My baby died whilst I was away

Help & Support for those who have lost a beloved cat
Post Reply
JulieJulie
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 127
Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2014 1:58 pm

My baby died whilst I was away

Post by JulieJulie » Wed Jul 01, 2020 6:40 pm

I feel sick just thinking about it, my baby died whilst I was away.

She was always a scared cat, a feral kitten who came to love only me - boy did that feel special. i have/had 8 cats, rescues, from the shelter and off the street from my vile neighbours.

She came to me after my last tortie died at just 7 from heart failure. She helped to mend my very broken heart. She came as a foster but I always knew that was a one way trip. She was only 8. Why did I have to go through this again?

I was away, first time in 3 months, cat sitter who I had previously trusted as a friend and fellow cat lover, let me down badly. litter trays were awful, as was general hygiene and water bowls had not been refilled. Luckily I left lots after a previous bad experience with a sitter.

She didn't come home all evening when I called and called. She tended to go to ground when she was scared so didn't really worry until it was dark and late. I was tired and fell asleep on the sofa. At 3am, still not home, something darted behind the sofa, I looked hoping it was her. Her lifeless body lay there. My world fell apart. The shock was instant, a replay of 8 years earlier but worse this time because my other cat had at least passed in the garden in the sun. This time i knew she was hiding from something that had scared her to be behind the sofa. how long had she been there? Why oh why oh why, what happened. I have cams and hadn't seen her but that wasn't so unusual, she loved to be out, and was scared of everything, including another cat I took in who bullied her (and had tried to rehome - should have taken her to the shelter.) The cams write over every night so I couldn't look at them anymore.

She was so loved, I told her every single day how much I loved her.

My mantra for 3 months of solitude in lockdown has been 'I can get through anything as long as I have my babies'. But now I don't and the pain is insane. It's been a week now and I'm crying less. At first I pretended to myself she was just outside, but now I know she's not. She's in my drawer, in a heart shaped box.

She came to me in a dream that very night, nose rubs that we always did. She came to see mummy and be reunited.

Why don't we get a second chance, I never had a chance to fight for her. My baby, may she forgive me for letting her get stressed. Because I will never forgive myself.

I see others here who don't forgive themselves, and I've been here before, more times than I care to remember. I know the grief will fade but right now it's raw and it hurts like hell.

I still can't believe she is gone. I go between being numb and just crying, breaking my heart.

My love to all of you who have lost your furbabies during lockdown. I hope you are coping, have friends you can cry down the phone to, another cat to comfort you and a lot of tissues. Waking up is awful, that brief moment before you remember then wham there is it.

User avatar
Mollycat
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 989
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2019 10:58 am
No. of cats in household: 1
Location: UK

Re: My baby died whilst I was away

Post by Mollycat » Thu Jul 02, 2020 8:17 am

I am lost for words in the gut-wrenching pain of grief you describe so well. They say we all have that one animal in our lifetime that is the missing piece to our own soul and it sounds like this girl was yours.

It's no use anyone saying you mustn't blame yourself, we all know this rationally but grief isn't rational. She could have gone while you were asleep in bed, or out shopping, or just gone to the kitchen to make a cup of tea, and you would still feel guilty, it's human nature.

Try to be kind to yourself.

JulieJulie
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 127
Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2014 1:58 pm

Re: My baby died whilst I was away

Post by JulieJulie » Thu Jul 02, 2020 3:11 pm

Molly cat thankyou for your kind words xx
It helps that others understand the grief and pain of the loss.
I think I'm still in shock.

User avatar
Kay
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 1750
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2014 2:50 pm
No. of cats in household: 1
Location: West Wales

Re: My baby died whilst I was away

Post by Kay » Thu Jul 02, 2020 3:22 pm

there is no easy way to lose a beloved cat, but your experience seems particularly hard - but as Mollycat says, whatever the circumstances there are always 'what ifs' - it's just something we, who live so much longer than our pets, have to deal with

one thing I woud say is that it is instinctive in cats to hide away when they feel really ill, so it might not have been fear which made your girl hide behind the sofa

JulieJulie
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 127
Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2014 1:58 pm

