Deadwood Gulch, deep in the Lakota Territory, in 1876 was a town of outlaws, miners, ne’er-do-wells, and other undesirables, living shoulder-to-shoulder with transplanted farmers, honest businessmen and school marms. And for kitties, it was not so good.
One hot summer afternoon, a tall, handsome, long-haired man stepped out onto the town’s boardwalk and observed several young miscreants chasing a frightened black kitten through the dusty street. As they raced by him he said, “Well, boys, that cat seems to be properly terrified by you desperados. I think it’s time to let things go.” Even the boys recognized that a suggestion from ‘Wild Bill’ Hickok wasn’t so much a suggestion as it was a solid piece of advice. Especially since it was well-known that ‘Wild Bill’ had an intent dislike for bullies, big or small.
The boys looked at each other nervously, then turned and ran the opposite direction in search of other prey. Satisfied that he had returned some serenity to the morning, the imposing man in the big white hat started his usual routine of strolling by the town’s businesses just opening as well as by the saloons which never closed. Having a lawman’s sixth sense that had served him well in his days as a marshall in the cow towns located in Nebraska and Kansas, he became aware that he was being followed and abruptly wheeled around to be confronted by the black kitten he has just rescued.
Just 5 simple 'rules' to ensure your cat is safe throughout the summer months ...
It’s a good idea to check your garden for plants that could prove toxic to cats if nibbled. See www.fabcats.org for a list of those to avoid. Lilies are the most toxic – contact your vet straight away if your cat may have ingested or brushed against a lily.
Bee and wasp stings are common in cats – stings in the mouth and/or throat can be really serious and immediate veterinary attention is required. Flies are another potential hazard; flystrike (when flies lay eggs in soiled fur or wounds/sores and the maggots bury into the flesh) can affect any animal and can be fatal. If you’re taking action against slugs, don’t forget to check the pellets won’t harm your cat – metaldehyde can prove fatal.
Remember to check your greenhouse or shed before shutting up for the day as cats can make themselves at home anywhere. And if you have a barbeque, make sure coals and racks are cooled after use or your cat could receive a nasty burn.
Skin cancer affects cats too and pale-coated kitties and those with minimal hair on their ears, are most at risk. Encourage your cat into the shade between 11.00 am and 4.00pm in particular, and apply a babies’ sunblock (or one designed for pets) to his nose and ear tips throughout the day.
OUT AND ABOUT:
The number of air gun attacks on cats increases at this time of the year, so be vigilant. An air gun wound is about 5mm in diameter, almost perfectly circular, with a reddened edge. If you’re worried, contact your vet immediately. Also make sure your cat has ID secured to his safety collar and preferably is microchipped too. You might also want to consider enclosing your garden.
Extracted from Your Cat magazine (July 2011 issue)