I Accidentally Killed My Cat When I Closed The Garage Door

We've had Shadow for over 10 years.  We have an automatic garage door and sometimes when it's up Shadow would jump up on my car, then up to the garage door.  We've had several close calls but he was always ok.  Two days ago I came home and pulled into the garage.  I let Shadow into the house and closed the door from the house to the kitchen.  A few minutes later my son came home and entered the house through the door from the garage to the kitchen.  He left the door open and Shadow jumped up on my car then up on the garage door.  I didn't see him go up but I heard it.  I did a few things like check the mail, take stuff out of my car, etc. and then closed the garage door as i entered the kitchen,.  I completely forgot Shadow was up there.  I heard a brief noise from the garage but it just sounded like a broom falling down or something.  Later i was leaving to pick up some food for dinner.  I opened the garage door and Shadow was just lying there.  No blood or anything.  Instantly I remembered he had gone up and I panicked.  i picked up Shadow but he was lifeless.  I started to cry and carried him into the house just begging that he would be ok.  I sat there holding him and crying.  My son heard me and i told him I killed Shadow.  He started crying too.  My wife came home and we all cried together.  We finally took Shadow to the Vet so they could take care of him.  But I'm a wreck now.  How could I forget he was up there?  How could i become so distracted that I couldn't remember he jumped up.?  Why didn't I go back in the garage when I heard the noise?  The guilt is overwhelming.  In truth he was an older cat.  About 12 years old or so.  He had surgery two years ago to remove a tumor and he had been diagnosed about a year ago with some type of nasal tumors? I try to ease my guilt by thinking he was old and sick and probably didn't have too many years left.  But the truth is I feel awful.  I feel awful for forgetting he was up there.  I feel guilty for the suffering he experienced when the door closed.  I feel awful for my wife and son and the pain I put them through.  I miss Shadow banging on my leg to feed him.  I miss him "knocking" on the front door to let him in.  I miss the way he slept so peacefully and completely relaxed on the bed.  The way he would lay on my chest in bed and purr.  He wandered up to our door one day and never left.  We gave him over 10 years of a wonderful life.  He had a kitty door and could go in and out as he pleased.  There was always dry food in his dish and he got "good stuff" (wet food) every night.  He was fat and we let him eat anyway.  He had complete run of the house and slept all day.  He sat in front of the house and waiting for me to come home at night.  He trusted me completely and I let him down.  I knew he was up on the garage door and I forgot.  I closed the door.  I didn't check when I heard a noise.  I let Shadow down and it cost him his life.  I don't know how or when I'll get over this.  I've lost pets before but it was to illness and natural causes.  Never at my hand.  I'm so sorry Shadow.  I love you so much and I didn't protect you.  I caused you to suffer because I was stupid.  I hope you forgive me Shadow.  I would rather crush my own arm in that door than let you suffer.  I wish there was some way I could undo what happened and hold you on my chest tonight when I go to bed.  I'm so sorry Shadow.  Please forgive me.  I love you with all my heart.  I'm so grateful you were in my life and I thank you for all the love and companionship you gave me.  I'll miss sitting on the patio, reading the Sunday paper, and having you jump up on the chair next to me.  I don't know how much time you had left but I'll miss that time.  And I'm so sorry you couldn't go peacefully and without suffering.  I owed you that and I failed.  Please forgive me my sweet boy.  I'll never forget you Shadow.  I love you.  Dad
MikeG32 MikeG32
17 Responses Nov 4, 2011

This happens to me today. He dashed under the door and the doors safety features failed. I didn't even know it had happened til I want looking for him he NEVER missed a meal. I was torn apart by the knowledge that his final moments were alone. He was with me always. While I worked while we worked outside. Thank you for sharing your story. Accidents happen but it doesn't make it any easier.

Sorry for your loss. Same thing happened to me yesterday. It's a horrible feeling. The worst is knowing they suffered before they died. I learned an important lesson, garage doors are dangerous not only to cats but dogs, babies, kids, etc. I lowered the sensors in garage door to 2 and a half inches from ground and set pressure to the most sensitive level. I also make others aware of the danger, youtube animal/cat videos is a good place to do it (comment area) as many are still unaware of this danger yet thousands of cats die this way each year. Spreading the word helps me feel like I'm doing something to help, since I couldn't help my Blu.

Similar thing happened to us yesterday. However, my 11 year old daughter got home after school to find our cat, whom she slept with every night, hanging half out of the top of the garage. Tragically, he was not killed instantly but had hung there ALL DAY and was still alive when she found him. His back was broken and the vet put him to sleep as soon as we got to her office. I cannot think of a more horrible way for such a great and loyal kitty to go. He suffered immensely. The sadness and guilt we feel is heartbreaking.

Automatic garage door sensors must not sense this type of resistance as ours normally stops and retreats if something blocks it as it is going down.

This morning one of us shut the garage door on our favorite cat, Sophie. I don't remember who actually shut the garage but it doesn't matter. We were both there and neither of us had a clue that it happened until ~15 minutes later. When it was too late. She was gone :( Everyone says their cat was the best cat. Well I think Sophie was also. I feel so bad. We DO have a sensor and any time in the past she has decided to run out after it was already on the way down, the sensor has caught it and the garage door stopped. Except today. Which is why we shut it behind us and went on our way with no thought. Until we came back to the garage 15 minutes or so later and there she was. My husband found he and began saying "no no no no no" when he saw the garage just slightly open. He walked around my car and saw her. All I know when I got there was she was lifeless. I didn't see her pinned so I was so confused. I thought perhaps it had just happened and we had a chance to save her. Then we realized it had happened when we left the garage prior. How horrible. I have never felt so terrible. We were just playing with her this morning and all was normal in the world. And now she's gone.
I will miss her every time I go to check the mail. She followed me all the way there and back. She was the best. The best. I am so sorry Sophie. I failed you.

as a cat owner myself, this is just such a heart-wrenching, and yet beautiful story. You didn't mean to do this, it was an accident, and you can't overlook ten years of love for a minute. Thoughts and hope with you that you've recovered-- perhaps you've rescued another cat like you were thinking about.

