Heartbroken lost my first cat to traffic

Help & Support for those who have lost a beloved cat
Post Reply
Matt1981
Frequent Cat Chatter
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2016 5:10 pm

Heartbroken lost my first cat to traffic

Post by Matt1981 » Thu Nov 17, 2016 5:29 pm

Hi all

New to this forum needed to find somewhere to post how I feel. Last Friday I came home from work around 9pm to find out my beloved Moggie Smudge had been hit by a car and killed. It was only one day after his first birthday. He was such a sweet and loving cat we adopted him from a litter my best mates Siamese had given birth to, and as such i'd been around them all since they were first born. And indeed I was there at his when the mother cat gave birth. My mate kept one as well but unfortunately his was run over and killed by car a month ago :( Nothing prepares you for when it happens to your own. Feel like i have an awful big gap in my life now. i want to get another one as Smudge taught me they can be such good companions, but don't want to rush into it and end up trying to raise another one while still grieving. It was a massive shock he seemed like such a clever cat for his years I never saw him so much as go near the road, and we always made sure he was called in and indoors by 9pm.

Never saw this coming. I've read up on the web that you can train cats from a young age to be fearful of the road but not sure how true this is. Anyone had any experience with this? Did everything I could with him to keep him safe. Took him to the vets every month for his flea and worming, was full vaccinated and neutered. If there#s anything I can do in future to prevent this happening again i'll give it a try. Don't think I could handle losing another one. On his birthday the evening before we had such a nice few hours together i fed him Dreamies then we spent the evening snuggled up before I said goodnight. That was the last time I saw him. :(

User avatar
bobbys girl
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 3167
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2014 8:58 pm
No. of cats in household: 6
Location: Co. Fermanagh

Re: Heartbroken lost my first cat to traffic

Post by bobbys girl » Thu Nov 17, 2016 5:56 pm

I'm so sorry to hear that Matt. It bought back memories of losing our Tommy last Christmas. He was an old chap but he, like Smudge, never went near the road - until that night. It is horrible isn't it?

The grief does lessen with time, but you always go through the 'what if's'. I totally understand you wanting another cat in your life, but I wouldn't rush into it. I am a real believer in Kismet - if something is meant to be, it will happen, probably right out of the blue.

As for scaring your cat away from the road - we managed it with Willow when she was still very young, but she was a very timid cat. She got through a gap in the gate onto our, fairly quiet, lane. In those days the hedge was thinner and I managed to get through and get around her and basically frighten the bejeebers out of her. (I know, awful of me). It worked, she has never been near the road again.

There are many folks here who know just what you are going through. I'm sure they will be along soon. RIP little Smudge. (Hugs) to you.

User avatar
Ruth B
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 1260
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 11:31 am
No. of cats in household: 3
Location: Wolverhampton

Re: Heartbroken lost my first cat to traffic

Post by Ruth B » Thu Nov 17, 2016 8:25 pm

I am so sorry for you, a year is no age for a cat. However try and concentrate on how good a year it was for him, all the times you saw him obviously happy. I have been lucky, so far I haven't lost one to an accident (touching wood like mad), however not long after I left my parents home, they lost one of theirs to traffic. He was run over on their neighbours drive, literally the car must just have turned onto the drive and hit him straight on, it doesn't matter how busy or quiet the road, if their time comes. You can try to keep them away from the roads but if they are allowed out there is always that risk. The best way I have found to scare a cat from cars is if they are around yours when you go out, rev the engine hard to make as much noise as possible, if there are two of you, the other chases the cat back away from the car and the road, let him know that you think there is something to be afraid of and he would hopefully learn.

Every time my cats go out I worry about them, and if they are late for a meal I can end up pacing the kitchen until they show up, its natural to worry. However I watch them outside and see how much they benefit and enjoy being out, I can't take that away from them. All of my cats are allowed out, and even when we adopted a Ragdoll, a breed that everyone says shouldn't be allowed out, we let him. He died of old age 18 months ago, but I can still see him sat in the garden, the wind in his fur, smelling the breeze or watching the pond, it didn't matter if there were no fish in it. He loved to be outside, and that is what I think of every time I hear the cat flap.

Smudge, had a lifetime of love and affection. I have no doubt he lived life to the full and loved every minute of it. The suddenness of it means that it will take time to come to terms with, however you will know when you are ready to have another cat and the right cat will be waiting for you.

