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Melody’s Story: The love and loss of a human who loves cats

August 19, 2015 0 Comments

It is my honour and privilege to share this story with you. Kindly, Melody and MaryAnn have given me permission. Thank you both, BJ <3


Here is Melody’s story:

A tragic and violent loss

At 6pm today my dog started barking then I heard barking in front of my house which was out of place.  I looked out my front door and saw two husky dogs circling my neighbor’s cat in the yard across from me.  The cat was alive and sitting down on all fours crouched down in fear, watching the dogs. I bolted out of my door screaming at them only to see the dogs now taking turns chewing and biting on the cat’s neck and body, but the cat didn’t fight back and just sat there looking at them.

melody-story-1I assumed it was already too badly injured to fight. I kept running to them as fast as I could still yelling at them.  As I got near,  the white husky grabbed the cat by the neck and started to run across the lawn with the cat in its mouth. The cat was limp in his mouth.  I ran faster and made as much noise as I could in yelling at the dog to drop the cat.  When I caught up to the dog and was about 5 feet away he dropped the cat.  It just lay there gasping for every breath.  I grabbed the cat and ran to my neighbor’s house who owned the cat and beat on their door for help but they weren’t home.  I ran back to my house with the cat in my arms and called 911 for animal control to come help.

The cat was breathing slower now and still struggling to breath every breath and I knew he was going to die and wouldn’t make it to a vet so I asked them to come now and help the cat or put it down quick as they could.  Quickly scenarios raced through my head on ways I could end the cat’s suffering but I couldn’t do it,  there might still be a chance to help him.  I held and petted the cat,  talking to it as best I could for all the crying,  cussing and yelling I was doing.  I told the cat to go ahead and go and not be scared,  I had him now and he was safe.  The cat was in so much pain and look terrified in his eyes which just destroyed me even more.  I knew all I could do was hold him close,  pet and talk to him as he was dying so he wouldn’t be alone when he went.

melody-story-2He looked up at me a few times while struggling to breath and pushed his front paws up against me writhing in pain. I saw it in his face and I lost it but still kept petting and talking to him and dying with him.  He suffered for 15 minutes before dying in my arms before animal control got here.  I saw in his eyes when he died,  I saw him go. they just went blank,  empty.  The white dog runs loose all the time and has charged towards me about 3 times but always stopped 10-15 feet from me.

When animal control got to me she said she already had another call about the loose dogs from a woman whose cat is also now missing. I’m a relentless animal lover,  not so much a people person.  One of those types that would die trying to save any animal and I have a terribly vivid imagination and my brain takes snapshots of traumatic things like these and doesn’t forget them so there’s no way I’m gonna get those images out of head… Ever… My brain just dwells on them for forever.  I get upset and angry when I see dead animals on the road but this is the first time I saw something like this happen.  It’s destroying me.

melody-story-3I’m so torn about the dog though,  had I caught the dog I would have killed it for sure but out of impulse in the moment,  so if I had,  moments later I would have been destroyed over hurting the dog.  I know dogs chase cats but don’t know if they usually kill them like that. It was so violent and I had to watch it happening as I ran as fast as I could.  Now I’m torturing myself thinking had I got up as soon as I heard the dogs barking and not 10 seconds later maybe the cat would have lived.

Maybe if I would have jumped in my car right away and sped down to a vet they could have helped him but in my gut and with my hands on his body I knew he was dying very soon and wouldn’t make it to a vet so I called 911. When the cat would look up at me several times when the breathing got more labored he looked and acted confused,  scared but not ready to go is what I was getting from him. That was hard to deal with. 

melody-story-4My brain always points out the shoulda coulda  woulda and smacks me in the face with it all the time… Feeding the guilt until my brain is exhausted. Both owners are to blame for letting their animals run loose but I will be handling this at the HOA and in court… That’s from my anger side… Let’s not let this happen again side. I need to get my brain and soul through this. I have no control over the horrific images my brain flops in front of me as constant reminders like it’s not happy until I’m depressed. I know I have to grieve  but how.  It was my cat but I love all animals I go back and forth with wanting to kill the dog. This is gonna drive me insane.  That’s when I reached out to others, and maybe started to heal.

Reaching out

I reached out in desperation to Cats Remembered Forever, and it helped.

I really appreciate your kindness during all of this. I’m a visual person and now I replay the entire scene over and over and it doesn’t help that it happened right in front of my house which I have to look at every day. My brain loves repetition and it loves to replay things until Ive analyzed it to death,  which is also what I have done to myself with self awareness… it’s exhausting. I’m a perfectionist with OCPD so I’m my own worst enemy I know. Very self aware too since I didn’t have any friends I just dove into getting to know myself and why I am the way I am which I know now that over self awareness can be a black hole for the soul.

