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Catmom

I need help

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I had a kitten named Mia. She did everything with me. She ate with me slept with me and went everywhere I went around my house. Wednesday morning my youngest daughter woke up (she’s 2.5), she had peed through her diaper and on her sheets and blankets so I immediately washed them. I was rushing her and my middle aged daughter out the door sober could go to the store and quickly through the bed sheets and blankets in the dryer. Not paying attention as I was trying to rush and go that my kitten Mia had jumped into the dryer. I came home to let our dog out and could smell a foul Oder just passing it as maybe dog gas or a dog accident in the kennel. A couple hours later I came downstairs to get the bed stuff from the dryer and saw my poor helpless limp kitten dead in my dryer. I feel so guilty. I’ve barely eaten the last 3 days and all I can think about is how much I miss her. How I could have taken 2 seconds to inspect the dryer. All these what ifs and I’m so severely devistated and depressed I don’t know what to do. I cry every day and I’m so upset with myself that I will never be able to forgive myself for not looking this one time. How scared she must have been. I don’t know what to do this pain is so unbearable. I’m literally broken and my world stopped. My cats are like my own children only with fur and a tail. I’ll never be able to move on and the guilt will be here forever. 

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My dear, I am so sorry, as I read your post, I am knowing exactly how you are feeling.  19 years ago I took my dog and cat to the vet, with my kids.  We came home and opened the back end of the van and let the dog out, and got out the cat carrier.  We were tending to the cat, we had to give her some medication.  When I was done, I left and went back to work.  At the end of the day, I opened my van door and out rolled my beautiful little dog, stiff as a board, into my arms.  I went beserk!  I called the vet and quickly scooped him up and met my family down at the vet's, where he, obviously, pronounced him dead.  I don't know what I was thinking the vet could do, perform a miracle?!  My daughter had a date that night and they sat on a curb while she cried.  It was a horrible time.  The vet told me it would have gotten to 140 degrees in the car and his brain would have burst.  I didn't need that piece of information!  I imagined him getting hotter and hotter!  Did he cry out for me when I was on the other side of the wall, working in my office?  I had no idea he'd gotten back into the van.  He never peeped.  He must have known he wasn't supposed to because he was very very quiet while I drove the 10+ miles to work.

I think an image like that stays with you forever, but I can assure you that in time it will fade a bit.  Yes, if we could roll back time with the knowledge we have, we'd do it differently.  But we didn't know.  It's hard to change what you don't know.

I can tell you that there are many such stories on this site about people losing their cat in their dryer.  They like the warmth.  

It will be important for you to forgive yourself.  Yes, make a conscious effort to do just that.  Holding onto the blame for yourself does nothing for your cat, it only harms you.  We are human, we aren't perfect, we don't have x-ray vision or often the foresight we wish we had.  I want to say one thing that I really hope stays with you, "It is the LOVE that binds you to your cat, not the grief."  It isn't how badly we feel over their deaths that proves our love for them.  We can, with time, learn to let go of that horrid pain and forgive ourselves, it takes conscious effort to do so.  I hope you will really take my words to heart, because your hating yourself for what happened is not going to help you or your cat.  Take this knowledge, going forward, and make sure to watch the dryer door (or van door) so this never happens again.  But let go of the guilt.  Please! 

You never would do anything to consciously hurt an animal, you are a caring person, I can tell.

By this time I'm sure you've buried Mia.  Perhaps a ritual, building a small rock garden or laying a headstone or planting a tree will help you with her memory.  We planted a rosebush in Fluffy's memory and made a cross with his favorite words on it (treat, go, etc.).  

I hope you will read these articles, they really spoke to me.

http://media.wix.com/ugd/0dd4a5_e934e7f92d104d31bcb334d6c6d63974.pdf 

http://www.pet-loss.net/guilt.shtml

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This pain is so unbearable I went out to try and find a kitten that looks just like her. Drove 2 hours and got a little boy thinking that having one that looks like her will slowly help the pain a little but it doesn’t. I hate going into the laundry room and I hate hearing the dryer run. 

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I can imagine how hard it is.  

I hope your little boy grows on you.  It may not help the pain of losing your little girl, it can't, but I hope you begin to develop bonds with him and form the love for him he needs.

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