Guilt Is All Consuming

by Karin Baltzell, Ph.d

I have a major dilemma that is weighing very heavy on my heart and I am looking for guidance and hopefully forgiveness.

First, please know, I would never do anything to intentionally harm an animal. I am an animal lover - through and through. So much so, that I say a pray for "road kill". (Pardon that expression) I personally have one kitten and I find it difficult to say "no" to her. I feed and tend to two Chihuahuas, two goats, and two other cats at my house (none of which are mine) on a daily basis. Also, there are nine or ten cats at my place of business that I tend to as well. Additionally, I carry cat food (both dry and moist) in my vehicle, just in case I see a stray in a parking lot or along side the road. Since it is difficult to catch strays, I simply leave a pile of food for them to eat so, they will not go hungry, at least for one night.

The reason for my heavy heart is this: There is a stray cat that has made a home at my place and has been there for over two years. She has become part of the family. She had five kittens a few months ago. One passed away and I buried it near the house. A friend of mine and I were going to find good, loving homes for the remaining kittens once they were old enough. (Then get the mommy cat spayed.) Recently, as I was stopped at a red light, just a few miles from my house, a lady behind me came and told me that she saw three kittens fall from under my vehicle. I turned around and headed back the way I came. And, yes, unfortunately, I did see two of the precious kittens. They were already dead. I looked for the third and was unable to locate it. The last of the five, I fear was also a part of the tragedy; however, I saw no signs of it.

Please know, this was in no way, shape or form, intentional. The guilt is all consuming at this point. Please advise. Is there anyway God can forgive me and if so, how do I forgive myself?

Dear Softertears,

Thank you for writing to Beyond Indigo. It is wonderful to hear that there are such kind, compassionate people like you taking care of the stray and homeless animals. Please feel good about all that you do to help so many creatures.

We are so sorry for your shock and horror at discovering the kittens that their mother no doubt stashed up under your car somehow. There is absolutely NO way you could have known about that, or any way you could have prevented that. It is a miracle that if hasn't happened more often, with all the pets you care for.

I could tell you many stories about this type of thing happening to pet owners, so don't feel the least bit alone about this happening to you. In fact, a friend of mine ran over her own large dog that was sleeping behind the back tire of her truck. These things happen.

If you can still locate the mother cat, you can at least keep the mother from having more kittens by your generous intention to get her spayed. I would do it soon.

I'm more than sure God will give you some peace about this, as there is nothing to forgive as you did nothing wrong. Ask for inner guidance and continually affirm, "I am at peace, and all happens for a good reason." You might not know, or see that reason now, but trust me, it is there! If the cats had been left to themselves in nature, they most likely would not have survived. Mother Nature has a way of making sure only the toughest, and the smartest, are allowed to survive and these methods often look cruel to we humans.

Hopefully, these last few days have helped you to begin to heal. Let us know how things are going for you. We care.

Karin


Karin is a staff writer and editor for Beyond Indigo. She holds her Ph.D in Psychology.

“I love when my dog Cash and I walk in the door and everyone greets us by name. It means a lot (to both of us! :)), and shows that you all really do care for your patients and guests. You guys are great! Thanks so much for everything!” -C. Johnson

“I chose Northern Valley when I got my first pet due to the extended hours during the week and on Saturdays. That is very helpful considering I work full time. The vets and techs are fantastic. They know my pets by name and are familiar with their medical history even without their charts in hand. All staff are very sweet to my animals.” -M. Moeller

“The vet was so nice and worked so well with Izzy, who is totally paranoid and afraid of other people. I appreciate his time to answer my questions and tell me how to keep Izzy healthy.” -R. Martin

“Thank you to all the wonderful staff of NVAC! You provide wonderful care to us and our owners. This year, we are particularly grateful for your care of Roger—he retrieved over 100 pheasants this season and is at his physical best—despite Addison s and ACL/broken leg—amazing!!!’ -Roger, Noel, Bella & Kiddy” J.&B. Oviatt

