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I accidently trapped my cat in the tumble dryer


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Hello, my name is Rick, i'm 36, and I trapped my cat Bluebell in the tumble dryer yesterday, killing her. I was putting in my bedsheets and went looking the extension lead, as it's in a closet with no nearby plugs. I had noticed she had entered the closet, but was no where to found, there's not many places to hide other than the dryer (she has done this before). I thought of checking the dryer, but then thought "nah, I'm just being stupid, she just left and went somewhere else", so I switched it on, and headed upstairs to do a little exercise and get a bath. 

After the bath, I came downstairs to talk to mum, and then as I was chatting to her I got a bad feeling for some reason "no way is she in there, I'm just being a worrier" but then I opened the dryer and she flopped out like in one of those horror films. I screamed her name picked her up and lay her in the hallway shouting "NO NO NO, BLUEBELL I'M SORRY" as my Mum screamed, I tried breathing in her mouth, rubbing her, checking her throat for a pulse, listening to her chest for a heartbeat, but she was long gone. I took her upstairs and wrapped her in a towel so my Mother wouldn't see her like that. I kept stoking her and crying and crying, breathing in her mouth, listening for a heartbeat, and then I dug a hole in the garden and hour later,  brushed her fur for the last time, wrapped her in my favourite Iron Maiden flag and lay her in the hole and covered her saying "sorry, I'm so sorry". I put a stone rabbit in place of a grave marker while I wait for the one I ordered from eBay to get here.

Bluebell was found at my Mum's place of work, orphaned at only 4 weeks and nearly dead from starvation. Mum took her to the vet, they gave her fluid and some meat pâté and we took her home where I fed her cat formula several times a day. She grew up fit and healthy with the most loving and mischievous personality, she would follow me everywhere, lick my face as if I was another cat, she was so beautiful and everyone that met her, loved her. And I failed her in one moment of lazy stupidity, and now she's dead, I could have prevented it, I should known better, I talked about this nightmare scenario with my Mum so often and how we had to "be careful and ALWAYS CHECK THE TUMBLE DRYER" and my little girl, my Baby Blue payed the price, my Mum's paying the price, when it should only be me. If I could die to bring her back, I would, that's how much I loved her, she helped so much with my depression and now I feel so alone, no matter how much I talk about it with Mum, no matter how many  people tell me it's not my fault.

It wasn't meant to be like this, I was thinking that day, that I would be in my fifties by the time she passed away of old age, but that was false and I can't stop blaming myself. I haven't slept much or eaten much either, I lay in my bed last night with YouTube on to have some noise to distract my mind, because when it's quiet I see her flopping out of the dryer. Those sheets have been put in the bin and we covered the tumble dryer until we can have it removed in February.

I keep hearing sounds similar to her jumping on my window sill, I hear the other cats running around upstairs and I think of her jumping around and making noise.

I plan to adopt a shelter kitten, so at least Bluebells death can give another unfortunate animal a loving home. I'm going to plant Bluebell flowers on her grave when spring comes. 

I can't begin to describe how much she meant to me, I've lost my best friend on the whole world, I keep bursting into tears as I write this, and nothing I usually enjoy helps, I've no stomach for any of it. Sorry if this is a scattering mess of a post, I just need to get it out there. I'm so sorry Bluebell, you deserved better.

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I am so sorry!  Your story reminds me of when my Fluffy (dog) climbed into my van, unbeknownst to me while I was giving the cat medications, they'd both just come from the vet and I was leaving them with the kids while I went back to work.  That night I came out to my van and he rolled out into my arms, stiff as a board.  Everyone was gone and I screamed!  I called the vet and took him over there where he pronounced him dead.  He told me his brain would have burst from the heat as inside the van it was about 140 in the August heat, the windows rolled up.  While I was just a few feet from him inside my office, he was suffering to death.  :(  I never got over that and it was over 22 years ago.  

This was an accident, you never meant it to happen, would never have!  I hope with time you can forgive yourself.  Try writing a letter to Bluebell (beautiful cat!) and burning it on her grave to send it up to her.  You would be surprise how many people have had this happen.

http://www.griefhealingblog.com/2016/10/pet-loss-curious-cats-get-killed-in.html

http://media.wix.com/ugd/0dd4a5_e934e7f92d104d31bcb334d6c6d63974.pdf
https://www.pet-loss.net/guilt.shtml
https://www.griefhealingblog.com/2014/06/pet-loss-guilt-in-wake-of-kittens.html
http://www.griefhealing.com/article-loss-and-the-burden-of-guilt.htm
https://www.griefhealingblog.com/2019/08/pet-loss-when-guilt-overshadows-grief.html
https://www.griefhealingblog.com/2017/07/pet-loss-when-guilt-goes-unresolved.html

Focusing on memorializing them helps, which you have begun already.  I think your idea to rescue in her honor is a great start.  So was giving her a proper and loving burial complete with a grave marker.  It helps to have someplace to come to and visit them, I have my animals buried on my property and they all have memorial stones.  

