Our lives are like quilts - bits and pieces, joy and sorrow, stitched with love. ~Author Unknown

Friday, April 29, 2011

Beware of Lilies

Today has been a really sad day for Dillon and me. Last night when I got home from class at 9:30, our cat Jinxi was laying on the floor, barely moving. She had been acting lethargic for about a day, so we thought if she was still feeling bad by last night (Thursday), we would make her an appointment with the vet for Friday. I figured she might have caught a cold or something, because her nose seemed a little runny and she just seemed depressed. But last night, things had escalated. Her nose had turned a little yellowish, and she could barely lift her head. Most nervewracking was the way that she was twitching after every couple of breaths. Dillon got home and we called the animal hospital, and they told us to bring her in.

The Animal Hospital of North Texas was great; it was clean and the staff and vet were so helpful and caring. After taking her back, the vet asked us if we had any poisonous substances in the house, because she said the initial exam looked like Jinxi had been poisoned. We do have some household cleaners, but the cats can't really get to them. Then she asked specifically, since it was Easter this weekend, if we had any lilies in the house. I first said no, but then Dillon reminded me that my mom had given us a plant a week before. We googled "lily" with the vet, and sure enough, it was a tiger lily that had been in the house. The vet told us that most species of lilies are extremely toxic to cats, and they had to run bloodwork to confirm that Jinxi had ingested the lily. Even the pollen in her fur would make her sick, but eating even a small portion of leaf can kill a cat. The bloodwork confirmed that she had the toxins in her body, and the vet told us that if you don't catch the ingestion before six hours, the damage to the cat can't really be reversed. She was already experiencing renal failure and heart arrithmia from high potassium levels, since she was no longer producing urine. The only thing that could have kept her alive a little longer would be dialysis, and that can only be done in California at UC Davis. So little Jinxi had to be put down.

It was the saddest thing in the world when we had to say goodbye to our girl. She wasn't even two years old, and she had been so healthy and happy. Dillon was especially torn up, because that was his baby. As he held her and said goodbye, she used all her energy to purr in his arms for the last time. Then they took our sweet girl away and sent her to kitty heaven. We chose not to be present for that. I am still in shock, and I have been crying a lot today. We still have little Leelee, who did not eat the lily. She has been looking for her sister today because this is the first time she has ever been alone. I hope that we can help her adjust okay.

I didn't write this blog to make anyone sad, even though I know that it is a sad story. I wrote it because I have had cats for 20+ years and I didn't know about lilies being poisonous to them, so I wanted to spread the word in case I'm not the only one. Don't keep lilies anywhere in your house or outside your house if you have animals, especially cats. There is a lot of information on Google about other poisonous plants for animals as well. No one should have to go through the shock of having a healthy pet one day and having them gone the next, so beware: lilies are not good news for cats.