Comment on Pet loss and self-forgiveness by Sophie Tickle.
Thank you for this article, from the bottom of my heart. It’s been about 3 or so years since my beloved cat was tragically attacked and died from the injury she sustained. I feel a lot of guilt for not being as involved in her life – I lived in a different city and she lived with my mum. But my mum wasn’t very hands on so it was more my responsibility to make sure any odd behaviour etc was dealt with. Basically a neighbours cat, a male Bengal, attacked her one evening and she died after the vet had to put her to sleep as her injury was too bad to fix. When I visited her there were signs she was not at ease ie. staying away from the house, appearing on edge somewhat. And I knew of this cat that was large but I was unaware when I saw it that it was a Bengal – I wasn’t familiar with those types of cats, I just thought it was larger than usual cats. When I analyse everything ie. my cat urinating inside etc and not coming home every night (this is what my mum told me) it makes sense she was in a lot of fear …I made sure a cat flap was installed and thought that would help. I’ve reported the Bengal, spoken to the oweners of it after the attack happened, but it didn’t go anywhere. Bengals are legal and that’s that apparently and the vet couldn’t prove it was a Bengal that did it even though it was. It happened outside our back door and the garden has tall fences around it. It was the Bengal without a shadow of a doubt. The point is, I know self blame won’t change anything but my sense of responsibility and failing her is so so strong at times. Reading your article and articles like yours does help me to try and remember that I never expected her death to come about as a result of not paying closer attention to the signs of distress that is hindsight I know were there. I loved her, her temperament was absolutely wonderful, so sweet, patient, loving, and I hope that the other parts of her life made up for the last part of her life – I’m not sure if it was days or months, when she felt the panic and pain that she did.
Thank you for reading this long post and again for your contribution to the bereaved owners of beloved pets.