Could your pet have a surprising “secret” life?
Kelly has been a pharmacist here at 1800PetMeds for about ten years. Throughout the years we have shared many stories, as is typical with a colleague you have worked with for a long time. I have heard about her children, her husband, her immediate family, her in-laws, and how much she loves each one of them. One year Kelly and I even did some Christmas shopping together and I got a glimpse into the likes and dislikes of her entire family, including many of her friends. As you can imagine, I thought I knew almost everything about Kelly. It turns out, I didn’t know about the infamous “Stoli.” Kelly doesn’t like to speak much about her handsome flame-pointed white cat Stoli, and I soon found out why.
“Don’t let those innocent pale blue eyes fool you,” she went on to tell me. “Stoli is as close to a mobster as this small quiet town has ever seen.” Apparently, ever since Kelly adopted this mischievous feline, strange occurrences began to be reported all around town. One neighbor reported to the local police that someone had been breaking into her house and messing up her kitchen. Another citizen made several reports about someone stealing small items from her living room and kitchen: “Even the dog toys they took!! Can you believe that?!” the elderly woman stated in frustration as the police jotted the facts down into their incident report.
After days of investigation it turns out that the culprit responsible for all this trouble was none other than blue-eyed, innocent appearing Stoli. Caught on surveillance camera, this indoor/outdoor cat could be clearly seen going from house to house at night, entering through dog doors, and making himself at home. He was starting fights with dogs three times his size, eating any food left out unattended, and helping himself to both cat and dog toys. Looking back, Kelly began remembering occasions when Stoli would come home with no appetite for his own dinner and other times when she would find him playing with toys that she didn’t recognize. Stoli was the town troublemaker, no doubt about it. From then on, he had to be kept indoors and his activities closely monitored.
Just the thought of this blue-eyed mobster causing havoc all around town had me laughing out loud as Kelly was telling me stories of Stoli’s adventures. Another thing that also came to mind is that not only was Stoli taking toys and eating food that didn’t belong to him, but he was possibly transferring communicable diseases from home to home, and also possibly leaving behind (or picking up) parasites such as fleas. A few months ago when I wrote about the importance of year-round flea prevention even for pets who remain indoors I didn’t even think about a situation like this one. Pets going from home to home whether invited or otherwise, could be another method that introduces fleas and ticks into your home. Also important is spaying and neutering pets because sometimes unexpected rendezvous can occur without our knowledge.
There are also other communicable disease that can be transmitted from pet to pet. Feline leukemia can spread through nose excretions and even saliva (as in sharing the same food bowl), and feline distemper is a highly contagious viral disease that can be transmitted from cat to cat. This disease which harms the immune system causing diarrhea, anemia, dehydration, weakness, and vomiting can easily be transmitted by cats sharing food or water bowls and by other casual contact between cats. If not treated immediately, this disease can be fatal within a few days of initial infection. Rabies, bacterial infections, skin diseases, and mites are just a few of the many diseases that can be transmitted from cat to cat or from cat to dog.
Although Kelly plans to keep Stoli on a tight leash from now on, this incident stresses the importance of giving year round flea and tick preventatives as well as regular veterinary checkups. When it’s all said and done, a “Don Juan” type of adventurous cat like Stoli roaming the streets can cause quite a few problems in the neighborhood. It is also a good argument for keeping your cat indoors.
As always, if you have any concerns about your pets, making an appointment to discuss these with the veterinarian is the best way to get a proper diagnosis and the required treatment. If you have any medication related questions, your 1800Petmeds pharmacist is also available to answer those for you.