Dear Abby: In our family, pets are irreplaceable, full- fledged, beloved members. One of them was a beautiful, very affectionate cat we had rescued as an abandoned kitten.
Tragically, he didn't make it through an operation we hoped would save his life. His death was a needless accident, and we are writing this in the hope that you will print it to warn other readers so no other animals will die in a similar fashion.
On the day before he died, he suddenly stopped eating and drinking. He became lethargic and vomited several times. Our vet diagnosed him with a bowel obstruction.
Apparently, he had eaten a piece of a palm from Palm Sunday. Unable to pass through his system, it had perforated his bowel. The damage was too extensive to fix.
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The vet later told us about many other items he had removed throughout his experience: Q-tips, cotton balls, coins, twist ties, string, buttons, Easter grass, Christmas tree icicles, etc. Abby, please warn your readers to pick up anything that's small enough for a pet to put in its mouth, and to keep anything a pet might be tempted to taste out of reach. If you do, perhaps our precious kitty's death will not have been in vain. —IN MOURNING
Dear In Mourning: I'm sorry about the untimely loss of your adored pet. I, too, hope your letter will alert pet owners — as well as parents and caregivers of small children.