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I accidentally killed my 2 month old kitten, Beau, a kitten that I've been caring for since he was a week old.


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Hey everyone! I wrote this on May 21, 2021, 6 hours after I accidentally killed my 2 month old kitten named Beau. And I am completely devastated.

Together with my family, I have always fed stray cats every morning and afternoon so we have quite a lot of stray cats hanging around our yard and outdoor areas. However, Beau was the first indoor cat, and the first one I could actually call my own.

One of the stray cats I feed gave birth at a vacant lot just next to our yard where we feed these cats. One week later, I opened the gate one morning to let the stray cats in when I heard tiny meows. And by my feet lies a week-old tuxedo kitten. I really don’t know how the kitten got there, I wonder if its mother brought it there or what. I took the kitten in and put him in a basket since it was quite a mess with a bunch of cats fighting for food. He was so tiny, eyes closed, his ears folded and barely visible. I have small hands and yet my hands are still bigger than this kitten.

I left the kitten out there for the rest of the day because his mother could come back for him. But then when I came to feed them again in the afternoon, the mom cat didn’t at all care about this kitten or even dared to sniff him. So that’s when I took him in. I was afraid he'd be cold outside, or eaten by random wild animals, or even die of dehydration since there was no milk available for him.

Before I took him in I asked my dad to buy supplies like formula milk and bottles, all that. I made him a DIY incubator using my nighlights that heat up when used for a long time, wrapped the box in thick blankets and didn’t use the AC for like a week or 2 to keep him warm. I bought baby blankets and stuffed animals so he wouldn't be lonely. I watched videos and read articles about raising neonatal kittens. When I first got him he needed to be fed every 2 hours even at night, then as he ages the time also increases. It became every 3-4 hours, then every 4-5 and so on. He had trouble suckling so I bought a miracle nipple even though it was very expensive in my country, but it was fine since it did help him have more milk. Until he was 4 weeks old, I needed to stimulate him to go potty and until he was 5 weeks old, I needed to give him milk. I watched him open his eyes, watched him take his first steps, and achieve a lot of milestones in his life.

Then he grew up. I taught him how to groom himself using a toothbrush, I trained him to go to the potty (he had accidents every once in a while but he caught on), I weaned him into wet food, and I even set a strict schedule for him to make sure his psychological health is being taken care of - I would wake him up and let him out of his little cubby space every 7:30 am then we’ll play for 30 minutes, then give him breakfast. (Hunt, catch, kill, eat, groom, sleep) I’d do the similar routine at lunch and dinner time.

Just as when his eyes were developing, there was goo all over one of his eyes. Then there he had his first vet visit and he was given eye drops and underwent deworming. He became more active each day and ate a lot. Although he was still very small, he was in good health. He liked sleeping on my laundry pile and under my bed. He knew his name and would come to me everytime I called “Bowie!” or “Bowie-boy!” I was so stoked about the idea of us growing old together. I even plan on bringing him when I leave for university this year. He was very clingy and would lay down beside me everytime he saw me laying down. He even once put his nose in my ear and it tickled me. 

His permanent eye color developed soon enough, it was a beautiful deep green. Every night I close the lights and leave a little night lamp on, and there he’ll know it’s bed time and would go to his cubby himself and stay there. Although sometimes he wants to cuddle a little before I set him down in his cubby. But in the morning, I’ll always wake up with him next to me, laying next to my pillows and blanket. Weirdly enough I have never squished him in my bed. But it was a joy waking up next to him everyday. I am totally obsessed with him sleeping that I have so many photos of him sleeping on my phone.

I was quarantined for 2 weeks after my grandmother who lives with us got COVID, and I was locked in my room without anyone else but my Bowie boy. He helped me get through that isolation.

Yesterday, the new feeding bowl and toys I ordered for him arrived. He loved all of it. This morning I decided to transition him into a dry food and goat’s milk diet but he didn’t like it so he didn’t eat much. I decided to go prepare some wet food for him in his new bowl and he ate it so fast it was crazy. I took a photo because he was so cute. But little did I know that that was the last meal I’ll ever give him, and the last photo I’ll take of him.

