Dangerous Beauty

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This is just a reminder of how dangerous certain plants can be to cats.

It was my birthday yesterday and my friends and I were going out to dinner right after work. I asked one of my cat's caretakers to pop by our house and feed the boys before joining us at the restaurant. He did so and thought it would be nice to leave a big bouquet of flowers on my kitchen counter for me for my birthday. Unbeknownst to me, the bouquet contained my favorite flowers: Asiatic lilies. After dinner, I picked up my husband from the airport after a business trip to Oregon, and we went home.

When we got home, we were met by a huge mess. The cats had eaten some of the lilies and there were petals and leaves all over the kitchen floor. There were also several pools of vomit. Lilies are very toxic to cats and my friend did not know that. I love lilies and keep them in my garden, but I never bring them inside. They were acting like they were hungry, so I gave them a small can of food. Immediately after eating, our Artemis started power puking. The other thee kept the food down, but there was really no way to know who had eaten the lilies and who had not. I called the kitty ER and they said to bring all four in immediately. We threw them all in their carriers and sped to the vet.

Once we got them there and checked in, the doctor came and spoke to us. She said that lilies are extremely toxic to cats and, if the consumption is not caught and treated immediately, can lead to renal failure and death. She said it was a good thing we caught it right away and that, with treatment, they should be fine. The treatment is 48 hours in the hospital with induced vomiting, charcoal infusions (to absorb any toxins in the system) and fluids. Their initial blood work was all good, so the doctor thought they should all be fine.

My friend is totally mortified and has volunteered to help defer the cost, which will be considerable for all four cats. I feel very bad for my friend because the last thing this person would ever do is harm an animal. My husband and I are not angry at him and realize this was an accident born out of a thoughtful idea.

The doctor called this morning and all are doing well. Artemis and Adam did not want to keep their catheters in so they had to be sedated, but Fidget and Binkley are doing well, despite their abject terror at being in the hospital.

I am writing this because I want to share this story that will more than likely have a happy ending to prevent an unhappy ending for anyone else. Hug your kitties today and keep your fingers crossed that our boys will be home tomorrow.

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JL Smithson

Kitty's Name: Artemis, Adam, Binkley and Fidget
Name: JL Smithson
Where: Minneapolis, MN

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