I had to euthanize one of my cats this past Tuesday. It was the hardest thing I've ever had to do.
My fiance was coming home from work one night. The lights in the apartment weren't on. He opened the door and stepped on my cat's head.
She has had mobility issues for at least as long as I've had her. She cannot land on her feet or walk without a limp so I'm assuming this is why she didn't move when she heard the door unlock. I, myself, have tripped over her a few times and I'm always very aware of my surroundings.
My fiance is close to 300 pounds. My cat was visibly hurt (her mouth was bleeding) but she was otherwise acting herself.
I called the emergency vet line and explained the situation. They said it didn't sound critical and that I should just call the vet in the morning.
We watched her overnight and her condition worsened. She, at this point, was hungry and thirsty but couldn't open her mouth because of the pain.
I went to the vet as soon as they opened. The vet told me the rate just to check the extent of the damage (x-rays, bloodwork, sedatives etc) would be a minimum of $2 000.00.
Money has been tight so I called all over to see if anyone offered a payment plan. I couldn't find a vet that did. So, I called a medicare financing company and I was approved for $2 000.00.
She would for sure need a plate in her jaw but where the bone had broken he referred to it as "a vet's worst nightmare" because the prognosis for sucessful mending of the bone wasn't great.
This would mean several surgeries (and 6-12 weeks of healing time), a feeding tube, pain killers and lots of bloodwork and check ups and that the $2 000.00 wouldn't even begin to cover it.
I don't know much of her medical history as I inherited her from an ex boyfriend who told me when I left if I didn't take her he would bring her to a pound to be put down. So, without hesitation, I took her.
The vet told me also that because of her age (nearly 12) and her weight (she was a chubby girl) that recovery would be even less likely. He told me the only other option was to have her put to sleep. And he told me it was an emergency. I had to decide immediately what to do.
I was so devastated. I've been crying every day since it happened. I only just started getting out of bed yesterday and I've taken several days off work.
Seeing her being put to sleep was incredibly traumatic but I decided to be there with her because I felt it would be a disservice to her to have her die alone. Also with me was my fiance and our good friend. She was surrounded by people who loved her and we all held and pet her. We all cried. I was inconsolable.
She was such a sweet girl. I feel so much guilt. What I did, I did because I didn't want her to spend the rest of her life most likely living in constant pain. But it was the worst thing I've ever done.
There are so many unanswered questions and regrets...could she have made it through the first surgery successfully? Would pain meds be able to eliminate her pain? How much longer would she have lived if this didn't happen? Why couldn't my fiance have turned on the light as soon as he came in?
I wish I paid her more attention while she was around. We have another cat who is always wanting attention while she was more the type to come over once in awhile for a pet or a cuddle and then take off to sleep in her favourite basket. Maybe I should have done more to show her I loved her. Did she feel loved when she died? Was she afraid?
I was lucky, however, this past couple months she had started greeting me at the door when I would come home from work which she never used to do. She started coming over for cuddles more. I at least made sure to tell her I loved her every day before I left the house.
I miss her so much. On top of this happening, I am getting married in two weeks. So, I almost feel like I have a sort of schedule to grieve. I have to work, I have to plan and attend my wedding all while mourning the loss of my cat.
I have decided to set up a donation fund in leu of gifts for my wedding to be made to our local cat shelter in her name. I have started keeping a journal in which I write to her daily. I read pet loss self help books.
I have had some roadblocks along the way. I did post in another forum about what had happened to my cat and I was called an animal abuser and neglectful and I had someone tell me to never have children lest I mistreat them too.
I also called a pet bereavement hotline in which the man on the phone told me that in his 25 years he's never heard of a pet owner accidentally injuring their animal either by being stepped on or otherwise. He accused us of purposely harming her (I am an animal lover, vegetarian, cruelty free everything etc. etc. and for the record I would stand up for any animal if I were to see it being harmed), interrogated me about any other past and present pets asking "what I had done to them", asked me irrelavent questions such as my location and occupation and then accused me and my fiance of being drunk when it happened (I actually don't and cannot drink due to medication and he was coming home from work sober).
I had called this hotline hours after I came home from the vet. Needless to say, the guilt I've felt has been overwhelming when I've tried to reach out to people I thought could help me with coping skills or offer some sort of encouraging words or advice.
I did speak with a lady at the ASPCA and she was really kind and informative. But I still feel terrible and then having people accuse me of being an animal abuser is cutting.
I'm hoping someone can give me some advice on how to cope with loss/grief. At this point it seems to be coming in waves and as soon as I realize I'm enjoying an activity etc. I immediately think of my kitty and feel guilty.
Just looking for some help. Thank you.
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I am so sorry for the loss of your cat, please don't blame yourself  things happen that we can't understand or explain but when something terrible happens to our furry friends we tend to look at ourselves. The words "What if I" wont bring your kitty back, but know that he is there with  you in spirit. I lost Delano on Wednesday and he died during a neuter surgery and i also blamed myself. I felt guilty about eating and sleeping and even smiling the pain and the grief and the guilt is terrible. I was so bad that i got onto this website and looked and read some words of inspiration and the more i read the better i felt. I can't bring Delano back, but i feel him with me and your kitty is  letting me know he is ok and nothing you did caused it. If you sit real still i bet you can feel your kitty close to you. I think its Gods way of calling them back when he needs them. We just have them long enough for them to leave their pawprints on our hearts forever.

