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Happy-Go-Lucky, Please Forgive Me

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I think I may have caused the deaths of three feral kittens and a little black feral cat that I dearly loved.

I care for a group of cats that live in the yard of the apartment complex where I live. Three years ago I was just finishing up spaying/neutering the last of them. During that time a very young tame mother cat and her two kittens were abandoned.

I called a cat rescue lady that had helped me before for help and she recommended I ask her friend, K., for help. K said she would come and pick up the little cat and take her to a friend of hers in O.C. While K was picking up the tame cat, she saw the three feral kittens in the yard and volunteered to take them, too. They were already scheduled for spay/neuter so I asked her to wait until then. I emphasized that they were feral and she said it didn't matter, her friend would socialize them and then adopt them.

I asked her how her friend could do that and she said it was just a different world in O.C.

She took the kittens and later another tame kitten about 5-6 months old that was abandoned here.

Later I called her again to come get a male cat that I thought was a stray. When she showed up he disappeared lickety-split. While we were talking, Happy-Go-Lucky, the feral cat showed up and started talking to me. K said that her friend "loved black cats" and would take her if I wanted. She said she would socialize her and find her a good home. I thought it would be selfish to deny this to Lucky, even though I loved Lucky very much for her happy active ways. I'm haunted now by my feelings of bereavement as I said good-bye to Lucky.

Just a few months ago, I found out from my original friend that K's friend euthanizes some cats. (K no longer rescues.) I called her and talked to her and she told me euthanizes if they take "too long" to adopt or if they "don't show well," she said more, but I was crying too hard to hear it.

Maybe, just maybe, the kittens were socialized, but my Lucky? She was a full-grown cat and wouldn't get near anyone but me.

I'm so haunted by this that I wake up in the middle of the night with my pillow soaking wet from crying in my sleep. I know it wasn't my fault. My friend feels awful, too, and says she also gave the O.C. woman feral cats because she trusted K. I don't blame K, I think she was just naive and didn't realize what was happening.

I'm a Buddhist and know that all four of the cats must already be reborn, but I still feel just horrible. I feel that I may have been the cause of their deaths.

There must be a lesson in all this, but except the one not to trust which after a certain point is impossible, I don't know what it is. I'm moving on, but I still feel horrible.
post #2 of 5
Your intention was certainly to help them. Im sorry that it is haunting you at the moment. Hopefully wherever they are now, they are safe
post #3 of 5
You never would have given any of them over if you'd had the slightest idea what might be happening. If you HAD known and still given them over, then you would share in the responsibility for what happened to them. As it is, the only person responsible for their deaths (if, indeed, they did get put to sleep) is the person who decided to take that step. That is the person Lucky has to forgive - not you.

You act out of love and concern, and you do the best you can for your friends both furry and non. I'm crying about your kitties and so are you, and to be sad is right...but for you to feel guilty is for you to reproach yourself for not being omniscient, and you should not torture yourself with that expectation...the forgiveness you need is not from Lucky, but from yourself. If Lucky were around and could understand and speak of all that happened, he would thank you for caring for him so much that you took him out of a feral environment believing he was going to a happier home. Please don't feel bad or wrong about that!

A deceptively simple line from a Radiohead song: "The best you can is good enough."
post #4 of 5
Don't torture yourself; you had no way of knowing this would happen. You did what you thought was right and best for the kitties. You don't have control over what other people do and you can't blame yourself for what somebody else did. You did not cause their deaths (if they are indeed dead).
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
You are all saying what I need to hear. I've told it to myself, but I need so much to hear it from others.

I fervently hope you are right and that Lucky and the kittens found loving homes. Lucky wasn't especially cute, but she had that spunky little black cat attitude that made her so adorable. And besides, she loved me. I was sad to see her go even if she was going to a good home!

I know there is no blame attached, Even the rescuer in O.C. only wants to do good things for the cats, it's just that there are so many.

Thank you from my deepest heart.
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