Is it my fault that my cat died?

by Shelley Kong
(France)

I used to have 3 spayed cats and one of them, a skittish one, liked to run out and hide in the gutter. Every time I had to go out to find her since I lived near a road that can be quite busy.

Then I moved to a house with a fenced yard and I thought this cat would be happy. After moving, I put the 3 cats in a room and on the 3rd day, I taught them to use the flap. The skittish one was on a lead, the other two were not. For the first two times, they only stayed outside a few minutes and rushed back. The third time, I let them all out and the skittish one without a leash. They all came back. But alas, when I tried again the fourth time, around 9pm, the skittish one hid under some compost. I was tired and thought that I would find her the next morning, like in the old house. However I did call her during the night and for the rest of the four days, I looked for her, calling her name in the yard and the neighbouring streets. On the fifth day, on my way on work, about 2 miles from the house, I found her body with her hind leg broken!!!!
I have been blaming myself ever since. I should have kept her inside for a long time.
I should have looked for her immediately.
I should have put an identification collar on her. ( Though I know that she is very scared of strangers and no one could have captured her.)

Reply
Hi
I am so sorry for your loss, I know how painful it can be when we lose a pet.
Blame is one of the natural responses we have to loss, you have heard no doubt about the steps we all go through when we lose some one:
Denial
Anger
Bargaining
Depression
Acceptance
So the emotion you are going through is part of the anger part. Why did this happen whose fault is it, did i do something wrong, could i have done something more.
This will pass and you will slowly move towards the acceptance of what happened.
Cats are cats we can’t wrap them up in cotton wool all the time, I know that is hard, I know how i feel when one of my cats doesn’t come home at his normal time. But if we love them we have to let them be cats.

Your cats accident was just that a accident, no ones fault. She may have been hit by a car or she may have fallen. Even if you had found her sooner it may still have been too late for her.

You must not blame yourself, sometimes these things happen. Grieve for your cat in the normal way and love and cherish your other cats.

Best wishes kate

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