Skip to main content

Six years ago, I looked out the sliding door to the deck, and there was a little black kitten there, looking forlorn and hungry.  I gave it milk.  That was the start of a strange relationship.

The little black cat started showing up regularly for food, but it was terrified of humans. I was concerned about making more cats - the neighborhood's already got plenty - so I got a trap from the feral cat society, and after a couple of misses, managed to capture it. Down to the society's surgery event it went, and I picked it up a day later. Following instructions, I kept him - now I knew it was "him", not "it" - in the trap for a day, and then turned him loose. Never saw a cat run so fast. Didn't see him again for a week. But eventually he started showing up from time to time for food and water.

A few weeks later, another kitty showed up with him for dinner. This one was a little gray kitty. They were obviously buds; they were constantly butting heads and playing with each other and always showed up together. After a month or so, I got another trap, and took gray kitty to the vet for a modification.  Gray kitty was a "her".

Gray kitty was a whiner, and we started calling her "Meow Meow". And the black kitty was afraid of everyone and everything, and we started calling him "Scaredy Cat". I put a cat door by the back deck, so they could come inside for food and water, rather than leaving food on the deck.

As the years went by, Meow Meow gradually got tamer, until she was spending most of her time indoors, sleeping on the couch, rubbing against ankles, and begging for a bit of ice cream in the evening. Even a purr once in a while. Scaredy Cat never changed much. He would show up for dinner regularly. He would occasionally come into the house and look around a bit, but would never let anyone get too close. He often slept on the covered deck during the winter.  Meow Meow got real excited when Scaredy Cat showed up.

Scaredy Cat went through a rough life. He showed up one time with his face all cut up and a big open wound. Either got hit by a car or a raccoon, probably. I thought he was done for, and I didn't see him for a few days. But then he came back, looked better, and gradually healed up.

Then I notice a month or so ago that he seemed to be losing weight. He was never very stout, unlike Meow Meow whose nightly ice cream has turned her into a fat cat. Scaredy Cat was always lean. About that time I realized he was deaf. I don't know if he was always deaf, but now he had no reaction to noises around him.  Maybe that's why he was always afraid.

Then about 10 days ago, he came into the house and slept on a heater vent. His fur was looking sparse and tangled and his body thin and weak. I realized he wasn't eating. I tried giving him canned food. I put out a little milk. He ignored the food but sipped at the milk and then went into a bedroom and slept on the bed, something he hadn't done before.

At this point, something went horribly wrong with me. I decided he was in the last stages of an incurable disease, and nothing could be done. Let nature take its course, and all. It was so clinical, and so uninformed. I do not understand why suddenly I lost my compassion. I do not understand my utter failure to help this helpless cat.

Scaredy Cat got thinner, weaker and sicker, and started spending nights in the house, although he was always gone in the morning and during the day. One evening he was lying on my bed and I reached over toward him he raised up and hissed at me and then ran off. One night he came into the kitchen and cried in his weak little single-pitch meow - more of a plaintive "meee" than a "meow". I gave him milk, but he wouldn't take any. The next night he was out in the yard, crying, and in the morning I found him dead by the deck. He probably died trying to get back into the house.

I am just devastated, going over and over the things I could have done, should have done.  But it's too late now. I didn't help him.  Scaredy Cat's gone; no-one ever petted him. Even though he was feral to the end, I miss him horribly.  I knew he was dying, but I did nothing to rescue him. I caught him once, when he was a kitten; I could have caught him again, when he was weak and dying. I honestly don't know what happened to me. I've never been like that before.  It's like I had a mental block, and didn't come out of it until he was gone. Can't stop thinking about it. Can't sleep. I'm in tears right now. I've done something horrible and a helpless animal had to die because of it. I feel awful.

I had to tell this story.  I do not want sympathy or understanding, and I do not want to be forgiven.  A good whipping would be right.  I would give anything for a do-over. I am so sorry, Scaredy Cat.

----------------------------------------------------------
UPDATE.
I am so grateful to all the people who have commented here and helped me see this from a different perspective.  You guys are wonderful.  At a commenter's suggestion, I have changed the title. (From "I killed my cat", if you didn't see it earlier).  This has been a tremendous catharsis. I really felt like I didn't deserve to live yesterday.  And Meow Meow is now in sleeping on my bed.

Originally posted to J Orygun (John Springer) on Mon Apr 01, 2013 at 11:32 AM PDT.

Also republished by PWB Peeps.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

pam, buffalo soldier, northsylvania, Sean Robertson, jennybravo, Pandora, TrueBlueMajority, Powered Grace, Freedomfreak, Jay C, xynz, Creosote, JLFinch, opinionated, concernedamerican, CoolOnion, Texknight, dangoch, dejavu, psnyder, NYC Sophia, Noodles, cosette, DSC on the Plateau, annetteboardman, LucyTooners, riverlover, BlogDog, AllisonInSeattle, Major Kong, zerelda, Kitsap River, Black Max, Pam LaPier, Emmy, eztempo, Armand451, TexH, sb, jabney, historys mysteries, Bluesee, radarlady, ichibon, blueyedace2, triciawyse, dewtx, ChemBob, SaraBeth, Sun Tzu, Nellebracht, ladybug53, kaliope, rb608, zinger99, peacestpete, Kepler, kathny, RJDixon74135, Philpm, alrdouglas, martini, Debbie in ME, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, myboo, virgomusic, seefleur, KenBee, MargaretPOA, Wary, raincrow, Rosaura, JVolvo, unclebucky, BlueMississippi, Timothy J, doingbusinessas, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, Dianna, Statusquomustgo, Temmoku, Nulwee, NonnyO, john07801, timewarp, tgypsy, Debs2, devis1, Dartagnan, ColoTim, puakev, Brix, edsbrooklyn, DvCM, joedemocrat, crose, gchaucer2, MissyH, JeffW, GAS, 6412093, Youffraita, Senor Unoball, skohayes, mikeconwell, tofumagoo, boatjones, Cassandra Waites, matching mole, lenzy1000, Nica24, Mad Season, dmhlt 66, Louisiana 1976, greengemini, CamillesDad1, bfitzinAR, civil wingnut, Munchkn, Leftcandid, commonmass, coppercelt, Susan Grigsby, Dingodude, JoanMar, Puddytat, not4morewars, annieli, yellow cosmic seed, surfermom, MidwestTreeHugger, Bluefin, Dretutz, zooecium, StateofEuphoria, slowbutsure, La Gitane, asterkitty, NormAl1792, thomask, SueM1121, worldlotus, RMForbes, whaddaya, MinistryOfTruth, Badjuh, SteelerGrrl, zenox, Pinto Pony, sparkysmom, anodnhajo, sow hat, Flying Goat, Siri, IndieGuy, AnnieR, congenitalefty, Horace Boothroyd III, This old man, jan4insight, Canines and Crocodiles, Margd, jennyp, avsp, 4mygirls, maf1029, Silvia Nightshade, Lily O Lady, Tyree, Illinois IRV, JayRaye, bogieshadow, broths, Robert Helmuth, knitwithpurpose, RiveroftheWest, northerntier, Unsung81, Mannie, Smoh, BadKitties, blue91, LadyMiseryAli, tampaedski, chicklet, SC Lib, Portia Elm, OldSoldier99, TMartin

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site