My tragic month

wvcatguy

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I posted already about losing “my buddy smoke”. This came on the heels of losing my mother. Unfortunately, there’s more to the story and it’s eating at me.
For various reasons, I lived with mom the past few years. Mom loved animals. She had dogs, she had cats, & she left out food for a possum that visited. She always had animals. I grew up always caring for animals. She had cats inside and 3 strays that she fed outside. They had a shelter we bought and placed on the porch. They weren’t really strays. They were family.

We rented a small home from a lousy landlord. He had two unoccupied homes beside us that he allowed to decline. Homeless broke in and started fires. Our home was safe but it was a frightening experience. Then the landlord decided to tear all the homes down and asked us to leave. My mother also began to get sick. I’m trying to find a place to stay, take care of mom, & work. To get the landlord off of us, we put everything in storage at the end of August. Mom then went to the hospital. I was beyond stressed. I paid one last month rent and told the landlord we were mostly out. I still had pets inside the home and a few odd things to get. I was staying at the hospital with mom & trying to find an answer for the cats. I told him to give me a warning before any demolition. Just a day or two.

Mom then passed away. I was still going to the house and feeding the cats. I asked someone to help me find homes for some of them. I sat with them one night and told them I wouldn’t let them down. I knew how much mom loved them. The very next day, demolition started without warning. The landlord said he didn’t think I needed a warning. It had only been 2 weeks since I told him & we were his only tenant. I ran in the house to try a rescue but couldn’t find anyone. I watched our house destroyed and prayed the cats got out.

The outside cats and 1 inside cat survived. Three beautiful angels did not survive. At least I haven’t seen them. I have been devastated. I did everything I could but I had so many things going on. I failed them though. I posted this because I felt I was ignoring their tragedy. It’s on my mind every day. I’m working to keep the remaining cats together and will take them to my next home. God I wish I hadn’t had so many problems at once. I’m sorry Butter, OJ, & Kinky.
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myrnafaye

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I am so sad for you. You were faced with a demolition that you could not stop. What was wrong with the landlord, did he not know there were cats? So upsetting.

It is not as though you did something wrong. The problem was that you were helpless. Sometimes we are, despite our best efforts.

You might try checking your local shelter and rescue groups, or perhaps signs at your local pet food stores; or, if you have a Next Door app near you. People are very helpful in the case of lost animals. Cats are survivors, and they may still be out there.

Please keep us posted.
 

Mamanyt1953

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I know how you must be grieving, but I will tell you this...your missing babies may well still be out there, somewhere. They would have been frightened off, and headed for the hills, so to speak. Don't give up on them turning up at the same property at some point. I'd suggest going there as often as you can, around the times that they were used to being fed. My heart with yours.
 

di and bob

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My heart breaks for what you are going through. Please don't blame yourself, you were doing all you could with what you had. My heart goes out to those three missing babies, I pray they are just hiding somewhere, but if not, may God bless them. They have peace because they have your thoughts and love, the bond you formed with them will be with you forever. There was nothing you could do, especially since there was no rent paid that last month. (?) If there was, you could file a complaint against him, but pets are considered property and you wouldn't get much.
You have a good heart, I pray you get home for your remaining little ones or find a place you all can stay. I'll keep you all in my thoughts and prayers. Take care and know we care.......
 
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wvcatguy

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I go to the spot of the house and feed anyone who shows up twice a day. These are mostly the cats that lived outdoors. I keep hoping someone else shows up.
We had rented from this landlord for 15 years at least. He was the worst you could imagine. We did our own repairs whenever it was necessary. In the last few months, we paid him several hundred dollars extra each month thinking he would give us more time to find a place. I accept a lot of blame but I also put some on him.

Because of my mom, I’ve cared for cats my entire life. It hurts so much that I wasn’t able to keep them all safe. I loved them all so dearly. Kinky the black cat in the pictures, was named that because his tail was shaped like a lightning bolt. I often remarked he was too good to be living with us. He was sweet, spotless, purred like a motorcycle engine, and was loving to the other cats. I watched him talk to to them, making these sounds that seemed to relax them. He was a saint! God he did deserve this.

Before my mom went to the hospital, she stayed with her sister some. I’d take her videos of the cats and her eyes lit up! She sent me a text saying “I’d feel better if I had my babies”. My only comfort is that maybe she has some of her babies with her now. Im sure she’s shocked to see them though. I love and miss them all.
 

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wvcatguy

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Well a small miracle happened a few weeks ago. One of the cats that I thought I’d lost showed up! I almost didn’t recognize him he’d grown so much. I started feeding him and he put his paw on my shoulder. He just stared me in the eyes and I knew it was one of my mom’s cats. I’ve already found him a home with my aunt. She’s taken two cats now. I’m determined to make sure everyone has a home. That would make mom happy.
I do wish I could’ve saved the two angels in my last picture. They were the sweetest. My heart hurts every time I think of them.
 

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You were the victim here as much as the cats. You did not fail them; you did advocate for the cats in the house and were ignored. I am so sorry that this happened to you and was very happy to learn that one has returned.

Several years ago my cousin who lived in the FL panhandle lost her entire house in a hurricane. The cat was inside the house which was washed out to sea as she lived almost directly on the beach. A few weeks later she found the cat hiding in the sea grass, skinny and terrified, but alive. Don't give up. I wonder if your cats all bolted at the first sign of demolition and are hiding elsewhere.
 
