Monday, March 27, 2017

A Most "Precious" Message In Honor Of Pet 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)

31 comments:

  1. I remember the post from 2015, and how sad it made me. My human says that she will probably not have me do therapy visits at hospitals the week of Easter, and a few days after, in case any patients get lilies in their rooms. She is not taking any chances with me.

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    1. Summer your Mama is a smart lady, but we already know that she is!

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  2. That is a sad story but it is a good one if other pets are saved from it.

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  3. I remember this post also and how my heart broke for Zack and his family. I also remember thinking what an amazing young man to actively spread this message at his age. I avoid all plants and flowers for fear of the dangers and I always spread the word when I see a post and/or infographic such as this. Thank you for reposting this year. Everyone have a safe yet happy holiday.

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    1. Thanks so much and you are welcome! We think it is so important and that is why we have been repeating it. Thanks much!

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  4. Thank you so much for this warning. I knew about lilies but didn't realise so many other plants were poisonous to cats - shocked that spinach is on the list!

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    1. you are most welcome! Yep, lots of "surprises!"

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  5. It is always so sad when something like that happens.

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  6. Tragic, but what an amazing young man!! Thanks for sharing!!
    Linda

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  7. This information can not be posted enough, in our opinion, especially with Easter coming so late next month. Thanks for posting this!

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  8. Everyone needs to know what pets can't tolerate. This is something that's been a problem over and over. It's so easy to pet proof your home, but you have to know it needs doing. This post is a great reminder.

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

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  9. Thank you for sharing this sad story, Caren. I found out that if your cat is microchipped and registered with Home Again, the $60 Poison Control phone fee is waived. I sure hope no one needs this information.
    xxoo
    Maggie, Mickey Mouser, and the overly adventurous Rufus the Red

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    1. You are welcome Maggie and thank YOU for sharing that info! I needed the Poison Hotline a few years ago (not for plants but I thought I accidentally gave Cody medicine that it turned out, thankfully, I didn't give him)....this is great to know but I hope that no one needs it as you mentioned!!! xoxo

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  10. Yes a very good message. I'm sorry that this boy lost his sweet cat though. - I always make sure to check about any kind of a plant before bringing it into the house with our cats.

    If you subscribe to my blog via e-mail for updates you may need to resign up as I recently switched e-mail addresses.

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  11. That's such a sad story, but such important information ! Purrs

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  12. Oh no.....we are so sorry.....it is heart breaking for Zack
    Hugs madi and mom

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  13. That was so very sad. I love seeing these warnings and there were several I did NIT know about.

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  14. This is so important. Thank you for helping get the word out. So many humans haven't heard about how toxic plants are and need to hear this, for their kitties' sakes.

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  15. We love our kitties, and we need all the info we can get to keep them safe! Thanks for the post!

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  16. It's so important to keep getting this message out there. It's amazing how often we hear from humans that they didn't know lilies were so toxic to cats.

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  17. Great post! Such an important message especially as Easter approaches and so many people give lilies!

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  18. That is so sad. I think it is safest to keep all plants away from our kitties.

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  19. What a heartbreaking story, but such an important message. Thank you for sharing this, Caren and Cody.

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  20. Though heartbreaking, I am so glad you shared this story. This is such an important message. Thank you for sharing it.

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  21. Amazing post guys, thanks so much fur sharing!

    The P.A.'s furst kitty C.J. Catkin was poisoned by a cat-hating peep back in 2000, he was given warfrin according to the vet.

    Thanks again fur sharing

    Bestest purrs

    Basil & Co xox

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    1. OMG that is horrific, I am so deeply, deeply sorry!!!!! xoxo

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  22. What an horrific storie.
    Lillies are so dangerous for cats.
    I'm a "little" paranoiac when it comes to cats and dangerous plants, but not only plants.
    Bonne soirée
    Nat à Chat

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  23. OMC what a sad story...we have leaky eyes.

    The Florida Furkids

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  24. A good reminder this time of year when so many of these flowers get brought into the house. Thank you!

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  25. Thanks for sharing this post again. It's so important for pet parents to think about these things. We have desert tortoises in our backyard, so we also have to think about what we plant outside that is in their reach.

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  26. It's always good to repost these important posts. We have lots of plants outside, and some of them are toxic. So it's good we are inside kitties , but petcretary is always on the alert, incase we make secretive use of Dog-Guy's doggy door.

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