Newsday Tuesday – Cats Remind Us to Watch Our P’s and Q’s

Life changes when you invite a cat into your home. Even if you’ve had cats for years, bringing in a kitten can shake up your world a bit. Each cat or kitten you adopt comes with different requirements.

Just this morning I was reminded again (by Olivia, of course) to close a drawer in my large filing cabinet. Open it, take an item out, and close it immediately. That’s the drill since curious Olivia joined our family. Otherwise, she’ll jump up into the drawer and climb through the back of it into parts unknown and unreachable.

We had a kitten once who chewed on the blind pulls off. That made things inconvenient when she’d chew one right off. I’ve known of kittens who have become caught up in blind pulls—a definite danger. I once had a cat fall or jump out a window after pushing the screen off. Now I always do a screen check before I leave a window open. If I leave the house, I close the window. We hide our chocolate behind closed doors. Chocolate is toxic to cats and dogs. I’ve had to stop using ribbon and bows on gifts—there are no bows or ribbon of any kind under our Christmas tree. String, cord, thread, yarn, twin are also an attraction (and a danger) for some cats. Sophie once chewed on metallic bows and vomited blood as a result. Our refined Himalayan waited until we went to bed one night, then dove into a plate of chocolate brownies. Thankfully, I caught her in the act and stored the brownies away like I should have done in the first place.

We think of puppies getting into this sort of trouble, but some cats do too. That’s why we must stay alert, especially when we bring in a new cat or kitten or a new potential attraction to the cat and kitten residents—such as toxic plants. Unfortunately, there seem to be more plants that are toxic than are not. When I get a plant or flowers as a gift, I always conduct research to find out if it’s safe for cats—you know, just in case they want to nibble on the blossom or the leaves. If not, the bouquet or plant is given a special place on our outdoor  patio deck.


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