I hope this video brings you some comfort:

 


 

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Thank you for the reply, it helps. I'm sorry for what happened to you, it wasn't your fault, you couldn't have known he was in your car. I've read a lot of the stories here and I feel for everyone who had/has to feel like this. I've never felt like this before. I had to have cats put down in the past, it was sad, I cried, but I knew it was the best thing for them, I could live with that. But this is very different, cruel kind of feeling. But being here helps.

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This does feel different.  I lost my Kitty one year ago, but she was 25, had been healthy up until Christmas, she went downhill really fast and no remedy, I had her euthanized Jan. 6...she'd lived a great life with me and I loved her and promised her a forever home and gave it to her, I know she's okay.  But when an animal's life is cut short and preventable, that hits us like a ton of bricks, the guilt and regret, the loss, shock, everything.  I know I posted a lot of articles, maybe you can read one a day as it can be too much at once. ;)

 

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Sorry for you and your cat, she had one very long life, you must have taken very good care of her 🙂

 I read the ones you posted for other people, and it's what made me share my story. I would encourage others to read them and share their grief too. It helps a lot.

Today as I was talking to Mum about the whole horrible situation, I came to a realisation, that Bluebell must have gotten into the dryer before I put the bedsheets in, as there's no way she would get onto wet clothes, and even if I had stopped to put my hand in before turn it on I would have never realised she was there. She was buried under heavy wet sheets and would have most likely died of asphyxiation or at least been unconscious by the time I had found the extension cable for the dryer to turn it on. 

There was nothing I could've done differently to change it, it was bad combination of the dryer being in a dark closest and being black would make her hard to spot, and a lot of big heavy sheets coving her up. With this in mind I feel I can go easier on myself, and grieve and cry and remember how happy she made without guilt having me go around in circles. 

I know it will always hurt to some degree when I think of her, but It's gotten a little easier today thanks to my talks with Mum, reading everyone's stories here and sharing mine. It's a long road ahead, but I feel for the first time I'm going to be ok. Take care everyone, I'll be reading your stories and even if I don't happen to leave a comment I'll be sharing in your grief.

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I am so glad you figured it out and can rest easier realizing what happened.  Maybe if you get another cat, bring the ext. cord to it, then reach in & check (bring flashlight?) and then load the clothes in.  Anything to help prevent a repeat.  I am, again, so sorry for your loss.  I wholeheartedly believe we'll be with them again someday, that is my one consolation and hope.

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Thanks Kayc. Whenever I use potentially dangerous appliances like a dryer, I'll be extra careful. As for the tumble dryer,  it's now in my garden, covered, and awaiting collection to be recycled. I can't even look at it and I don't think I'll ever use one again, I even threw out the extension cord. It just feels better knowing I never set eyes on them again.

Sometime in future I want to post more about Bluebells life, her habits and quirks that made her stand out :) I'll put up some videos and more pictures. 

 

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I understand, I'd feel the same way.  I would love to see your posts, when you are ready.  :wub:
Here's mine:

 

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  • 3 months later...

Rick, I read your story and the followup posts. Much of what I'd like to say to you, I just posted here

 

in response to someone with a similar situation if you would like to read it and think of Bluebell. She was a strikingly beautiful cat from your pictures, very cool deep eyes. As you will read, I think our pets are teachers in some special way, and I think the lesson Bluebell left you is obvious based on yoir story. Next time, you will know now, don't ignore your intuition! You need to develop your sense for that more I'm afraid. It is a sense, it can be ignored, or taken seriously. Bluebell, who looks quite magical herself, was definitely telling you to learn to understand your intuition. She showed you in a way you will never forget. If I just said a day before that happened, Rick, trust your intuition! You would have rolled your eyes and said yeah yeah... but Bluebell taught you in a way you ain't ever gonna forget now. It is a terrible loss to you and will hurt, but there is a way to see this lesson in a positive light, perhaps in a few years your intuition will come in real handy, like saving someone's life. 

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