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I can't get over the thought that I probably killed my cat...


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I am new to this and I have lost pets before, but this one is so hard.  To give you a background I live on a farm and four years ago we never had cats.  We ended up with strays and ofcourse they had kittens over the years.  I have been taking then in to have them spayed and neutered over the past few years.  I actually now only have two kittens left and I will have paid to have 40 of them taking care of.

I have paid for minor surgeries for infections on two of the strays.  Living in Wisconsin it is cold, so we built cubbies in our sheds for them to stay warm in winter.  Whenever we find kittens we bring them in, so that predetors don't end their lives.  That brings me to Pepper, and the reason I can't stop crying at all.

Pepper was breathing begining to breath heavier, you could tell it by her stomach and all of that.  I took her to the Vet in November and found out she had a diaphragmatic hernia.  My Vet did not have the proper equipment to preform the surgery and she didn't push me to do it.  The Vet sent Pepper's xrays and test to the Animal Hospital to get an esitimate.  It came back at $2000.00, and Peper was young only 7 months at the time.  The Vet told me to think about what I wanted to do, that some cats can live their entire life like that, but will need to be inside an may not be as playfull. 

I took Pepper home back in November to think about what I wanted to do for her, she was the most loveable cat.  She would sit by you all the time, and at night she would come up and sleep on your chest pressing her nose to your nose. This was every night since November, she would never leave your side at night.  She loved to be scratched behind the ears all the time, she would get mad if you stopped.  She was playful and would run around at times, she never meowed which I can understand being it was difficult for her to breath.  The only problem looking at her was her breathing, she had matts and she was terribly skinny form her spleen, liver, small bowel, and stomach being in her chest cavity.

I decided to go ahead with the surgery and took her in on Feburary 20th of this year.  I just wanted her to know what it was like to feel normal and be able to play with the other cats.  I dropped her off at 6:00 am as it is a 60 mile drive one way from my home and I had to work. Pepper loved car rides, but this one she was actually meowing on, which she never does.   The surgeon called before surgery and after letting me know she made it through surgery, but they did have to remove her gallbladder and part of her liver. I went to bed that night at 11:45 PM and I was tired, so I passed right out.  The Vet started calling my cell phone at 12:23AM and I missed the call.  They called again at 2:03 AM and 2:06 AM and I missed those calls as well.  Finally at 5:53 AM I heard the phone and picked it up.  To hear that Pepper went into cardiac arrest and they preformed CPR, but she passed away at a little after 2:00 AM.  I drove the 60 miles right away and of course before you could see her they wanted there  $3000.00 now beofre I could see her.  I paid them and was taken back to the roon where they brought her in, I held her and cried for an hour.  I took her back to my local Vet to be cremated and I requested the medical records from surgery which I received today.

After reading them, I am mad that they knew after surgery she was hypotermic and hypotensive, but they never called again at a reasonable time to tell me. I am mad that it appears she was not checked on more than every hour per the notes.  Did she stop breathing and they missed it and it sent her into cardiac arrest?   I regret now not calling back at night to check on her, does that show I didn't love her?  I regret falling alseep and not taking the call at 12:23am  I could have been there with her, was she scared?  Did she feel not loved?  Then I think I should have maybe drove back there right after work and sat there all night so I would be there, but I didn't does that mean I didn't love her?  I sat today and read reviews on this place and alot of them are not good, so I feel guilty for not doing my homework and demanding to go a better clinic even if it was 100 miles away that specializes in soft tissue surgery.  I feel like that one instance drivig her in that I wanted to turn the car around and go home, that I should have!

I can't get over the thought that I killed my cat, by the choices I made and that she probably felt all alone when she died becuase I didn't pick up the phone... How do I get over this? I have not ate all since Saturday and I can't sleep. 

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Hi Emily, sorry to hear about your wee baby pepper , I can understand how you are feeling , if u read my thread " hurt and saddened " .

Like yourself I feel that I could off done more to save my cat ollie who was only 11 months old , just like your cat pepper , he followed me everywhere , slept beside me , etc , and when I spoke to him it was if he new exactly what i was saying to him ,

Ollie died during surgery , the vet didn't know what was wrong with him , sickness and dioreah for 10 days , they took bloods from him as they thought he had lukemeia albeit he had been vaccinated against it , bloods came back ok , they said they were happy with him , I must off been to the vets with him 4 times in that 10 days ...

On the Saturday night he was up all night sick and dioreah , I got up on Sunday and thought this isn't right , took him to the vets and they said we need to open him up to c what the problem is ....

they told me to come back in a couple of hrs to see him as they would off done the operation , well I had only left 20 mins and received a call to say ollie had took a heartattack during surgery and died " they discovered he had pancreitis , I couldn't believe what I was hearing , my baby was gone and I never even had a chance to say goodbye ..to him , I never got out off bed for 3 days crying for him ,

I was full off guilt , why did I let them operate on my cat , he was ill probably dehydrated , in pain , low blood as he hadn't eaten for days , why didn't they not make sure my Ollie was fit for the operation first , give him an antibiotic , give him a drip etc to build him up , why why did I let them do this , why didn't I take him to another vet for a second opinion , I cry at night sometime cursing myself for not looking into it more , seeking different advise ,

I raced back to the vets after they phoned me to get all the details and I couldn't even go and see him dead , I just couldn't have seen him lying there dead , I would off screamed and howld the place down , i just could do it " he was gone " ..

The vet said that he has acute pancreitis and that's what caused the sickness and dioreah and it can be painfull , I started searching the Internet to see why he had this , I gave him the best wet food and dried food , but what I dicovered after reading the Internet , I gave Ollie wafer thin ham as he loved it , and that can cause pancreitis ........ So I blamed myself again , why did I give him that.....

Sometimes you think your doing the right thing , take advice without getting a second opinion, its not until something goes wrong that you start to look back into a situation , questioning everything in your head .. Why this etc ,

All I can say is you like myself done what you thought was right at the time , you put your trust into other professional people , the guilt will never leave me for Ollie , but I try and tell myself that I done everything that I thought was right , which I did ,I miss him everyday and will never ever forget him .... But I have to deal with the guilt every day to .... Which is hard x

Love jackie x

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