"Called my family crying": Beloved cat discovered fatally poisoned
Daffy, a “healthy, playful, active and loving cat,” was found dead by a family member, who is now raising concerns about bait traps, suggesting his cat was inadvertently poisoned to death.
Owais Khan recently reached out to Daily Hive to share the tragic story, recounting his grief when discovering that his family’s beloved Daffy had died in Metro Vancouver.
He’s also raising concerns about pest control companies and bait traps used to catch rats, which he believes was the primary culprit in Daffy’s death.
A disclaimer for pet owners: some of the details shared about Daffy’s final moments might be hard to read.
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The average life span of a cat ranges between 12 to 18 years old, and Daffy was approaching five when he passed.
Khan told Daily Hive that he was the one who discovered Daffy had passed.
“He was completely fine the night before. At 6:40 am, I let him out to the backyard as usual and went back to sleep.”
When he woke up, he noticed unusual behaviour from Daffy. A call to the vet’s office informed him that it likely wasn’t an emergency. However, he still booked an appointment for 4:30 pm and left his house earlier that day at around 11:30 am.
Upon returning home, he noticed that the food bowl was untouched, which gave him a sinking feeling.
“I turned back to see that Daffy’s lifeless body was down by the dining [room] floor.”
He told Daily Hive, “I screamed several times in disbelief,” and shared some gruesome details about the state of Daffy.
“A lot of white foam” came out of Daffy’s mouth, with a bit of a red tinge. Khan says that Daffy’s eyes were rolled up, his mouth was open, and his body was stiff. The vet said the details fit the picture of rat poisoning. Sadly, the family was told that if the cat had been brought in sooner, there was a chance that Daffy’s life could have been spared unless he ingested a larger amount of poison.
Were bait traps responsible?
While there’s no definitive conclusion on how the family cat was poisoned, there were several traps around when Daffy passed away. A neighbour, who happened to be a member of the property management’s union, said the pest company had not been around in the two days before Daffy’s death and that it might have been someone else who left their own poison out. She added that the bait traps were supposed to be tamper-proof.
There was also a notice put out for all tenants to see following Daffy’s death, but Khan points out that it doesn’t mention that “it was very likely rat poison and the baits are still there.”
It’s important to note that Daffy could have consumed a poisoned critter, thereby poisoning himself.
The family reflected on the loss of Daffy.
“We are still in [a] state of denial that such a horrible incident had taken him forever away from us. He was a family member since his birth and will always be missed,” said Khan’s mother.
His brother was also “stricken with grief,” as Daffy was a “healthy and active cat approaching his fifth birthday.”
Khan’s family has been away because of sick relatives that are out of the country, and family members are now regretting leaving, wondering if they had stayed, maybe they could’ve saved Daffy.
“We will never get over this. Whoever left the poison this way has taken away an important part of our life from us. We need awareness of [the] signs and symptoms of rat poisoning.”
The BC government does have some guidance on rodenticides, including that they should only be used via tamper-proof distribution methods. West Side Pest Control points out that some municipalities have banned rodenticides due to the risk they pose to wildlife, which is partially why its operations are conducted without poison.
Based on what we learned from Khan, it doesn’t sound like there were any warnings from the pest control company about the fact that traps had been installed. So while many people in the city have become used to rat traps, Khan didn’t even know those black boxes contained poison.
Daffy would have turned five at the end of May, and if there’s one silver lining in this tragic tale, it’s that when Daffy was adopted, they adopted him along with his brother, who is thankfully alive and well.
“Daffy was the most loving and puppy-like cat I have ever seen. He would follow you around everywhere, and whenever I came back home, he would rush to greet me and want lots of kisses, cuddles and purring. Every night he always slept by resting his back on my legs, never any other way. He was very affectionate, and I [still] cannot believe I won’t be able to listen to his purrs and how much he touched and cuddled with me,” Khan said.
“His life was unfairly taken away.”