Hello people of the catsite forums! I need your help!
I am new and came in search of advice from other cat lovers that may be able to understand my feelings more than usual people. I'll write a short version for people not wanting to read a long post, and a long version with the details.
A quick background of me and my cat(s)..we had a cat that lived until she was 23 and had to be put down when i was 14 or 15, so I grew up with her all my life. We got another cat a year or two before she died, and this one is my baby :) she is half ferrel so skatty as anything and hates being picked up or fussed with at all. But we bonded straight away and are inseparable, she sleeps on my bed every night and stays with me all day if Im at home. She is now 15 and still as healthy as a 5 year old! I love her more than I love most people I know...Im sure all of you feel the same about your cats or you wouldnt be here! (yep that's her as my avatar pic!)
Im 23 now, and have been lucky enough to not have hit any animal while driving...i even swerve for mice! I dread hitting anything, and have many times played over in my mind what i would do it i hit a cat...and then it happened.
The short story is: I was a passenger in my boyfriends car when a cat ran underneath it, we caught it, took it to a vet and found the owner but I'm having difficulty getting past the incident.
The long story is: Luckily we were driving down a residential road at in the early evening, with cars parked both sides all the way down (its in a city). Thankfully, my boyfriend being who is he was doing 15 - 20 mph tops. Suddenly there was a thud and bump and my initial thought was we ran over a hub cap... and as my boyfriend asked "what was that?" I looked in the side mirror and saw a cat scrambling on the road. It must been already nder a parked car and had run out as we were passing, under the middle stretch of our car and got hit by the back wheels- if it had run out in front we would have seen it and would have been able to stop.
Anyway...I saw this poor cat in the mirror, wildly flailing around on the road and suddenly all my worst nightmares had just happened. I screamed "it's a cat, oh my god its a cat!" and started jumping out of the car while it was moving before he had even had a chance to process what i had said. I ran up the road and saw a guy walking on the path coming the opposite way and asked him if he had seen a cat. He replied "yeah, i think you just skimmed it, it ran off under a car"...in a completely casual tone and just carried on walking!!
I started frantically looking under every car with a torch light from my phone, by which time my boyfriend had parked the car and caught up with me. I found it hiding under a van, hissing and growling but out of reach for me as i'm fairly small. We knocked on the house we were outside of and asked if they had a cat, which they didn't. They got a blanket and a plastic storage box for us to use to get the cat into. My boyfriend had done an animal care course at college years ago and so knew what to do. He tried to get the cat from under the van, but it ran out and under another vehicle. It was at this point we could see it was injured as it was barely using its back legs- not paralysed or dragging them, but kind unable to put weight on them and wobbling around trying to get away. I lost myself again for a minute after this and had to calm down.
When he tried to get it again it ran away and into someones bush in front of their house. This time it was cornered and he managed to grab it, and the second he had it in his arms it relaxed and wasnt so scared. We lined the box with his puffer jacket and popped the cat inside on the back seat of his car, and i got in next to it to stop it trying to move. He called 118 and managed to get put through to a 24hr vet and we drove it there. The whole way the poor little cat was staring at me, completely shocked and worried. I did my best to comfort him and keep him still. We waited at the vet until the actual vet got there and went in with the cat. He said he thought it had a fractured hip and possibly a broken jaw (but the jaw might have been an old injury). When we got back to the car and closed the doors, my boyfriend burst into tears.
We then went straight home and made 200 flyers about the cat (obvs not saying it was hurt, just that it was found) and started posting them through the doors on the street. Managed to get a tip off from one person about which house it might belong to and luckily it was them! The owner was away but the friend was house sitting. We later called the vet to check on the cat and let them know we had found the owner, and they said the cat was on lots of painkillers but okay and the owners friend had contacted them. We called the next day to ask if the cat was okay but they were allowed to tell us anything now that the owner was found, so we dont know what happened although I'm 99% sure the cat would have made a full recovery.
Jesus that was so hard to write! So....this was over a month ago but I cant stop thinking about the cat and feeling so awful about it. I cant stop playing the sound of hitting it and then seeing it flailing on the road and it makes me feel sick and i start welling up. Whenever I have a moment to myself its the first thought that floods into my mind, and when im trying to get to sleep its all i can think about. I feel unable to talk to my boyfriend about it as he obviously found it very distressing as he was the one driving, but I need to get it off my chest.
As fellow cat lovers im sure you can understand my distress and i wondered if you have any words of advice or experiences you think might help me. I know there are far more horrible things happening to people all over the world, and to most people this would seem ridiculous...but to me its a life changing event that I'm struggling to cope with.
Thank you, Ash x