Monday, April 4, 2011


With Easter around the corner, I thought I might re post a blog entry from last fall. Last October we lost one of our pets due to poisoning from contact with a lily. We did not know lilies even in small amounts are fatally toxic to cats. It is unbelievable how big a hole in you life can be created by the absence of a silly 8 pound ball of orange fluff. Flip was just over 3 years old.
A delightful, silly little critter.

We were not entirely sure what breed she was but there is a very good chance she was Maine Coon. She had these crazy furry paws. She was also a cat who seldom went any where slowly, and loved to execute rapid sneak attacks on our other pets, especially Misty. She would barrel down the hall at top speed, jump at/over Misty and slide (very little traction with those furry paws) over the kitchen tile floor right into the wall!!!! Then she would just give you this look that said; "I meant to do that", and scurry off.

She always had to be in the middle of things. My daughter is in law school at Queens but comes home frequently. Flip would waste no time letting her know if she wasn't getting enough attention.

Flip did not respect boundaries. If she could reach it, it was hers.

She loved my yarn. If I left yarn unguarded it would often disappear. Usually she would wait until I left yarn unattended and then make off with it. I do most of my knitting in our family room. We have two couches together in one corner, I usually sit there to knit and a large stash of yarn tends to accumulate in the corner between the two couches. Often Flip would perch on the arm of one couch staring at the yarn, just waiting for me to leave so she could steal something. I always found this pose of hers so amusing, wish I had a picture of it because it reminded me so much of one of my favourite cartoons, "Snoopy the Vulture"

Flip has been gone since last October, we still miss her. But we still have lots of furry company.

Misty, aka Mystical, aka Misticat, at 14 is the matriarch of the herd.

My Bella. One of the many common interests Karen and I share is our fondness for animals. Karen also has a Black Lab purchased from the same breeder where I purchased Bella. Sierra is a couple of years older. It is kind of nice to think Bella and Sierra are probably at least cousins if not possibly siblings.

The newest addition is Sylph.

Sylph is not fond of Bella. Bella has bad knees and can't manage the stairs. So Sylph usually hangs out on the stairs or the window seat on the landing.

The following is a repeat of last October's post on lily toxicity as a warning for all cat owners as you are considering floral purchases you might be planning for Spring/Easter.

The following was originally posted October 2010.

It has been a very sad weekend in our home. And it is very bitter pill to swallow knowing it all could have been prevented if we had known that:
I have owned 7 cats over the last 30 years and am an avid gardener. I am so annoyed with myself that I did not know. Many, many knitters are also animal lovers. If like me, you were not aware of this danger to your cats, I hope this information will help prevent a similar tragedy in your home. Following the events of this past weekend, some Internet research has revealed that lily toxicity in cats has only been widely recognized in about the last 10 years. So if you have been relying on older sources of information, they may not have stressed or even mentioned this danger to your beloved pet. My sources for this information are the vets who cared for our cat Flip, and the Internet. Smaller details may not be perfectly, scientifically correct, but the bottom line is not in doubt: If your cat ingests any part, of any species of lily, it will be fatal in an extremely high percentage of cases. In large amounts, the cat becomes extremely ill and dies within a few hours. In smaller amounts, if the cat survives the initial ingestion of the plant, the toxins cause permanent kidney damage. In many cases, the kidney damage is so severe, it causes death or necessitates euthanasia. The insidious part of the lily issue is that even cats which normally might not bother with your plants are at risk. Many cats get bits of pollen on them just by being near or rubbing up against the plant, which then is ingested when the cat grooms itself. This is what we believe happened to our little darling Flip. She was not particularly interested in munching on plants. I had a bouquet of flowers on the island in the kitchen - daises, chrysanthemums, freesia and lilies. The lilies had started to drop petals but most of the others were fine, so I just left them. Our best guess is that Flip decided to investigate some petals which may have fallen on the floor, some pollen became attached, which was then ingested during grooming. It was probably only a very small amount of pollen, but enough to shut down her kidneys leaving us with no real option other than euthanasia. How cute was this face.
Studying - did we discover an especially important bit of information needing highlighting?
Nothing like a good stretch.

She was a beautiful, funny, gentle, little creature who gave us much joy and will be so, so missed. I found a website sponsored by The Cat Fanciers' Association which lists plants toxic, and non-toxic, to cats. You can check it out if you would like more information.



Ruby Louise said...

Oh dear. I'm so sorry for your loss. *hug*

Another info resource is the National Animal Poison Control Center, which is staffed by veterinarians and veterinary toxicologists.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your valuable information.

Anonymous said...

My Heart is breaking for you Beth.
Thanks so much for your valuable info

Kim Flemming