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Gotta cat? Getta screen!

09/10/2009

The weather is gorgeous now, right? Unfortunately, beautiful weather means you don't need A/C or heating in your home. Wait - did she say "unfortunately"?? Yep, that's right, I did - because when folks don't need heat or A/C, they just open the windows. And in some cities that don't have a lot of bugs, many of the apartments don't have screens.

Guess what happens next. Beautiful day, open window, no screen, happy kitty sitting in the window watchin' the pigeons strutting about on the windowsill next door...kitty leans out to take a closer look...oh, if I could just get a little closer I could get that darn juicy pigeon...uh oh - sad kitty with broken legs and punctured lungs on the sidewalk 6 stories down.

It's called feline high-rise syndrome, and it happens all the time. Cats fall or jump (yes, jump- their kitty brains don't know they are 10 stories up!) and are horribly injured or killed. We have two to three cases a week at our hospital in nice weather and some even when the weather's bad. These cats have multiple fractured bones, bruised or punctured lungs, shattered jaws. Some don't make it.

Please please please. If you have a cat, get screens! You can buy adjustable screens at any hardware store for a couple of bucks.

Here I am demonstrating an adjustable screen on the news last night, with a cute kitten in my lap to boot!

No, cats do NOT have good instincts, people! Their instinct tells them to eat a piece of ribbon...that gets caught in their intestines. Their instinct tells them to cross the road chasing after that squirrel...and get killed by a car. Their instinct tells them to jump out a window 40 stories high when a bird flies by...and plummet to the sidewalk below.

Cats are gorgeous. They are excellent snugglers, and even better nappers. They are incredible athletes. But they are NOT good at protecting themselves (hello: "curiosity killed the cat")  - so we've gotta take care of that part!

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