Re: My baby died whilst I was away

Post by JulieJulie » Fri Jul 03, 2020 2:14 pm

Thank you Kay.
She did have a hiding spot but it was upstairs. She spent a lot of time there. Had i found her there curled up looking peaceful, the pain would have been lessened.
I am struggling with the cat who bullied her. She is desperate to be loved but I don't know whether she was involved in an incident with her on the day I lost her.
I've done wrong by both of them.
I need to either love the other cat or find her a home that will. I took her in after my neighbour made her an outdoor cat - with no shelter, scant food and no water bowl. But she never fitted in with my little gang, always the outsider and very territorial. I even gave her a bedroom to herself which she guarded ferociously.
The biggest and hardest thing of course is forgiving ourselves. We bumble along, dealing with the spats and fall outs in the house, not realising the deep underlying stress it is causing our cats. but knowing how many are in rescue at any given time made me hang onto them all. The spats were less during lockdown, we all spent calm days together. Or so i thought. My vet told me there is a lot of stress in our pets just now. Who would know that us being home would cause that...
2 years ago I had 10 cats. Lost one to cancer, one to other illness/heart attack and now another one to probably heart disease.
The force is strong to get another one to fill the gap but i will never have cats that don't bond together again.
I have to learn to move forward.
Thanks for being here catchat. Sometimes i realise I'm talking to myself, but then I think of the posts I have quietly read, and maybe someone else sometime might find some comfort in sharing this experience and knowing that others understand the pain.

User avatar
Mollycat
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 989
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2019 10:58 am
No. of cats in household: 1
Location: UK

Re: My baby died whilst I was away

Post by Mollycat » Fri Jul 03, 2020 7:58 pm

We do read much more than we post. It's a pity this forum doesn't have reactions buttons to 'like' or send a virtual hug. Sometimes it helps just to know people really have read and send sympathy without the words.

I wonder, if the cats could choose, if they would take a home with all it has to offer and human cuddles and company all night long but had to share with others, or a solitary cage with artificial heat and a human able to give them 15 minutes max per day, what they would take.

I admire your honesty in struggling with the cat who bullied your baby. When we love animals so much it's hard to admit that we find one hard to love. I don't know if this helps but how much do you know of this cat's history, how she was rescued and from what or who? What awful things happened in her life to make her bully? It is possible to love the creature without condoning the behaviour. If you can understand her you can help her, you can help her to be happier and leave behind her bullying behaviour.

I half believe that cats are angels who come to us for a time and for a reason, to get us through a crisis or challenge us to grow stronger. Life lessons. Perhaps this cat is here with you to challenge you to find in your heart the true meaning of unconditional love, to find forgiveness where you believe it is impossible to find. Or at least a focus for all the energy of your grief to create some positive outcome from this sadness.

Just a few thoughts.

JulieJulie
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 127
Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2014 1:58 pm

Re: My baby died whilst I was away

Post by JulieJulie » Mon Jul 06, 2020 12:11 pm

Molly,

Thank you for your lovely words, I read them over the weekend but wanted to reply properly, rather than from my phone.

You are so right about the buttons. I often read a post and sometime just don't really know how to comfort that person so my reply feels clumsy. A hug button is definitely needed.

Animals in cages horrifies me, I've seen it in charities, and I've also heard bad stories from charities - not just of the charity themselves (which do 99.99% amazing work) but of homes that you think are great and turn out to be unsuitable.

I know everything about this cats history. I have been caring for her since she was very young in fact. My next door neighbour let her breed a couple of times. I put a neutering voucher in their Christmas card (everyone I know was outraged at me for doing this, but nothing to lose - some people just need to be educated.) She had 4 cats and they all live outside. 3 are the offspring of the cat I have written about (Roxy). She did get the 3 girls neutered and i got the boy neutered - 'oh it didn't occur to me to neuter the boy'.
She was left out in all weathers. I started off by putting her out a makeshift cat house, which upgraded to a proper cat house and hot water bottle. I've never kept it a secret from the neighbour that I cared for her cat. This went on for a few years. I started bringing her in at night when it was cold. The only place I had was the bathroom so she spent nights in there. At least she was warm and safe with a bed by the radiator. Then there was an incident with a dog, and I felt enough was enough and took her in.
I told my neighbour that her cat had been attacked by a dog and gone missing - her reply - 'what sort of dog'. Seriously?

