MorganC37
Good morning all

I’m new here and this is my first post. I moved to the US from the UK at the end of November. We brought our beautiful cat Dolly with us and she was settling in very well. She was a gorgeous semi long haired girl with the most beautiful lilac colour points and bright blue eyes. She was just over 1 and a half years old and was my baby, my little mate and my most cherished companion. From the moment she came to our family she has been everything to me and I’ve done everything to give her the best possible life and keep her safe. She was an outdoor cat at home but never ventured far and I have lost count of the times I’ve felt dread roaming the streets when I’ve thought she’s gone missing only to stroll home a short while later. But this week I failed her and now she’s gone. We moved into our new home on the 7th of December but quickly she didn’t seem her normal self and spent all day sleeping under the sofa. No cuddles no night time creeping into the bedroom to sleep by my feet. Earlier this week I took her out into our enclosed garden and she had a great time rolling around in the sun and laying under the dried up rose bush. We live in California in the high desert and had been told about coyotes so I stayed outside with her, it was the middle of the day and I brought her back in after a little while and shut the door. That night she scratched desperately at the door to go out but I’d agreed with my husband she could only go out to the garden supervised with one of us during the day. Each day after we followed the same routine in the afternoon and she had started to seem like her old self up until two days ago. On Saturday morning at around 11am my husband came down to make me a coffee and opened the door for the cat. He strolled out with her for a bit and then came in to bring my coffee up. We heard a loud scurry over the fence and there were 3 coyotes and two of them had her. We both ran down stairs shouting thinking they would drop her but they didn’t. My husband jumped the fence and gave chase but the three dogs split up and he tried to follow the one that had her but it was gone. I got the truck and we drove around the trails trying to find her, knowing it was already too late but we tried. I just can’t believe how quick it all happened, how brazen the coyotes were and how stupid and naive I was and I am responsible for my poor little girls death in such a terrible way. I can’t get the image of what they were doing to her out of my mind. I hate this house without her, I can’t bare to look outside. The last two nights I’ve felt her pawing my legs to get comfortable on the bed but of course it’s not her. I’ve left her dry food as it was in the bowl and keep expecting to see it eaten and her asleep on the sofa but I know it’s never going to happen. We drove out again yesterday hoping we might find her for some closure but the area is so vast and there’s no way of knowing which way the coyotes come from or anything. It’s almost Christmas and I’m thousands of miles away from my family and friends. I don’t want to be here without her but know nothing will bring her back. I’m so very sad. Thank you for reading
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Chinadoll
Your post brought me to tears, I can't even imagine what you are going through. It is so obvious the love and care you gave Dolly, please, please don't be hard on your self. I have had two outdoor cats, one still with me, and I always worried about them. They loved the outdoors, they never wanted to be inside. The stories here on this forum are heartbreaking, accidents, illnesses, lost pets, it happens. Sometimes there is no way to explain it or understand it, I know. Just know that Dolly loved your family, she knew how much she was cared for and how loved she was. She is still with you, in your heart, her spirit and soul lives on. My faith is that we will be reunited one day, forever. Please don't let guilt take away all the beautiful memories of love and joy you and Dolly shared. I believe they can visit, send signs to let you know all is well, they are safe and their love for you will never be broken. Blessings for you and your family.
Charlie
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shantismom
Morgan, I know that now you are in shock over what happened to your sweet Dolly.  If you ask anyone on this forum they will tell you that no matter what the circumstances there is always a sense of guilt that we feel.  Your loved your baby and I know she knew how much you did love her.
Now your baby is free from any pain, any distress, no upset or anything that would disturb her.  Try to remember that in the days ahead.  It is what helped me in the middle of my grieve.
Marlene
Marlene Wagner
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MorganC37
Thank you both from the bottom of my heart. Your kind words have been much needed today. I have been enjoying looking at the pictures and videos I have of her and remembering all her little adventures. She was the sweetest little darling I could ever have wished to call mine. Thank you again.
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MorganC37
This is my very favourite photograph of her.
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shantismom
Morgan, What a beautiful girl.  I have a big picture of my Shanti on my refrigerator.  He has been gone for over three years and time does do a work to ease the pain but I will always miss my sweet boy.  I can look at his picture now and smile instead of cry and you too will find that in time your memories will bring a smile.  It is a process and it does take time but Morgan you will get there and I know your sweet Dolly would want nothing but happiness for you.
Marlene
If you want you can look on the first page of the  post Here Is My beautiful Shanti to see a picture of my beautiful boy.
Marlene Wagner
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MorganC37
thank you once again for taking the time to reply to me. I just found your picture of Shanti and what a handsome little boy! I totally get your comment about his expression...cats certainly have a multitude of ‘looks’ dont they? I used to imagine what Dolly would say if she could speak with some of the faces she made.
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Robsy
Morgan, I am so terribly sorry for your loss. Your Dolly was a beautiful girl. I hope you find peace in your heart. Robyn
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macdrk
Morgan, I cant imagine what it must feel like to not be able to find her. My Tanner always liked to be held a certain way, nobody else seemed to be able to hold him like I could, there were times where he would throw a fit and only settle down if I picked him up and held him, as if that was all he wanted. I cant hold my baby anymore, but I do have his favorite blanket that he would sleep on. It smells like him, and I haven't let go of it since I let go of him. My brother has his collar. I'm sure you have something of Dolly's that you can hold on to, to help you thru this time, like her bed or favorite toy. There was no way you could have known those coyotes would be there, and even if you had been there, you probably couldn't have done anything to stop 3 wild coyotes, they're just too fast. You said it yourself, how unreasonably brazen they were, Had it not been that day, one day something would have happened, you would have turned your head just for a second and they could have got her. Its not your fault. Its those damn coyotes. They were obviously very determined, and have probably done the same to other pets in the area. You and your husband did your best, you are not to blame.
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Pawsitively_Heartbroken
From the depth of my heart, I'm so very sorry for your loss. I know these words won't make a dent in relieving your pain. Maybe as a complete stranger my sentiments can bring you consolation because I don't know you. I didn't know Dolly. But I understand and respect your grief, and the aching feeling of guilt. Morgan it's not your fault. We can't control everything, that's not how life works. You love Dolly, and she had to go. No one will understand the depth of your sorrow but you. As a grieving fur mother myself, I know that the words of others don't comfort as much as you wish they did. Grieving is a process. But love for our departed is undying. And the best I can tell you is...that's okay. So deep breaths, and keep smiling when you can, because Dolly loves you and wants to keep seeing you smile. And as your companion in grief, so do I.
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TashasDad
MorganC37,