It was 1:00 in the afternoon when I just went up to my room after receiving a package that included some litters for him. I went out to empty his litter box to change into the newly arrived litter but then I got an important email so I rushed inside my room to answer it. I didn’t see him anywhere so I assumed he was under my bed. I didn’t even sit down, I looked at the email and answered it immediately. But then after that, I took a step backwards.

And my beautiful Bowie was there, laying on his side. I felt his fragile body being squished by my foot. He screamed, it was painful to hear. He was shaking uncontrollably and I was mortified since I have seen this before when our outside dogs attacked a stray kitten. He was having seizures. I picked him up, massaged his chest. He was choking and coughing, and I continued massaging his stomach and chest, taking him near my body. But then he took one last breath and then his body turned into jelly.

I lay him down on my bed, still doing chest compressions. I frantically called the vet asking if there’s anything I could do but then she said that if there’s no more response, then it’s over. I also read that when their gums are white or pale, they must’ve had shock or cardiac arrest. My poor Beau’s gums and toe beans were white as hell. I cried and wailed and bawled. My parents were out so I don’t have anyone to help me. I called a friend and just cried for 30 more minutes. I hugged his dead body and gave him my final kisses. I held him like a baby since he really is my baby. I took final pictures of him with all his favorite toys and blankets. I made him a coffin out of a shoe box and wrapped him in a hanky that was his swaddle when he was still very young. He has grown out of that swaddle. I put his favorite and first toy, a stick with my old shoe lace tied on it, inside the coffin next to him. I kept him on my study table until my parents came home with a candle- much like a memorial service. I also wrote him a letter and included it in his coffin. I would stop crying but then see his lifeless body again and go back to crying. I would repeatedly tell him that I love him and that he must come back to me someday.

When my dad came home, we went to bury Beau. My beautiful, lovely little boy is now under the ground and I’ll never see him again. Then everything started to hit me when I entered my room after we buried him. That’s when it started to hit me that no one came running to my door, and that no one will ever come out when I call “Bowie boy”, that even how much I call him, how many toys I put on the floor, my Beau will never show up anymore. Tonight I’ll be sleeping alone and the cubby next to my bed will be empty. And tomorrow morning, I’ll wake up to no one next to me… I am in so much pain. Beau was with me every single day for the past two months. And even though his life was short, I loved him every second of it. I watched him open his eyes, learn how to eat and go potty on his own. I watched him take his first steps and play with his toys. I cuddle him every single day, kiss him every time I have a chance. My little boy was so precious to me, I loved him in a way I never thought I would ever be capable of. My eyes hurt from too much weeping and I try to go to sleep but then I’d remember that the moment I wake up, Beau will not be there anymore. No matter how much I close my eyes and refuse this reality, he won’t be back. It was that one step that killed him. If I was alert enough or if my foot missed even just a few centimeters, my boy would still be here and I wouldn’t be writing this. 

The pain is too unbearable. He was the perfect cat, he was sweet and well-behaved, healthy and happy. It sucks that I wouldn’t even see him grow up into such a beautiful tuxedo cat. It sucks that all I have now is pictures of him to remind me of how adorable he is. It sucks that he can’t be here anymore… I am so broken and devastated. I still can’t believe he’s really gone. I know this will all heal and the wound is just too fresh, but I would like to embrace this feeling of guilt and sadness over the loss of my Beau for the meantime. I am pretty resilient so I know I’ll be fine in a couple of weeks and months and by then, all I’ll remember is the happy memories of my dear kitten. But for now, that seems like an impossible thing to happen.

Writing this made me feel better. And reading all your past stories made me feel like I wasn’t alone. I am not dying of guilt, I am not blaming myself that much. I am just really devastated about his loss and how everything’s gonna change. He was a part of me and now he’s gone.

I’d also very much appreciate advice as to how to cope up with this. I am still clinging on to the things he used, his toys, blankets, etc. My dad told me to keep them away now so I’ll be able to move on. But at this point I still don’t want to. Is that okay?

Thank you for being here and sorry for the long read. 

Lastly, I love you, my little Beau. Run free in pet heaven. Stay sweet and adorable. I hope to see you and hold you again in the future. I already miss you, boy. I am sorry for what I did, I put you in so much pain and now I’ll spend a long time hurting from your loss… But nevertheless, I am glad to have had the chance to raise you and give you a chance in life that you absolutely deserve, and be the recipient of your love and loyalty. You are the best, and I’ll never forget you. In another life, I'll choose to make the same decision of adopting you, even how challenging it may seem.