Matt1981
Frequent Cat Chatter
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2016 5:10 pm

Re: Heartbroken lost my first cat to traffic

Post by Matt1981 » Fri Nov 18, 2016 3:34 am

Thanks to both of you for your replies, means a lot. I do agree that you can't keep them indoors forever as that's just cruel. They are natural Predators and instinct is to hunt. It was the first cat Id owned and I so desperately tried to do everything right. :( Ive since heard that 1.5 - 2 years is a better time to let them out then 6 months as they have s more mature mind with regards to danger. When the time comes and im ready I will adopt again. Ive been comforting myself with old videos and photos tonight. Ive managed to catch every key moment if his life on my Phone photos/videos from his first night home, to the first time he went outside, to his birthday. Plus cute sleepy photos in between. Miss him so much.

User avatar
Kay
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 1618
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2014 2:50 pm
No. of cats in household: 2
Location: West Wales

Re: Heartbroken lost my first cat to traffic

Post by Kay » Fri Nov 18, 2016 9:13 am

I too have lost a young cat to the road, and remember only too well not only the shock and grief, but also the worry of it happening again

my answer was to enclose part of my back garden, which was worth every penny for the peace of mind it gave me, but that is not an option for everyone, of course - the other single biggest thing you can do to avoid RTAs is to keep the cat in from dusk to dawn - most accidents happen at night, when a cat's instinct to roam is at its strongest, but its ability to recognise and dodge road danger at its weakest - the headlights of cars confuses them, and of course drivers don't see a cat in the road until it's too late

and yes, older cats are usually more savvy about danger than youngsters - I used to see a neighbour's young unneutered tomcat sitting in the road outside my house, but now he is over one, and has been 'done', he seems to avoid the road now

and yes to trying to teach them to stay away - I first came to this rural area with a Siamese cat aged 6 who had never met much traffic before, and I enlisted the help of a neighbour to run shouting and waving her arms at her when she went towards the road, and it seemed to have worked as she then discovered the fields at the back of the house and I never saw her at the front

User avatar
bobbys girl
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 3167
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2014 8:58 pm
No. of cats in household: 6
Location: Co. Fermanagh

Re: Heartbroken lost my first cat to traffic

Post by bobbys girl » Fri Nov 18, 2016 9:31 am

Matt - Oh I know what you mean. The last photo I have of Tommy was taken only an hour before he died. It is not a great photo - a little blurry, because the lense had focused on Willow who was sitting next to a sleeping Tommy. She NEVER did that, and the look on her face is quite spooky. It is like she knew something I didn't. It is bitter-sweet photo, but one I cherish. Take care, stay in touch.

Kay - That's what we did to Willow, so it wasn't so daft after all. It is just a question of picking the right moment.

User avatar
Ruth B
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 1260
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 11:31 am
No. of cats in household: 3
Location: Wolverhampton

Re: Heartbroken lost my first cat to traffic

Post by Ruth B » Fri Nov 18, 2016 10:21 am

One thing I will mention, which may be obvious to some people more at home in the digital age, make sure you save your photos in several locations. Before Blue I had always used an old film camera, after he died, I realised that virtually all the photos I had taken of him were all on one laptop that had also died. I was left with about half a dozen that had been scattered about and used for other things. It made me realise that digital photos are almost more ephemeral than old film ones.

As for last photos, the best I have is of Katie, my first cat as an adult. She had been diagnosed with diabetes and knowing we couldn't manage the timing required for insulin treatment, we decided to just let her live as long as she wanted without treatment (this decision was made after long discussions with the vet). She was fine for about 9 months (we had been advised to expect about 6 months). I have a photo of her sat on the side, in front of the advent calendars and christmas tree all bright eyed and with it. You can see there are 11 doors open on the calendars which gives a good date to the photo. I then have one taken on the last morning January the 4th, sat hunched up on a chair, head drooping, no interest in anything around her. 'Christmas was over, New Year was over and my Birthday had gone, so she could go as well', was the message I got from her. Those two photos are so precious, as they show how quickly she declined and how happy she had been just weeks earlier.

User avatar
bobbys girl
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 3167
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2014 8:58 pm
No. of cats in household: 6
Location: Co. Fermanagh

Re: Heartbroken lost my first cat to traffic

Post by bobbys girl » Fri Nov 18, 2016 1:24 pm

That is so true.

This is a little off topic and I hope Matt won't mind. You know the week between Christmas and New Year? I used to collect up all that year's photo's and put the best in an album. A few years back I started doing the same online, via Vistaprint. I can now create an album of the year - all the best bits (and sometimes the bad) for less than the cost of a shop-bought album and film development. Last year's ended with a pictorial tribute to Tommy.

