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Posts: 5
I would like to honor my young girl who has died suddenly, and to express my grief and guilt that I am unable to process. Thank you to anyone who reads this long story.

Yesterday, my beautiful girl was struck by a car and killed. I can't stop thinking about my mistakes that lead to her death. She just turned one-and-a-half years old a few days ago.

I adopted Kaiya and her brother, Charlie, last year. I knew right away that they were a special pair--he is a vocal, stubborn Siamese mix, and she was an intelligent, distinctly gorgeous black/smoky DSH. She had such personality and humor, spontaneously lying flat on her back in the middle of the floor or in the middle of the indoor "garden" I made for her. She would crawl into bed every night and knead my tummy. She was beginning to talk more and more like her brother, and in turn she taught him to hunt bugs. And watching her grow up with her brother, who absolutely adored her, was the most precious experience. I felt incredibly blessed to have this little family, and my life felt full.

I have been out of school for a few years and live alone, and these two were most of my time and attention. My family has always had cats, and I enjoy them so much. Charlie and Kaiya are children to me. It was never my intention for them to be truly indoor-outdoor cats; I took them on walks with harnesses as we live in a small studio. My neighbor told me he had seen several cats killed on our relatively quiet street, and it terrified me. However, as they got older, and Charlie became more adamant about wanting to go out, we eased into a routine. Gradually, my supervision over them lessened, and it appeared to be going so well--I would let them out when I got home from work and the traffic died down, and they would come back to the door and ask to be let in, usually in time for bed. Charlie habitually came back several times in an evening for snacks and kisses, while Kaiya, independent as ever, would sometimes run late. I would strain to listen for her tiny voice or the thump of her body against the door, or sometimes Charlie would try to tell me she's ready to come in. Kaiya never needed to be outside like Charlie, but she enjoyed it immensely. (She would bring live cockroaches home for me...) They were so happy.

On her first all-nighter, I panicked. I don't typically call out loud to her so as not to disturb anyone as I search around their cars. I stayed up until 3am and looked for her outside, and luckily when I woke up at 6:30am and went out, she greeted me in the parking lot. There have been a couple times around 1-2am that I've bumped into her outside and scooped her up to come home. Sometimes she came home as late as 3am. I became accustomed to waiting for her.

The night before last, I feel like I failed her. I came home from a dinner for a colleague's last day around 8pm, and encouraged them to go out because I thought there was plenty of time for them to be outside before bed time. But I began to feel extremely sleepy from the food and drink. I stayed awake long enough to welcome Charlie back, but never saw Kaiya. I fell asleep for a couple hours, and upon waking, I looked outside the door and did not see Kaiya. Perhaps I was worried Charlie would run out, but I did not open the door. I didn't throw on a jacket and check for her like I normally would. As I went back to bed, I told myself she was fine, probably on an all-nighter again. If she did come back to the door last night, I'll never know.

After 6am I briefly woke up. I checked my phone and I recall looking through the door screen again. I believed she was fine, hanging out somewhere nearby. At 9, I awoke to the sound of my neighbor moving out of their apartment with a group of people. I was instantly worried. I walked the apartment complex and the property next door where Kaiya likes to roam. I did this several times throughout the day. I thought she was resting in the shade as the day heated up, but in the afternoon I got a call from a good Samaritan that she had been killed. It happened on a street corner in the opposite direction of where I had been looking; I never knew of her to go there. I think she was on her way back home, hungry and thirsty, or that the commotion at the neighboring apartment that morning might have kept her at a distance. It appears as though she died on impact, as one of her eyes and her guts were ejected. Her fur and paws were perfect. That gentleman helped me so much in that moment, and helped put her in some bags. I carried her home in my arms and showed her to Charlie so he knew.

I can't stop asking myself, why did I make those decisions. Why couldn't I get myself up to look for her. What if I had done my usual late night stroll for Kaiya. What if she was at my door and I didn't realize it. I always told them and myself I would never let harm befall them and I would be there for them. I knew the risks of letting them out, and now I just don't know if I had the chance to save her. They were so trusting. They never thought anything could go wrong, and when we've had minor problems arise, they were always happy no matter what. I am devastated. And I feel guilty when I hold Charlie, as if he now has all my affection and Kaiya does not.

