Monday, February 23, 2015

Bad pet parenting

Last Tuesday, I posted this photo on Instagram:

Toby the Terrible had gotten himself into the giant, sprawling bouquet of lilies that C had gotten me for Valentine's Day, and managed to get himself completely covered in the bright yellow pollen that comes with them. He basically looked like he had been smeared all over with mustard. Delightful.

We took him up to the bathroom and tried to rinse him off and use some shampoo to clean him up, but that was only marginally successful - just think about the logistics of bathing a cat for a minute. Yeahhhhh.

He was pretty funny looking soaking wet, though, so to Instagram I went. Hashtag Toby the Terrible.

It became significantly less funny when one of my sweet friends alerted me to the fact that lilies are stupid poisonous for cats. (Thanks, Em!!!) We had no idea - and our cats are notorious plant-eaters. Like, if there are flowers anywhere in the house, they will track them down and munch. Great!

Both cats had only had limited exposure to the bouquet unsupervised (about an hour while C and I had been shoveling the driveway), but who knows what happened while we were outside. Cue panic.

I promptly threw the bouquet away and we tried again to wipe Toby down with a sponge (a little more effort this time, and with more success, luckily), and went to work trying to keep him from licking the area with the pollen. FYI - If you Google "cats and lilies," the internet will pretty much tell you that you're an idiot and a terrible cat parent and tell you all the horrible things that are going to happen to your cat before they die. Trust me, you will feel awful.

Our vet was closed because of the snow, and there really wouldn't have been much they could do anyway. The best we could do was monitor both cats, make sure neither of them starting acting unusual, and keep an eye out for changes in the litter box or throw up. Okay. We could handle that. I guess.

Until I woke up on Wednesday morning and found cat throw up (gross, I know) in the living room. Given the state of alert we were in and the fact that it is rare for either of the cats to get sick, I went into super panic mode. Neither C or I could afford to stay home from work that day and watch the cats, but we needed to not leave them alone for 12+ hours and wonder if they'd be okay while we were gone. What to do?!

If you think I called my mom at 5:30 AM on a snow day, woke her up, and begged her to drive an hour each way to spend the afternoon with my cats, you better believe you are correct. And because my mother is an angel and a saint, she did it without question, and ensured us that all was fine in the house. Nothing was amiss, both cats acting totally normal, and all was seemingly well.

By Thursday morning, we were pretty sure we were out of the woods (a la T. Swift song), because the World Wide Web says signs of being poisoned with show up within 48 hours. Apparently, the one case of vomiting was just a really, really poorly timed coincidence (thanks, whoever did that) - it's been just about a week now, and both cats seem completely healthy. Normal, no, healthy, yes. We are still watching them closely, but I think we are okay. Needless to say, it will be awhile before we have fresh flowers in the house again... and definitely no lilies!

Drowned-rat status. Good thing cats have 9 lives!
Someone please share with me a similar bad-pet-parenting story. It can't be just us! Anything else that you know is poisonous to animals that I probably don't know about? It is going to be rough when it comes times to have kids!!


Lisa C said...

My sister's cat growing up ate a poinsettia, also extremely poisonous to cats. She lived to be 11, so it didn't have any long-term effects.

Stephanie @ My Freckled Life said...

Yikes!!! That's scary! But I totally feel you on being paranoid when you don't know what's wrong with them. One time Laney got into the trash, bypassed the salmon skin and the other food stuff, and went straight for the jar of chocolate fondue that was in there. We had NO idea how much she got, but needless-to-say, we went into total panic. Luckily, she was just fine. Just in a lot of trouble. :)

Chelsea @ Chelsea Eats Treats said...

Omg that is terrifying. I'm so glad they're all ok! I can't even count the number of times my dog has gotten into chocolate...I always feel terrible because I know it's so bad for them!