Always,
favoritebeau.

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  • favoritebeau changed the title to I accidentally killed my 2 month old kitten, Beau, a kitten that I've been caring for since he was a week old.
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2 hours ago, favoritebeau said:

I’d also very much appreciate advice as to how to cope up with this. I am still clinging on to the things he used, his toys, blankets, etc. My dad told me to keep them away now so I’ll be able to move on. But at this point I still don’t want to. Is that okay?

I too am so very sorry for your loss, my dear. Clearly this was a tragic accident, and not intentional on your part. As I read your story, I found myself thinking how mature you are in your reaction to all of this, and I've no doubt in my mind that you will emerge from this experience the stronger and the wiser for it. What an amazing and dedicated animal lover you've proven yourself to be! The next animal companion ever to come into your life will be very blessed indeed.

As for your question about holding onto your beloved Beau's things, I think that is totally up to you. You are the only one who knows what will bring you comfort, and it is far too soon to be concerned about your "moving on" from this horrible event. Besides, it's far better to think of this as moving through rather than moving on. This is for you a life-changing event, and you are wise to allow yourself to lean into all of it until you can make sense of it and find your own way through it. And you ARE coping with this, as evidenced by your writing your story and sharing it with all of us here. There are lots of ways we can cope with and move through grief in healthy ways; you'll find many suggestions here: Bereavement: Doing The Work of Mourning ~ but I think if you just continue to follow your own good instincts, you will be just fine. That is not to say that this is easy ~ this is probably one of the most painful and challenging events you'll ever have  ~ but it is also an opportunity for you to find great meaning in it, and to make it count for something significant in your life. What you do with this experience is totally up to you, and I wish you all the best as this unfolds and you discover that for yourself. ❤️

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I got teary eyed reading your story, favorite beau. And I agree with MartyT, you were clearly a great mommy to your Beau, in fact I don't think I've ever read of someone so devoted and sensitive to their cat's needs, with everything you did for him. The line in your story which stuck out to me most is this,

"And even though his life was short, I loved him every second of it."

I think that is the key thing here. What happened was an accident, perhaps you can learn from that and this will help you in your future relationships, as I'm sure you will be even more careful in future. And some people speculate that there is life after death, reincarnation etc, and that souls learn from their lives and deaths and move on to new lives with some of the wisdom they gained. Perhaps Beau learned something from this experience too? That in this world, accidents do happen, terrible tragedy can befall us even unintentionally caused by those we love the most. He just trusted you so much because he knew how good you were to him, he knew how much you loved him, but he did not realiize things can go wrong accidentally. If you had just stood on his tail, he would have lived and learned not to lay too close without alerting you to his presence, but sadly what happened happened. I don't think it was your fault at all but I genuinely do think you can learn from this how to be more aware in your movements. 

A similar tragedy happened in my family, with a bird. I have met with resistance when I suggest one can learn to be more aware of oneself, movements etc and can learn how to live more consciously, acting less out of impulse or reaction and more from clarity and awareness, but I still believe it is possible for us all to learn this way of living which is so important with our animal friends who are smaller than us and soft and the same for human kids. I think this will be a powerful learning experience for you and make you an even better "pet owner" in future - and you're already really, really great! I also agree with MartyT that the next animal friend you have will be very blessed to be with you and that all the love you had and have for Beau will find renewal in that lucky animal. 

I really got somethihg deep from how you wrote your story. Thanks for including all those details, so important for giving us an insight into your situation and what happened. Sometimes people try to be concise but then we fill in the blanks with our imagination and assume the worse, so I'm glad you shared all those details with us. I feel so bad for Beau, to be taken care of so tenderly and gently with all the love in the world, then suddenly... that. It is truly awful to think about and one of those shocking things about life. It still kind of amazes me that in life there can be all these wonderful refined things and yet such horrors and tragedies. It is kind of mind boggling! 

I personally believe your relationship with Beau is not over, it's just that things have changed. You may not meet him again for a while, or maybe you will, but I think the love you have with him will never die and will find its completion someday. Be hopeful for that! It gives me such a great hope to think one day i will be with my pets again! 

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