Matt1981
Frequent Cat Chatter
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2016 5:10 pm

Re: Heartbroken lost my first cat to traffic

Post by Matt1981 » Fri Nov 18, 2016 5:19 pm

Its funny you should say that because I was thinking of doing something similar. Creating a slideshow tribute to Smudges life. Would certainly be something to remember him by. Not that i'll ever forget. Thanks to everyone for their support its been a great help. I have spent the last few days away visiting friends etc has also helped take my mind off it. I've experienced the anger the sadness the emptiness and latest has been the denial just that lingering thought it my head to say we never checked his microchip that it could have been another cat that just looked the same. I'm now going through the acceptance phase went to see his grave in the back garden today and talked to him for the first time, strangely calming. I will post pictures on here of his life when I get the time.

Thanks again everyone

User avatar
Crewella
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 3627
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2014 9:59 pm
No. of cats in household: 6
Location: Hertfordshire

Re: Heartbroken lost my first cat to traffic

Post by Crewella » Sat Nov 19, 2016 5:42 pm

I'm so sorry, it's horrible to lose a young cat suddenly like that. (((hugs)))

Rest in peace lovely Smudge. xx

User avatar
Mayday21
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 830
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2015 7:44 am
No. of cats in household: 4
Location: Australia

Re: Heartbroken lost my first cat to traffic

Post by Mayday21 » Sat Nov 19, 2016 9:37 pm

Hi Matt did read your sad post re Smudge. It's early days and the loss will be raw. You'll receive heaps of support here. RIP Smudge. Vivian

Matt1981
Frequent Cat Chatter
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2016 5:10 pm

Here's a couple of photos of my Beautiful boy.

Post by Matt1981 » Mon Nov 21, 2016 5:29 pm

14962628_10157748852580346_3021287801339542414_n.jpg
14962628_10157748852580346_3021287801339542414_n.jpg (11.83 KiB) Viewed 8214 times
14962628_10157748852580346_3021287801339542414_n.jpg
14962628_10157748852580346_3021287801339542414_n.jpg (11.83 KiB) Viewed 8214 times
Attachments
14962613_10157735905235346_8211941287099464319_n.jpg

User avatar
bobbys girl
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 3167
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2014 8:58 pm
No. of cats in household: 6
Location: Co. Fermanagh

Re: Heartbroken lost my first cat to traffic

Post by bobbys girl » Mon Nov 21, 2016 7:00 pm

What a sweetie. RIP beautiful boy. x

User avatar
Crewella
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 3627
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2014 9:59 pm
No. of cats in household: 6
Location: Hertfordshire

Re: Heartbroken lost my first cat to traffic

Post by Crewella » Mon Nov 21, 2016 7:49 pm

Awwwww .... he looks a lovely cat. He also looks happy and well loved, which counts for a lot. xx

User avatar
Mayday21
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 830
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2015 7:44 am
No. of cats in household: 4
Location: Australia

Re: Heartbroken lost my first cat to traffic

Post by Mayday21 » Mon Nov 21, 2016 8:15 pm

Hi Matt beautiful pics & he does look loved. Know it's very early days, but the best thing I did after losing Mayday was to get involved with a rescue organisation. It gave me my fur baby fix as the residents made their way to me & settled beside or on me. And in Feb this year I acquired two to "foster" & adopted TC & Snow Girl & then kitten Harper entered our household alias the 3 Musketeers & she like your boy is a tuxedo. Take care. Vivian

BarryK001
Experienced Cat Chatter
Posts: 47
Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2015 3:29 pm

Re: Heartbroken lost my first cat to traffic

Post by BarryK001 » Tue Nov 22, 2016 5:29 pm

Hi Matt,

Very, very sorry to read your post. Not a lot I can say to make it better, but there are a lot of us out here who know what you are going through. We had a similar loss just over a year ago with our lovely young cat and I know how much it hurts. It helps me to know that right up until 0.00001 seconds before it happened she was having a great life. I try not to look at too many photos as I still find it upsetting. I hope the rawness of your loss subsides with time and that you can think fondly of the time you had together.

Barry.

Matt1981
Frequent Cat Chatter
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2016 5:10 pm

Re: Heartbroken lost my first cat to traffic

Post by Matt1981 » Wed Nov 23, 2016 1:08 am

His first night home when we got him.

Stayed in between there for about an hour.

