Dog killed my daughter's kitty.... I need to whine

koala_emApril 29, 2006

Need to whine here!

Last week our 8yo daughter's kitten (14 weeks)was on a RARE outside excursion. She was on the fence border our house and our side neighbour. The dog from the other back neighbours house jumped the back fence into our side neighbours house then jumped up to our side fence and savaged our little kitty to death. : (

The authorities came and got the dog, and it hasn't returned. The authorities will charge the back neighbours with having a dangerous animal. As to whether it will return, this remains to be seen.

My 8yo saw this happen to her kitten, as did my other 2 chn and our side neighbours daughter. My 8yo is now devastated, and is having nightmares that the remaining dog will jump the fence and kill her too.

I am so POed at the back neighbours because even after more than a week they haven't said sorry at all. It's as if my daughter's pet meant nothing, and her emotional upset is worth nothing.

To top it off the back neighbours have got a NEW dog of the same type!

We had bought her this kitten after a terrible 2005 where she was bullied at school. We felt the cat would give her a special friend when she felt low and certainly this plan had work out. She adored the kitten, and often snuggled it and smothered it with love.

We are thinking of waiting a few months and getting her a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. I couldn't bear another kitty being mauled.

Anyway, that's my whine.


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Oh, noooo. I am so sorry for you and your daughter. Poor baby; that is awful.

I have two furbabies (cats) and they are part of the family. Sending sympathies your way.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2006 at 9:44AM
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what a horrible experience for the young girl; hopefully time will make everyone feel better. I so wish children would not have to deal with things like this.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2006 at 9:52AM
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Oh Em, I'm so sorry. I remember you talking about getting this kitty for your daughter. What a sad ending, and a traumatic experience.

Our neighbor's son's kitten was killed by another neighbor's dog years ago. The kitten had gotten into the dog's fenced yard. The owner of the dog never apologized - - just said, "well, your cat shouldn't have been in our yard." So heartless, even if there was a grain of truth. They both still live there, 15 years later. And the dog-owners replaced that dog with another of the same breed, which is known to kill cats.

I can't imagine how I would handle it in your case, since the dog leapt the fence. I would have a very hard time dealing with it if that dog came home. If they do not put up a more secure fence, I would be very tempted to bring that dog on a nice little drive somewhere. No, the dog shouldn't be punished for its owner's stupidity, but you do have to protect your own. Is this dog a menace to children as well?

As for your poor DD, I think you are right to consider getting a new pet. Maybe an adult cat rescued from the SPCA who is known to be a "smoosh" and doesn't mind lots of cuddling? It would have to remain indoors, of course, due to your idiot neighbors. A puppy is a lot of responsibility for a young kid, and doesn't always gravitate to the kid for it's affection. They tend to want to be with the "top dog" of the family.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2006 at 10:13AM
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Thanks maggie and mitch.
As you said mitch, it's one of those things children should not have to deal with.
I have attached a link to Keiko, she is curled up with our poodle and golden retriever. She was such a cute kitty, she used to try and suckle the golden retriever! Who didn't seem to mind at all. We often wonder if our placid gentle dogs gave Keiko a false sense of security when the attacking dog approached.

Here is a link that might be useful: Kekio and doggie friends

    Bookmark   April 29, 2006 at 10:23AM
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Thanks Paige,
My back neighbours must have the same mentality as yours, I just can't understand why people want a dog that is known for chasing and killing other small animals. I hope for their sake that the dogs never attack a child. They had previously put up bamboo screen along our part of the back fence and not finished the bamboo part that backed our side neighbours (this is where the dog jumped over.) They have since (gee.. I wonder why...) finished the rest of the remaining fenceline to our side neighbours part too. My side neighbours were very concerned as they have a mini fox terrier puppy (which is smaller than a rabbit so far!)
As to the saying sorry part- if they had heard my daughter's tears and screaming I wonder if they would have had an ounce of 'sorry' if only for her? Sadly, they don;t seem to care less. I guess to them it was "only" a cat. But to my daughter it was her dearly loved kitty.
You are right, an older cat might work. Yes, a puppy might prefer the other dogs to my DD.
The really sad part is we have Keiko's litter sibling as well, and he is missing her too.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2006 at 10:38AM
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Em, your daughter had a heckuva year last year? I'm sure you're helping her learn to stand up for herself (a long work in progress- we've been there)- I'd stand up to your neighbors and at least give them a call and say 'my child needs you to tell her you're sorry.'