The same thing just happened to me. I'm so sorry. We had Trouble for 13 years and came home to find him hanging from the top of the garage door yesterday, he had gotten caught when the door shut and it broke his neck. I can't tell you how devastated we are and how guilty we feel.

Mike, I am so sorry for your loss. Tonight my cat got stuck under the garage door, it went down on her and i couldn't get it up. It was horrible. I finally got it up a couple of inches and she ran off. I am praying that she will be ok. And all the glory to GOD. I couldn't even believe she could walk after the door had completely shut on her. I understand your guilt. It's terrible. They are part of the family and we love them so much. So many things you wrote about Shadow are simular to our Mommy Kitty. I pray that she is not badly hurt and comes out of hiding. And that you and your family have peace with your loss. In Jesus name I pray.

Hi Mike, my beautiful 13 year old boy jerry was crushed by our garage door on Friday. I always watch the garage door come down and I was in a rush and dont think that I did. When I came home he was under the door and I am just devestated. I can't sleep or eat - all I can remember is how my gorgeous boy looked when I found him and that it was my fault - he adored me and my two young children. He had the most amazing personality and loved people. I just hate myself and what I have taken from my family and can't stop the guilt. I have cried for three days and don't know how I am going to get through this. Mike - does the guilt go away?

I feel your pain and it's good for you to grieve. You will never forgot Shadow. I think getting another animal to love will help especially if you rescue one from a shelter.

I've just lost my 7mnth old kitten precious, I forgot to close my daughters bedroom window & our kitten fell out, we lived in the 4th floor, she had broken her back, the worst thing is we didn't find her we ha been looking for her all day in the house, 1 of the neighbours found her n called RSPCA who took her to their centre but they couldn't do Anything to save her, we didn't find out untill 3 days later that she was dead, I feel so guilty and horrible, I knw if I didn't leave that window open he wouldn't of fallen out, I'm so heartbroken words can't express how sorry i am, I loved her sooo soo much, icant stop crying. She was an indoor cat and I'd always make sure the rooms with the windows open r closed but I forgot, my stupidity caused her her life, I've just had a baby and I think I didn't give her as much attention as what I usually did and now it's too late, I'm so sorry precious I love u so much :(

That's a sad story, man. Don't let it be a shadow over your existence.

I'm so sorry. I just lost my 7 month old cat after he was trying to go under the garage door while it was closing. He went below the sensors trying to get into the garage. My neighbor saw it and ran over. I'm a mess. We're getting sensors outside the garage and on the ground so it won't happen again. I'm so sorry for your loss...but it's NOT your fault. Time will heal your wounds. So sorry. Michelle

I'm so sorry. I just lost my 7 month old cat after he was trying to go under the garage door while it was closing. He went below the sensors trying to get into the garage. My neighbor saw it and ran over. I'm a mess. We're getting sensors outside the garage and on the ground so it won't happen again. I'm so sorry for your loss...but it's NOT your fault. Time will heal your wounds. So sorry. Michelle

We did a similar thing Thursday the 10th. Door closed on our Nosey, a 2 or 3 year old grey striped tabby that took up with us last year. My youngest daughter found him an hour after it happened. It looked like he struggled before he died. We are all broken hearted. I still cry daily. A tragic, tragic accident. I think he tried to slip under the door when it was only an inch or so from the ground and his head too the full pressure of the door.

Awww, I'm so, so sorry you lost your Shadow. He sounds like he was a loving, devoted kitty. I had to put my cat, Wolfgang down 5 days ago and it still hurts. You didn't do anything wrong. You made a mistake. The pain is agonizing, I know, but please try to forgive yourself. You gave that cat so much love and he's grateful for that and doesn't want you to grieve. He's looking down from heaven and he's not mad at you. I'm getting comfort now from the Rainbow Bridge site It might help you with your grief. I will say a prayer for you and your family. God bless you!

My husband accidentally killed our cat Miss Kitty we had for 11 years a similar way yesterday morning (11/12/11)...She was crushed under the garage door....I am the one that found her...it was awful. It was an accident....but I keep seeing her laying there...motionless. I can feel your pain because our family is going through it too...the guilt (not installing a garage door with a safety laser beam), the what if's....we have no children so our pets are our kids.....our hearts are broken and we are devastated. We love you Miss Kitty.

awwww, I feel sorry for you. You havn't done anything wrong, you probberly gave him a quicker death then if he had died of old age. You wern't to know when you heard that noise. Theres noises I hear all the time and I don't check what they are. When my dog died she was barking continuously and she wouldnt shut up. There was also a cat mewwing loudly back to her. Like they were talking. I didn't think to go and check to see if she was alright. She died from getting too exited and her heart stopping. :L Don't blame yourself.

Thank you for your support. I know it was an accident but my heart is less forgiving. It's hard to go into the garage right now. i hope this guilt passes one day. I'm thinking about adopting another cat soon. Since I accidentally took a cat's life maybe I can make up for it by saving another. Your thoughts?