I can joke about it now because she is okay, but when it first happened I was terrified.
Two weeks ago we accidentally poisoned our cat and by we, I mean, my husband.
On that fateful night, my daughter mentioned to me that Cokee had a wet leg. I said "Well, she probably just got into some water somewhere" No big. The next day, Hus mentioned to me that Cokee wasn't acting like herself, spending the entire day in my rocking chair. I said "Well, she's old and always does that" No big.
I went to work, came home at the usual time 1AM, kissed everyone and fell asleep reading on the couch. The next morning I woke up and it occurred to me that I couldn't remember if I had seen Cokee in bed with Hus the night before. She always sleeps with, or on top of Hus. I called to her, because she also always sleeps under the covers with me in the morning after Hus leaves for work. She didn't come. I thought perhaps she spent the night outside? I called for her outside, but she didn't come. I still wasn't' worried because cats can vary in their routines occasionally. I went back to sleep.
It wasn't until I tried to find her later that I began to worry. I looked everywhere. No Cokee! Mind you, I have known Cokee for 15 years, longer than I have even known my husband! I love her almost like a first child.
After about an hour of searching, I found her hiding behind an old dresser up in the loft. I picked her up and noticed that her butt was wet. I also noticed that she wasn't talking. Cokee talks all the time. Something was wrong.
I called Hus and left a message. I dried Cokee's bottom and in the back of my mind also wondered where a sweet smell was coming from. I told Hus that I thought Cokee was dying, she was incontinent, hiding and not talking. I couldn't breath. I was having a panic attack.
I am a nurse, I should know what to do. I needed to sort things out in my head. I did a physical exam on Cokee, checking skin, eyes, teeth, breath sounds and belly. Everything seemed fine. I was worried she had an abscessed tooth which she had before, or Leukemia which is what her husband died from.
A few minutes later Hus called back. It had occurred to him that Cokee might have gotten into something that she shouldn't' have.
Let this be a warning to all those of you considered to have a "sensitive nose". If you buy a refill bottle of Airwick for $6.99, and it doesn't' fit the dispenser you have at home, RETURN IT! Don't decide to use it in a way that the label probably warns against. For example, don't pour a little into a tin meant for a votive candle. While your cat or dog may be smart enough not to drink it, they might not be smart enough to not SIT IN IT! Which is exactly what Cokee did. She apparently sat on the window sill where my Hus had put the tin, inadvertently getting it on her bum. Of course then she must have cleaned it off, ingesting some of the air freshener refill.
Once we figured out what happened, I smelled her butt then smelled the remaining Airwick. Sure enough, they both smelled like an Island Paradise. I immediately gave Cokee a bath, towel dried her off and put her back on my bed. She still wasn't talking. I got her a glass of water, Cokee loves water from human glasses, and she drank some.
I was still panicking. I knew I had to take her to the vet but I had to leave right then to pick up one of T's friends for a play date. I thought, well, he will just have to come to the vet with us. When we got home, Cokee was still on the bed, which I considered a good sign. Hiding would have meant she still felt like she was dying. I then realized that I had to pick up E from summer rec in an hour so I decided to wait to take Cokee until after that. When we got home with E, Cokee was out of bed walking around the kitchen, eating cat food, like nothing was wrong! I was so relieved I think I started crying. My baby was better! Of course I still worried about liver damage, kidney damage or brain damage. But now, 2 weeks later, she still seems to be perfectly fine. I guess the air freshener must have made her feel sick and probably burned her throat. Now she won't stop talking, and she is still the best smelling cat EVER!