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Bryn

I accidentally killed my kitten and the guilt is overwhelming

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My husband and I rescued a cat who had a litter of kittens and then my mother in law brought us another kitten, who we named Lucy, to care for. He was the light of my life, the sweetest kitten to walk this earth and I enjoyed every moment of him. We also recently rescued two orange kittens from the side of the highway who are particularly skittish. The kittens have a bad habit of climbing into the undercarriage of our cars  and so we make it a regular duty to check for them every morning before we leave for work. This past week, I realized that the orange kittens were in the belly of my car and went to great lengths to remove them which ended up in me burning my arm from my exhaust pipe but, finding them safe and not seeing any of the other kittens under my car, I pulled out of my driveway. Moments later I heard a thump and God only knows the level of devastation and guilt I have felt since that moment as I saw our sweet baby Lucy fall to the side of the road... I was numb, in shock, I turned around and as soon as I had his tiny body in my arms I began sobbing crying and I've had an absolutely wretched time of it since. I can't absolve myself of the guilt and sadness that I feel and I cannot believe that I was the cause of his demise. I loved him like a child and through my neglect I ended his life and I do not know how to forgive myself. I missed work that day because I couldn't even handle facing anyone knowing what I had done. My husband says it's not my fault and there's nothing I could have done but I feel like if I just would have kept looking or realized or driven slower or swerved, I could still have my sweet Lucy purring in my arms. I have never and would never hurt an animal and they thought of a defenseless kitten being harmed makes me sick to my stomach. I cannot forgive myself. 

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I am so sorry, you took every precaution to keep them safe and sometimes even our best efforts aren't enough.  I'm feeling this with the loss of my sweet dog, Arlie.  He had cancer, when they discovered it, it was too far gone, he'd had a physical but they'd done a cursory one apparently, not catching what they should have. I had him euthanized to relieve his suffering.  I keep beating myself up, I should have known, etc.  I feel like I let him down.

The answer in this article is good, one I need to read and re-read and I hope it helps you as well.  No matter how vigilant, how much we love them and want to be their protectors and saviors, it seems we can't be all, all the time.  https://www.griefhealingblog.com/2014/04/pet-loss-guilt-in-wake-of-euthanasia.html

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