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Did i do the right thing?

Posted by: Heather Nolan Posts: 3 - Joined: Tue Aug 14th, 2012 03:00 pm

#306 - by Heather Nolan >> Wed Aug 15th, 2012 01:41 pm

I am in pieces, i can't cope with the pain of losing my cat Angel. I went to my parents holiday home in Scotland to spend sometime with my kids who were missing their dad who is in the Army. On Saturday night i got a phone call off my friend who was looking after them to say Angel had been hit by a taxi driver but she seemed ok! 2 different neighbors rushed her to the emergency vets. I rang the Vets expecting her to tell me she had a broken leg that would need a splint, instead she asked me would i like her to be put to sleep. I nearly dropped the phone as i asked why, the vet replied her tail would need amputation she was leaking fluids she said without even x-raying her she had badly damaged her spine a fractured pelvis possibility she would lose both legs. I asked if i could ring her back. My mum spoke to the vet and the vet said i can do x-rays but she is very distressed we have given her pain killers but i can see from the state of her the prognosis is not good and she is fading fast. Your daughter will have a messy crippled cat with no quality of life. I at this time was throwing up!
Angel came to me from a rescue center a young cat with 2 tiny kittens. It was love at 1st sight. She went from a shy timid cat into a cheeky loving little girl who became a constant companion to my cat Star who is grieving terribly(i never thought that possible). She loved me she was part of me, we overcome her fears although because of her strength the vets, medication was a challenge! In May she stayed in a lovely cattery with Star when we went on holiday. She hated it so as i was only away for a short time i thought staying at home would be fine.
Recently they have started building houses next to my estate which means during the day it is a nightmare for us all and the cats are petrified of all the noise and the traffic is ridiculous! Being a close at night there is hardly any movement and a great big field and a farm full of mice. I gave in and let them go out of a night.
She was killed outside my house by a speeding taxi driver! There is speed bumps in the road!!
What can i say, i let her down by allowing her to go out at night. I should of told my neighbor to keep her in. Did i do the right thing by putting her to sleep? Everyone has said to me you gave a wild cat a beautiful home and you allowed her to keep some of her freedom but my decisions cost her life.
I was told the vet was crying when she removed the blanket and seen her behind.
I have never felt so low, i lost my cat of ten years Jules who was hit in daylight in 2008. I feel like i have let another down.
Thanks for reading x
Posted by: Julie White Posts: 1 - Joined: Wed Aug 15th, 2012 09:08 pm

#307 - by Julie White >> Wed Aug 15th, 2012 09:20 pm

So very sorry to hear this sad news. It is always hard to lose a pet, but in such terrible circumstances, it must be devastating.
Please don't beat yourself up. You can only do what seems right at the time. You weren't to know a stupid taxi driver would ignore the speed limit.
If you had not agreed to her being put to sleep, she would have been suffering, and by the sound of it would not have lasted long enough for you to get home to see her.
Sending hugs from us all here. xx
Posted by: Elaine Wood Posts: 1 - Joined: Wed Aug 15th, 2012 09:00 pm

#308 - by Elaine Wood >> Wed Aug 15th, 2012 09:24 pm

Hello Heather. My name is Elaine and I have an animal sanctuary. I know how you feel because I have had to say ' goodbye' to many animals. It never gets any easier to see an animal you love like your child be put to sleep but you have to ask yourself. What would have happened if I hadn't loved and cared for this animal? Nobody else seemed prepared to help so I did. That dear animal who became you 'child' would have probably been put to sleep before it had a chance to experience the love it deserved. We cannot predict how long any of our animal friends will be with us so we must just love them every day and feel honoured they love us back. You did the right thing Angel's chances of living a ' cat life' post this accident were nil. You put your own feeling aside and let her go. She will never leave you in spirit and you should be calm and know you didn't let her down. You loved her and let her go. She would have expected no less so you didn't let her down. Take care mate and dont let a space in your home and heart lay empty because you think you let Angel down. There are so many desperate cats out there who would love to fill that space when you feel ready xxx
Elaine xx
Posted by: Claire Shortstuff Dawson Posts: 1 - Joined: Wed Aug 15th, 2012 09:11 pm