Grrrr. If you hack them off by phoning them, sounds like no huge loss. Good luck- I'm sorry your family had to go through this.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2006 at 12:18PM
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This is terrible, and I'm sorry your daughter had to go thru this. But along with my condolences, I'm also offering some advice. Keep a close eye on your daughter, and I even mean long term. There's one thing no one's seemed to notice that could leave a permanent mark on her, and that is that the kitten, which you bought to soothe her because of the bullying SHE faced, was, itself, killed by a bully of sorts. As a parent, this would concern me in that it doesn't leave her feeling that there's no defense against bullies.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2006 at 12:53PM
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That's a really good point, Bill.

I'm sorry too Em, for it's so hard for a child to lose a pet, especially under this type of tragic circumstance. Also really disturbing is that 'bullying' issues seem to arise earlier and earlier (with my DDs, problems with bullys started at around 10 or 11 years of age).

Give your DD a big hug from us!

    Bookmark   April 29, 2006 at 2:20PM
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Oh my gosh, koala, that's just incredibly makes me shudder and cry just reading your post...:( :( I'm so sad to hear it and can only imagine the visions your daughter is having. I'd have them too. Maybe if you can also share with your daughter that *grownups* would feel exactly the same way she does, and that it's completely o.k. to be upset and sad and angry...and that *you're* angry too.

Some action to make these people understand what they've done seems quite warranted, btw--I heartily agree with pecan here-- I'm thinking a letter to let them stew in what they so blithely visited on a little girl...Maybe you can remember some of what your daughter said and put it in quotes without forcing her to go through it again. It is so good to let your daughter see that you're standing up for your family, so she can see that standing up for yourself to those who wrong you so badly is completely justified and possible. How would they feel if their beloved dog was attacked by a bigger dog and ripped to shreds in front of their children? Man, makes me want to go deal with them myself! Children are sacred even to those who don't hold much else sacred. Everyone knows you don't mess with mothers and children.

And if you feel like it, may I ask how else you all have handled the bullying issue? The kitten was a great idea, even if it did end this way...have you addressed it within the school at all? Is it possible to do so? Again, maybe at least might it be possible to help your daughter write a letter detailing the *facts* of what happened and send it to her teacher and the principal and whoever else? Lists of facts are always useful in building a case and settling a grievance, as we see here far too often.

Again, deep, deep condolences on the horrible loss of the little furdear... :'''( It's so hard to think of dealing with the loss of a baby pet; most kids' books that deal with pet death deal with pets dying of *old age*. I don't know your beliefs, but I'm linking to a book we've found to be incredibly useful wrt loss and death...just something to offer when I can't come hug your little one in person...

Here is a link that might be useful: _When the Wind Stops_ by Charlotte Zolotow

    Bookmark   April 29, 2006 at 6:07PM
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Thanks everyone.
Pecanpie- that is a good idea. I could write them a note stating how this has traumatised my daughter and requesting they write her a sorry note. They are only relatively new here, so I don't know them really well.

bill- what you are saying is a very real worry for me. Especially since my daughter's bully was older and bigger.

Pauline, thanks for the hugs for my DD. Bullying is hard to deal with.

Flyleft- the bullying was a terrible situation for us. It was hidden for 2 years. As it turns out my daughter was bullied from the time she started kindy at 5 years by a girl in my oldest son's grade. DD was bullied for 2 years, but never said a thing. This worries me so much, that she wouldn't tell because the bully was so big (she's adult height) and threatened her not to.

Each time this girl would see DD she would hit, punch, kick, pinch and tease her. The only motivation I see is that she was my son's sister, and the girl disliked my son (he is a kind, gentle soul- a nerdy type). In hind sight this explained the constant small bruises etc I thought she had gained in playground play, presuming she was accident prone.

