Heartbroken woman launches petition to label lilies as poisonous after pollen kills her new kitten

'Had I known that lilies were so deadly to cats I would never have had them in my house'

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The Independent Online

A woman left heartbroken when her new kitten died after ingesting deadly lily pollen has set up a petition to get the flowers labelled as poisonous to pets.

Elizabeth Mackie bought kitten Mr Mistoffelees to cheer herself up after her mother, Pat, who battled dementia, died in September from a stroke aged 76.

Earlier this month Ms Mackie found her four-month-old pet covered in orange pollen from a bouquet of flowers a friend had given her.

The pub manager only realised her fatal mistake when she posted a photo on social media after fruitless attempts to wash off the pollen.  

Friends and family immediately warned her of the deadly danger lily pollen poses to cats, and urged her rush Mr Mistoffelees to a vet.

The 38-year-old, from Whitchurch in Shropshire, told the Mail Online: “Had I known that lilies were so deadly to cats I would never have had them in my house.

“I had put them on the window ledge in a big bay window. Mistoffelees had been brushing up against them a lot as he liked to look out of the window.

“I found him covered in orange and realised it was pollen. He kept getting upset when I tried to clean it off so I put a post on social media to see if friends had any advice of how to do it.

“Suddenly people started warning me that lily pollen is toxic to cats and I should check he hadn't eaten any.”

Despite it being a Sunday, she rushed him to the nearest clinic.

Her local vet Andy Nelson, from Leonard Brother Veterinary Clinic, immediately sedated the kitten and tried to induce vomiting.  

But his condition deteriorated, and he later died of kidney and liver failure after being fatally poisoned by the flowers.

Ms Mackie said: “When he stopped breathing the vet went to get adrenaline. I massaged his chest as shown by the vet in a bid to save him while he got the adrenaline but unfortunately we couldn't revive him.

“I was devastated. It was one of the most traumatic experiences of my life as he was just a baby and I was there trying to save him like that. It was awful.”

She has now launched a petition in conjunction with the clinic to get warning stickers on lilies.

Already reaching more than 3,500 signatures, the #LabelLiliesLethal campaign is petitioning florists and supermarket chains to clearly display a warning label on the flowers.

Vet Mr Nelson added: “I'm amazed at the number of people who simply do not know how deadly they can be for cats, as they are popular pets and lilies are popular flowers - but the two just cannot go together.”