Roxy has always been feisty - and who can blame her. She was always the cat at the window to my cats so there was rivalry not to mention spraying.
Her last 2 kittens, I tried to get off the woman to rehome but she insisted on keeping them. She put them outside at only around 6 months old and they slept on a wet sofa in her garden. I used to push biscuits through the fence for them and as soon as they were big enough they came over for food and moved into the cat house I had by then put out.
As you can imagine my own cats were not too impressed at this and it caused a lot of tension.
One day Roxy even brought her kittens from her own back garden around to my front garden - a bit of a trek as we are in a terrace. I know that cats have to really trust you to do that, and it really moved me. She knew they were hungry and that I could feed them, I never forgot that.

In time, one of the kittens moved in with me aswell, she literally looked like an 18 year old cat and I knew she would not survive a winter outside. She's a bit feisty aswell but she's a small cat and doesn't come upstairs so much less of an issue.

So yes, no wonder she is feisty.

i have done a lot of self reflection recently about how I have treated her and I have never treated her the same as my other cats. She is crying out for love and cuddles. My beloved tortie that I lost really was my baby. I had her from a tiny feral kitten, I'm the only person she bonded with, and I know it's wrong but I just loved her until it hurt. Maybe Roxy was jealous or maybe she sensed a weakness in her that made her vulnerable.

You are 100% right that cats come to us for a reason. My tortie came to me when i was broken hearted over losing my last tortie, who I had also babied, as she had heart disease for 5 years before I lost her. My cats are currently taking round the clock shifts to be with me, I'm convinced of that. One of my cats will come flying to me if I cry or get upset. Once she even brought me a feather when I was grieving another lost cat.
The other weird thing is that I sometimes call Roxy 'Angel', not sure why, I don't remember. I called her Roxy because she lived in a box for so long (partly Roxy boxy and partly the Police song Roxanne. I do wonder if this name didn't help her actually.)

I should have found her a new home many years ago, but I didn't. Now she is 12 years old. My other baby is gone and nothing in the world can change that.
I am going to dig deep in my own heart and try to work to keep her and give her a better life. I am also thinking that perhaps a name change, new start might help.

The grief is still raw and I still have issues with her to work through. But I am ready to take the first step. Molly, you have helped me and I am so very grateful.

I am learning such hard life lessons every year. I can't change the past but I can try to make the future better. I just need to stop crying now...no magic fix for that one. My baby is gone and that hurts. :(

User avatar
Mollycat
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 989
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2019 10:58 am
No. of cats in household: 1
Location: UK

Re: My baby died whilst I was away

Post by Mollycat » Mon Jul 06, 2020 7:27 pm

That's quite a history, poor love. There is an amazing story of an animal communicator who worked with a black leopard, who asked for his name to be changed. Even if the idea is a bit much for you, it's still an interesting film https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvwHHMEDdT0 and if you are interested Anna does a guided meditation for communication. I had a session with one for Molly-cat and tried it myself too, with some results. It's not for everyone, of course. The lady I used also does Reiki and we have a session every time we go to the vets now.

I remember years ago a story about a child who had killed his sibling, I often wonder how as parents it's even possible to love that child and what it must take to move on in any kind of normality when something so awful happens. Sorry this has taken a dark turn, I apologise if I've gone too far sharing these things.

JulieJulie
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 127
Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2014 1:58 pm

Re: My baby died whilst I was away

Post by JulieJulie » Tue Jul 07, 2020 11:14 pm

Molly cat that is amazing because I did an online group (free) animal communication workshop with Pea Horsley on Monday past and shes doing sessions regularly for a short time.
https://animalthoughts.com/free-live-an ... atch-page/

I've had some hair tingling moments with animal communication and also been through the Trust technique course which was excellent.

When I tried to connect with Pebbles I felt overwhelming love from her. πŸ’šπŸ’•πŸ’œπŸŒˆ

You are such a kind soul, I'm sorry for your own losses as well. It's obvious how much you love your cats past and present and that has given you the kindness to help others through difficult situations as well.

I know my VIP cat is fading aswell so I'm trying to prepare myself for another loss.
I try so hard not to get upset in front of her because I know she does not like it.