Monica S
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Oh honey I am so very sorry for your loss.  There is NO timetable for grief, so please don't try to rush it.  Tragic that this happened so close to your wedding, but life is like that and it doesn't seem fair.  You did what you had to do. All the money in the world doesn't help sometimes.  Someone here some time ago said it well------------"you took on her pain so that she could be free of pain".  You did the right thing as awful as it is to have to make that decision, I know all too well the pain you are going through.

No matter the circumstances, we ALL manage to place some degree of guilt on ourselves.  It is just part of all of this terrible place we find ourselves.  Try not to do that to yourself.  You loved your baby and that is all they ask of us.

I know my Molly, was waiting for your baby when she crossed over the Bridge.  Molly was raised by an old kitty and she loved them, she loved everyone.

I can NOT imagine anyone making accusations like you have experienced.  That is just unbelievable for anyone working in the bereavement field. No excuse at all for that.  I think you should report them to their bosses.  Everyone answers to someone.  You might prevent that from happening to someone else.  Please just disregard what has been said to you as best as you can.  You will NOT have that happen at this Forum. 

Here are the most wonderful people ever in the whole world.  No one EVER passes judgment. and we ALL understand what you are going through. 

I know you are going to have a tough time at your wedding with all this going on, but do try to have a wonderful day.  Take as long as you must to grieve.  It knows NO timetable.   I lost my Molly last Thanksgiving and I am still grieving deeply every day.  It takes time.

Take care of yourself and come here as often as you need to.  Sending you hugs and wishing you well.
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I am so very sorry for your loss, and am also angry that you have been called an animal abuser. How dare people make assumptions like that - accidents happen all the time and sadly cannot be prevented. Just know that you gave your kitty a good life - if you had not taken her in, she wouldn`t have had a life at all. Just take it a day at a time, it will slowly get a little better, but grief takes everyone differently, and has no timescale.   I think its a beautiful idea to set up a fund for your local cat shelter, as opposed to receiving gifts for your wedding, and writing a journal is very helpful - when we lost our dog 10 months ago I also started a journal, and I still write in it each day.  That, and finding this forum really saved my sanity - everyone here understands totally what you are going through right now. 
                                                                       Hugs, Jackie
J Taylor
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you did the right thing under the circumstances. as I read this last night I was fuming. it took me till today to respond. I have stepped on my cats and dogs a million times. this was not on purpose. this was a horrible and tragic accident. and for others to treat you like they did makes me furious. but then....I have to think. do I really care what strangers think? no way. I don't give a crap. so who matters? your boyfriend and family and close friends. and if they give you that crap I would write them off.

as for your grief.....I compare it to a roller coaster. up and down and sideways and upside down. it is like strap in because it is one hell of a ride. but this ride does end. I don't know how long it will take, but it will end. there will come a time when you have your fond memories but not fall to your knees with grief. I still tear up over past pets I lost, but it is not gut wrenching like it used to be.

hang in there. the guilt will kill you before the grief does. bad things happen in life. do we let that define our lives? do we let that prevent us from getting another furry friend? No. I will be getting a puppy in 5 weeks. I am ready to create new memories. the bond we have with then overweighs the sorrow we go through when they pass.

be easy on yourself. take your time. cry, yell, laugh..... it is all part of the process. take care
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