I Don't Know How I Am Supposed To Live My Life Without My Man.6 days ago today something worse than my worst nightmare came true. I never want to go to sleep again because I keep thinking that when I wake up it will have been a horrible, horrible dream. But it was not, it was real, and it happened to me. I love animals. I have 2 dogs, 2 bunnies and 4 cats… well I had 4 cats, now I have 3. My first cat, the one that is no longer part of my life, meant more to me than words can express.
Honestly I cared for my animals so much that I did have nightmares – a fire at my house, a violent criminal breaking in and leaving doors open, or even worse harming my precious babies. When I told a friend about these dreams she seemed concerned, and it made me think, maybe if I had talked to someone about this before they would have helped me find ways to keep my babies safe to ease my mind.
I never talked to someone; I chalked it up to my extreme love and attachment. People thought I was crazy; my dogs were NEVER off leashe. My cats NEVER went outside. I thought people who let their cats out were crazy, with all the god-awful things that could happen. As someone pointed out in the weary aftermath… “You kept them so protected there was no other way for it to happen.”
What happened was I killed my cat. The love of my life, the precious being I called my soul mate that I swear took me out of a lengthy and desolate depression that lasted over a decade. This cat saved my life and I took his. I don’t want to live my life without him.
I knew he went in the dryer. He liked his private spot, he like being in my clothes, he liked to be snuggly and warm. He was huge, I never for a second imagined that I would not realize he was in there. I had been trying to keep him out of the laundry room as I was watching a friend’s cat, but he kept wanting to go in there. I had been so cautious of not letting him stay too long because I did not want the cats to fight and hurt each other, but I must have forgot he was in there.
I actually did not have many obligations, or places to be that day, but many things to do. I was preparing for a thesis presentation in two days, I was baking a pie for my best friend who was about to give birth and I still needed the ingredients. I put wash in and headed out for the morning to run errands.
The rest of the day is a blur. I can’t remember if I saw him when I came home. I made the pie. I was a mess and I decided to shower quickly again. I thought to myself, let me get a head start on drying that laundry – I knew the heavy rug I had put in would never dry with just one cycle.
I’ll never know if he was in the dryer twice or once, I’ll never know if he was alive or dead when I shut the door and hit the button. When I came home I felt the rug, it was still wet, I had no idea my beloved was in the wash. I put it on and head a loud noise. I thought to myself that rug must really be wet to make all that noise, and I walked away to shower. This I hate more than anything else. I had a warning. I heard him banging around and I IGNORED IT. I though it was the stupid rug. I hate that rug. When I was ready to leave I went to grab a sweatshirt from the dryer – I saw a patch of white fur and immediately thought OH MY GOD IT WAS ON. I repeated oh my god, oh my god, I knew immediately he was gone when I took him from the dryer and felt how hot he has and how limp his body had become. His eyes were closed. I called the vet hysterical and they told me to just bring him in. I had to call my poor friend to tell her I wasn’t coming and she tried to calm me down in the car. It was not a situation a 9-month pregnant woman should have to handle. I rubbed his fur the whole way there, I know it sounds ridiculous but I swear I smelled a fart and though he might be alive. At the vet they took him from me. They put me in a room because I don’t think they wanted the other pet owners to see how hysterical I was. My vet came out and said he was gone and that she was sorry but there was nothing for her to say. I didn’t want to believe her. And then they asked me what I wanted to do – I didn’t know what they meant. I couldn’t even imagine having to do something with his lifeless body. They asked if I wanted time with him and I said yes. I pet his beautiful face and told him I was so sorry. I noticed his little ear was burned and he had a little blood coming from his nose. When the tech came in to take him she had to send the vet back in because I had so many questions. None of the answers made me feel any better. I had killed my cat. The most amazing life I had ever encountered and I didn’t want to live anymore.
I thought about crashing my car on the way home. I did not want to put anyone else in danger. I didn’t want to make my family hurt. We had lost my mother to suicide when I was a child – she left the house when I wasn’t home and I blamed myself for not stopping her for years. I thought that pain was unbearable but I worked though it, I knew it was not my fault, it eventually became ok.