The whole thing came to light when my older daughter (in year 5) was out from waiting for school car pickup with little DD. Little DD tried to hide behind older DD, but bully threw DD into the wall giving her a bump on the head which was bleeding. Even then, DD tried to deny the bullying. The long shot was I went into crazy protective mother mode and the bully was suspended 'in school' for the last term of her year 6 year.
In 2005 the bully went onto highschool elesewhere and I thought with school counselling and support DD would slowly improve. However the new "bully" was her teacher- who far from being gentle and nurturing would yell at her to the point that DD's friend in the neighbouring class could hear the yelling. DD could do nothing right (the more the teacher yelled at her for fidgeting the more anxious she became and the more she fidgeted). The teacher even stated she didn't believe DD was bullied at all IN FRONT of DD. In the end, when DD started having mulitple nightly nightmare of being yelled by the teacher, I pulled her out and home schooled her the last 7 weeks of school in 2005. The school was next to useless. The counsellor was good, but the teacher wouldn't implement the strategies to support DD's emotional anxiety.
This year she started fresh at a new school (which DD really wanted to do.) DD has a GREAT teacher, NO behaviour problems (amazing since the last teacher thought she was a terrible child), a new circle of friends who are lovely, started dance classes and generally has turned her life around for the good. Of course the kitten had been part of the strategy. All our family see a HUGE change for the better. She actually smiles now, and is delightful.
How we handle her emotionally:
We minimise her role as victim- so as not to build her into a victim stereotype. We commenced karate as a family so she is learning skills to defend herself with the family there for support. We also give her lots of positives for confident behaviours.

I am very worried, as I felt the kitten was her safety net. Her security point if you know what I mean. I will go and speak to her teacher tomorrow, as she starts back after Easter school holidays tomorrow. She can keep me informed of any emotional issues.

Anyway, that is a long story isn't it? It has been 3 hard parenting years for us, and 3 hard years for DD.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2006 at 10:42PM
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Oh man, I would go so postal if a teacher was yelling like that at my DD. If the principle and school board didn't do anything, I would have a very serious series of personal conversation with that teacher where she would get to experience the other side of bullying.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2006 at 11:31AM
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I am so sorry for all of you, especially your daughter and of course the kitten. I hope she can soon accept another pet and continue to do as well as she had been doing.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2006 at 3:03PM
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What a terrible thing to have happen to your daughter and your family. It must be heartbreaking.

Isn't there some sort of Animal Control agency in your area? They should charge this family with having a dangerous animal, and animal cruelty, and then you should haul their a** into court, too. There should be consequences.

If you daughter wants to, I think you should replace the cat, but with an older kitten or young cat. If there's an anmimal shelter, let her pick one out. We have always had great luck with rescue cats, they seem to pick us, and have always been wonderful pets. (Our purebred is another story entirely).

Good luck to all of you.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2006 at 7:38PM
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((((Em)))) what a mess you all have had to endure! You have my respect as a mighty, protective mama who stands up for your child and helps her learn to stand on her own. How is your daughter doing today? And I forgot to ask--did you all have a memorial service for the kitten, so your daughter can have a goodbye on her own positive, loving terms? Maybe even have her friends who have met the kitten come (with their moms) and share a story about something sweet the little darling did, so your daughter can see that she's surrounded by love and support not only in her family? Just some thoughts...I'm sure you'll do what's right for her...

And re a new cat: my distraught daughter swore up and down that she didn't want a new cat after our Bounder died...then a month later she was agitating constantly for a kitten...we went to the PetSmart adoption area and a grown cat pretty much picked us out and they're fast friends. I daresay that that dog might have had a more difficult time against our Mahatma; as peaceable as his name is, he's had his time outside on the streets and knows how to take care of himself. He's also SO thankful to be off the streets and have food and a loving place to sleep. So maybe a decision on a new family member can wait for a while...

    Bookmark   April 30, 2006 at 10:56PM
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Flyleft- We are planning a small 'farewell/ memorial' and are going to plant a tree. We think a Crepe Myrtle- as it is Autuum downunder and each year when the leaves turn we will remember the kitten. Plus we thought we'd get a purple flowering one- the kitten had a purple collar.

Thanks for the book link BTW.

chiefneil- I was VERY angry with the school and principal, but I have decide to let it go- because if I drag it on it just keeps causing me (and therefore DD stress). I had planned and drafted a terse letter to the schools department. Ultimately, I had to work out what it was I wanted as a resolution- and really I just want DD happy... and now she is happy at the new school.

Good idea about a rescue cat. I especially liked the idea as we can choose a "smoochy" cat- which is exactly what we need for DD. I sounded DD out about an older cat, and she was open to the idea... but I will give her a while I think.


