Some tips (and reminders for myself) for people who have endured or are enduring the violent death of a healthy and loved companion.
Exactly five days ago (almost to the minute), my beloved cat was mauled to death on our driveway by two of my neighbour’s dogs. On top of the pain of losing a cat I raised for over 8 years, a cat who I held in my hand and fed from a bottle when he was just a kitten; I had to witness my cat’s violent death. After I somehow managed to get the dogs off my cat, I cradled him in my arms and he died. Whilst standing with my dead cat in my arms, covered in his blood, the dogs’ owner proceeded to blame my cat for always walking on other people’s property (even though my cat was mauled on our driveway) and blame me for taking my cat outside (even though we had been taking my cat outside every day for the past 8 years and nothing had ever happened to him until that family moved in, as they only moved in recently).
As expected, I haven’t really been able to sleep much after that. Whenever I’m alone or whenever I close my eyes, I can see my cat being ripped apart again. I literally go over the whole incident again and again, thinking of what I should’ve done differently that may have saved him. What if I hit the dogs harder? What if I locked him in the house that day? The void our cat left in our house is replaced by “What ifs”. What makes it even worse is knowing that the dogs’ owner’s natural instinct was that my cat’s violent death was justified and that there was little consequence, and therefore no closure. My cat’s life was meaningless to everyone outside our family.
Obviously the whole experience has been traumatising and I’ve been doing my best to cope. So here are some tips (and reminders for myself) for people who have endured or are enduring the violent death of a healthy and loved companion.
- Pray for peace that only God can give and the ability to accept the things we cannot change
- Get a tetanus shot
- Surround yourself with family and friends
- Keep yourself distracted
- Remind yourself that your cat/pet knew he was loved and well taken care of
- Write a lot of emotional/angry journal entries, emails and if that’s not enough – blog about it
- Donate $5 to save big cats who are endangered
That’s all I’ve got for now but please let me know if there is anything else I can do. Actually, I do have one more tip for owners of vicious dogs:
- If a girl is standing crying, with her dead cat in her hands, covered in his blood and your dogs are the reason for all this – don’t scream at her, don’t blame her or her cat and offer to help in any way you can. Because honestly, if your first reaction is anything other than that, no words can describe how heartless you are.