“Loved the tech who cut our dogs' nails. She did an excellent job!!! We have been coming to NVAC since 1992. It is so nice that everyone knows us and our pets. We appreciate all you have done for us over the years---esp. those Westie years!!” -C. Parker-Neiss

“The technician was very attentive and made sure to ask about my dog's weight history (we think there must have been an error on the previous visit). Both the vet and tech were accommodating to my dog's quirks (were very gentle with the ears and did not take the rectal temp as she freaks out and was not sick at the time of the visit). They were very kind to her and offered treats with the vaccinations. Even the receptionist made sure to pet her and offer a treat. My dog was not at all traumatized and was as happy as always when leaving. I felt all my questions were answered and I came away with good knowledge of my dog's health (fortunately it was great). I also bought some Heartguard and Frontline as flea and tick season will be upon us soon.” -L. Estes

“Northern Valley is fantastic. The attention and care that my pets and myself have received has been extraordinary, especially when dealing with a deathly ill animal. I really appreciated that the staff paid attention to my concerns and valued my thoughts and observations as we problem solved and determined treatment. I can't help but wonder if we would have had a negative outcome had I been at another vet. Thanks to the great staff for helping treat my kitty!” -M. Moeller

“Always a wonderful experience. Very professional and kind and friendly staff. Thank you! Vladimir had his hair cut by Shannon and she is amazing! She is kind and gentle with our robust pet. She is a brilliant groomer! We LOVE Shannon. Especially Vladimir.” -S. Palmer-Ziolkowski

“I am soooo very happy with Northern Valley Animal Clinic, and I am very grateful for all the care you all have taken care of all the pets we have had. Boozer, Sammy, Dolly, and now Izzy. I feel very confident in her care with you all. Thanks for being there.” -R. Martin

“The whole staff is awesome!!! Been there for/with me & my furkids in good times & in bad. Also, they are wonderful supporters of rescue groups.” -E. Meinecke

“They have treated me with such kindness. I had to put my little man to sleep, my 11-year-old ferret named Sid. Not only were they gentle and caring about the process, they sent me home with a little paw print keepsake. Thank you so much.” -D. Nicole

“Shannon is the best groomer!!” -M. Smith

“The staff were ALL very kind and seemed to truly like and appreciate the animals they were dealing with, they had good empathy with me and also my dear dog, who was their patient. I feel relieved to know that I have found a good "medical home" for my little animal family, at Northern Valley Animal clinic.” -N. Honeychuck

“We really appreciated being able to call at about 11:30 am on a Saturday and being able to be seen at 12:30 pm the same day. Meant a lot to us!” -J. Hill

“There is nothing more important than making sure that your pet is in good hands when it has a medical problem or needs preventative care. The team at Northern Valley Animal Clinic is wonderful and always treats you and your pets with respect. They have the knowledge and dedication to make sure that your furry family member is well taken care of. Every time we take our shelter animals into the clinic, they are always treated with the best of care and compassion. Thank you Northern Valley for all you do for the homeless animals and Paws and Claws!” -T. Johnson

“Dr. McKie really went above and beyond my expectations. I needed to bring my 2 young inquisitive children with me on the night of our cats' visit, and she let my children hear our pets' heartbeats and answered all of their questions even about animals that weren't even present! Thank you to her for giving us such a fun and exciting experience. My kids are still talking about it! Thanks again to all of the staff who made our night with their friendly service and willingness to answer questions!” -T . Tollefson

“Thank you, Thank you for the awesome grooming on my dear Ginger. My wife and I trust no one with our girl. Shannon was kind and warm to her which in turn made us very comfortable leaving Ginger in her care. Gin looked great when we picked her up and she did not seem to mind her ordeal at all. You guys are wonderful and we will be back. Thank you.” -J. Kapinos

“Woof Woof” -from Ginger

“You guys are great!!! I have a dog with lots of issues, and you guys always take good care of us! Thank you!!” -A. Reed