A cat lover posed her pet next to a bunch of tulips for a perfect picture only to be left heartbroken when the flowers poisoned her beloved moggie.
Heartbroken Juliet Chidlow, from Gorleston in Norfolk, thought Kiki looked beautiful when she jumped up next to the bouquet and so she took a series of photographs.
Unaware the tulips are poisonous to cats, she left them out on the table top and was left distraught the following day after finding Kiki dying of kidney failure.
Cat lover Juliet Chidlow, from Gorleston in Norfolklover posed her pet up next to a bunch of tulips for a perfect picture – only for the flowers to kill it less than 24 hours later. Unaware the tulips are poisonous to cats, they were left out on the table top
Unaware of her cat’s grave condition, when she went to give six-year-old Kiki a hug the next morning, she found her limp and extremely weak.
After realising with dread that the tulips had poisoned her, she and her 12-year-old daughter rushed Kiki to the vets.
There they were told her kidneys were too badly damaged and made the agonising decision to put her down.
Now client manager Juliet, who had only bought tulips twice in her life, is warning other cat owners to steer clear of the plants.
Juliet said: ‘I never buy tulips. I’ve probably only bought them twice in the past.
‘When I got home I was sitting on the sofa and as I was working she jumped up and sat near the tulips.
But when she went to give six-year-old Kiki a hug the next morning, she found her limp and extremely weak. After realising with dread that the tulips had poisoned her, she and her 12-year-old daughter rushed Kiki to the vets
‘It looked like a perfect photo opportunity, I quickly picked up my camera and did a series of snaps.
‘The tragic thing is that it is one of the last photos I took of her. If you study the photo you can see her eyes looking at them.
‘I didn’t realise that tulips were toxic to cats at this point. I never saw her eat them but she must have done when no one was around.’
There they were told her kidneys were too badly damaged and made the agonising decision to put her down
‘I woke up on Saturday morning and Kiki was laying on the bathmat. Being a crazy cat lady, I thought, lovely, I’ll pick her up to give her a cuddle.
‘I sat down next to her and realised she wasn’t very responsive. I picked her up and she made a very weak noise and I noticed that her back end was wet.
‘She was an indoor cat so I quickly racked my brain for anything in the house which could have caused this.
Juliet said: ‘It has been devastating. Anyone that knows us, know that my daughter and me especially are completely cat obsessed. We have three other cats and they are our babies’
‘My thoughts went to lilies being so toxic to cats then I had an instinctive feeling that the tulips must have caused this.
‘I recalled back to the photo of her jumping up near the tulips and a sense of doom engulfed me.’
Juliet and daughter Ella raced Kiki to the vets as an emergency and saw the vet a 8:15am.
During the examination he took Kiki’s bloods and told her owners her temperature was very low.
Juliet admits that her family, especially 12-year-old daughter Ella, have been left devastated after Kiki’s death and want to help raise awareness to try and save at least one other cat
Juliet and Ella went home again to wait for a call.
Juliet said: ‘The vet phoned later to say they had taken bloods and that her kidney count was sky high.
‘A single figure kidney count is to be expected in a healthy cat and a kidney count of 12 indicates a kidney issue.
‘Kiki’s count was 25 so dangerously sky high. He stated that treatment was highly unlikely to help because her kidneys were so badly damaged.
‘The treatment would have been to flush the kidneys out but this was very likely to fail as when they came to take her off the fluids after two days, her kidneys would collapse and she would need to be put to sleep.
She said: ‘We decided the kindest thing would be to put her to sleep so that she was no longer suffering and I returned to the vets to be with her while she was put to sleep’
‘My daughter and I agonised over the decision for 40 minutes. We cried, discussed, cried, repeat for 40 minutes, the vets were closing early as it was a Saturday so time was of the essence.
‘We decided the kindest thing would be to put her to sleep so that she was no longer suffering and I returned to the vets to be with her while she was put to sleep.’
Juliet admits that her family, especially 12-year-old daughter Ella, have been left devastated after Kiki’s death and want to help raise awareness to try and save at least one other cat.
She explained that her lack of knowledge makes her feel guilty and that there should be warning stickers placed on toxic plants to remind pet owners that they are harmful.
Juliet said: ‘It has been devastating. Anyone that knows us, know that my daughter and me especially are completely cat obsessed. We have three other cats and they are our babies.
‘My 12-year-old daughter Ella has really struggled as in a way this is her first memorable bereavement.
‘She has cried herself to sleep and also wakes up crying.
‘The unfairness of it, my lack of knowledge makes me feel guilty for not knowing better. I have had cats for 10 years.
‘I keep asking how could I allow this to happen? Kiki was a house cat and she should have been safe.
SIGNS YOUR PET MAY HAVE BEEN POISONED INCLUDE
- lack of appetite
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Breathing difficulties and bad breath
‘I believe now that any packaging with harmful flowers and plants to animas should legally come with a sticker or warning on the packaging to inform the public.
‘The interest from this tragedy has been huge and I have been inundated with messages from pet owners saying they were unaware too. There is clearly a need for the message to be spread wider.’
A spokesperson for the RSPCA said: ‘We would always advise pet owners to check whether products or items they are bringing into their homes could be toxic to their pets.
‘There are many different types of plants found in the home and garden which can be harmful to pets.
‘Many plants including tulips, holly and hyacinths can be toxic to cats and dogs although their toxicity is considered to be low. However, even non-toxic plants may cause some stomach upsets if ingested.
‘Lilies are highly toxic to cats and ingestion of any part of the plant or flower can be fatal. Lilies and other toxic plants should always be kept well away from cats or dogs and owners should call their vet immediately if they are concerned that their pet has ingested any plant or flower.’