#309 - by Claire Shortstuff Dawson >> Wed Aug 15th, 2012 09:30 pm

Oh Heather, I am so sooo sorry for your loss, I can really empathise with how you are feeling. I lost my little cat Maizie aged just 16 months on the 22nd July. She too was hit by a speeding car, they didnt stop. Maizie lived with our mother in law who lives 20 miles away. In between several phone calls which must have taken all of 5 minutes, she was gone. When we were first told I too thought, oh she's probably just broken a leg, it didnt occur to me that it could be bad. Then we were asked if we wanted to have her operated on - it would cost over £1000 to fix her, thats when i thought, oh no, please dont make me make this decision again (we lost her mum due to a twisted bowel and had to have her put down) by the time my brain had processed this she was gone, there was nothing we could do. Again I didnt react until a bit later, then my heart shattered into a million pieces....
I too blamed myself because we moved out (we couldnt take her and my other cat with us into our new flat) I knew the road she loved on was a busy road, I knew that Maizie had no road sense, but I also knew she was a happy cat and she loved to be outdoors, she was settled and even if we could have taken her, living in an upstairs flat would have meant she would have been cooped up all day and miserable.
I went through the same thing, 'If we had chosen a ground floor flat, If we'd have taken her with us' etc etc 'then none of this would have happened' I cried to my bf who was as upset as I was and told him it was all my fault, I'd let her down, I'd been there when she was born, and I let her down by not being there when she died' I worried that she was in pain and frightened and those thoughts made me become overwhelmed with grief, I felt so devastated that I didnt get to say goodbye, that i didnt spend as much time with her as I could have.

I know I only had her for 16 months but she was special to me, I helped 'raise' her I fed her by hand at 6 weeks old when we had her mum put down and she kept me going when I was dealing with my grief then. I miss her dearly.

What I will say is that what you're feeling is normal, I'm not going to tell you not to blame yourself - not because you should but because I know that you will anyway. just dont dwell on it too much. Keep yourself going with happy memories of her and when you feel able to, do something to honour her memory. You and Star will comfort each other, I know my other cat Bella is missing Maizie, they used to cuddle up together at night - animals are a lot more resilient than you think. You did give a wild cat a loving home and when your having those moments when you blame youself, please try to remember that, that in itself is a wonderful thing and who knows what kind of life she would have had otherwise. Bella came from the streets, Maizie came from Binky who was a pregnant neglected stray, Maizie has two brothers who live with our sister in law. If we hadnt have taken Bella and Binky in I doubt either of them would have survived and certainly not the kittens. You havent let them down, you loved them and they know that and they will always be grateful.

I hope this helps you a bit, I know how you feel, you wont get over it but it will get easier with time.
RIP Angel xxxxxxx
Posted by: Jane Yonge Posts: 1 - Joined: Wed Aug 15th, 2012 09:00 pm

#310 - by Jane Yonge >> Wed Aug 15th, 2012 09:44 pm

Dear Heather,
What an awful thing to have happened to your poor Angel. It's every cat owners nightmare! Yes, of course, you put poor Angel out of her misery and suffering. She may not have survived the shock of all the repairs that she needed to recover, there may have been complications. You gave Angel four really wonderful years. She loved you so much and I think that she would have been in such a bad state that she would have wanted you to make that decision.

It's awful how fast cars speed, up and down country lanes now. We have the same problem here. Only a couple of months ago our neighbours cat Molly, who was a sweet little thing, got killed instantly by a speeding sport's car. She was a frequent visitor to our house and playmate with our cat Tux. He still looks for her and I try to tell him that she was 'got' by a motor car. I think that some signs should be put up to say 'Slow children and animals', but whether the drivers would take any notice is another matter.

Cats love their freedom so much and hate to be shut in at night. It's difficult to know the best thing to do. We have come to a compromise with our cat. We keep the cat flap open, but he chooses to sleep inside...he justs pops out quickly to do the necessary...and then comes in again....otherwise he removes the catflap with his big teeth! Having lost one home he likes to stay very close to us. He was a stray from London and runs at the sound of a car. I still worry about him though and lecture him soundly about keeping away from motor cars.

Rest assured that you did exactly the right thing and that your dear Angel is now sleeping peacefully with the angels.

I know it's such an awful thing to lose a pet. I howled for days after our Tomi had to be put to sleep.

I'll be thinking of you.

Best wishes,
Jane x
Posted by: Rosetta Guarisco Posts: 7 - Joined: Wed Apr 25th, 2012 12:58 am

#311 - by Rosetta Guarisco >> Wed Aug 15th, 2012 09:53 pm

Hi Heather,
I lost my Vinnie 22nd April 2012 just short of 3 years old. Kept him in all day when at work and slept in the same bed at night. Let him out for an hour or two and he was run over. When he didn't return I spent all night wandering the streets looking for him because I knew he would always want to come back to me if he could and I wanted to find him and give him his dignity and you did with Angel. He loved me and I loved him and my life is forever changed and I still don't like it's ok because Vinnie deserves to be mourned and missed and so does Angel. We did nothing but love our cats and want them to have a little fun and variety in their life. Don't reproach yourself, its the taxi driver and the person who ran Vinnie over that need to feel the guilt. The ongoing love from my remaining cat Ted and a new rescue kitten Lucy has kept me going. Be strong and no regrets xxx
Rosie G
Posted by: Penny Hudson Posts: 155 - Joined: Tue Mar 13th, 2012 03:35 pm

