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looking to form a support group - long msg -

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hello. This is my first time. I actually thought I had posted a little while ago, but it seems that I backed out because I can't find it.

Nevertheless I am hoping to find people who share similar stories. My grief is a little overhwelming. With this many people in the world I couldn't possibly be the only one!

Allow me to enlighten you...4 weeks ago today, we had our beautiful four year old male put down. I fell victim to his redirected agression, again. This time I had to go to the hospital it was so severe.

Here's the story I wrote May 23rd, 2002:

Allow me to give you our history...At 10 weeks, he (Gizmo) chose us from the pet store...he had always been very loving and affectionate to me and my husband...truly a wonderful boy. He gives kisses and hugs, and even asks to be picked up for loving. He's very intelligent and we're quite convinced he's part siamese (he has a very prominent breast bone). He is black with one or two white spots and hidden from view are his stripes (they were more prominent as a kitten). We had a happy home for 2 years until he began to appear lonely. We got him a female 10 week old black and white (Daisy Mae). She is very pretty and not at all intelligent, but a sweetheart just the same. It didn't take them very long to adapt to each other at all.

Before we brought Daisy into the home, Gizmo had never appeared aggressive. He had attacked no one. After Daisy's arrival, he became very protective of her, so much so that my neice was his first victim. She was chasing Daisy around the house, jumping and being loud, which apparently upset Gizmo to the point of attack...he bit her. The next occasion was when I was chasing Daisy around the house, playing at the same time with Gizmo, egging him on "c'mon Giz, let's get Daisy." I turned my back to him and WHAM he attacked me. One good bite on the calf, 2 puncture wounds. Then there was the time they were tied out together and a neighbouring cat wandered onto the property...they were both agitated about this cat, and I have to admit I didn't see who started it, but they were fighting each other as the neighbour cat wandered on home. I got in the middle to break it up, and was bitten by him numerous times. (not serious enough for medical attention). I spoke to my Vet after this episode and she explained the redirected aggression theory. There have been a few times when they've seen something through the window and take it out on each other, but never really serious, because she can run away.

Since that attack, we have put them out on separate lawn screws (I really don't know what they're called) at a good distance apart. Over the last year, I have been putting them closer together, sometimes they've even been back on the same 'screw' and nothing happened. Yesterday I had them both out with me while I was gardening. As usual he was very content to be outside and she, well, not so much. After listening to her talk a while I figured maybe she wanted to go in. But not before I foolishly picked her up and took her over to Gizmo to say hi...She wasn't in the mood and began to growl at him. So I began to walk away with her. He followed us. Her growl began very quietly then got progressively louder until she was screaming and he was attacking us. He was still tied up...his lead was wrapped around my leg as he tried to climb me to get to her (idiot that I am I held on to her!) He gashed my arm and left multiple bites and scratches on my legs. She left multiple scratches on my chest and stomach trying to get away. When I finally broke free and got her in the house, I was covered in her urine and my blood. I managed to get a spot set up for him in the garage before I left for the hospital. As I was trying to leave the house, Daisy snarled at me, almost as if she wasn't going to let me pass. (I guess I don't blame her) Then, when I got outside to get him from his lead, well, he was still rather frightening. He did not attack me again, instead he let me pick him up and put him in the garage.

Once at the hospital, they cleaned me up, decided not to stitch me up so that the impending infection would be able to escape from the gash, gave me a tetanus shot and a prescription for antibiotics. From the hospital I went to the drugstore and then my Vet's office. We talked at length about options, and she gave me an article on aggression. She was not his regular Vet...didn't know his history.

My husband knew the only thing to do, but it was up to me. I agonized over it. I knew that it would likely happen again, and what if it were a child? What if he did this to someone's face? Keeping in mind it had happened before.

Well, you already know the ending. I made the appointment and his regular Vet was there. She knew too that we had no choice. (she knew his history) We were with him through to the end, still loving him and showering him with kisses. (of course I'm bawling and telling him how sorry I am) It was the worst thing I've ever had to do, and I really need to know that this has happened to other people. Maybe those other people need support too.

Please don't say anything nasty. I guess that's why I backed out the last time, for fear that someone would tell me what an idiot I am. I already know that and don't need anyone else telling me so. Please if you have similar stories share them. I could really use the help.

I've encluded a picture of my babies...They were a great pair!

Thank you.
post #2 of 12
I can only imagine how difficult a decision this must have been for you, and I feel your pain in each word of your message.