This will never be ok. My baby will always be gone because of me. I have had such trouble showing affection to any of my other animals. My dogs are trying to comfort me but I just want a cat and my other cats don’t show affection. I’ve even thought about where they would go if I were no longer here to care for them.
When I came home from the vet I came inside and fell to the ground. My body was so weak I literally collapsed. I broke down crying and have not really stopped since. I hear the noise of the dryer in the my head and when I shower I keep flashing back, thinking I can suddenly realize and run in and save him. My ex-boyfriend has to do my laundry.
I used to be super excited about becoming a mother, and now I cant imagine caring for a child with these hands. I am a yoga teacher and a vegetarian, I can’t even eat a fish but none of that seems to matter anymore. I used to plan to get a tattoo on my hand that reminded me how powerful out actions are and to always act with a gentle hand. I wonder if I had that reminder if I would have been more cautious.
I buried my baby in my yard, along with my baby blanked. Me and my friends wrote love notes on his box. I keep flowers on his grave and marked it with a heart and his name. I plan to plant flowers and keep a garden there always but nothing seems like enough. I want to dig him up and snuggle his body.
I’ve reached out to a few people on the site and have not gotten any response. I understand what I am going through – after I went though what I did with my mom I decided to devote my life to working with kids who have experienced trauma. I am seeking trauma counseling but I want to connect with people who accidentally took the life of an animal that meant more to them that their own life. I feel like this cat should have been there when I got married, when I was pregnant, to meet my babies. I don’t know how to be excited about these things anymore and I just feel so sorry for what I have done.
I keep thinking ok this has been long enough, someone please wake me up from this horrible nightmare.
This is a tribute I wrote to my cat – his name was Stinky because he loved to just hang out in the litter box as a kitten. I called him my man, my Stink Man and wished he could turn human and marry me.
I know that no one knows what to say, and neither do I, I still can’t believe that he’s really gone… The only thing that helps is to remember the amazing things, I guess is always this way, that you felt like you never expressed enough in life as you wish you had in death. I am pretty sure Stink knew how loved he was, but I don’t know if I could have ever expressed to him how much he meant to me. Stink saved my life. If you know me, you know that I was depressed for a long time. I missed my mom, I had terrible skin that kept me from doing most normal high school/teenage things, I had no passion for school or even life… and then I met my man.
Some of you have heard the story of how we met. There was a kind of crazy couple living behind the store who had taken in a litter of kittens found in the parking lot of the bar across… They did not want to give away the adorable striped or spotted kittens but were willing to give up the black kitten. I’ve neglected to mention that before this time I WAS NOT A CAT PERSON. I did not understand cat people – I liked dogs. Then I saw the tiniest little kittens I had ever seen, baby faces and all. The grey and white striped one walked right up to my feet and started to cry. He did not stop! Then I picked him up, he stared in my eyes and stopped crying. It was love at first sight. I took Stink home that night (and harbored him in my father’s home for months somewhat undercover).
Stink was so playful and loving and wonderful. Sometimes overwhelmingly so, but snuggled in my hair and slept with my each night. He was contented to hide in my bathrobe pocket and I walked around the house… I could not wait to get home from work each day and snuggle his little face. Stink helped me learn how to be happy again. He was with me always – I remember a few weeks when I was fighting with my dad and had no place to stay – Stinkman in my car was all I needed.
As we moved on Stink never had any problems welcoming new animals into our home. I remember a specific time Stewart was crying on top of an upturned mattress (he still can’t find his way down from high places) and I told Stink to go help him find his way down – he walked over, climbed the mattress and slowly backed his way down as Stewart followed suit. Amazing. Even as my attention was inadvertently diverted to a new little puggly life in our home Stink was my man. The puppy sometimes drove me crazy or ate my pretty shoes – no matter what happened in life I could pick up my man and he’d give me a hug, rub his Stinky face in mine and make me feel better. I hope I’ll never forget that feeling.
Please feel free to share your loving stories. If you are not an animal person and think I am crazy for caring so much – well I feel bad for you, you should get a cat.
I miss you Stink, you will always be my man.