Gloria has taught us many things in the few months since we adopted her, one of the biggest being ‘how to poison your cat’.
Take the first episode – drinking from a flower vase containing cut daffodils. Harmless enough for a cat, or so you would think. Wrong!
“Mum! The cat’s frothing at the mouth!” came the cry from son no 2.
And indeed she was. There followed a bout of heaving and groaning underneath the dining room table. Having spent most of the morning removing her face from the daffodil vase, I deduced that the flower water was the cause. A quick call to the vet, who checked with toxicology, confirmed my suspicions. Oh good. Luckily the effects weren’t expected to last for more than 24 hours. So we passed a quiet evening, with Gloria Chufflepuff feeling really quite sorry for herself. Shame.
The following morning, I came out of the shower to discover that our crazy feline had snaffled a cotton reel. Not only that, but she had thrown it around so much that the end of the reel had come free. I was greeted with a lounge covered in streams of cotton: think Spiderman’s den, but with a home-made flair. Two things came to mind: either our chuff of a cat had made a full recovery or she had instead ingested a mutant spider (rather than daffodil juice) thus creating a psycho-spider-cat. Despite son no 3 desperately hoping for the latter, it became apparent as she scampered about the house that the Chufflepuff had recovered. Phew.
Fast forward a few weeks…yes it did actually take a few weeks of Gloria attempting to eat anything and everything in the house, before she yet again managed to poison herself – this time by chewing on a beautiful Gerbera plant that I had gratefully received as a gift. What made it worse is that I’d already reluctantly given away a gorgeous bunch of flowers that very day, assuming that she’d make a direct bee-line for them the moment I placed them in a vase. Grrr.
Yet again we had 24 hours of sickness and lethargy coupled with a bit of a runny tummy. Just as I was on the verge of calling the vet for advice, Gloria seemed to make a fortunate recovery…in good time for us to host our smallest boy’s birthday party the following day. Yes her timing was impeccable, as always.
So to set the scene some 24 hours later…it was 1.55pm: balloons and banners – tick; food prepared – tick; bouncy slide in the garden – tick. Our neighbours were already here; all we needed was a heap of rambunctious invitees to turn up. Then the inevitable happened – yes, that’s right: the chuffin cat’s rear end suddenly exploded in spectacular fashion. As I said earlier, impeccable timing. Cue lots of frantic shovelling in the litter tray as I cleared away the rancid evidence, whilst madly spraying a can of air freshener around the room to try and eradicate the overwhelming stench. It wouldn’t have been so bad had the chuffin cat not then decided to run off, deposit herself on the floor of the dining room and rub her arse across the carpet in front of our rather bemused neighbour, who was left wondering if this was all part of the entertainment.
As handsome hubby grabbed the cat under her armpits and bolted outside, I grabbed some antibacterial wipes and threw them at son no 2, whilst shouting, “Just scrub!!!” and pointing at the putrid tramlines burning a hole in the carpet. I then found some wet wipes and shot outside to join handsome hubby with the somewhat perplexed fetid cat. One look at the state of the cat’s feculent fluffy trousers told me that the wipes were rather an inadequate choice.
Then the doorbell rang: the first guests had arrived. Oh good. Perfect in fact.
Directing handsome hubby to go round the side of the house, I ran through the lounge (skirting round the rapidly disappearing tram lines in the dining room) to the front door to greet an army of excited young boys.
“Straight through to the garden!” I ushered, trying not to sound too panicky whilst wafting the air around me.
Thank goodness the only things on the boys’ minds were “where’s the bouncy slide?” and “which Nerf gun can I use?” How I love having boys!
“Bit of an incident with the cat,” I whispered to the confused parents who followed on behind.
Meanwhile down the side of the house, handsome hubby and son no 1 were having to shower Gloria’s fluffy trousers using a hosepipe. Yes, really.
The only option was then to shut our soddened cat in a cloakroom for the duration of the party, complete with water, litter tray, towels and copious sheets of newspaper. All that was missing was a good book. To be fair, she seemed to quite enjoy herself in there…until she realised that her food bowl was missing. Clearly, by completely and violently evacuating her bowels, Gloria had made more room for grub – talk about a silver lining. Marvellous. Needless to say, the rest of the party passed without incident, as did the cat in the cloakroom (apart from the frequent shouts of “HAM!” each time I opened the door to check on her).
The following day I gave Gloria a really good groom, complete with a quick bum fur trim – her fluffy trousers were most unruly after the trauma of the previous day – but thankfully the poisoning debacle had completely passed.
All of this led me to an important conclusion: a poisoning episode should only affect your cat for 24 hours, unless you have an important function the following day; in that case, and only that case, it will last for a full 48 hours.