    Bookmark   May 1, 2006 at 8:05PM
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I am so sorry. My heart goes out to you and your DD.

When I was 8 years, my kitten was killed by a neighbor's wire hair terrior. It was a fluke. The dog in question didn't normally run loose. The gate was left open, probably by a meter reader. The dog wandered into our backyard, saw my kitten playing on the patio, picked her up and snook her to death before my eyes. I had nightmares for several years thereafter but was fortunate to have an understanding family who helped me through it.

Although I know this is not possible in your DD's situation, I eventually made my peace with the dog. Not right away because I am no saint. But one day my father sat me down and gently explained to me that terriors are ratters and that Sandy (the dog) mistook my kitten for a rat and only did what nature told him to do. After that, I went to visit Sandy. He was old, toothless, nearly blind and had bad arthritis. He didn't look like the dog in my nightmares and I realized it was time to let it go.

There is still a scar. To this day, I cannot bear to watch a dog and cat interact together, it makes me extremely nervous.

My parents never said anything to the neighbors because they were responsible pet owners and, I am sure, had they known, would have felt terrible. Another neighbor, who lived two yards away, jumped over two chain length fences trying to get there in time to save my kitty. It was an awful day but I was fortunate to be surrounded by lots of loving people. Sounds like your daughter is too. May God bless you both.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2006 at 10:18PM
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Oh that is so sad. It brought tears to my eyes reading that soupgirl. You were the exact same age as my DD.
I hope my DD doesn't have long term scars too, but knowing how these significant events shape our lives I suppose she will.
The shame is, that while we have 2 dogs ourselves (who she loves dearly) she now flinches if strange dogs bark when we are out walking as a family.

Did you ever get another pet Soupgirl?

Thanks for sharing your story with me.
(((Hugs to you too!!!)))

    Bookmark   May 2, 2006 at 1:58AM
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It may take some time before your DD is comfortable around strange dogs but I am glad that you have two dogs because that means she won't see all dogs as evil plus she has pets to love and learn from.

In answer to your question, yes, I got another pet. My piano teacher's cat had a litter of kittens and my parents allowed my sister and I to each have a kitten. My kitten was killed that day but fortunately, the dog didn't see my sister's kitten. It was able to slip into the garage and hide. I will never forget how sweet my sister was to me. She was only 9 at the time and, on her own, no prompting from my parents, gave me a hug and said from now on her cat Fluffy would be my kitty too. Poor Fluffy was traumatized by the event and it awhile before he overcame his fear and go outside; however, my mother worked with him a little bit each day while my sister and I were in school. Fluffy was quite the character--he lived a long life and I have many fond memories of him.

Today, I am the happy owner of two cats, Midnight, age 17 and Calvin, age 7.

You and your DD are in my thoughts and prayers.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2006 at 12:48PM
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Em, I wonder if hearing soupgirl's story might help your daughter feel that she's not the only one it's happened to, and perhaps is the dog that did in her kitten one of the terrier breeds who are bred to kill small animals, and thus was just doing what comes naturally?

And the Crepe Myrtle sounds beautiful. I love those. They're very tough, too, so it will be around for a time to come.

((((soupgirl))) some hugs for you too.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2006 at 2:15PM
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Oh, Em, I can't even imagine how heartbroken your daughter must be. How is she doing? I saw my little dog savaged by another dog when I was about your DD's age. It was his own fault, as he sneaked under a fence containing a large male dog and a female in heat. The dog's owner broke a broom over her dog's head, which broke his hold and gave me enough time to grab my dog and run home. Despite the vet's prognosis, he not only lived, he lived until I was out of college.

Like soupgirl, I had nightmares for a long time and made peace with the attacking dog (my best friends' dog, whom I knew well). Even at eight or nine, I knew why the attack happened. Although I never had a fear of dogs, the blind trust I'd had that all dogs were good and gentle was gone. Not an entirely bad thing. But I think that your daughter's situation is more difficult. It's hard to understand that dogs (and cats) are predators by nature, especially if your kitten just became prey.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2006 at 11:40PM
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Hi everyone.
Thanks for sharing your own sad tale Scotland. I am afraid she has also now lost her blind trust for dogs- as you did. That must have been heart breaking for you, thankgoodness your pooch survived.

