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Another Angel lossed to Dryer


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Yesterday, I accidently killed Baby Girl aka Ponyo, my daughter's 7 month old kitten, and I am devastated.

I was cleaning, shampooing my carpets and doing laundry.  It is a common Saturday routine. I swapped the laundry and returned to carpet cleaning. The dryer was loud, thumping but I chalked it up to the number of wet towels in the load. I cannot recount how much time passed, but at least 20-30 mins.  And the thumping was still happening. 

This is when an alarm went off in my head.  I opened the dryer and she was there, in the clothing, nearly dead.

I was panic running around the house, her in my arms trying to find shoes and a car key when my daughter awoke to this absolute chaos.  Panyo was gasping for breaths, limp with blood in her mouth. We drove her to the vet a few miles away, and she passed before we even arrived.

She has hopped in the dryer before.  I do not know how she escaped me noticing she did it this time.  I am so angry at myself for not checking for her.  I am so angry at myself for not investigating the thumping immediately. If I had, she might still be with us and not died such a horrible death.

Since it happened, I keep hearing that dryer thump in my head and I worry about my daughter.  She is also devastated.   

She was the bravest, most curious, loving spitfire.  She was mischevious and playful.  Only 2lbs when she first arrived from the rescue, nearly half the weight should she be.
She spent so much time with me, every day, on my desk when I worked, curled up to with my shih-tzu while we slept.  Waking me up at the first crack of dawn to be fed.  
Just yesterday morning, she curled up on my shoulder and purred so loudly that I didn't want to move.

We are both just so heartbroken.  I just cannot stop crying or blaming myself.

I came here in hopes of being able to process my grief and guilt, especially as I see there are so many others who have experienced this horrific accident too.



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37 minutes ago, Shae said:

I came here in hopes of being able to process my grief and guilt, especially as I see there are so many others who have experienced this horrific accident too

I'm so sorry, Shae, and I hope you'll find some comfort here too.

Yes, unfortunately, you are not alone. Note the comments at the base of this post: Curious Cats Get Killed in Clothes Dryers. See also Curious Cats Still Getting Killed in Clothes Dryers

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Shae, I felt very sad reading your post and I can tell you are deeply devastated that this even happened. The fact that you do feel destroyed, is, in a way, a good sign, it means your heart is in the right place. Think of people who feel nothing at an animal's death, or think nothing of killing them. You are way beyond them in your soul, please do not let this incident make you think you are a bad person! 

It was, ultimately, an accident. Although cats are very smart and often comprehend possible dangers by thinkin several steps ahead, I believe some cats are raised so lovingly that they may think there is no danger in life and Ponyo could not have possibly anticipated that happening. 

It's a very shocking and disturbing thing; this is not professional advice, I am just another person with grief, but in my view it is as it should be if you are disturbed and haunted by it for a while. I think this is all necessary emotions for us to experience and process. I encourage you and your dauhter to take a deep breath, realize there is no instant fix all cure here now. It is simply going to take time. 

But when you feel disturbed and keep dwelling on it in your head or in conversation, remember it is because you loved Ponyo, that you are so shocked and disturbed, Even if 'only' for 7 months, you extended your loving embrace to Ponyo and gave her a good life it seems. 

If I try to place myself in Ponyo's situation to try and understand what they may have experienced mentally, I think the sudden shock of the machine startin would have been such an immediately life or death concern that Ponyo would not have thought anything regarding you; what I mean is, I do not think she would have been able to think anything like "what have they done? why won't they stop it and save me?". In all likelihood, she was probably totally overwhelmed by the whole thing and in her mind she was just trying to hold on to life so she could keep loving and bein loved by your and your family. 

I have tears writing this now because I feel so much for you, it is such a tragedy. Nothing will undo that, sadly. Life just does not seem to work that way, however as others will tell you also, in time your pain will change and you will be able to smile remembering Ponyo's life and the good times you shared and you will feel such a deep love inside your heart with the hope of one day reuniting with her in heaven and expressing your feelings of shock and sadness and how much her loss devastated your family. She will be honored just to know she, a 7 month old cat, meant that much to you all. 