I know a lot of what you wrote me is to help me get through this which is very witty and smart and when I thought for once someone actually appreciated my love for my pets I just felt a little better,  enough to get through a little longer.  Had I encountered more people like you in my life I suspect I wouldn’t be as antisocial as I am today. Doesn’t help that I work in a corporate environment so all I have ever seen is the selfishness and greed in people,  naturally I turned to animals whom I felt deserved my undying loyalty. 

So I appreciate you wanting to hear and share this terrible story. I’ve never been asked to share info about my babies, most people are just annoyed by my blind devotion to them so please bear with me as I feel very excited to share with you a little bio on my pets.  I just want the opportunity to show people there’s so much more to these little guys than they think.

This is Melody (L) and Mary Ann

This is Melody (L)

My extraordinary animals

All of my pets are strays,  I have 3 cats and a dog. 

In the pic of the two people I’m on the left,  my partner Mary Ann is on the right, she’s ok with you posting too as she lives on Facebook and I…. as you probably already know don’t belong to any social media lol. 

Willy, the coyote chaser!

Willy, the coyote chaser!

The black and white cat is Willy.  He,  believe it or not,  belonged to the woman who owns the 2 dogs that killed my neighbors cat Butter,  who I learned was 15 years old. Willy came around and I started feeding him.  I got him an outdoor heated bed for my porch during the winter with a blanky  which he really enjoyed,  he never wanted to come inside.  He’s a really sweet and quirky cat whom I believe showed me his appreciation one night in my backyard.  While outside,  we both heard a noise in the woods that back up to my yard. I shinned  the flashlight into the trees and there running through the woods not 20′ from us was a coyote! To my awe,  surprise and horror Willy took off into the woods after it, full speed,  right on its tail and CHASED the coyote away! I couldn’t believe he had just done that. A cat chasing off a coyote!

That coyote  could have torn him apart. It was amazing to watch. He came trotting back to me with what i swear was a proud grin on his face!!  One morning we saw him about 10′ up a tree just hanging out.  He either fell out or jumped down for when we got home he came to eat and was limping.  I rushed him to the vet and he had completely snapped his right front leg bones,  both of them,  in half. They put him in a cast and naturally he couldn’t fend for himself so I kept him in my house (gave me the reason I needed to snatched him up ) while he healed and never let him back out lol.  He was mine now.  His owner didn’t care,  said he looked happier at my house and she never saw him. 



Orange cat is Tigger. He was just a young kitten when he came up to me while at my mom’s house. I petted him for a while,  he climbed in my car,  and went to sleep in the back.  After a while he got of the car and ran up the street meowing,  maybe for his mom so I called back to him while running after him. Picture this if you can,  it was like something out of a romance novel or chariots of fire in slow motion lol…  it was a dark street with just one street light.



I’m running up the street calling to him and I hear his cries start to get closer to me.  He turned around and was running back to me meowing.  When we got close he jumped up into my arms,  it sounds kinda corny I know but it was very moving. I knew he wanted to come home with me. I got in my car,  put him on my lap and that’s where he stayed my entire hour long drive home. I think he was just happy to have someone want him.

Sweet pee

Sweet pee

Grey cat is Sweet pee. I can’t describe to you how loving and appreciative she is to me EVERYDAY. She will let me touch and pet any part of her body which is odd for a cat you know. She loves her belly rubbed like a dog and has long hair on her tummy, looks like a woolley mammoth lol. I fed her for a while outside my apartment until one night I guess she finally realized how much I loved her and slowly she climbed into my lap and curled up.  There we sat for hours,  in the dark,  in the parking lot.  After that she would climb into my lap for a nap every night on my front porch. Finally I got her to come inside and I think she really knows how much I love her.

Sweet pee

Sweet pee

She loves constant attention and will sit down in front of just me,  starring at me and will wait quietly,  for hours sometimes (I timed her just to see how quickly she would loose interest) until I tell her it’s ok then she’ll jump in my lap and very gentry touch my face with her paws.  She lays like a dog on its side,  under the covers with me on the couch spooning lol. Most affectionate cat I have ever had. 