To Kaiya, I love you. I love you. I am so, so sorry. I wanted to watch you grow, to see that happy tail held high. My mom always thought your tail would eventually come down, but I believed you were just so happy always. And to Charlie, who is talking more than ever before today, I am so sorry. You have never known a day without Kaiya. I am so sorry.

Kaiya is buried near my parents' house, in a creekbed where she played with her brother in shadows beneath the trees.

Posts: 26
Hello Kaiya and Charlie’s Mom

I’m so sorry about what happened to Kaiya. That is so very sad. She sounded like a beautiful, gorgeous cat.

You didn’t fail her. If you’d known what was going to happen you’d have done everything to prevent it I’m sure. But, we don’t know these things. I wish we did.

The “what if’s” are any awful part of grieving and if you have read many of the other stories on this board, you’ll now how many of us have had them for so many different reasons.

I too know what it’s like to have had one of my beautiful fur babies hit and killed by a car. It happened to my Bengal cat Kahn, he was 3. I was the one driving the car. I have never forgiven myself. It happened about 12 years ago now. We’ve recently just lost our Bengal cat Matrix just over a week ago age 11. His story is under another thread on this page.

Be kind to yourself. You are only guilty of loving Kaiya.

Wishing you and your family much love. Xx

Posts: 5
Hi Raychel,

Thank you so much for your note, and for helping me to begin to process what happened. I'm sorry for what you have experienced with your two boys, and with Matrix so recently. Pain like this was incomprehensible to me...I feel it with my whole body. I can't begin to imagine more.

I walked with Charlie in his harness today, and he's slowly and awkwardly remembering the early days with his leash. My boy's nearly outgrown his harness--they both grew so much. Following him, I finally learned about the world Kaiya enjoyed. I found the rosemary bush that made her smell so sweet and the mud I cleaned off her paws every night. My girl was truly the explorer and independent spirit I believed her to be.

Thank you again. I will try to focus on celebrating and honoring Kaiya's life. I know Charlie will never forget his companion.

All the best to you and your family,

Posts: 20
Hi, I understand your pain, cats love to be outdoors. We went through many of the same issues looking for our cat in the evening... It’s a risk to allow them to go out but many of us do. You can not blame yourself you took care and loved that little creature with all you had. We have a little outdoor cat and he was poisoned some how recently . We put him to sleep yesterday so it’s also very fresh. If we get another cat I will also allow him out if he wants.... our Pogo loved the outdoors laying in the bushes and exploring
Cherish the good times, it’s amazing how these furry beasts take hold of our hearts.
What we have once enjoyed 
we can never lose; 
All that we love deeply
 becomes a part of us.
” – Helen Keller
Talk to friends or co- workers many many people go through this and understand your sadness.

Posts: 5
Thank you, J, for being so helpful and reassuring. I'm very sorry about what happened to Pogo (that is a great name). Poisons are utterly frustrating; my parents have a cat that has developed epileptic episodes after being exposed to something outside, possibly gopher pesticide, even though she was never out of their sight for more than a moment.

I have gone through so many questions and emotions in such a short time span that sometimes it feels like time is stretched, that his happened a long time ago. But the way Kaiya's brother misses her continually reminds me how she was just here. She was a greater part of my life than I realized. You are right--it is truly amazing the substantial impact they leave behind. 

Best wishes,

Posts: 7
Dear Malie,
after reading your post I feel your pain and sorrow. And I am also SURE that there is nothing you could have done to prevent this tragedy.
It was an accident my dear. There was nothing you could have done. If you had somehow brought her in that night, it would have happened some other night. Nothing you could have done.
Time will help more or less depending on the person. Some people recover quickly, some take a long time and some never truly recover.
But you should rest in peace knowing that this was an accident and that it was beyond your control. You did the best you could within the scope of what was possible. Anything beyond that is in God's hand (whatever your definition of God is).
May she rest in peace.



Posts: 5
Thank you, Patrick. I do think it will take a very long time, but I hope for recovery. Every day I can't help but think she should be here by her brother's side. I am grateful that Charlie has done well in her absence. But in the middle of the night, he still goes to a little mat where she used to sleep and kneads the carpet. Giving him all the love I can has helped.

I appreciate your kindness, and this amazing community for helping me.

God bless,
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