Major florists should include a pet friendly / toxic free flower option during check out.
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Many people are not aware that lilies are toxic for cats and small dogs. Major florists should give "pet friendly" alternatives for their floral arrangements, and at minimum there should be a warning that if a bouquet includes lilies then perhaps it isn't the best choice for a family with cats or small dogs.
Today marks one year since we had to say goodbye to our beloved Bogie. Bogie was the sweetest, most affectionate, and loving cat you could ever imagine. He used to wait for us to get in bed every evening (sometimes impatiently) so he could meow at us, rub his face against ours, and cuddle up in the crooks of our arms. Even though he was such an intelligent cat, he had the tendency to eat things he wasn't supposed to: mainly packing tape from packages, tulle fabric, and (unfortunately) flowers.
We received a lot of love with the birth of our daughter and Mother's Day all in the same week. Even though we put all of the flower arrangements on the tops of our bookshelves and out of our cats' reach, we neglected to remove any lilies (which are toxic to cats) from the bouquets. Eventually, when the flowers began to wilt, a lily petal must have fallen off and onto the floor, and our poor Bogie ingested the petal before we could see or remove it. After a busy weekend, we noticed he was extremely lethargic and slow moving. His coat was dull, and he was not interested in eating. We spent some time cuddling, and after some extra attention, Bogie finally meowed at us, began purring, and wagging his tail. My husband, Michael, then took him to the animal hospital while I stayed home with our daughters. I hadn't even considered that he might not return home.
Bogie was diagnosed with acute renal failure due to lily toxicity. Michael held him in his arms until the end. He was only six years old. He was my first baby, and I didn't get to say goodbye. The guilt and sadness has been overwhelming. We miss him everyday.
If cats are a part of your family, please learn from our mistake. Do not let lilies into your home. Remove them from any flower arrangements you receive immediately. All parts of the flower are toxic, not just the petals. Spreading awareness is the only good that can come out of this tragedy.
Bogie, we love you. We are so sorry. You will live in our hearts forever.
“What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly.” ― Richard Bach
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