Home.jpg

Matt1981
Frequent Cat Chatter
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2016 5:10 pm

Re: Heartbroken lost my first cat to traffic

Post by Matt1981 » Wed Nov 23, 2016 5:10 am

The entire litter
12294667_10156280849465346_2890706047104670179_n.jpg
12294667_10156280849465346_2890706047104670179_n.jpg (12.89 KiB) Viewed 8176 times

Anchoret
New Cat Chatter
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2016 12:52 am

Re: Heartbroken lost my first cat to traffic

Post by Anchoret » Tue Dec 06, 2016 7:10 am

Was so sorry to read of your own loss. Glad you got two kittens to ease the bite of loneliness. They look lovely (and very cute!) Keep well and remember Smudge (as I'll remember Liquorice.) But we never forget them do we?

Stripey1
New Cat Chatter
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2017 11:37 am

Re: Heartbroken lost my first cat to traffic

Post by Stripey1 » Fri Jan 27, 2017 11:58 am

Hi there

I just read your post - not sure if you will see this but just in case - I'm so sorry to hear what has happened. I found your post because the same thing has just happened to my lovely cat Ronan who was also very young. It's totally devastating. I hope that the small amount of time that has passed since your post has eased things a bit for you.

I've still got one cat and he and Ronan were inseparable and got a lot from each other's company. For that reason although it's very soon I'm considering getting another cat but I have strong concerns about exposing another cat to the road. (My existing cat isn't interested in going out and the road is hard to get to, so it's a small risk for him).

Anyway, I found a piece of research (lost pet research.com - factors that may predispose cats to road traffic accidents) which basically says that young (up to 2 years) male mixed breed cats (like mine) are most at risk, plus some other information. After 6 years the risk decreases. It's well worth a look.

I thought I would mention it in case it was of use to you (or anyone).

Hope you're feeling a bit better now (and anyone else in this situation). It's just devasting.

Matt1981
Frequent Cat Chatter
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2016 5:10 pm

Re: Heartbroken lost my first cat to traffic

Post by Matt1981 » Sat Feb 25, 2017 2:41 am

To all

I would like to thank you all for your fantastic support after I sufferered the pain of losing my beloved Smudge. It's three months now and even though I have Marmite and Oreo now Smudge will never be forgotten he was a one in a million cat. I don't think I would have coped as well as I did without the lovely messages and empathy shown on here.

I am however very lucky to find the two I have now. But as recently as yesterday I developed a bit of a problem. I took Marmite the male kitten to the vet to be neutered (I decided to get them done one at a time as she doesn't weigh enough yet at 4 months ) and when he returned. Oreo normally the withdrawn and passive one of the two wouldn't stop hissing growling and swatting at him whenever he came near her to say hello. No Claws though and not hard enough to hurt him. He looks very hurt and confused by this and comes to me for comfort.

Is it possible that in this short space of time she has developed non-recognition aggression? He was only gone 6 hours. They were previously very happy and often snuggled up together when they sleep tonight they are in the kitchen on seoerate cushions.

Hoping this will fix itself or is there anything I can do?

User avatar
Kay
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 1618
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2014 2:50 pm
No. of cats in household: 2
Location: West Wales

Re: Heartbroken lost my first cat to traffic

Post by Kay » Sat Feb 25, 2017 2:25 pm

I'm so glad to hear you have a new furry family, and so will Smudge, wherever he is

the aggression will be the unfamiliar vet smell, almost certainly, and it will soon wear off - Marmite may well have his revenge when it's Oreo's turn (love the names by the way)

meanwhile you can try rubbing each in turn with the same towel to mix their scents

Matt1981
Frequent Cat Chatter
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2016 5:10 pm

Re: Heartbroken lost my first cat to traffic

Post by Matt1981 » Tue Dec 12, 2017 4:01 am

Can’t thank everyone on here enough for all the support after my loss of my beloved Smudge 13 months ago. My two new cats Marmite and Oreo are over a year old and their unique little personalities are coming out. Marmite the make the dominant one whilst Oreo the shy affectionate one. Adopting new cats in the middle of my grieving for Smudge definately helped. Whilst you can never replace one cat with another these two have been brilliant at helping mend the hole in my heart and giving me a purpose. Hopefully Smudge is proud of me wherever he is up there.

User avatar
Kay
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 1618
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2014 2:50 pm
No. of cats in household: 2
Location: West Wales

Re: Heartbroken lost my first cat to traffic

Post by Kay » Tue Dec 12, 2017 1:23 pm

spot on, Matt - caring for a new cat, or cats, leads naturally to loving them in time, and while this process is happening there is something to get up for in the morning

I took a long time to come round to the idea of having more than one cat, as I thought it would dilute the love between us, but in fact having two just adds to the sense of them being family - I am glad you have your family, and have found that the capacity to love has no limits

PumpkinsMum
New Cat Chatter
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2017 4:23 pm
No. of cats in household: 1
Location: Massachusetts
Contact:

Re: Heartbroken lost my first cat to traffic

Post by PumpkinsMum » Tue Dec 12, 2017 4:20 pm

I'm so happy that your new furry family is so happy! I'm sorry, again, for your loss, but it's amazing that you've found love and happiness with your new cats. That's so extremely special. I hope things continue to go well for you all <3 Many long happy years!