Roxy is now Angel. That used to be another name I called her not sure why.
The house is strangely much calmer. I'm trying so hard.
I had a meltdown last night and beat myself up over all my mistakes but I know that is part of this horrible process.

User avatar
Mollycat
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 989
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2019 10:58 am
No. of cats in household: 1
Location: UK

Re: My baby died whilst I was away

Post by Mollycat » Wed Jul 08, 2020 5:16 am

Thank you so much I will join up too.

Wonderful to read this on this miserable rainy morning I am so glad you and your family and home are beginning to find more peace and harmony. It's still very early days and it's ok to have meltdowns. The idea of communication isn't for everyone - I found it when I was looking into reiki and it just seemed like a natural progression. Interestingly Molly gives me strong vivid specific images whereas Boo gave me emotions. The difference helps the rational part of me to take a step back and pipe down that it isn't just my imagination or wishful thinking. I suppose really it goes back to 2003 and my Misha, the first time I had to get help for anyone to pass, and I heard a voice in my head as clear as anything say, "I think I've had enough now, please help me".

Hoping you have more time with your VIP cat and a chance to recover before having to go through it all again.

JulieJulie
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 127
Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2014 1:58 pm

Re: My baby died whilst I was away

Post by JulieJulie » Wed Jul 08, 2020 1:30 pm

Thanks Molly. My VIP is definitely sending me the 'ready to cross the bridge' signs and we have an appointment for tomorrow.
It feels different to losing my baby tortie. We have had a fantastic and long life together, we have grown old together. I have fought for her over the years and am preparing myself (yeah right.) 2 cats in 3 weeks isn't going to be great...
Going to spend as much time with her until then.
xx

User avatar
Mollycat
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 989
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2019 10:58 am
No. of cats in household: 1
Location: UK

Re: My baby died whilst I was away

Post by Mollycat » Wed Jul 08, 2020 8:32 pm

Will be thinking of you.

Boo showed me he was deeply tired but not ready, then that he was ready, and afterwards that overwhelming love.

Remember to be kind to yourself.

User avatar
fjm
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 837
Joined: Sat Dec 23, 2017 6:11 pm
No. of cats in household: 2
Location: North West England

Re: My baby died whilst I was away

Post by fjm » Thu Jul 09, 2020 6:49 am

I am so sorry - first the shock of a sudden loss, and now having to prepare yourself for this second grief. I will be thinking of you today.

JulieJulie
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 127
Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2014 1:58 pm

Re: My baby died whilst I was away

Post by JulieJulie » Thu Jul 09, 2020 10:40 pm

My VIP cat decided it wasn't her time yet today, she just needed more pain meds and is eating again. Shes old and poorly but for now at least, I have her and we are taking it one day at a time. Thank God for her strength πŸ’•
We've been together for 16 years out of her 19.5. What a privilege πŸ’œπŸ’•πŸ’œπŸ’š

JulieJulie
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 127
Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2014 1:58 pm

Re: My baby died whilst I was away

Post by JulieJulie » Tue Jul 14, 2020 5:15 pm

Said goodbye to my VIP cat today.
Losing 2 cats in 3 weeks is a huge loss. My heart is ripped apart.
I was blessed with 16.5 years of love with my VIP, and only 9 years with my baby and have no regrets, I will never forget the day they came into my life, nor the days they left.
May they both run free ar the Rainbow bridge πŸŒˆπŸŒˆπŸ’”πŸ’”πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸŒ»πŸŒ»
Thankyou for 25 years of love and joy πŸ’•πŸ’œπŸ’šπŸŒˆπŸ’”πŸŒˆπŸ’”πŸ’œπŸ’šπŸ’•

User avatar
Mollycat
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 989
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2019 10:58 am
No. of cats in household: 1
Location: UK

Re: My baby died whilst I was away

Post by Mollycat » Tue Jul 14, 2020 7:06 pm

So, so sorry. My goodness I had a hard enough time losing my boys less than 2 years apart, you have my deepest sympathies. Take the best care of you and Angel Cat and your whole family, and let them take care of you the way they know how.

JulieJulie
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 127
Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2014 1:58 pm

Re: My baby died whilst I was away

Post by JulieJulie » Fri Jul 17, 2020 10:21 am

Thank you Molly Cat xxx

Post Reply