Cat killed by its owner’s vase of tulips

...and she ate the poi­son plants just mo­ments af­ter this pic­ture was taken

Daily Mail - - News - By Tom Payne

WHEN Kiki the cat jumped up on the ta­ble next to a bunch of tulips, her owner snapped this en­chant­ing pic­ture.

But it would be one of the last pho­tos she would ever take of her beloved pet.

Next morn­ing, Juliet Crid­low found the six-year-old tor­toise­shell col­lapsed on the floor.

She rushed Kiki straight to the vet where she was told the cat’s kid­neys had been se­ri­ously dam­aged.

With lit­tle hope of re­cov­ery and her pet’s life eb­bing away, Mrs Crid­low, 38, and her daugh­ter Ella, 12, tear­fully de­cided to have Kiki put down.

The vet told them it was likely that the cat had been poisoned af­ter nib­bling at the bunch of tulips. The bulbs of the flow­ers con­tain tox­ins called lac­tones, which can spread to the leaves or petals and are ex­tremely poi­sonous to cats.

Mrs Crid­low, who works for a kitchen com­pany, said she had only bought tulips twice in her life and had no idea of the dan­ger. And af­ter the death of her pet last Satur­day she is warn­ing other cat own­ers to steer clear of the flow­ers and be­lieves they should be la­belled as dan­ger­ous to an­i­mals.

Yes­ter­day she told how a pic­ture-per­fect mo­ment ended in the loss of the cat she and her daugh­ter loved so much. ‘I was sit­ting on the sofa and Kiki jumped up and sat near the tulips,’ she re­called at her home in Gor­leston, Nor­folk. ‘It looked like a per­fect photo op­por­tu­nity so 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.’

The next day she found Kiki ly­ing on the bath­room mat. ‘Be­ing a crazy cat lady, I thought, lovely – I’ll pick her up to give her a cud­dle,’ she said. ‘I sat down next to her and re­alised she wasn’t very re­spon­sive.

‘I picked her up and she made a very weak noise ... she was an in­door cat so I quickly racked my brain for any­thing in the house which could have caused this.

‘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.’

At the vet’s the ex­tent of the dam­age be­came clear.

Tests showed that Kiki’s kid­neys were fail­ing. The level of urea ni­tro­gen in her blood was off the charts. A healthy level for cats is fewer than ten miligrams per decil­itre of blood – but Kiki’s was 25. Her tem­per­a­ture was also low.

Mrs Crid­low was faced with a de­ci­sion to ei­ther put her down and end her suf­fer­ing, or at­tempt a treat­ment that was likely to fail.

‘My daugh­ter and I ag­o­nised over the de­ci­sion for 40 min­utes,’ she said. ‘We cried, dis­cussed, cried, re­peat for 40 min­utes ... We de­cided the kind­est thing would be to put her to sleep so that she was no longer suf­fer­ing.’

An RSPCA spokesman said: ‘There are many dif­fer­ent types of plants found in the home and gar­den which can be harm­ful to pets... own­ers should call their vet im­me­di­ately if they are con­cerned that their pet has in­gested any plant or flower.’

Com­mon lilies are the most deadly flow­ers for cats, while aza­leas, daf­fodils, holly and hy­acinths are also poi­sonous.

Other dan­gers in­clude al­co­hol – a ta­ble­spoon can put an adult cat in a coma – and choco­late, which can cause lethal seizures.

‘She was no longer suf­fer­ing’

Last photo: Kiki had to be put down the next day. In­set, own­ers Juliet and Ella Crid­low

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