A new development...
A wonderful ranger from domestic animals called- was excellent. BUT apparently 'another' party is claiming ownership (I am laying bets it is the breeeder), they live interstate where a 'dangerous dog' declaration from our state may not be enforced. Unbelievable!
But the good bit, the dog will NEVER come back to our neighbourhood.

I am livid since speaking to my other neighbour (whose own daughter also witnessed the attack). The back neighbour who 'owns' the dog who did the savaging was complaining to another neighbour that it was all terrible because tas he dog is impounded it is losing condition as it is a show dog! What a nerve! To put the condition of the dog as top priority and having never said sorry to my daughter!
When the ranger asked if I was seeking compensation (like a new cat) I said I didn't want anything from them since they weren't even human enough to say sorry! Which he noted for the case. He was so sorry for my daughter and couldn't believe the neighbours attitude.

Grrr... so cranky!

    Bookmark   May 13, 2006 at 7:04AM
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em, disgusting about your neighbors. Just amazing. Thank goodness the ranger was there and has, I hope, offered your daughter a touch of sanity and completely justified sympathy. I hope you told the ranger what the neighbor said about being a show dog. That is appalling. I would expect animal lovers to have more respect for each other.

Good to know that that dog has been banished. Way to go, em :)

I hope each day, and the stories here of how she is not alone are helping your daughter begin to put this in the past tense, if not to begin to "heal".

    Bookmark   May 13, 2006 at 11:12AM
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Oh Em, I am so sorry. Your neighbor's values are really screwed up and they don't deserve to be animal owners of any kind.

Don't get me wrong, I love dogs and cats equally and have enjoyed both as pets. It never ceases to amaze me how some of the most ardent dog lovers in the world can say "I hate cats." Seems if you can love dog, you would have a respect for other animals as well.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2006 at 11:02PM
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We bought my daughter a new kitty!
He is 6 months old and we bought him from a local animal shelter. We chose him because he has a very sweet personality and when they temperment tested him for how long he could be held and patted they wrote down "forever". He is also mighty cute with short dense fur in a rag doll pattern and the most gorgeous aqua blue eyes.
Best of all, my DD LOVES him and he is an absolute purr-boy.

Here is a photo... "Cookie".
Thanks for all your help through this.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cookie

    Bookmark   July 2, 2006 at 7:56AM
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How wonderful! He sounds like the purr-fect pet!

    Bookmark   July 2, 2006 at 10:28AM
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Hoo boy that cat is just gorgeous!!!! WOW! From a shelter??? Amazing. He looks like a rag doll mix definitely. What a complete sweetheart. Did you just go to the shelter and there he was? Or did you go several times and he finally appeared?

Congratulations Cookie on your new home and congratulations Em and daughter for the new addition!

    Bookmark   July 2, 2006 at 12:51PM
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yes , he's quite a cutie; thanks for checking back in, nice to know the resolution of this awful shock.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2006 at 12:55PM
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yes , he's quite a cutie; thanks for checking back in, nice to know the resolution of this awful shock.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2006 at 12:57PM
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He almost looks like he has some siamese in him!! Beautiful kitten, one way or the other!! Looks like a sweetheart, too!

    Bookmark   July 2, 2006 at 11:35PM
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Bill, you're right--the ears and nose...siamese/ragdoll--what a great combination! Does he like to talk?

    Bookmark   July 2, 2006 at 11:59PM
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Congratulations on the new kitten. What a cutie! May you and your daughter enjoy Cookies for many years to come.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2006 at 1:16AM
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Thanks everyone!
pecanpie- purr fect pet- LOL love it, funny!
flyleft- our local shelter runs a website updated every 20 minutes, they detail photo (usually) age/sex etc and temperment/overview including things like 'not suitable with children' 'used to dogs'. I started looking on the website about 8 weeks ago and when he came up I thought he sounded like he had a great personality. They close for the public at 4.30pm Friday and this was 10 to 5pm Friday. Needless to say we were there waiting at 10.30 on the dot Saturday waiting for them to open! DD clicked with him straight away and when I explained the situation the staff thought he'd be perfect. The funny thing that happened was another different cat came up to DD at the cage door and was all gooey and purring and the staff we amazed as this other cat apparently hates children! LOL my DD is a cat magnet!
Bill- siamese? his eyes are quite oriental -and yes flyleft he is a talker.
Thanks for all the well wishes!

Em and DD

    Bookmark   July 3, 2006 at 2:38AM
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