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I blame myself for killing my kitten


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So I haven't posted in one of these things 

ever but I feel the need to now. My family and I were fostering these two adorable kittens, nutmeg and clove. We finally let them run around the house yesterday after thinking we had kitten-proofed the house. We couldn't find nutmeg last night after dinner, and started looking everywhere. After 15 minutes of looking, my dad decided to look in the dishwasher, thinking it was a stupid idea. There our precious nutmeg was, laying drowned on the plates. We tried cpr without knowing what to do but it was far too late. My mom blames herself- she did the dishes last night. All I keep thinking is if we just checked the dishwasher sooner. Now her sister, Clove is all alone. We all are so upset. I didn't sleep last night and I have this awful feeling of guilt and nausea. I can't stop thinking about how horrible her death must have been. She was just getting healthier too. She was finally eating, and gaining weight. I don't know how to get over this grief and tell the shelter(we were fostering for them) that we killed nutmeg.

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My friend, if you've found your way to this forum, I hope you've also taken some time to read through some of the posts you'll find here. Doing so will help you realize that you are not alone. Terrible accidents do happen, and surely what happened to your dear little Nutmeg is one of them ~ but that in no way means that anyone in your family set out intending to bring harm to this precious little creature. Quite the contrary: Clearly if you were willing to open your home to foster two kittens, your heart is in the right place, and I'm sure your mom's is, too. 

What you're left with now is guilt. As you say, your mom blames herself, and I would imagine that everyone in the family feels a little bit of anger, too. That is not to say that any of these feelings is justified ~ but it helps to remember (I hope) that feelings are not facts. No one wanted this horrid accident to happen. Everyone feels terrible that it did happen. Don't try to talk yourselves out of any of the feelings you may be having. Better to let everyone just feel what you are feeling and find a way to express those feelings. Guilt like this usually requires some form of absolution, which can come in the form of sharing with trusted others what has happened and obtaining forgiveness from them. Still, in the end, the one whose forgiveness matters most is forgiveness of oneself. Both you and your mom must find a way to forgive yourselves for being human, for making a terrible mistake, and for unintentionally causing harm to an innocent animal. It also helps to find a way to make amends ~ to find some way to make up for what happened to your kitty. That could be simply by having been brave enough to share your story here with us ~ which serves as a powerful warning to those of us with kittens in the house to be more careful about making sure our major appliances are checked thoroughly before we shut their doors. It could also be by writing a letter to Nutmeg's spirit, asking her understanding and seeking her forgiveness. You could construct a meaningful ritual for your family, reading the letter, setting it aflame and sending the message heavenward. Use your imagination. Rituals are powerful ways to cope with pain like this. 

I hope you will do a bit of reading to come to a better understanding of what you are feeling, Maude ~ and encourage your mom to do so as well. You might start here: Pet Loss: Curious Cats Get Killed in Clothes Dryers 

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I am so sorry for the loss of your precious Nutmeg.  No one expects these things to happen but they do, very often...so much so that I just posted one of Marty's articles about it on Facebook as a warning to other pet owners.  It seems to be one of the more common types of deaths for cats.

I know you're beating yourself up, but you couldn't have known, it was an accident.
I hope this article is of comfort to you, it is one of my favorites:

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