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Nandy

Just a Normal Morning

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I'm a fairly busy man of 32. My wife is disabled leaving me to care for her and my two Children (2 and 4). For the most part we're a normal family with two cats a dog and a fresh litter of 7-8 week old kittens.

As I said life can be rather busy. Saturday night around 6 I was of to feed a friends dog. I quickly did the dishes and throw some wet washing in the dryer, the dryer mad a clump like there was a shoe inside, I don't know why I didn't open It up to check it. When I got home it was time to get everyone to bed and I just left the rest of my jobs until Sunday morning.

Sunday was just another normal morning. I got the children their breakfast and my wife a cup of tea and then got started on my things to do. I opens the dryer up....shock. There was one of my kittens laying...broken on top of the washing. I'm not emotional by nature, pets passing is always a sad time but I've never been moved to tears. I let out an almighty " Nooooooo". When I pulled the kitten from the dryer it was obvious he had suffered an awful horrific death no creature should have to ever experience. As I said, I'm not emotional by nature, my wife's even accused me of being quite cold hearted. I'm not coping well though, I cant stop seeing that little kitten and its little lifeless eyes looking through me. I honestly thing this'll haunt me forever. I should have checked the dryer when it made a clump. I should have left the door closed. I saw the kitten sniffing there a few days ago and thought to myself " I better be careful". Its my fault, and I deserve my guilt.

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I am so sorry.  I've heard this same story time and again...there are posts about it in the loss of pet section.  No matter how much I tell you it was an accident, you will probably still feel guilt.  We are hardest on ourselves.  If your wife had done this, what would you tell her?  Try to afford yourself some of the same understanding and forgiveness that you would give to others.

I think the kitten's body probably went into shock fairly quickly, protecting it from what was happening to it, our bodies are pretty amazing like that.  I have lost a pet to death...I had a dog, the sweetest family dog you could ever imagine, crawled back into my van after going to the vet and I didn't know it.  He was very quiet because he knew he wasn't supposed to sneak into it and he didn't want detected.  It was a very hot summer day.  I drove to the mill where I worked, all of the windows up.  At the end of the day I went out to my van and opened the door and he fell into my arms, stiff as a board.  I tried CPR.  I called the vet.  What did I think could be done after all those hours?  I took him to the vet and he pronounced him dead.  He told me it would have reached 140 inside the van, and his brain would have burst.  That was a pretty graphic detail I didn't need to hear.  I felt horrible!  The kids were home all day and wondered where he was yet never thought to call me.  It never occurred to us that he'd gotten back into the van.  We were just busy, too busy to notice. :(

I think I understand some of the pain you are feeling...that was one of the most horrible nights of my life.  He deserved so much better and he was robbed out of the rest of his life.  But he knew I loved him.  We gave him the best home we possibly could, took him swimming and camping, and he did have a good life even if cut short.  I know he'd be the first to forgive.

You might try writing a letter to the kitten...it does help to express ourselves.  I do not believe it is the end.  There's a lot we don't know about afterlife but some we do know, and we know that energy does not die, it merely changes form, and so it is with us and our creatures.  I do believe we'll meet up again.

I do hope you will read this post, and the links contained within it:

http://www.veterinarywisdomprofessionals.com/resource_center/help_for_clients/client_handouts/a_dangerous_villain_guilt

http://www.griefhealingblog.com/2012/12/grief-and-burden-of-guilt.html

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZcQvYh_3Atw

 

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Oh my friend, how my heart hurts for you. I'm so sorry this happened ~ but clearly it was an accident, and certainly you never intended to bring harm to this innocent little creature. Given the role you're playing in your family and the responsibilities and duties on your shoulders ~ as head of a busy household, a father of two young children, a primary caregiver to a spouse with a disability, a pet parent to several companion animals and a person who makes time to look after a friend's dog ~ it's not at all surprising that you were distracted and rushing to get everything done.

As Kay has indicated in her post, we've heard from so many pet parents whose experiences are similar to yours. I hope that reading some of their stories, along with the responses they received, will be of some comfort to you:

My Cat Died An Accidental Death

I Killed My Cat By Not Knowing He Was In The Dryer

My Wonderful Cat Boo

Bottomless Pit of Unexpected Devastating Losses

I Killed My Pet Cat! 

loss my sweet kitty to the dryer

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Thank you for your kind word everyone. I'm so glad I found this group and will definitely be looking through these other incidents...when my two sprogs are in bed and asleep (I swear not a seconds peace). It's been difficult, I've always been very shut off from pain and all of this is new to me. The poor little thing deserved better. It was my favourite of the litter and we intended to keep him. Thank you again.

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Wishing you peace and healing...

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