i thought my cat was safe. i read the articles, i followed the links to the foods recalled. and i must have overlooked the food i’ve been feeding my cat since late last year or it wasn’t listed early on. my cat is 16, almost 17. she’s been losing her teeth, it’s difficult to eat the hard food. she prefers soft food. she ate the same brand (not recalled by menu foods) for over 10 years and then she tired of it. for the next several years i switched brands every time she stopped eating it. she would be fine for a few months and then it was onto something new. late last year i bought a few pouches of pet pride at kroger. she loved it. she’s been eating it ever since. she particularly likes the sliced chicken and mixed grill.
over the last month her life has changed drastically. she has slowed down tremendously and can’t jump or move like she used to. she can’t sleep in our bed (her favorite place) unless i put her there. she’s gained at least 5-7 pounds which is quite a bit for a cat. i can see she is very uncomfortable in her skin. she sleeps in strange places. i recently bought her a cat bed and on her good days she does sleep in it, in front of the back door watching the birds, soaking in the sun. she drinks a lot of water. she seems depressed. and she’s always hungry. and i’ve been feeding her more than usual. and now it seems i’ve been feeding her rat poison.
when i read this article, my heart sank. and when i followed the link to the recall list, i ran to her food and yes, there it was. several pouches lined up all shiny and new. the dates didn’t match to their recall list but she’s been eating it since late last year. and according to the faq at menu foods: the recall is limited to “cuts and gravy” style pet food in cans and foil pouches produced on specific dates and times between December 3, 2006, and March 6, 2007 in two of menu’s plants. and so, chances are likely she’s eaten the tainted food.
according to reports, rat poison has been found in pet food made in the menu foods plants. and it has killed at least 14 animals. they are unsure how the poison got there. the poison, aminopterin, a rodenticide was found in wet food manufactured by menu foods of ontario and distributed under more than 90 brands, including iams, eukanuba, hill’s science diet, nutro natural choice and pet pride. you can find the complete recall list here.
here’s a bit from the ny times article linked above:
Bob Rosenberg, senior vice president for government affairs at the National Pest Management Association, said that yesterday was the first he had heard of aminopterin. Rodenticides kept near food are typically stored in secure bait boxes, Mr. Rosenberg said, and the poison itself is a waxy block that should not easily break up or taint the food.
“I’ve been tracking these things for 20 years,” he said, “and to the best of my knowledge, there’s never been an instance of rodenticide contaminating anything in the U.S. food supply.”
Dr. Ann E. Hohenhaus, chairwoman of the department of medicine at the Animal Medical Center in Manhattan, said aminopterin was rarely found in the United States and was not referenced in many case studies or textbooks.
“We have no experience with that drug at all,” Dr. Hohenhaus said. “I have out every chemo book I own trying to understand what’s going on.”
i don’t know what to say. i don’t know what to think. for all i know my cat had another ten years. my sister’s friend had a cat live to 27. i know it’s possible. but it seems unlikely now. i don’t know what to do. for now, i will make sure she’s comfortable. and peaceful. and happy. she’s been there for me since 1991. i remember the day i got her and she sat in the palm of my hand. she’s been through a lot. she’s traveled the country with me and she’s been my rock.