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Death drowning with guilt -.-


New Here
Hello everyone :)

This is my first post..

I’m not officially diagnosed, but I know I have cptsd from childhood-adulthood.

Right now I’m struggling with chronic self blame and guilt, if you have time please read my story 😊 sorry if it’s long, I wanted to include all the important details.

I believe I’ve made a fatal mistake concerning my outdoors cat which I feed daily, but she lives outside in the garden, 11 days ago she seemed ill and I was concerned and I monitored her daily and made sure she was eating until she wasn’t eating for 2 days then I grabbed her (she don’t let me touch her) and I took her to the vet, the vet said she has a virus and her mouth/teeth is not looking good she gave her 3 injections and said she needs iv fluids so they took her to administer the iv and said it’ll take an hour, i left her and I came back 45 mins later asking where’s my cat is she finished? The woman vet took me aside and said she’s sorry she passed away during iv, I was shocked and the first words that came out of my mouth were “it’s my fault I should’nt have brought her here” the vet said no it’s not your fault etc…. I asked her to revive my cat she said she’s gone there’s nothing to do, I asked to bring her, they brought her and I took her to the more experienced doctor he also said he can’t bring her back.. Then I took her home with me and buried her in the garden.
Now, it’s been 5 days, and I’m still shook by this unfortunate event, I’m feeling a lot of negative feelings, mostly self blame and guilt, I’ll explain why:

I see that it’s my fault the cat died, because:
1- ((I)) took her to the vet
2- when the vet gave her 3 injections, I didn’t mind (I thought it would help)
3- and then i agreed to leave her with them (I thought it would be good for her to have iv fluids), I wanted to stay with her but they don’t let me go inside. So I didnt see how they administered the iv.
Do you know how guilt and self blame feel like? I can’t breathe, I have pain in my heart, and I feel a hole in my heart.. I am functioning doing my daily tasks and going to work, but I am not focused because of the pain I’m having for days..
Can you talk some sense into me please? 😊 i know it’s normal to feel sad for losing a pet, even though she was an outdoors cat and I only get to see her a minute each day while I feed her, but, I feel very responsible for what happened to her, I don’t know if she would’ve survived the calisivirus, I see that I had a role in this. And I feel sad also because she was an innocent cute cat.

Thank you for reading my post.
I would also like to add, that I’m also feeling afraid remembering the vet talking to me and the way they abruptly took her to iv and not letting me in.. and the white walls and the waiting area, I’m having a cocktail of heavy emotions, I think I’m traumatized. On top of my already existing traumas.

I try to reason with myself, that I don’t know if the injections and the iv is what killed her, that she was already ill and moving slow and haven’t eaten for 2 days, that she would’ve died anyways if I haven’t interfered. I have spoken with two of my friends about this, and that’s what they tell me.. but it doesn’t ease my pain.. and then they (the friends) tell me “what a great person I am for taking care of a street cat AND taking her to the vet”.. I think this is irrelevant, I took care of her food because I loved taking care of her and I felt responsible, not because I thought it’s the right thing to do. I think the people who say this don’t care much about unprivileged animals. That it’s not worth running an extra mile for them.
Yes I know she’s not a person, but she’s a vulnerable being, and this tugs on my heartstrings.
I am so sorry that your cat died. Guilt is a normal part of grieving and one of the important things to remember is guilt shows how much you care. You would probably feel horribly guilty if you didn't bring her in and she died. It is not necessarily an indicator that you did anything wrong. A lot of time, there are feelings under the guilt, like sadness. That sadness can just be so big it comes out in other ways. Your loss is really recent, so it's understandable for you to be struggling. In time, you'll be able to think more about the life of the feral cat and less about the loss.

I work at a veterinary clinic. If it will help you can read what I think of what you described. Please skip if it won't help.
It is extremely, extremely unlikely the cat died because of the injections. Your poor cat was very sick and in the process of dying. They were trying to help her. Injections are minimally invasive and don't cause death. If you hadn't interfered she would have died. You and the vet staff tried to help her. She wasn't alone when she died. There were people there. I have been the vet assistant giving a very sick feral kitty fluids and I always try to comfort and pour care into the cat. I understand that you wanted to stay. I would have wanted to stay too. Right then, the concern was to get your cat stable enough that she could me giving more care from you and the vet staff. You did the right thing. It's so hard when they are feral, because it makes every decision tougher. They are used to being left alone so it feels invasive and scary when you try to help. If you leave them alone though, they suffer

Please keep talking and when you are ready, share some memories of your cat.
Oh i get this. Everytime I lose a pet I go straight to "I'm a horrible fur baby mom and it's my fault they died and I should have done xyx differently and blah blah blah."

My service dog has an ear infection right now that is pretty serious and I keep blaming myself for not noticing until it was too late, no matter how many times the vet tells me that it was a fast moving infection that I couldn't have seen coming. Ya - still feel like a bad mom.

If it helps, this guilt piece is so common with pet owners that there are actual pet grief hotlines out there for those who have lost their fur babies. I've used them in the past and it's been amazing just to talk with people who get it 🫂
Hi, I am a licensed vet tech. It was not your fault. I also did animal dentistry for a decade. Outdoor cats are definitely more likely to get viruses. Also, dental disease is extremely common. Cats get these things called FORLs , or kitty cavities. Holes in the teeth that leave the nerves and pulp exposed. They are very painful and are extracted, and cats are given antibiotics. These can hurt so bad that cats don't eat, especially if they have dry crunchy food. The bacteria from the open holes , not to mention inflammation can also cause appetite loss. You cannot prevent these FORLs. Most cats get them at some point in their lives, it's like an autoimmune response. So dental issues )even if not FORLs, she may have had loose teeth which get infected) paired with a virus is just a perfect storm. I can promise you that the IV was administered with love and care. I was a travelling vet tech. I have worked at like 50 different hospitals over 15 years, and I am yet to meet an uncaring staff member. Truly, please take comfort knowing the staff was caring. I've never ever met someone in the vet field who wasn't passionate about animals. I promise. Usually kitties are laid on blankets or towels, the IV is placed, and they're kept cozy while it's going in and they're placed in a kennel on a kitty bed. Just like when we get blood draws, it's a tiny pain then ok. Sometimes being in a vet hospital is very stressful for pets no matter how gentle we are, and that compounded with sickness can cause sad results, as in your case. If finances are ever an issue ( not sure if this was the reason for delayed vet visit, not implying anything, just saying) apply for Care Credit. Cats are notorious about hiding pain so for her to show sickness, she was pretty far along with her in wellness. Also, cats are best kept indoors for health and safety. I am so sorry you lost her. I know my cats are my little family. I wish you healing.