#312 - by Penny Hudson >> Wed Aug 15th, 2012 10:47 pm

Bless you Heather - my heart goes out to you. You mustn't blame yourself; the taxi driver is responsible for what happened and the circumstances that led to the accident are not your fault. You gave her the freedom she wanted, and as she didn't like the cattery let her stay in her own home when you were away. She sounds as if she had a very happy life with you. Star must be grieving and must also be concerned for your sadness - cats do pick up our emotions. I lost my beloved Toffee in December, and like we all do keep going over everything that I did or didn't do before her death; we love our pets so much and the parting is very difficult. Angel sounds as if her injuries were distressing for her and the vet wouldn't have made that decison if there was any way she could have had a good quality of life. You have had a sad time losing Jules a few years ago. You haven't let Angel down Heather - you felt by letting her out at night it was avoiding the distress of the building work. Take care, Heather; you are in my thoughts; also little Star who needs you so much. RIP Angel xxxxxx
Posted by: Ann Bloxwich Posts: 1 - Joined: Thu Aug 16th, 2012 08:30 am

#313 - by Ann Bloxwich >> Thu Aug 16th, 2012 08:51 am

Hi Heather, words cannot possibly express how sorry I am for your loss. I too had a similar experience with my beloved cats Angel, Merlin and Will. Both Angel and Will were hit by drivers going too fast. both left them in the road for me to find. Will died in my arms and Angel was virtually in two halves. Merlin had gone missing a few weeks previous to me finding him, not much left but I knew it was him. The pain is incredible, like nothing I have ever felt before.
6 months ago we lost yet another little girl, Pepper was found by the side of the train track by my daughter, luckily she was unmarked so we think it was a car that hit her and she couldn't make it home. It tears me apart to think of her lying there cold and frightened. My cat Jack had stayed with her all night judging by the anxious state he was in the next day, he had blood on his face from where we think he tried to clean her up (she was spotless when we found her). It took a long time for him to get over losing her, the vet prescribed him with tranquilisers but it took him around 2 months before he would go outside again. He still misses her so much, along with his brothers and Angel.
I bought some tree plaques for my garden, inscribed with each of their names. It still hurts like hell, even after all this time, but you will eventually feel better than you do now. Take time to grieve, don't ever let anyone tell you it's just a cat. I have members of my family who I would rather lose than my cats.
Please don't ever say what if, you will torture yourself if you do. I still wish I'd kept mine in, but it's in their nature to go outdoors. The taxi driver who did this should suffer greatly, and I hope he does.
Take comfort in the fact that while Angel was with you she was the happiest she could be, and she knew you loved her very much. We had a few ghostly happenings after we lost ours, I'm assured they are still around and Jack does have mad moments now and then, where he appears to be being chased. I'm certain they stay with us afterwards, they knew how much we still love them. It's been 6 years now since I lost Merlin and Will, 5 since Angel, and yesterday I drove past my old house where they died. It still makes me cry, but I know I will be reunited with them again one day.
Heather I don't know if my words will bring you comfort or not (I hope they do), but I am sending you all my love and hugs to you and little Star, and I hope you start to heal soon. You stopped her pain by putting her to sleep, so never feel bad about that. It's the hardest decision in the world but compared to the pain she would have endured, but you did not let her down at all, please don't ever think that xxxxxx
Posted by: Heather Nolan Posts: 3 - Joined: Tue Aug 14th, 2012 03:00 pm

#314 - by Heather Nolan >> Thu Aug 16th, 2012 09:57 am

Thank you all for your kind words and support.
People say cats are selfish, Angel proved this was not true!
I remember the 1st time i saw her in the cattery, she was beautiful and her tiny kittens-so perfect. The surge of love i felt was equal to the love of my children being born. I put the 3 of them in my bedroom (people said i was crazy) and in the night she would come wake me for reassurance and as the kittens got older she would drop them on the bed and go for a walk around the house for some peace! I wanted to keep the kittens but they were incredibly dependent on her and at about 8 months she let me know it was time for new homes.
My cat Star was always a wonderful big brother to all cats we had fostered and he was beautiful with her kittens, i think this is why she fell in love with him so much.
I could write a book on my life with Angel, her relationship with Star.
I will always regret the decisions i made. It has been hard for me with 3 children and my husband in the army etc but i should of realized that as human as they seemed to me to i should not have let them out without being here. I should of taken some of their choices away from them to keep them safe.
Thank you all for taking the time to write to me. It means so much to me xxxx
Posted by: Penny Hudson Posts: 155 - Joined: Tue Mar 13th, 2012 03:35 pm

