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Horrible & Traumatic

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This post is not for the faint of heart.

I have never posted on a forum in my life, but I have never been in this situation before and need help.

About 3 years ago, we adopted a stray cat that we called Raime. Because she was a stray, she was very skittish and preferred being outside. We attempted to train her to come inside at night because we live in the woods. We were fairly successful until this summer when she refused to come inside at all. She wasn't the type of cat you could go out and pick up to bring inside. Anytime we tried getting close, she would run away.

On Friday night, I had a horrible feeling and tried to get her to come inside. She again refused and ran away. At 3:30 am Saturday morning, my husband and I woke to her being attacked. My husband and I and our black lab went tearing after the coyote that grabbed her right off our front door. We failed in getting her back.

The entire trauma of the sounds and our failed attempt to get her has left me paralyzed. I never thought a coyote would come right up to our house. The horrible thoughts of her death won't leave me and I feel so guilty about not being able to save her.

At the same time, I am so angry with her. She was a stray! Wasn't she supposed to know that there are predators out there?! Wasn't  she supposed to be smart enough to stay high off the ground?! Why did this have to end like this? Most of the time, I feel like throwing up.

I have read some horrible stories on here about tragic sudden deaths, and I am hoping some of you can help me get through this. 

Thank you for the opportunity to share.

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I take a deep breath as I read your post, this is horrific.  I can imagine the images/sound you hear and relive.  PTSD comes to mind.  Most of us who have lost someone close to us recall with great detail every aspect of our spouse' death and it haunts us still, years later.  The one thing I have heard of that helps with those memories is imagery.  it might take working with a therapist or grief counselor to help you through the process but I will list the link at the end of this post.

I have lost cats to predators.  Cats can be very stubborn creatures that don't always know what's best for them.  They think they know more than us, the very ones that seek to protect them and keep them safe.  They balk at our efforts to call them to safety or keep them inside at night.  We can only do what we can do.  Jackson on "My Cat from Hell" cringes to see people let their cats outside.  That said, I don't think he understands that many of us have "adopted" cats of a significant age that are USED to having free roam and not being told what to do and they balk greatly at our efforts to do so!  They can be persistent and loud with their demands, relentless at demanding to be let out.  I know.  I have a cat that is 21 and she spent the first ten years of her life on her own, doing what she wanted.  How she ever kept alive is a miracle I can't fathom.  Lucky, I imagine.  I do not let her outside at night, no matter how much she demands, but to keep her inside all of the time...I don't think she would ever be content with that.  It is the risk we take in letting them be happy.  It is a risk that has caused me loss a couple of times.  I let my Miss Mocha out at 6 am June 3, 2016, never to be seen again.  I went about my day, working in the yard, never heard or saw a thing, she never reappeared.  I know something got her.  I'm sure it was quick, I pray she didn't see it coming and went into shock immediately, protecting her from what happened.  I also lost a young cat, Chappy, to a cougar when he was just two.  It kills me to think about it.  I didn't see it happen, but I did see a cougar in my back yard the night he disappeared, and a neighbor's cat disappeared also at that time.  

Jackson says to build a fence with wire facing inward that they can't climb out of, but honestly, there are some things you can't protect them from...a large bird being one of them.  Try as we might, we can't protect them from everything that exists, any more than we can our children, nor can we keep our spouse from being hit by a car or protect any loved one from every catastrophe that might exist.  Once we have been touched closely by loss, we see that, we fear what can happen, and in time perhaps change it to an appreciation of every day we get with the ones we love rather than being ruled by fear.  It's a process, a long effort-filled process, to get there.

My heart goes out to you, I am so sorry for your loss.

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Jen, I can relate to some extent. I feel ill pretty much all the time. My sweet cat had a horrific (what we think is poisoning?) death and I have obsessed over it since it happened Sat. night. I have guilt that I contributed to it as we are in a vacation rental and still not sure how it happened. As the owner you feel that you should know better and somehow control all. But you can't especially with cats! So I imagine your horror - the physical experience - suddenness - it all equals a trauma that is hard to describe. Kay is right, you couldn't control your cat, in fact she may have had a much longer life thanks to being around you guys. Those tragedies - animals hunting each other happen every single day all over the world. I say that to hopefully comfort you that although it was so terrible, it happens and at some point you will accept what happened while not ever forgetting, you will begin to feel a little better day by day.    

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