Lastly the dog is Bella.  My partner was in Florida when they found her at a shelter. She was dumped off at a kill shelter with her mom and siblings when she was weeks old. A lady who runs a rescue place saved them all and adopted them out.  She’s a fantastic dog,  lots of expressions in her face and she loves to hug!!  lol. Can’t believe people would just dump their animals off like that, it enrages me to no end,  eats me alive it does. I can’t wrap my brain around it when I ask them what if it was a child,  so they could make the connection.. because to most people children are innocent like animals ( I disagree of course,  I know better,  children are indiscriminately cruel).  Oh that’s different they say. 

I got laughed at one day at work by a lady who saw me pick up a ladybug off the sidewalk so it wouldn’t get stepped on… I don’t do that all the time,  I just happened to see it.   She laughed and said ladybug police huh. I just looked at her with disgust then a bit of scientific amusement and said you know,   everyone wants to feel powerful right,  do you know what  I think power is?  Having the ability to destroy things but choosing not to.  She was so shallow,  I do t think she got my point. 

Love Bella!

Love Bella!

I want to share just one more story with you,  I just think it shows how intelligent animals  are and I think of her often for this heroic deed she did. it’s off a ferret I had,  her name was Buddy.  She was very tiny and 7yrs old and we had her in the same cage as Thunder… a large male. One night I heard the sound of their cage door rattling. I knew something was wrong. As I was running down the stairs to the cage I saw Buddy on her hind legs with both front paws on the cage door shaking it back and forth violently.

Then she stopped and went over to Thunder who was lying on the cage floor motionless,  scruffed him by the neck and was trying to drag him to the cage door. She was so tiny and was giving it her all to drag him to the cage door.  She managed to drag him a few inches at a time then she stopped and would go back to the cage door and shake it. She was trying to tell us something was wrong with Thunder and knew if she could get our attention we could help him.

This is all happening so fast. I pulled Thunder out and he wasn’t breathing.  We put him on the counter and did little chest compressions and mouth to mouth….no response.  Jumped in the car and my partner continued mouth to mouth while I FLEW to the 24hr vets office about 45 mins to an hour away.  I was doing around 80 the entire way,  even through the military base lol but I didn’t care… I wasn’t stopping.  We got him breathing in the car and turned out he had gotten a hold of a lamp wire or something and had gotten a piece of copper wire in his intestines and it had punctured his colon.

bella-3He survived and lived a long time but I could never get over what Buddy did… It was just so smart and heroic I thought. I just smiled about it everyday, feeling very proud and honored that I had the chance to know such an amazing little girl.  She weighed ounces and thunder was like 3 lbs!!!  She had numerous surgeries well before this happened and people were always surprised and confused (to my amazement), that I would drive her to a great vet,  hours away,  once a week for the rest of her life for estrogen shots,  to keep her alive. Never thought twice about it. 

I know this was very long and I’m sorry about that but really appreciate the opportunity to tell you about my amazing pets and even that you wanted to hear about them,  thanks for that. I’m sure you knew asking me to tell you this and share pics would help me get through this and it has helped a lot,  that was very smart and I really appreciate your kindness.  

If your wondering,  none of these pics are staged lol, Tigger and Willy are actually spooning lol all I did was cover them up,  I keep my house pretty cold so they enjoy being snuggled up lol. 

Thank you again for your help,  words can’t describe how your thoughtfulness has really helped me. Thank you,  really,  for letting me share a piece of my life with you! 




Thank you melody, BJ

About the Author:

BJ Burman is a writer, researcher, healer, advisor and teacher. All through her childhood and adult life, she has shared her life with animals, every one of them dearly loved. She is also a passionate supporter of animal rights and animal conservation.

In addition, BJ has always been interested in spirituality and religion, both academically and personally. When she became personally involved in Eastern philosophy and religion, she became specifically interested in death & dying (and what really happens to us).

Over the years, she has studied and researched the subject of death & dying, and the associated grief, particularly from a spiritual perspective, under the guidance of respected Buddhist, Hindu and Christian teachers from the USA, Britain and Australia. These great traditions, have so much to teach on the reality of life and death.

BJ has worked in the education sector for nearly 20 years, as a teacher (particularly in a pastoral care role) of adolescents and adults, helping them to not only navigate their path in education, but also navigate their way through personal life obstacles for the happiest outcomes.

Bj holds a Bachelor of Arts in Humanities, a Graduate Diploma of Teaching, Graduate qualifications in Linguistics/TESOL, Masters in Comparative World Religions and is a published author for national and international magazine print publications in the field of health and well-being.

It seems only natural to her to combine her love of animals with her interest in death & dying to create a genuinely compassionate and supportive forum for humans who must say good-bye to the animals they love so much.

It is BJ's deep desire to provide guidance and comfort for humans to help their beloved animals live and die in peace.