User avatar
Mayday21
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 830
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2015 7:44 am
No. of cats in household: 4
Location: Australia

Re: Heartbroken lost my first cat to traffic

Post by Mayday21 » Wed Dec 13, 2017 12:34 am

Hi Matt yes taking in fur babes after a loss is cathartic albeit you never lose the cherished past memories. Really have no idea how I’d be without the famous four from Oz but I do compare Mayday to the terror Harper. Mayday was a sweetie & Harper’s continually up to stuff. You’ll have to post some pics. Vivian

Matt1981
Frequent Cat Chatter
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2016 5:10 pm

Re: Heartbroken lost my first cat to traffic

Post by Matt1981 » Fri Jan 05, 2018 2:31 am

Pics are too big to post for some reason. They are both almost 15 months now and are so well behaved and well tempered.

User avatar
Mayday21
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 830
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2015 7:44 am
No. of cats in household: 4
Location: Australia

Re: Heartbroken lost my first cat to traffic

Post by Mayday21 » Sun Jan 07, 2018 11:32 pm

Hi Matt go to Yogi’s comments on posting pics. I use the websizer app.

Nicky brown
Frequent Cat Chatter
Posts: 26
Joined: Sat Oct 20, 2018 3:45 pm
No. of cats in household: 2

Re: Heartbroken lost my first cat to traffic

Post by Nicky brown » Sat Oct 20, 2018 4:40 pm

Hi Matt
Don't know if you will be reading this all these months on. Hope your two are still doing great. I lost my 11 month old Toulouse in April 16 - he was one of my cat Truffle's 5 kittens ( the other 4 went to friends and colleagues who still have and love them). I struggled so hard with the loss of Toulouse that after 8 weeks I just had to get another ginger boy to invest my love in. I eventually found one on line and drove 200 miles to get him. We have had the most amazing two and a half years but late yesterday Hendrick was hit by a car. More than 2 years old and not out between dusk and dawn! A kind person picked him up and knocked my door. I immediately drove the 25 mins to the vet but Hendrick had a very bad spinal dislocation and had lost feeling in his back legs and tail - otherwise he was absolutely fine. I hoped we could save him but the vet phoned us 2 hours later to say the X-ray was not good and that even with surgery he was likely to have life long bladder and bowel problems not something I could ever wish on my handsome, playful boy. We had to make the awful decision to send him to sleep. We drove back to the vets where he was well pain relieved and on a heated blanket. He was pleased to see us and purred loudly, even trying to let me tickle his tummy. Poor Hendy. He didn't deserve this. We love him so much. The moral is don't be fooled by 2 years+ makes them wiser. If they are head strong and daft and enjoy chasing leaves, they are never guaranteed safe. I have two other cats - Truffle 6 and Hobbs 15 so not all are daft but that's me lost 2 amazing ginger boys in just over 2 years and the sadness I feel is just overpowering. Look after your babies.

Bertie 2017
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 103
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:24 pm
No. of cats in household: 1

Re: Heartbroken lost my first cat to traffic

Post by Bertie 2017 » Thu Oct 25, 2018 9:41 pm

Hi first of all ,I am so sorry you lost ,smudge he was so beautiful ,secondly ,accidents
Happen ,so please don’t be soo hard on yourself ,sadly we can never see the future ,
Otherwise my Bertie would still be here ,I lost Bertie too in a accident ,it’s hard when
Grieving , too make decisions , and everyone has a different opinion ,as too getting another.
Pet ,only you can decide ,as for cats being road smart ,I think it’s down too fate ,all I can say .is yes it’s heartbreaking ,and devastateing what your going through ,believe me ,I have been too hell and back ,this last year ,so yes I understand ,what grief does too us ,
Grief has you beating yourself up all the time ,and leaves many questions ,going around
In your head ,q like what if ? And if only ? ,remember none of this is your doing ,sadly
Accidents happen ,if we could have ,we would have prevented them ,as for poor smudge .
He was taken too soon ,life is so unfair ,I know it’s little comfort at the moment ,smudge
Was loved and cherished ,and that’s all a cat can wish for in life , I hope you find peace
Soon ,and remember they are people who understand and care and always here for you

Post Reply