I read your sharing, your post, about you beloved cat Dolly, and I feel so very sad for you and your husband. My wife and I send you both our very deepest condolences on this tragic and shocking loss of your dear Dolly.

I have "father" 'ed  / adopted from shelters  5 dogs and 4 cats in my adulthood (age 20+).  I am over 60 now. I have lost all of my very beloved pets to a variety of painful reasons for me. But never something so tragic and horrifying as for you and your husband have just endured.

I honestly do not what I should say, to best be supportive and helpful to you both in this unbelievable loss. We both feel so deeply for you both on this horrible loss. 

I share the following, not to wishing to possibly upset you more in any way, but only to validate the coyote threat and problem in the US, and to share more about its reality and growing problem for all of us.  But also to try to commiserate with you, only if it is appropriate for you...

Please do not read on if you if you are unsure of what I may share and say . . .

I lived most of my last 20 years in Florida, United States. And many of the islands off the shore of the mainland, including those very close to me, now have serious problems with coyotes attacking and taking pets on the islands --- both cats and dogs --- at all hours of the day. This is a very new and modern problem in Florida. The coyotes NEVER were on these islands until recently. They never existed there naturally.  Not until man built causeway bridges connecting the islands to the mainland. And so, the coyotes have traveled over these bridges at night, and established very sustainable populations on these Florida islands in recent years.

One of my good friend, a coworker, rescued one of their small dogs from the jaws of a coyote recently. The coyote suddenly came into their backyard of their Florida island property, and grabbed their small dog, and was trying to move away quickly with her. My coworker's wife jumped up and immediately began to attack and hit the wild coyote dog with a large stick she noticed and grabbed. Multiple times, again and again, she hit the coyote as hard as she could, so it could not run off with her beloved dog in its mouth. And my male coworker friend, ran inside the house and grabbed a shotgun he used normally for hunting wild boar (wild pigs over 200 pounds). He was back very quickly and shot and killed the coyote. And his small famly dog was rescued and safe.  

I really just cannot imagine any of this... your loss. Or my friend's attack of their small dog.   Coyotes are now a huge problem all over the US, and getting much worse. Partly or largely due to protections that recent laws have provided them.

In the mid 1980's, I worked 3rd shift as a security guard while I was a college student in my 20's, in a patrol car, in the state of Connecticut, on the campus of a private boy's school. There were some woods or wooden area nearby.  This school had huge, huge coyote problems! And also huge "coy-dog" problems --- 1/2 coyote and 1/2 domestic dog inter-breedings. Both of these wild dogs were everywhere during my 12 midnight to 8am shift! Dozens of them every night all over the place, all night long. It was extremely eerie for me, to look at them, and deal with them or ignore them as my employers required I do.  I was totally naive to the problem and their existence before starting this job.

