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