daphne1
I was wondering if anyone had experienced anything like what I am going through.  On October 21, a beautiful sunny Friday, our 16 year old cat, Louie, wanted to go outside.  We have four other cats and all of them like to go outside but Louie always stayed close to our house or my mother's backyard deck(we live across the street from my mother.)  Since it was early in the day, I let him out thinking he would be right home.  My husband saw Louie in our yard around noon.  At 2:30 I went to my mother's to bring him home.  When I went in her backyard, my heart dropped-he was not on the deck which was his usual spot.  I knew right then he was gone.  I searched all that day, into the night and for the following week, every day.  We put up fliers, put him on Facebook and other various pet finding sites, all with no luck.  He was an elderly cat on thyroid medicine but did not appear sick, only skinny. He has been gone a month and I know he is not coming back but everyday I torture myself thinking about what could have happened to him.  If he was lost, I feel I would have found him.  Many people (including our vet)say that sometimes cats go away to die but I am haunted by the thought that someone took him.  We live in a quiet neighborhood and everyone knows our cats so I don't know why this thought runs through my mind.  We've had them die before but I feel this is worse because I don't know what happened and I have no closure.  I keep thinking "If only I didn't let him out" or it was cold that day and he would have been in the house this wouldn't have happened.  Anyone here have anything like this happen and if so, how did you deal with it?  The grief and guilt I am feeling is overwhelming.  Thank you for listening.
anita taylor
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jimmy17
Hi Anita, I am so sorry about Louie - not knowing what has happened to him must be heartbreaking for you.   When I was around 12 years old, we had a Welsh Border Collie dog named Shep, who we had taken in as a stray around 2 years previously - he was only a young dog and he had been following me to and from school and sleeping outside our home until we eventually took him in after trying to find his owner.   Two years later, my mum had let him out into the back garden and within a few minutes he`d managed to dig a hole underneath the fence and had gone.  We never found out what happened to him, but I remember we were all devastated - especially mum who felt so guilty for a long time after..
  Like your vet, I have also heard that cats sometimes go away to die - maybe Louie felt the need to be alone?  But whatever has happened its not your fault - you let him out just as you had so many times before, and you have done everything possible to try and find him.  Right now you are grieving Louie - and when we grieve all sorts of things go through our mind including guilt.  It will take time, but you will get to a more peaceful place when you will be able to look back at all the happier times you shared with Louie. Once again, I am so sorry.

                                                                                              Sending you peace and hugs, Jackie.
J Taylor
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daphne1
Thank you Jackie.  Your kind words really mean a lot to me and they were very helpful.  I'm sure you are right; in time things will get easier. Right now I just have to get through each day as best as I can.

Thanks again,

Anita
anita taylor
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Bailey15
Hi Anita,
I am so sorry for what you are going through. You have done everything you can to try and find Louie so you can take comfort in that. I really sympathize. I lost my cat years ago when I was away on a trip and had taken Buffy to stay with my parents. My dad didn't realize she was an indoor cat and he let her out on the deck. She never came back. They looked everywhere and were so upset picking me up at the airport. It was the worst feeling not knowing what had happened and thinking of so many possibilities so I do understand those horrible feelings. I think you need to tell yourself that you are not going to let your mind go to dark places. Perhaps Louie became disoriented and someone is feeding him. Cats will stay around a place if they are being fed. And yes, there is the sad possibility that he knew it was his time so he looked to go out and left. I know it is so, so difficult!
I will pray that you are able to get some closure.
Hugs, MJ
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Eileennellie
My mom has had many cats leave when they were old or sick. It's in their nature to try to go be alone when they know they are nearing the end. Please don't feel bad about letting him out. He was likely very pleased that he was able to do what he wanted. On the day we had to euthanize my dog, Paris, she did try to just walk up the driveway, like she was going to leave. Animals know what they are doing, and they definitely don't want us to feel guilt or sadness, only the love that we shared with them.
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daphne1
Thank you everyone for your kind words and thoughts.  I have so many signs and posters up around town that I think if anyone was feeding him, thy would call me.  We had a lot of calls during the first 2 weeks but the cats were never Louie.  We usually walk our dogs at 4 am so I am listening when I am outside for any noises he might make.  At this point, I've resigned myself to the fact that he is probably gone for good.  On a good day, I only cry 5 or 6 times a day.  Thanks again to everyone who responded; every little bit helps.
anita taylor
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Gertie
Just reading your post brings back memories of my cat Tiger. My family mover to Florida, a beautiful new home and new start. Tiger was our joy and a beautiful orange tiger cat, he ruled the household. He was not happy with our move and was very up set. I let him out on the lanui by the pool to roam. I did not know there was a cat door on the pool lanui from the previous owner. Tiger got out and never returned. We were all devastated. Being in a new home, new town I knew we would never find him. The guilt and pain was just awful. That was 13 years ago. The only way I way I could find peace was to think of tiger at the rainbow bridge, having fun and smiling down on me. I hope you too can forgive yourself.Your little guy is in a better place, safe and smiling down on you. Keep his memory close. Remember he was loved to the end.

Gertie.xx
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daphne1
Thanks you so much Gertie.  You are right, the pain and guilt is overwhelming.  It's the not knowing for sure what happened that is killing me.  if I knew for sure he was at the rainbow bridge, I could accept it but thinking about the other options is the worse thing in the world.  I am trying to heed everyone's advice and I thank each and everyone one for weighing in with their thoughts.
anita taylor
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