Remorse

Yesterday I got an email pitch for an affiliate program.  In an effort to be more personal, the author of the email mentioned a recent post that had made her laugh.

First, I’m not so sure what is funny about a sewage back up in your house.  And my psychotic cat?  I guess I can understand why someone might assume that was funny.  I mean people spend hours on the internet watching cats do crazy shit, right?  But this incident was not funny.  Ridiculous, yes.  Funny, definitely not.

But her simple uninformed remark brought back all the sadness, guilt, and anger that I’ve been trying to ignore the last two weeks.

I have gone back and forth about even telling anyone.  I haven’t even told many of my close friends.  Because I didn’t want to say the words, “I killed my cat.”

I have tried my best to rationalize my actions.  Telling myself it wasn’t safe to have such an unstable animal around a toddler.  That it was “for the best.”  That life would be easier without her.

But I don’t believe it.

Malibu was wonderful with Allison.  And while she wasn’t particularly affectionate unless she needed something, she seemed to know when we needed her.

She was with me when I was constantly sick throughout my pregnancy.  She would come running when Allison was upset.  She even seemed worried when Denver got so very, very sick last year.

We don’t know what set her off this time.  She just hissed at the dog for no apparent reason.  But we had been down that road once before and we knew that her rage wasn’t fleeting.  We knew we had to intervene before she lost it. 

I know we could’ve handled the situation better.  That maybe she would have calmed down if we had just let her be.  But this time we had a little person in the house that we had to worry about.  And there was no way to predict the course of Malibu’s fury.

Even the next day, she was still angry.  Maybe it was because we had had to catch her with towels and brooms to lock her up.  Maybe it was because she was trapped in a kennel all night.  Maybe it was because she was still bitter at Denver for what she thought he did.  But the thought of further complicating our lives scared the hell out of me.  I didn’t think I could deal with more problems.

We had drawn the line in the sand many times with this cat.  Countless times I had said, “I swear, if she pees on ____ again, she’s gone.”  I had joked that if I was lucky, she would run away.  I had told myself for six years that I didn’t care.  But time and time again, we dismissed her indiscretions.  We cleaned up the mess and moved on.  Because we knew no one else would want her.

And now the time had come when we felt we couldn’t keep her.

I feel like I gave up on her.  That I should’ve done more to help her. 

But it’s too late now.

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9 Responses to Remorse

  1. Shell says:

    Oh, what a tough decision you had to make.

    Though, I am a firm believer in always having to put your kids ahead of an animal.

  2. annabelle says:

    “Yesterday I got an email pitch for an affiliate program. In an effort to be more personal, the author of the email mentioned a recent post that had made her laugh”

    Wait. ??? As in one of those comments like, “This was great. Thanks for writing.” and its some hearbreaking post? Self promoting blog trolls?

    Not the point I guess, but dang those tick me off.

    I’m sorry you had to make that decision. Knowing it was the right thing is likely not very comforting. But had the kitty hurt a kid you’d be beating yourself up for not acting sooner.

    • Jen says:

      The email had just made a reference to a very vague statement I made last week. So I’m sure she had no idea that my psychotic cat was not meant to be humorous. Especially since 95% of what I write is snarky, sarcastic, and obviously not serious. But you are right. What if the next time the cat had actually hurt Allison? Then I would’ve been miserable. Thanks for the kind words.

  3. susan says:

    It’s always hard but she’s happier now and you know your family is happier. You don’t have to worry about what might happen if she went off again.

  4. Lisa says:

    I have had to make the same decision twice. Once when my ex had so terrorized my sweet dog that she turned neurotic and with a newborn, I couldn’t take the risk–its a reason I’m divorced, to be blunt, and it haunts me to this day (its been 6 years). The second time was when a girlfriend of mine needed me to watch her cat for an indeterminate amount of time, and then she died in a car accident. Her family told me to put the cat down, but to this day I feel horrible about it (the cat was un-socialized and spent the entire year with me hiding on a shelf in the closet, it was so sad).

    So, I guess what I am trying to say is that you are normal/human in feeling sad and second-guessing the decision. And it will hurt for a while. But you are not a bad person for making that tough choice. And neither am I.

  5. Adrienne says:

    I’m sorry! That’s tough. You had to protect your kids though. Animals can be totally unpredictable. I hope you find some peace over the decision soon.

  6. Kim Windle says:

    I had a lot of the same emotions after we found a new home for Drake. After 8 years of the same issues I definately felt like we just gave up on him. I mean, the kids do a lot of bad/annoying stuff, we can’t just give them away…time heals all wounds, right?

    • Jen says:

      It’s gotten a little easier just in the last few days. I think the worst was telling myself that I was taking her to a shelter to be adopted and finding out that wasn’t the case. Sigh.