We are very sorry for your loss, really extremely sorry and saddened for your loss.  And I apologize if any of my sharing above has upset you more in any way. You and your husband are already very traumatized beyond dealing with your grief.  But I am really saying that America needs to do SOMETHING to deal with this very REAL PROBLEM coyote problem. Too many nice, wonderful people are losing their beloved and cherished pets to this unnatural coyote population.

Tasha's Dad


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MorganC37
I want to thank everyone who has taken the time to read my story especially when you are all grieving for your own loved ones. My sincerest sympathies are with you all. Your comments give me and my husband lots of comfort especially helping us to reaffirm that we truly loved Dolly and really did not wish anything to ever happen to her. The guilt is the hardest thing we are having to deal with next to the sadness, so again thank you.

Dear Tasha and Jessie’s dad, no your comments are really useful. I had no knowledge of coyote behaviours, in my mind I suppose I thought of them as dogs...forgetting they are wild animals and predators. I have been doing some research since this our loss because I need to make sense of it in my head. Hindsight is always crystal clear and I am beating myself up for even letting Dolly outside. I have read some comments (not on here and not to me) from people saying basically it’s your own fault things like this happen to cats, they shouldn’t be out...also that cats themselves hunt small animals and it’s kind of a justice of nature. I know deep in my heart I would never have knowingly put Dolly in any danger. Those Coyoyes were very clever and obviously not scared of people. I have seen a few videos of them being disturbed during an attack and letting the animal go and I keep asking myself why they didn’t do this with Dolly. Even though she may have been too terribly injured at least we could have tried to save her life, held her and kept her with us. But they didn’t. The moment they grabbed her we were there, my husband is a big guy and we shouted, he jumped the fence and they should have been alarmed by this...or at least in my mind that’s what I think should have happened. I don’t know if it’s because there were 3 of them and they felt more strong as a group I don’t know. I know I’ll never know the answers to my questions but I can’t get over the fact that she was taken right in front of me, then killed and eaten by them.
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Bellarosa
Dolly is with you always you may not be able to see her but she is always by your side..I still cry for my Bella after nearly 2 years I will always mourn her..we will always be here for you
Jan
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TashasDad

Morgan,

You and your husband were very new to the US and specifically to the local coyote threat in the high desert of California. While some mentioned the existence of coyotes to you, I really doubt they adequately conveyed the dangers involved to you if you took your cat outside.

My point is that while I do understand you and your husband feel guilt, and it is a really difficult and painful emotion for you both to deal with now, but when you can be and are being fair and realistically honest with yourselves, and not purely emotional, you did not understand or really know the threat involved.  If you did, you would not have taken your beloved Dolly outside into the fenced in backyard as you were doing.  I am urging you to try to release the guilt you are feeling over time, as you go forward, because the guilt is not fair to you. You loved Dolly dearly and you always protected her.  What occurred, in my opinion, was out of your control. 

I saw wild coyotes in Joshua Tree National Park multiple times on probably 3 visits there. That was California high desert country. Those coyotes were NOT afraid of me and my wife. I was and am 6'1" and 200 pounds, and very fit. A few of them walked up to us, much closer than I wanted them to, because some idiot park visitors obviously had been feeding them on occaision. I was ready to kick them to the best of my ability if they came any closer. These were probably 30 pound coyotes. There were in control of the situation; I was a visitor and they knew it, and they were on their home turf. 

One of my main points I am trying to make is that coyotes quickly loose their fear of humans after they have positive or successful encounters with us. When humans feed them. When they come to our houses/neighborhoods and run off with our small pet dogs and cats. 

I am sorry, but these 3 you husband encountered after he jumped the fence were probably not afraid of him for these reasons. They are fast, much faster than your husband, and unless he was very close to them, they knew they could move or run away from him. As they did.

Your wrote that understanding all of what happened is important to you, including the behaviors and actions of the coyotes, so you can make sense out of it in your head.

In most of America today, in my observation and understanding, most cat owners keep them inside always. 20 to 40 years ago it was the opposite. But today is very different. Coyotes and other wild predators are real threat, large domestic dogs, cars, and more...

I worried about my Tasha whenever I took her out on the leash in the neighborhoods we lived in. Some were very nice HOA communities. Tasha was muscular and 60 pounds; and she was not shy about protecting herself. But in some of the neighborhoods there were loose aggressive pit bulls much bigger than her and loose aggressive rottweilers who were twice her weight. I carried a spray canister of "dog repellent" almost every time I walked her, so I could protect her. We had encounters and I called the police a number of times, dialing 911, as these large dogs were equally a threat to me and my wife as I held Tasha's leash. My point is probably that when we in the US are very aware and very educated of the dangers involved in protecting our pets, with something as simple as walking your dog in a very nice upscale HOA, you are always in danger with your pet outside the safety of your home. 

Morgan, my wife and I send you our deepest condolences. This should never happen to anyone, to any cat owner. We are thinking of you both these days.

Tasha's Dad 

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