Multiple cat deaths devastate pet lover
Catherine, pictured with her adored 11-week-old kitten Jack, fears for the safety of her remaining pets after losing 10 cats since 2011
A DISABLED pet owner has spoken of her heartbreak after losing three of her beloved cats to suspected anti-freeze poisoning in just six weeks - on the same street where more than 10 cats died or disappeared last year.
Catherine Kenny, who suffers from multiple sclerosis and lives alone on Durie's Park in Elphinstone, had to bury five of her pet cats - while two remain missing - between April and September last year.
The 55-year-old grandmother is now fearful for her remaining pets, after two more of her cats died - Maximus around three weeks ago and Star last Friday - while another cat, Jasper has disappeared.
Last year an autopsy by the Scottish SPCA on one of Ms Kenny's cats, Edward, who had to be put down after suspected poisoning, confirmed anti freeze as the cause of his death.
On other occasions vets at the PDSA hospital in Edinburgh confirmed the symptoms suggest poisoning.
Losing so many of her pets in such a short space of time has left Ms Kenny distraught.
She told the Courier: "It is an evil thing to do. There is something about anti-freeze that means cats can't resist drinking it. The poison causes their livers to swell up and there is very little that can be done to save them.
"I live by myself and my cats are more than pets, they're my family. I've contacted the Scottish SPCA about it. When one of my cats had gone missing they told me I should look in my neighbour's wheelie bins but I couldn't possibly do that.
"Star died last Friday. I had her for eight years and she was special.
"I could smell the [antifreeze] sweetness on her breath but I didn't have time to get her to the PDSA hospital.
"It has to be someone doing it during the day because I don't let my cats out at night. I know some neighbours have complained about them going in their gardens and I've said to them 'shoo them away'. My next door neighbour uses a spray can with water to keep them out, and that's fine, I've told him to do that.
"I had a nervous breakdown over this last year and now it is starting again."
Ms Kenny is not alone in her pain, as four of her neighbours on Durie's Park have lost their cats, with anti-freeze posioning the suspected cause.
Her neighbour and fellow cat lover Audrey McLaren explained how she lost Tiger, who she first obtained as a seven weeks old kitten, in the summer of last year.
Audrey, who owns five cats, said: "It affected me quite badly. When she came in she had yellow stains all around her mouth and she was clearly in a lot of pain.
"I'm too scared to let my other cats go out now but one of them Simba manages to get out. Something has to be done about it. Of course people like their gardens but can't they shoo the cats away?"
A Scottish SPCA spokeswoman said: "Antifreeze (ethylene glycol) is one of the most common causes of cat poisoning, particularly in the winter months.
"In some rare cases poisonings are deliberate, but we believe the vast majority are due to people spilling antifreeze when they are changing the coolant in their cars, or disposing of it incorrectly.
"The liquid is usually colourless and odourless and has a sweet taste that appeals to dogs in particular, although cats will also ingest it. By the time symptoms such as vomiting, lethargy and, in the latter stages, head shaking and coma occur, it is often too late to treat.
"Renal failure is frequently the cause of death, with damage to kidneys, brain, liver and blood vessels.
"Anyone with concerns should report this to our Animal Helpline on 03000 999 999."
Have your say. Post a comment on this article.
Aug 2, 10:10
Catherine, I'm so sorry for your loss, that is just heartbreaking for you. I have a cat too and I'd be devastated if that happened - pets are just like one of the family. If someone is deliberately putting anti-freeze out to poison cats they should be completely ashamed of themselves, what a terrible, selfish thing to do.
Recommend? Yes 14 No 2
Aug 6, 01:23
Suspected anti freeze poisoning !! really !?? get a grip.
This lady lives on the edge of a massive agricultural area teaming with foxes but the blame goes to some non existing poisoner ! I think not.
Maybe the fluffy bunny brigade just cant face facts eh ??
Recommend? Yes 5 No 9
Aug 9, 12:14
It is very unsusal in this country for a fox to kill a cat!!! FACT... One of my cats was shot by a pigeon fancier (it died). they have no feelings or respect for cats or there owners, I dont like pigeons they are vermin, but I would never harm one. This is the most likely cause!
My heart goes out to the poor lady, I know how distressed she must be feeling.
Recommend? Yes 1 No 4
Aug 13, 03:34
Unusual for a fox to kill a cat. What a joke.
Perhaps I should tell that to the many people I have to control foxes for due to the destruction and havoc they cause.
Wake up. Fluffy bunny overload !!
I`m sorry the lady lost her cats and if she could prove they were poisoned then good on her and I hope they catch the culprit, but lets face it, cats are feral and they fall foul of feral activities.
I should know, the amount of rural people that want cats controlled because of the damage they do when released at night buy their owners.
Recommend? Yes 3 No 4