I just learned something the hard way, which is the way I learn most everything. I love it when my kitties “kiss” my hand when I pet them or decide that my eyebrows need grooming, but it occurred to me this morning that this affection-bestowing ritual could possibly be doing some harm to my fur kids.
Following my usual routine, I slathered lotion on my hands and face after my shower and hopped back into bed to watch the early news. This morning my Jenna joined me and began grooming the back of my hand. Suddenly she began gaging and drooling, which I chalked up to fur balls at first. Then it occurred to me that there might just be something toxic in my hand lotion that could cause this. I washed her mouth out with wet gauze.
If you think about it, we humans use all kinds of products with ingredients that could be toxic (or worse) to our cats and dogs like perfumed soap, body wash, shaving cream and lotion, hand lotions, sun screen, not to mention cosmetics and anti-creams for everything from pimples to wrinkles.
Just out of curiosity, I wanted to find out what attracted Jenna to my hand, so I licked the back of my hand (the other one, of course), and experienced a sweet taste at first. After a few seconds the sweet wore off and a burning, metallic taste set in that also made me gag and drool.
I concluded from this experiment that, as pleasant an experience as it may be, we should probably not let our cats and dogs “kiss” us if we use these products. For all we know, we may be inadvertently introducing all kinds of toxins, poisons and/or heavy metals to our beloved pets. Worst of all is the possibility that over a long period of time some of these chemicals could build up in their systems, and instead of a simple expression of love they could be giving us the kiss of death; theirs!
Since I’m incapable of doing the Vulcan Mind Meld, I will have to depend on every one of you to fill me in on your experiences with the critters that cross you path (be they native or alien). Please email them to me at your earliest convenience at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will beam you up. V^]! (Vulcan for “Thanks!”) Allie