Friday, March 25, 2016

A Most "Precious" Message In Honor Of Poison Prevention Awareness Month

FROM CAT CHAT WITH CAREN AND CODY: As we approach the end of Poison Prevention Awareness Month, (which frankly should be EVERY month) we would like to repeat a post that we did back on April 17, 2010, when we were brand spanking new to the world of blogging. 

It is one thing to write about the perils of certain toxins after searching on the internet, it is another thing ENTIRELY  to have an email sent to you, begging and pleading to share a little boys' heart-breaking story. It was this little boy, (Zack Flewelling),  (who is now a man), who begged his Dad to contact me. This post is a TRUE STORY, and addresses how hazardous houseplants and flowers can be to our feline friends. When one hears a story that impacted someone else, it brings it that much closer and takes on an entirely different meaning.

 I had been contacted by Zack's Dad in April of 2010 asking me if I would share his "message", I was  happy to do that  then and am happy to do that now.

 After I first posted this in 2010, I posted it again in 2015. It is now going to be a yearly tradition. I am sure when Zack sees this post repeated, he will be thankful that this special message from his cat "Precious" lives on.

(This year I added an infographic from SheKnows )


Zack and "Precious"
It is hard enough to lose a pet when it passes of old age, it is another thing entirely to have your pet die suddenly at the still vital age of 7, which is how old Zack Flewelling's cat "Precious" was when she died suddenly just a few weeks ago.

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.

Infographic From SheKnows


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 $60-something  fee payable via credit card)

41 comments:

  1. What a heartbreaking story. :-( It's so important to spread the word about the dangers of lilies - there are still so many humans that don't realize they can and do kill cats every year.

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  2. Yes it is hard to imagine loosing your kitty in that way.

    Thanks fur the reminder.

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  3. So very sad......very important message though and I don't think a lot of people really realize just how many plants are toxic. Thanks for sharing......can't hear this TOO MANY TIMES!!!!!

    Love, Sammy

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  4. That's such an important reminder ! Very sad story. Purrs

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  5. That's so sad! Lilies are frightening, and we hope that the word is starting to get out beyond the blogosphere that people need to beware of them around their cats.

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  6. Yep, that's a sad one, but unfortunately so true. Be careful humans, our lives are in your hands.

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  7. So heartbreaking... Thank you for sharing this personal story... it really does bring the danger to life. Special thanks to Zack and Precious for helping to spread the importance of this message. Purrs from Deb and the Zee/Zoey kitties

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  8. What a sad story but an important message that needs to be shared over and over again.

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  9. Thank you for continuing to post this message - cats don't know these plants are poisonous - it's up to their people to keep them safe!

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  10. Such a very sad story. But very important to let people know how many plants are poisonous to us kitties. Our mom keeps all plants, except Merlin's cat grass, out of our reach.

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  11. This is a very important post to say the least
    Lily & Edward

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  12. OMC, that's absolutely heartbreaking. Thank you for sharing this very important message.

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  13. Caren, I was watching TV and noticed a lawn fertilizer commercial, and I thought..."hey, why isn't there a disclaimed that says this product can harm wildlife, pets, etc?" That disclaimer should be on potted plants, seedlings, and even seed packets, imho.

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  14. Poor kid and poor cat. I'm glad you are spreading this message.

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  15. There are so many lilies this time of year too. I've never allowed them in my home for fear Little Bit would eat them. What a great post for prevention of losing one so precious.

    Have a purrfect day Cody. My best to your wonderful mom. ♥♥♥

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  16. IT's a sad tough reminder but needs to be done. I've not allowed any live plants in the house since I got cats. So all I have are silk ones which Ping likes to nom on. But doesn't eat.

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    1. I am like you. I have banned all flowers and live plants inside.......Cody chews on his cat tree and everything else in sight, live plants/flowers are the LAST thing I need!

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  17. Thank you for this reminder. We know about the Easter lily but some of the plants you enumerated here are in our household. Thanks.

    Emma and Buster

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  18. There are so many people who dont know that lilies mean death to cats.
    By the way I dont understand why aloe is on the list. Aloe vera is not toxic for cats. In fact it's the opposite. It's used by vets.
    Bonne soirée
    Nat à Chat

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    1. wondering if it is in different forms and that is what they are referring to?

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  19. Thank you for sharing this story, Caren. How sad that Precious passed away. But it is wonderful that Zack made it his mission to warn other pet owners about toxic plants.

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    1. you are most welcome. Yes it is so sad. It was extra special of Zack at the time because he was quite young back then. It moved me so much and still does.

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  20. Heart breaking. WONDERFUL informative post Caren and thank you. xox

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    1. wish it never had to be posted but THANK YOU!! You are most welcome! xoxo

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  21. That is a heartbreaking story which can never be repeated too often in the hope that it will save other lives.

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  22. Always a good post to have as there are many new pet owners everyday who may not know about these hazards.
    We all want our furbabies to be safe.
    Since some of my cats love grass, I no longer have plants in the house,
    and my bouquets need to be fake.
    They last longer that was ;)
    Nancy and the kitties

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  23. Just heartbreaking...we can never get this information out there enough.

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  24. A very important and helpful post.
    Have a wonderful weekend...

    Noodle and crew

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  25. Great post with a very sad story attached to it. I wonder how outdoor cats know to stay away from plants and house cats don’t. We had lots of lilies as well as tomatoes and such of the other plants and never found a dead or sick cats and we had many strays.

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    1. super good question, I have no idea!! Maybe the Mama cats teach them? Who knows?

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  26. That is so sad, but how sweet Zack is spreading the word to prevent this from happening again.

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  27. What a heartbreaking story, but also such a good lesson. What a wonderful person Zack was/is for wanting to share his story with everyone. I did not know about some of these plants on the infographic. What a great idea to make this tradition each year to re-post it!

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  28. Oh how VERY heartbreaking. Lilies are so incredibly dangerous!!!

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  29. Thanks for raising awareness.

    Purrs xx
    Athena and Marie

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  30. I remember this from last year. Such a sad story, but so important to share. Samantha will eat any plant we've had in the house. Eventually I just stopped having house plants, other than catnip for her. If I get cut flowers, I am always sure to put them somewhere that she can't get to them.

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  31. Such a heartbreaking story to read. But, it serves to remind us all of the dangers of what we might otherwise consider everyday items. Thank you for posting this. Such an important post. Purrs!

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  32. What a story. My name is Robin and I'm the 13 year old author of the pet blog called Paw Province. For every person that joins my blog I'll donate $3 to the D.R.E.A.M. Dachshund Rescue in North Georgia. If you haven't already, you can become a member today, and please tell your friends to join, too! Thanks! www.pawprovince.com

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  33. Wow, such a sad story... Thank you for saving cats lives by posting this...

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  34. oh my gosh- thanks! I have an aloe plant in the bathroom and Lucy has taken a tiny bite now and then- It's on it's way to another home right this minute!

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