Often we learn by experience—ours and someone else’s. To this day, I won’t leave a coat hanger lying around or hanging on a doorknob, for example. Why? Because I know of a kitten who died after getting caught in a wire hanger the owners had hung on the cat tree with cat toys dangling from it. Who would have thought?
Most aware people keep the toilet lid down when they bring a kitten home, get rid of poisonous house plants, tie up blind pull-cords, dispose of leftover chicken bones, don’t feed their kitten things known to be toxic to them (avocado, grapes, raisins, chocolate), make sure there’s no way the cat can get to antifreeze and other dangerous chemicals, make sure the window screens are secure, prop up any old unpredictable wooden windows, and so forth. Most of us check a kitten’s whereabouts before closing the refrigerator or dishwasher door. We still look for Lily before we leave the house because she has a knack for getting closed in closets.
Yes, there are many dangers inside for a curious kitten, but many more that are beyond
our control in the great out of doors. So the trend now is to keep cats inside and provide them with enough stimulation to keep them healthy and contented. And, I don’t know about you, but we learn something with each kitten or cat we adopt. They each tend to teach us something new.
Who would have thought the carpeted cat tree we’d had for years without incident would be a danger when we brought Lily home? Lily loved playing on that cat tree. It stands only three feet high. It has a wide base. We thought it was sturdy—heck, Katie played on that cat tree, so did Winfield, Dinah, Daisy. The cats loved it and we enjoyed watching their antics.
But Lily had been with us for a mere few weeks when four-year-old Sophie evidently pushed off of the cat tree so vigorously that it toppled. And I had stupidly placed it next to the fireplace that week. Evidently Lily was on the side of the cat tree and she fell with it, against the brick hearth and was severely injured.
You can read the whole story and many others in my book, Catscapades, True Cat Tales. Order this book of charming, humorous, harrowing, frightening, and delightful true stories here: http://www.matilijapress.com/catscapades.html or at Amazon.
Lily is 7 now and an absolute delight. We still have that cat tree, but we have not placed it upright since the accident. Now we lay it on its side. The cats scratch on it, play chase through the tunnel, lay on top of it for a different perspective, but no one is going to fall off of it or get crushed under it. Are we over-protective and overly-cautious? Probably. Wouldn’t you be?