|Our Little Dante...Precious Baby! :-)|
I have mentioned before that we foster animals in need from time to time. Right now we are fostering 2 kittens that showed up on our front porch over 4 months ago and never left. We had 6 kittens and adopted out 4 to loving homes. Yay! :-)
We have grown quite attached to the two kittens we still have. We would keep them (as permanent members of the family) but Sadie and D'Angelo aren't very fond of cats. I gave up my home office for the kittens (they have to be separated from the dogs). I bought all kinds of toys for the kittens, made a kitty condo and fixed their new room up right. I know how playful, curious and bored kittens get and wanted them to stay entertained.
What I wasn't ready for was that it almost took one of our kitten's life yesterday. Our 2 kittens ripped the thin fabric cubes apart the night before (unbeknownst to us). Dante got tangled up in the cubes and the ribbing of one of the play cubes and it wrapped around his neck so tight that you couldn't even see it when you looked at his neck. I walked in while his was choking.
When I could finally get the fabric ribbing loose enough to fit scissors under it without cutting Dante's throat, he wasn't moving. He was almost gone - limp and lifeless. His eyes were popping out of his head and his tongue was sticking out of his mouth. We cut the ribbing and we started CPR. After a minute or so of CPR he gasped for air and basically came back to life. He almost died...I mean seriously ALMOST DIED!!!!
Thank the Lord that I just learned Pet CPR. I did a blog post a little over a week ago (for my Pet Safety Week) with the words, "Hopefully you won't ever have to use this but in case of an emergency it is always good to know how to save a beloved pets life with Pet CPR." Little did I know that it would be ME that needed to use it. God works in mysterious ways indeed! :-)
Dante wasn't well - he was stumbling around, shallow breathing and looked like he was blind. I rushed him to the vet as fast as I could. Once I got to the vet's office they checked him out and did x-rays on him. Apparently animals that go through strangulation can accumulate fluid in their lungs. The x-rays showed that his lungs were very inflamed but that there wasn't any fluid in them. Whew! Our vet gave him a steroid shot to help his lungs heal and so fluid wouldn't accumulate in them. She told me to keep a close eye on him for at least 12 hours because pulmonary edema, cardiac stress and neurological issues can surface hours after the trauma.
I found a great site that explains pet strangulation - what to look for and what to do if it happens. Click here to learn more about it.
Here are some pictures of the kitty cubes that I had to cut away from Dante. The one on the left is the one that Dante and Dottie tore up the night before. Some of the tearing is from me trying to get Dante out of them. He was pretzeled all in them. The fabric is very thin and lightweight. A rambunctious kitten can shred this product very quickly (so I found out the hard way).
|Here are the cubes that I cut Dante out of.|
|This is the ribbing that can strangle kitties.|
|This is the actual ribbing that I cut from Dante's throat.|
If you happen to have this product in your home right now I would seriously consider throwing it out immediately! If you do decide to chance it and keep the product then I would closely supervise your animals with it at all times. Any sign of the cube being torn - throw it out immediately! I threw all our kitty play cubes out yesterday. I was so freaked out that I also took all of their toys out of their room. I put some back in last night but only the big toys that they can play with when I am not around.
I bought them toys that look like little fishing poles with cute things hanging off them. The kittens love them but I got scared after yesterday that the kittens could hurt themselves if they were unsupervised. Now, they will only be able to play with certain toys when my husband or I are in the room. I feel bad about doing that but I would feel worse if they died from these toys.
Now, I have always known about making sure your window blind cords are out of reach of animals and babies. Alex and I wrap our blind cords up and put them on the top of the blind where they can't fall back down. We also have the blind raised in the "kitty room" because they get into everything at this age and we can't be too safe. Just things to think about if you have pets or children.
I took most of the day today and got on every website I could that sold these kitty play cubes and wrote a very descriptive review about the product. I want to do everything I can to warn someone else so it doesn't happen to them. Sadly, I found reviews on certain sites that said this product killed their cats the same way it almost killed Dante. I was horrified and saddened.
I read reviews if I am purchasing products online but don't usually research inexpensive products that I buy in stores. I thought nothing of it when I was in Walmart and put the play cubes in my cart. I am a dog person (although I love all animals) and know so much more about dog products. I haven't had a cat in forever so I wasn't aware of the dangers of new products on the market. After this incident, I think I will be reviewing EVERYTHING from now on!
I am happy to report that Dante is doing great. He acts like it never happened and is back to his frisky kitten ways. However, he is super lovey dovey with us. He keeps giving me kisses and puts his paw on my face (as if to say...thanks for you and daddy saving my life). It is so precious! :-)
Alex and I are still traumatized by yesterday's events. It all seems so surreal (like I was watching it on TV or in a movie). Life is so precious. It can be taken from you in a blink of an eye or you could get a second chance like we did. We are very blessed indeed! :-)