|Zack and "Precious"|
Zack Flewelling, age 12, possesses a caring and sensitivity at his young age that many much older than he will ever attain.
Back track to approx. April 11th when Zack's Dad, Jerry was relaxing at home, while his wife (Jennifer), and kids ran to the store. He noticed Precious meowing more than usual, not in a "feed me" kind of way, it was more like a "low growling". When Jerry went to scoop her up "she was like water, there was nothing to her, she was totally limp and very cold but aware."
They rushed her to the vet where they discovered that Precious was in renal failure. The vet also wanted to know if Precious had gotten into any rat poisoning or "was there anything else she could have ingested"?
When the doctor left the room Jennifer's eyes spotted a bulletin board with a sign that said "DANGER! Easter Lilies are toxic to cats and dogs" Her heart sunk. They had had an Easter Lily plant on their table for a week now which they had paid no mind because Precious ate the houseplants "all of the time". Jennifer called Jerry at home and had him photograph the Easter Lily with his cell phone. Sure enough, many leaves were gone and there were teeth marks in them, Precious had "eaten it, and a lot of it".
|Photo Courtesy of the ASPCA|
The Flewellings and the vet tried everything, but there was nothing that could save Precious, she passed early the following morning.
When I spoke to Zack who is devastated by the loss of his dear "Precious", there was no hint of anger, just a young man with a thoughtfulness and depth beyond his years. When I asked Zack what the message was that he wanted to relay about Precious, he said, "I want an article to be put in the paper to let people know that plants do not come with "warnings" like other dangerous things do", he continued, "there are many poisonous plants out there, Easter Lilies and tomato plants", just to name a few.
Zack is right, there are literally hundreds of plants that are poisonous to both cats and dogs, and on most lists these plants are not identified by a photo, which makes it that much harder to know which plants are safe and which are not.
Zack said that "his mission now is to spread the word to other cat owners (and dog owners as well) that plants should come with a warning", (as well they should, or they can be researched online or at the library or bookstores, to find out if they are toxic to animals). Zack would "love to spare anyone else the pain" that he is experiencing after having lost his beloved cat, Precious, by making them aware that toxic plants exist and to keep them away from cats and dogs.
Zack's cat may have been named "Precious" but Zack, with his unselfishness and caring for others, by wanting this message relayed for the safety of their pets, is quite "Precious" himself.
FOR A LIST OF TOXIC AND NON-TOXIC PLANTS FROM THE ASPCA CLICK HERE
****NOTE:if you suspect your animal may have ingested a poisonous plant or other poisonous item the symptoms can range from seizures and foaming at the mouth to vomiting and coma. DO NOT WAIT FOR SYMPTOMS TO APPEAR. Immediate medical attention is necessary.
THE ASPCA 24-HOUR EMERGENCY POISON HOTLINE IS 888-426-4435 (There is a $65 fee payable via credit card)