#315 - by Penny Hudson >> Thu Aug 16th, 2012 03:26 pm

Heather, I think cats are the most beautiful, loving and loyal creatures. Your love for Angel was as was her love for you unconditional. I loved Toffee more than words can say and 8 months later I cry every day for the relationship we had which was unique. You loved Angel so much and she knew that, and her relationship with you and Star was deep and beautiful. I share your grief and feel what you are going through. Love and hugs to you and Star, who must be bewildered as to what has happened. Do not blame yourself - you gave her the freedom cats love and need. Bless you xx
Posted by: Mowlilly Posts: 1 - Joined: Wed Aug 15th, 2012 09:02 pm

#316 - by Mowlilly >> Thu Aug 16th, 2012 07:17 pm

Hi Heather,
You did not do anything wrong. I lost my Mollie due to natural causes and I could not get over her. She had moved into my place with mr as she had been a furry stray. When she had to be put down I was devastated and cried for weeks. I put her little cloth over my face to try to still smell her and walked around weeping with it. I went onto bereavment sites as I could not get over her.
My sister brought me over a feral kitten that just hissed at me.
Now this kitten (Nelly) has grown into a loving adorable cat.
I agonised whether to let her out at night. (I kept her until she was a year old). But I learnt that the majority of cats get run over in the day. And because night is a freer time, I am letting her out. Also because she was pacing and unlocking the cat flap, even when I put heavy furniture in front, and tape, she spent hours moving it and still getting out. But praying she comes in safe which she does. Touch wood.
Three years on she is still savvy enough to look after herself out there. She is happier being let out and I have got to let her have the quality of life she craves.
Hope you can come to terms with what has happened. XX
Posted by: mrswiff Posts: 2 - Joined: Sun Oct 2nd, 2011 09:07 pm

#317 - by mrswiff >> Thu Aug 16th, 2012 09:03 pm

Heather, I'm so very sorry for your loss, I truly am and please don't feel guilty, you have done nothing wrong at all. Everyone has their own opinions on keeping cats in or out, I am a firm believer in letting them come and go as they please, they are pretty savvy and tend to be much happier when they can do their own thing. It's almost a year since we had to make the hardest decision ever, to have our precious Minnie put to sleep. She was 17 1/2 and had chronic renal and heart failure, she was dying and we had to put her out of her misery and I too still beat myself up over not being able to help her sooner, you see she fell into decline over August bank holiday last year and we couldn't get a vet out to see her and the RSPCA emergency vet service refused to help, which meant she had to suffer an extra day and for that I will always feel guilty. However, right up until she fell ill for the last time, she came and went as she wanted and she was a more contented kitty for it. She is now buried in her favourite spot in our garden, we bought her home from the vets as I couldn't bear to leave her there.

Cats are naturally more active at dawn and dusk, when their 'prey' is active, birds leaving the nest, rodents too etc... and I found that Mins used to prefer to be out at night, more than daytime, other than a little wander round the garden. We now share our lives with 2 fur babies, Maisie and Benjy, who have filled my empty heart with love after losing Mins. They have just turned 1 and we have allowed them outside since they were neutered at 5 months old. It was gradual at first and only during the day, but now they have a magnetic catflap and come and go as they please, they also shunned the litter tray months ago so no more cleaning that out! Benjy, being male, does wander, even though he's been neutered, but he is petrified of cars, they both are and they keep away from the road. I couldn't keep them in, it wouldn't be right, they need to be free, it would be like keeping them in a big cage and I believe that to be cruel.

Heather, I know the pain you are going through, only too well, but please please don't feel guilty, you gave Angel her freedom and what happened was not your fault.

Please take some comfort knowing your fur babies will never leave your side, ever and they will always love you unconditionally.

Take care xxxxx
R.I.P. My Beautiful Minnie x
Posted by: Heather Nolan Posts: 3 - Joined: Tue Aug 14th, 2012 03:00 pm

#318 - by Heather Nolan >> Thu Aug 16th, 2012 09:59 pm

Thank you again all of you for sharing your love for cats your pain and loss of losing them and helping me to come to terms with what has happened.
I will always wonder if i should of put her through all that surgery and about her freedom but i am going to try and remember how wonderful her life was and how happy she was.
I will keep you posted on how Star is doing and i will add pictures of her memorial garden once completed.
Thank you so much all of you xxxx

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