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wvcatguy

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August, September, & October are terrible months for me. I guess they always will be. That’s when I lost my mom, my house, and two cats. Obviously, grief feels is very strong. Occasionally, like today, the two cats cross my mind. There were so sweet. Butter was such a gentle cat. Timid actually. However, when he was alone with you, he just shined. I can remember how he would stand so tall as I pet him. With so much going on in the last two years, we didn’t give him the attention he deserved. When we did, he was a beautiful angel! So innocent He deserved so much better. Both cats did but he was the one that was on my mind today.

I still hold out hope the black cat pictures, “Kinky” survived. Why so much would happen at once I don’t know. I did the best I could but I was so overwhelmed. I just wanted to post because I have no one to talk about this with. I try to distract myself with hobbies or whatever but I never ever forget. I love & miss them all.
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di and bob

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This was something that happened beyond your control. There were SO many things going on and this was a tragedy beyond compare. Your three little ones are at peace because they have your love. That is something that is spiritual, so eternal. Although these sad thoughts will always be with you, time has a way of softening the sharp edges, I hope this happens for you, but it takes at least two years to get through the initial grief. Something like this replays again and again, it is something that needs to be got through, not got over. You always have us here, we are family drawn together through our grief. I will pray for your three little ones and your mom, I am sure they found each other and are all together. Take care of yourself, don't let grief run your life. You are needed so much by your remaining little ones, and you all deserve some happiness. RIP Butter, OJ, and Kinky. You will never be forgotten, you will always have a secure place in a loving heart. May the good Lord bless and keep you, until you meet again!
 

fionasmom

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This will continue to cycle back to you for a long time, but each time may bring more acceptance of what you tried to do and how much you did everything possible in the face of circumstances that were beyond your control. We always believe we should have been able to do something even if that is our mind replaying the same formula over and over.

I do wonder on some level if the demolition of the house was so terrifying to the cats that they escaped, but never returned. It is a scenario that has happened after earthquakes out here, and in other countries, especially in the areas which have been hard hit and structures collapsed. It is still not of any great comfort, but someone may have helped them if that is what happened.

Please remember that we are here for you whenever you need to talk.
 
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wvcatguy

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Thank you so much for the kind words. My life has been filled with so much grief this past year. Losing my mother of course & loading the dear cats. Occasionally, as happened when I made my last post, I get overwhelmed with sadness. I sat in the floor our with all the cats on our final night & remember how gentle Butter & Kinky were. I was so sad from losing mom but I looked at them & promised we’d all be ok. It’s the first time everyone had been together in a while. Kinky was so good at comforting one of the cats who’d been outside the last few days. Just an angel. I was so determined to keep everyone safe.

Had the landlord only demolished my house, I think everyone would’ve been safe. Unfortunately, demolished the two homes beside mine & that’s where Butter was sadly found. I buried many beautiful animals over the years. I’ve had a cat ever since I was five. This was just wrong & I pray they didn’t hurt.

On a positive note, OJ, now Rusty, was found and is staying with my aunt.

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wvcatguy

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Thank you. If my mom was still here, she would’ve had some wise words to say to me. Losing my mom, some cats, & being briefly homeless, all within a month, was overwhelming. I think of each of the lost cats often. I’m proud I was able to save my mother’s strays. I just wish I could’ve saved everyone. I know my heart is right and I’m very thankful to be able to come here and babble occasionally. October 6th was the day the house was torn down so this week will be very difficult. I thank you all for your kindness.
 

fionasmom

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That will be a hard day...the first time that the date returns in the first year of all the losses. You are not babbling and we are happy to listen.
 
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wvcatguy

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I’m tempted to send something today to the landlord. A picture of the demolished house maybe. I decided against that. It’s early though. Lol. No there’s no point in that.
Today is very hard. I can literally mark what happened each hour because I too pictures. I started the day looking at a photo of my mom online. Then I was leaving work to notify a kind lady who lived nearby that “Smoke” a cat we shared, had passed away. That should’ve been enough grief for the day. As I was driving I spotted the demolition crew. Terrible terrible day.
This picture will haunt me the rest of my life. I spotted Butter hiding beside the house as it was being torn down. He hadn’t been outside since he was a kitten. I know he was terrified. I would’ve tried to grab him but I was afraid he would go back into the house. I tried to get him to come to me but he wouldn’t move. He was so timid. I was so beaten. I just prayed he’d hide somewhere and I’d come back for everyone. I wish I could go back and get everyone out earlier. I just couldn’t do anything right after losing mom.
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fionasmom

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There is no way to say that this is not a terrible day and terrible memory for you. The first time around an entire year since a loss or disaster is very hard. It sounds like you are beginning to tell yourself that there was something that you could have personally done when there was not. Our mind goes and plays all the scenarios and makes new adjustments to them. The circumstances were so far out of your control, including an active demolition site and the heartless landlord.

If you had been able to approach Butter, he possibly would have run back into the house. Given the instinct of a cat to run from danger, not back into it, I wonder if he may have survived but run far away from the vicinity. I have a cousin who lived off the grid, more or less, in a small beach "house" in the panhandle of FL. The hurricane before Katrina washed the entire place out to sea with the cat in it. Cousin was not home at the time. Weeks later she found the cat in another part of the beach hiding in the sea grass. It would not come to her and had to be trapped, but was brought back to her new place.

Nothing was your fault, although I know that does not help a lot right now.
 
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