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A story of Po - Warning: Tragic, but a necessary message.

AmberP
September 29th, 2010, 01:18 PM
We had one cat, then we had three. Our tom was a humper. He liked to hump my dog more than my dog would hump him, so we decided we'd take introductions to our female cats slowly.

Well, we finally decided to let him out, but we had him on a breakaway harness, dragging a leash, in case of emergency. It was unneeded. He was gentle and nice with them, just smacking them on the bums. They let him know his boundaries. We took the leash off overnight the second night, instead of putting him in the bathroom. After all, the harness was a breakaway, it was safe... Right?

6:19, I hear a lot of thumping. Three dogs are at the foot of the bed, one in a crate, and my boyfriend is sleeping on the couch. I figure somebody got itchy. I get up- hey, the alarm's about to go off. Walk downstairs, wake the boy, go to the bathroom.

6:21, I'm about to head upstairs and see my Pomeranian sniffing the cat's bum. "Jasper, get out of the cat's ass," I tell him. I see that there's a puddle under Po, and wonder... Why didn't he go to the box? It's two feet away from him.

I get closer, and see he's not sitting, he's dangling, off the chair. His bum is on the floor, and his front feet are in the air, and he's just hanging there. "Myke! Myke! I think he's hanged himself!" I shout, trying to unclip the harness from him. The back part of it has slipped over his head, noosing the front part around his neck. It's all caught in the padding and the support of the chair.

It's this that killed him, though we don't know it then. The fact that the back had slipped, coupled with the design of the harness to release when there's a certain weight, and the fact that enough of his weight was on the floor instead of the buckle, combined to strangle my cat, in what should have been a safe harness.

I give up unclipping him and just wrenched the harness out of the chair. My boyfriend slipped it over his head, and I started CPR, having taken a course for infant CPR a month prior. He still had a heartbeat. It had been less than five minutes, and it was a frantic beat. But he couldn't breathe. My boyfriend and I switch off the CPR and talking to Po for twenty long minutes.

"You can still breathe, you fuzzy little *******," Myke said tearfully, trying to convince him he could. A few minutes later, his heartbeat was gone. My last-ditch effort was to pick him up by his scruff and roughly rub his back and chest, hoping against hope that the kind of revival newborn kittens get from mom might bring him back. It didn't.

I've never thought how potentially dangerous a safety item could be. But this one took my cat's life away from me. He died in our arms, while we tried to breathe life back in to him. He was barely two years old.

Since then, I don't leave my dogs unsupervised with their collars, and have adapted the ones I made them to be martingales, so they're extra loose inside in case they get caught, but tighten on a walk so they can't escape. The harness has been thrown out; the store we got it from is trying to track the manufacturer for us, so they can stop ordering, and we can inform them of their faulty design.

Please, never leave your animals unsupervised with their restraint apparatus on. If you must put a breakaway collar on your outdoor cat for ID, test it, test it well, make sure the weight that needs to be applied is a fraction of what your cat weighs. It broke my heart to lose my cat, I thought I was providing him the safest home possible... And instead he's gone.

On top of this sad story, the same day, we lost a rat to old age. Two weeks prior, my ferret passed at 7.5, in his sleep, after a long and happy life with no illness.

We miss you guys every day.

RIP Po. RIP Boo. RIP Mog.

September will never be the same.

14+kitties
September 29th, 2010, 01:21 PM
:candle::rip: Po :candle:

Sylvie
September 29th, 2010, 01:32 PM
I am so sorry

:candle: Po

mikischo
September 29th, 2010, 01:47 PM
Amber, thank you for sharing this tragic story.

I'm so sorry to hear of the loss of your beloved kitty as well as your other pets.:grouphug: :grouphug: :grouphug:

:candle: Run free, sweet Po :cat: :candle:

:candle: Run free, sweet Boo :pawprint: :candle:

:candle: Run free, sweet Mog :pawprint: :candle:

BenMax
September 29th, 2010, 02:12 PM
I am so very sorry. I hope that when people read your story, this will ensure that they double check as you suggested. Something very similar happened to me years ago. Luckily I caught it on time, but I still remember clearly.

RIP Po.:rip:

Strength and peace to the family.

chico2
September 29th, 2010, 04:57 PM
amber,i am so sorry,what a terrible thing to happen to your kitty:(
september has been a bad month for a lot of people here,me included.
:rip:sweet po

luckypenny
September 29th, 2010, 05:10 PM
As sad as it is, I think it's wonderful that you share your story, Amber. If only one person can learn from it, a dear life can be saved.

RIP Po, Boo, Mog :candle:

growler~GateKeeper
October 9th, 2010, 03:47 AM
:rip: sweet :angel2:s Po, Boo & Mog :candle: They are playing at the Rainbow Bridge (http://www.indigo.org/rainbowbridge_ver2.html) with those who've gone before :candle: :grouphug: