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LindsayD

Lost my cat in the desert

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My husband and I are traveling in our camper with our 4 fur babies: two 14-year-old whippets and our two beloved kitties. Our kitty, Aquila, snuck out of our camper two nights ago and we haven't seen her since. We are camping in the South Texas desert, and there are lots of coyotes around here. I bet I've walked 20 miles in the last 2 days looking for her and calling to her. I've looked under every building and pile of rubbish I can find. We're going to post flyers tomorrow and check with the shelters in the closest town. My mind is going to the worst places possible- of a horrible death via coyote or bobcat, or of her alone and searching for us in the unfamiliar desert. I'm hopeful that she may just be hiding somewhere and that she'll find her way back to us, but the more nights she spends outside the worse her survival chances become. The idea of never knowing what happened to her or if she's out there somewhere is absolutely paralyzing me. Anybody have tips for dealing with the grief of a lost pet where there's no closure?

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I'm so sorry, Lindsay, that this is happening to you and your husband. Dealing with a lost fur baby is agonizing, and I know how much this hurts. I offer this article to you, in hopes that it contains some of the tips you're seeking: When A Pet Goes Missing 

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I am very sorry for your loss and that it took place away from home makes it all the harder.  My heart goes out to you as I've been through this more than once.

Thank you for the article, Marty, I hadn't seen this one before.  I, too struggled with the same thing 3 1/2 years ago when Miss Mocha went missing.  I was certain it was a cougar, because of where I live and because I was outside all day and never heard anything (they are quick and quiet) and she never would have left of her own accord, she didn't venture off our property on her own.

It IS hard to process, let it sink in, and accept that they are gone when we don't have closure...no body to bury, nothing definitive letting us know exactly what happened.  It can take longer because of that as it's slower processing...balancing hope with reality.  

I found it helps to memorialize them in some way...I bought a memorial stone for her which I placed in our "family graveyard" as my kids call it...where my pets are buried and my husband's ashes are scattered.  Although I know her body is not there, I feel perhaps if she is allowed, she visits here with her spirit.  I love and miss her still.

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Thank you, Marty, for the article and thank you, Kay, for your heartfelt response. The not knowing is so hard - trying to find the correct balance between holding out a little hope but also moving toward acceptance that she's likely gone forever. As the days pass and I move closer to that acceptance I will definitely memorialize her in some way permanent here in the desert and in a way that I can maybe take with me as well. I'm feeling an intense amount of guilt for being her mom and not being able to protect her and keep her safe. If either of you have any advice for how to deal with that part of things, any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much.

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