I really have come to believe our pets are more than just animals we provide food and shelter. There is a much deeper phenomenon going on here, ao much deeper. They are more like angels for want of a better term, it's almost like each one is sent on a mission to be with a certain family or person, to protect and keep them company, to love them, even if no one else ever has. In this they excel in their mission every time and never let us down, but sometimes we let them down, because truth be told, we seem to be in many ways quite inferior beings to them. 

They say sometimes life is like a school, we exist to learn and grow and develop in our souls, experiencing life from so many different perspectives to understand the deep interconnectedness of everyone and everything. You and your family have just been dealt one of the hardest lessons there is in life! You have every right to mourn and feel grief, please don't let anyone dismiss or downplay that fact, for it shows your love to care and be so hurt by such a shocking thing.

If you had posted something like "soo my cat died in the dryer and now my kid is upset, what do i do get another cat or something?" I would be very concerned for you, because that would tell me you have big problems handling emotions and feeling empathy and so on. But you did not post that, you posted your story in a way that made me feel for you and for Ponyo. You will all be OK, this will make you into even better people. This must have been Ponyo's lesson she brought to you, and once she taught it, she left, onto other projects I suppose! 

I hope you understand what I'm saying and aren't offended by anything. I can't claim to speak for Ponyo but I have a pretty good feeling, knowing cats, that if you could speak to her wherever she is now in her spirit, she would have no hard feelings at all, she would have nothing but love for you, and she would not even need an apology but would gracefully accept anyway and tell you in her own way, "it's Ok, Shae...it's ok". 

A final note: I was not raised religious so don't take this as a reault of childhood conditioning etc, but I have really come to believe that there is something deeper going on in our lives and that though the pain of losing our loved ones is so terrible it will become joy in future when we are reunited. I cannot fathom a universe created suitable for sustaining intelligent, sensitive, emotional, meaningful living beings that just ends in a total death and cessation of existence. It is kind of crazy to even think that's anymore likely than the idea that we are all souls with purpose in life and that our relationships do indeed matter in an eternal sense and that we will reunite with all our lost loved ones in time. I have also realized something pretty cool: you know how everyone is by default afraid of dying? well, *looks around not sure if I should share this secret* when our beloved pets pass before us, they leave us a secret weapon for greeting death with a smile ourselves because then there is a hope of seeing them again! By all means, live out your natural life span! I'm not encourging anything like suicide at all, just simply saying it is possible to feel an inner happiness knowing that someday you are going to see them again and it will be amazing! 

Sorry for length but some practical advice if I may: personally, I would recommend letting some time pass before you get another cat. It will be a difficult time for you ahead but embrace the suffering knowing that it is a process you are going through that positively shapes your soul. It doesn't just spiral down worse and worse so don't worry about that, but to get to the better place you have to just accept that this is your lot right how and have to bear it rightly until the burden is lifted and you feel light and love and happiness and ready to welcome a new cat to your lives.

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That you for taking the time to post this.  It resonated with me and I really appreciated reading it (and tearing up) as part of my Grief.  I came here especially for that, because I do not want to overburden my casual friends with constant waves of sadness.

I had to clean the dryer today, as there was residue on the drum and it was the hardest thing I've ever done.

I am fortunate in that I have a very large pet family including 2 dogs.  But I am also aware that they have started to notice one of the three musketeers is missing. The shih-tzu suffered from an eye ulcer that resulted in a perforated cornea and just recently went under a very expensive eye graft.  

My pets are my family, which is why I called her baby girl. Today was very hard, there were so many daily routines she was missing from.





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I am so sorry.  There are no words that will comfort you, I realize that.  I lost my soulmate in a dog and my 25 year old cat both within 4 1/2 months, then Covid began, it's been the hardest time of my life, along with losing my husband 16 years ago.  Your kitty is beautiful.  I do believe in afterlife, that there is something beyond our finite physical bodies. 

A Dangerous Villain: Guilt

I hope this short video brings you some comfort and peace.


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