My heart goes out to you,

post #3 of 12
Sometimes it is SO hard to do what needs to be done. I am so sorry you had to go through that. I am lucky enough to have not had that happen with a cat, but I had to shoot a dog that was attacking me. It was my dog and she just lost it for no apparent reason and went for my throat. Please don't beat yourself up over this. I am sure from reading your post that it was not a decision you took lightly. As much as I love my furbabies, I could not allow one of them to do that. I hope no one has anything bad to say, it is obvious you feel bad enough. Welcome to TCS, it is a shame it couldn't have been under more pleasant circumstances.
post #4 of 12
I'm sorry to hear about what happened. Aggression in cats can be scary, as they are well equipped to cause injury. Do you still have Daisy? I'm thinking maybe you'd be interested in some advice about how to prevent aggressive behavior in the future?
post #5 of 12
I am going to move this to the Bridge forum....Good luck forming your Support Group
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks to each of you for your support. I'm new to this site, so it seems I haven't been posting replies properly. I appoligize. So here I will reply to each of you, if you don't mind...

To Gaye, thank you for your kind words.

To krazy kat2, I can only imagine what horror you must've gone through. Did you have to do this while she was attacking you? My sympathies go also to you.

To Anne, yes, we still have Daisy. She is beginning to change a bit. She's a little less jumpy. They used to chase each other around the house, and I suppose she's not looking for him to jump out at her as much anymore. As for agressive behaviour; what I find interesting (and fortunate) is that she's not like that at all. I'm fortunate because if she were like that, she could've turned on my face. The differences in personality are interesting, aren't they.

To hissy, thank you.
post #7 of 12
Having to have a pet euthanized is the most difficult decision pet owners have to make. I'm so sorry you had that situation.
post #8 of 12
Terri - I wish you had found us before you had to make this difficult decision. Things may have turned out differently. Please do not hesitate to take your kitty care and behavior questions here. There are a lot of knowledgable people here who can help in difficult times.
I am assuming that Daisy is spayed? This can make a difference with an animal's reactions and behaviors in certain situations.
You have my sympathy on the loss of Gizmo and I wish Daisy a long a happy life.
post #9 of 12
I am sorry you had to take the route you did. But you did the right thing. If you would have given Giz to someone else he would probably do the same thing. And no telling what would have happened. Sometimes No life is better than a bad life. I realized this 13 years ago when I got in with the Humane Society in our area. Prayers,
post #10 of 12
I'm so terribly sorry. I have not as yet had to put any of my babies down so I can only imagine how much it hurts. I know how much it hurts me when ever I see one that has been abused or is laying on the side of the road. They are so precious. But I believe Giz understands, loves you and will meet you at Rainbow Bridge. In the future love all you can in Giz's memory. Bless you.
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
To Debra; unfortunately that thought is what torments me, but I’ve got to accept and live with it now. Yes Daisy has been spayed. Thank you for your concern.

To Us Cats; that is pretty much why we decided to go the route we did. Our preference would’ve been to give Daisy to my parents and keep Giz, but the thought that it could still happen again was too much to handle. You see, each day I’m very thankful that he attacked me. The thought of him seriously hurting a child was a major concern, especially after this attack. The kids come in here sometimes (nieces and nephews) and just want to play…the cats don’t. They tormented Daisy just this past weekend. One child complained that Daisy hissed at her. (the cat was trying to hide from them, but they kept coming after her…do you blame her?) If it had been Giz ? ? ? ? (see what I’m saying?) Actually, come to think of it, when he was around, they knew better than to chase either of them. I guess I wasn’t a good parent to Daisy this weekend. (I’m not a great entertainer, we had 25 people here and I didn’t play the mom role along with the entertainer role, multitasking…got to work on that.) Anyway the thoughts run wild through my mind about what could’ve / should’ve / shouldn’t have happened, and I appreciate your words of support. Thank you.

To Deehome; thank you.

I'm going to try to attach a picture of Gizmo as a baby. Hope this one works.
post #12 of 12
Terri if I may make a suggestion......

When you interact with cats, it is best to do it with interactive toys. Rolling an empty toilet paper roll on the floor, waving a peacock feather in their direction, taking an old fishing pole, and attaching a light toy to the end of it and reeling it in and throwing it out, are all good interactive playtimes. This allows the kitty to see the toys as "prey" and not view you as prey. In chasing your cat around the house the message you were sending to them was that suddenly you went from friend to pursuer. Here you were feeding them and loving on them and then suddenly you were off chasing them. The only recourse you male had as he was the protector of the home, was to fight off this prey in the only way possible.

I am sorry that you had to go through this. I have been bitten multiple times, but I rescue ferals (wild kitties) and I have come to expect that to happen. Use gentle play tactics with your cat from now on and you hopefully will not have to worry about further medical bills for yourself, nor will you ever have to worry about making such a tough call for a kitty that deserved a long happy life.
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