My, what a small brain you have.

Okay, I don’t actually think that I am dumb, but I occasionally make mistakes that have everyone (especially me) saying “WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?”

Generally, I would not admit to these mistakes on the internet. I would keep the image the internet has of me: the internet thinks I’m perfect and I wouldn’t want to ruin that image of me. Sadly, maybe we have reached that point in our relationship. The honeymoon goggles are coming off.

A week or so ago, we received a beautiful bouquet of flowers. They lit up the room; they smelled amazing. They made us smile when we thought of the friends who had given them to us. Yes, we noticed there were lilies in the bouquet, but we put them up high where the dogs can’t get to them, and the cats are no longer coming downstairs since we have the puppy. Therefore, this bouquet was safe for us to have.

If you read that last paragraph and are totally confused about why I would be concerned, it’s because lilies are super duper toxic to animals, especially to cats. When I worked at the cat hospital, we had a client come in who had sniffed a lily, and they were sent immediately to the emergency hospital for intravanous fluids and bloodwork. The vet I worked with had seen a cat die from the owners not taking the lily thing seriously; 12 hours later, it was too late.

Funny story for us? I had to take Fae back to the vet to get her eye rechecked.

waiting for the vet, tail wagging like crazy

When I got home five hours later, we found the baby gate to the cats was open, the vase was on the floor, and pieces were taken out of the lilies. We called three vets and the animal poison control line, and every single one of them said TAKE THEM IN RIGHT NOW. More funny (if funny=not funny at all)? We didn’t know which cat it was. So we had to take both of them.

You guys, it turns out lilies are really super duper toxic, even just the pollen. Really, the people we talked to said that if they got it on their paws and then licked it, that could kill them. By the time you start to see symptoms in your pet, it’s already too late. The toxins attack their kidneys and you don’t see anything on the outside until they are in organ failure. It’s scary! And of course the other frustrating side of it is that they seem to be fine until they’re not.

From Animal Poison Control Website: click for link

So here’s my lesson to you: don’t keep lilies in your house. Lots of dollars later, our cats are fine; maybe they would have been without the weekend in the hospital or all of that money, but maybe they wouldn’t have been – and we could have prevented it. Also, maybe don’t trust that your cats stay where you want them to. Herding cats? That’s a thing that no one is good at doing.

Anyone else with some good veterinary horror stories? I should add that Faegan is all better. No more cone! Lots more playing. I hope the amount of time I have spent at the vet in the past two weeks means I’m all set for the year.


Filed under Menagerie

16 Responses to My, what a small brain you have.

  1. Wow…thanks for the informative post. I had absolutely no idea lilies were that dangerous to cats. And lilies are one of my favorite flowers in the world. Guess I’ll just have to admire them from afar from now on, instead of bringing them in the house.

    I’m glad everything is okay with your cats!

  2. Omg I had no idea. My husband surprises me with lillies frequently – thank goodness the dogs have never gotten to them!!! Thanks for posting about this, and I’m glad your cats are okay!

    • You’re welcome! I think dogs are not nearly as bad about chewing on plants as dumb cats are. Or smart cats. Haha, as long as you keep them high and the dogs don’t jump on your mantle, I’d think it would be fine.

  3. I didn’t know about lillies either- glad I read this post. My sister had a similar issue yesterday when her dog got into something with chocolate by accident. Everything turned out ok for her (and so glad your cats are ok!). It was good timing for this post- my poor sister feels so awful and this just goes to show that mistakes can happen even to good, responsible owners and as long as the animals are ok the best thing to do is learn from it.

    • Karen, I read this comment and was all, “Aww Karen thinks I’m good and responsible!” and then I realized this is the second or third time you’ve said something like, “Well, if a good owner like YOU does X…” and I’m wondering how many times I can do stupid things like X and still be a good owner! Haha. I’m half kidding. I think a lot of us make mistakes, even with all the information we have. I’m glad your sister’s dog is okay!

  4. How has it taken so long for me to find this blog!? It’s great!!!

    First of all, thank you so much for this post. I had NO idea that lilies were toxic for cats.

    Secondly, this reminds me of a client of mine (I cat sit on the side, haha). She has two kittens (now they’re around age one). One of them gets into everything, so they have most stuff hidden and stored in high places she can’t reach — except for the rug. Last week, the kitten scratched up the rug and managed to consume enough fibers that they got wrapped around her intestines, and she had to have emergency surgery. She’s okay, fortunately. But now she has to be separated from her brother for a whole month, and wear the cone of shame.

    • Aww, thanks Katharine! I’ve been reading your blog for awhile but I think I’m a bad commenter… I love your blog too!

      Ooof that’s awful! I also catsit and haven’t had something like that happen… fingers crossed it stays that way! Poor kitties.

  5. Heather

    When I was in vet school, one of the last book learnin’ classes we took prior to starting our clinical education was toxicology. One of my very first rotations was in emergency medicine. I give you this background so you realize there was very little time between our toxicology class and my emergency medicine rotation.

    On the third night of that rotation, a classmate of mine had to bring in her cat for lily toxicity. Apparently the vase was in a place she thought was safe from her cat. Um, no. On the ninth night of that rotation, a classmate and one of my closest friends had to bring in two of her cats for lily toxicity. Unbeknownst to her, her husband had brought home lilies, and by the time she got home, those two cats had been in the room and the flowers had obviously been disturbed. Like you, she could not narrow down the guilty party to just one cat, so she had to treat them both. (Fortunately, her other two cats did not also have access to that room, or she would have needed to sell an organ to pay her bill.)

    I’m glad your kitties are okay, and I think it’s awesome that Fae turns into a tail wagging machine when she’s waiting to see her doctor. Don’t beat yourself up too badly over the lilies. Stupid things can happen to smart people.

  6. i’m so glad i read this. i had no idea about lilies, but i will avoid them now. thanks

  7. Jo

    Ugh scary! Lilies are dangerous. Pretty but dangerous!

    • Right? We walked down the street over the weekend and there were buckets of lilies for sale… we were all NOOO STAY AWAYYYYY and I’m sure we looked like crazy people. But they sure do look scary after spending that kind of money…

  8. Laurie

    My partner and I have learned over the years that there is nowhere safe in our house to keep any flowers. Even the highest place we have can somehow be reached by our cats. It’s too bad, because we love flowers. I know not all flowers are toxic, but don’t want to deal with the knocked over vase and water that’s spilled out. Glad to hear that your cats ate doing fine~

    • Good call! We have potted plants, and they’re all nontoxic but the cats LOVE to chew on them, so we have to be careful where we keep them (for the plants’ sake, not the cats). Oh the joys of living with animals :)

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