We all know that anti-freeze is poisonous and that it should be kept out of reach of children. Therefore should it not mean that it should also be kept out of reach of pets and that spillages should also be cleaned up immediately and thoroughly? But alas there are people who are not aware of the dangers they pose to animals, particularly the wandering cat.
On the 19th of August I was forced to euthanize my beautiful cat, Tilly. She was a real character, she was sweet and gentle with some, and disdainful and snooty with others. She was completely and utterly spoilt, she would jump up onto my shoulder and wrap her tail around my neck whilst rubbing her chubby cheeks against my jaw. If I close my eyes I can still hear the deep rumble of her purr, the feel of her needle-like claws clutching at my shoulder and collar-bone as she tries to keep her balance, the sound of her meowing at my bedroom door when she wanted feeding in the morning. Tilly was not just a cat, she was a member of my family, and to have to euthanize her has broken all of our hearts.
I have no idea if her poisoning was deliberate or not, I pray to whomever is listening that it was not, that it was simply a tragic accident. But the point of this article was not to debate whether or not somebody deliberately poisoned my cat, the point is to beg vehicle owners to be vigilant with their anti-freeze, especially as the weather begins to change. We are at the time of year when we start using anti-freeze so that our cars are protected during the cold winter months. Be wary of the accessibility of the bottles, be wary of any spillages on your driveway.
For cats, anti-freeze is sweet in its taste, and the time between consumption and organ failure is a matter of hours. Before you realise that there is something wrong with your cat he or she is already in kidney failure, and there is only around a 5% chance that they can pull out of it. Vets suggest euthanasia; it is a much kinder fate than putting them on a drip. Before Tilly died she was vomiting and was losing balance. Her character completely changed, she became so meek and weak that we instantly knew something was wrong. By the time we reached the vets she was in a lot of pain and was dying slowly. No animal should suffer the way that Tilly did. So spread the word, tell your friends, your family and your colleagues. Anti-freeze is lethal to cats. Don’t make another family lose a beloved member over something as simple as forgetting to clean up the anti-freeze you spilled on your drive.