'd follow me if I needed the bathroom in the night and then head back to his basket when I got back into bed. He'd be everywhere I'd be and would give me lovely affectionate kisses (rubs) all the time. During the night/early hours of Wednesday morning I thought it was strange that he was not in his basket but did notice he'd done this a couple of times lately (he'd discovered hunting and been bringing me little "presents"!) so wasn't overly worried, but when I got up for work on Wednesday morning he wasn't there so thought I'd take the route to work behind my house where the road was (I never opened my back patio doors - only let both cats, him and his sister Holly out of the front into our cul de sac) just to put my mind at rest that he hadn't been hurt, but of course he had been, and he was up against a fence away from the road where someone must have lifted him to. The shock was terrible ... just couldn't believe my lovely boy was dead. He was such a character and so so loving. I am feeling terribly guilty as I kept both kittens indoors for 14 months and only let them out in August but kept the cat flap closed from nightfall. I decided to open the flap only recently as Bruce drove me demented from about 3am wanting to go out and would keep up his nagging for a couple of hours so I relented and left it open. I figured there are a number of cats in our cul de sac that are out all night and have been for years so thought they'd both be ok. Am really kicking myself I gave into pressure. Although too late for Bruce, I now close it at 10pm for Holly. Bruce was fearless and I think the lure of the field over the road was too tempting for him. I really didn't think they would venture over there as I've seen none of the cats in our cul de sac venture over.

Having seen your post just wanted to offer my condolences to you as I know just what you're going though. We have had two other cats in the past and in my experience the boys have been the most affectionate and although the girls are lovely and friendly, they seem to be more independent and want attention on their terms. All the best sad

Gibbous Fri 12-Apr-13 17:01:48

Hi all,
Sorry, I’ve had work and other distractions. Actually not looking forward to the weekend or next week when I am on quite a boring conference as there will be more time to think.

I am feeling much better thanks Dobby but that sort of horrible hollow sicky low level depression feeling has really taken hold so while I’m not fighting to control tears and intrusive thoughts of guilt I constantly have a hollow ache in the pit of my stomach.

Bruceybaby, jeez my heart really goes out to you, I am so sorry for your loss too. I’ve found it comforting to think about how their little spirits live on and are happy even if they leave us not so much and how they would not want us to feel guilty. I really hope you get through the pain too and am virtually holding your hand.

The way I am feeling now is ridiculous really and I need to get a grip. Someone at work mentioned today about how they were glad to be working in our new office because they could stop off at the pub on the way home and I had this weird feeling (more feeling than thought) about how that wasn’t really a welcome option now Thor has died.

I can only put it down to a combination of two things. One that I have never had this immediate and physical sense of grief outside a relationship break up so maybe there is some weird automatic brain link there and also the fact that I have recently come out of an extremely stressful and often traumatic job into one I love and how absolutely happy I’ve been and now this, so that happiness has been cut short.

I found a new walk home from work, a really lovely picturesque one on Monday and was feeling so happy going home that day. I haven’t been able to face that walk again.

Reading this it’s more than the loss isn’t it? I get the feeling it’s triggered depression perhaps, I have previous for this, and that maybe I should seek some doctor’s advice.

Thank you for your lovely kind words, you’re great x

dobby2001 Fri 12-Apr-13 17:08:16

Gibbous I didnt want to read and run. It does sound like Thors death has triggered something for you, I am so sorry that has happened. I hope you are able to find some help and support to get you through.

Bruceybaby, I am so sorry for your loss too. I have always let me cats out the back,rather than front as we have the almost oppostie to you. Yet Florrie still managed to go missing and get trapped in a building I had no idea she went anywhere near. I think no matter what you do, they can find ways of getting to places as it is in their nature to explore.

Take care of

gobbin Fri 12-Apr-13 22:55:17

Sorry to hear about your poor boy.

BruceyBaby Sat 13-Apr-13 12:22:40

Hi Gibbous ...thanks for your kind words - and to you dobby2001. It is hard but being busy seems to help take my mind of things. I remember being distraught when I lost my girl cat Polly after 12 years as I was extremely close to her. She was prickly with everyone else but not with me and followed me everywhere. I couldn't believe how upset I was and cried solidly for 2 weeks when she died (was unexpected ... thought she had a bad tooth but turned out she had complete kidney failure). I'm sorry Gibbous that you're feeling so low. I guarantee given time you'll feel much better but will never forget Thor who sounded absolutely wonderful. I will miss Bruce for a long time ... he too was very unique. Take care flowers

Gibbous Sat 13-Apr-13 18:24:45

Hi again all,

I really need to say again thank you so much for all your kind words, it is such a comfort when there are lovely people like you in the world. How are you today Brucey?

I think I've turned a bit of a corner and it is in large part thanks to this advice about coping with gulit which I came across on a web search. Brucey or anyone else dealing with grief might also find the rest of the site useful.

I have also realised things could have been far worse. One thing I neglected to mention was that Thor couldn't really miaow properly, even though he had a loud purr and a growl when he was being possessive about his favourite toy (!), he just sort of squeaked or nothing would come out. That and his curiosity made me worry that if he ever needed help he might not have been able to alert anyone to his plight. We found him stuck up high in a tree once and despite being right next to it my son could only just make out his little squeak. We get a lot of notices in my neighbourhood about missing cats, it is terraced housing with lots of gardens backing onto one another, and for people to check sheds etc. One of my older cats went missing as a kitten a few years ago and I found him stuck on a roof two streets away but only by calling him and hearing him responding.

So what I am getting to is this. As awful and tragic as his death was perhaps it is the lesser of two evils with the very possible alternative that Thor might have ended up stuck and lonely somewhere and dying of starvation. At least he was picked up by a lovely kind man who wrapped him in his coat and he died with me comforting him and now he is buried near the house with his favourite toy. It is a small but important comfort. I've also filled in a volunteering form to give to the local RSPCA tomorrow and I found this thread which again has a lot of comforting words, and a happy ending from Sparkingbrook, I don't know if she will see this but thank you Sparkling for your story about the grey cat smile.

Just a shame I haven't got a spare few million to try this

And again massive thanks to all of you for being so kind to a rambling mad cat lady thanks x

BruceyBaby Sun 14-Apr-13 20:56:25

I'm fine thanks Gibbous ... sorry to take so long to reply. I try not to think of things too much but know I'll be sad for some time but won't forget. Glad to hear you're feeling a bit better and I'm sure you'll be fine, albeit still upset which is understandable. Despite the fact Bruce's death was tragic, I take comfort (in a small way) that he was found immediately and not lost. I would have been frantic with worry not knowing where he was and if he was all right. Also he looked as though he was just asleep and given the circumstances, he could have been found in a much worse condition than he was so I am grateful for that. Take care flowers x

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