By Mary Anna Violi | @Mary Anna Violi
I love Saturday mornings. My bed’s mattress is plush, like a floating cloud. My pillows are delightfully firm and are covered with Italian linen pillowcases, very enticing for a summer night’s sleep, which is why on this particular Saturday morning I didn’t appreciate Coco Chanel the Cat strolling up my side, which caused me to roll over on my back, thereby enabling her to plant herself squarely in front of my face. I blinked and saw her green eyes peering back at me.
“Chanel, go play with your Plaid Mouse toy,” I pleaded.
Suddenly I started: I thought I was dreaming: Her paws were bright blue.
I nearly fell out of bed in my haste to scrutinize those formerly white paws. I hightailed it into the bathroom, the kitchen, the living room, the study, the sunroom, to no avail. There was no spillage of blue anything, anywhere. Upon reaching the dining room, I skidded to a halt. The day before, my daughter decided to pull out her paints and canvases. Beyond the artist’s easel that held a large unfinished canvas of several years ago, lay a newly painted blue canvas with two paw prints on it. I picked up Coco Chanel, studied the paw prints and realized that she must have strolled across the canvas in the wee hours of the morning. True to her catness, Coco Chanel, had manifested intense interest in t brush strokes as Anjelica painted, but the cat had backed away from the paint itself.
Coco Chanel must have overcome her reservations of the paint sometime before 8:24 a.m., the time she bounded up on my sleeping self. When Anjelica checked her white bedspread, she found little blue paw prints in patterns across the bed. The painted paws must have dried prior to leaping on my bed.
Frantic to remove the paint from Chanel’s paws, I was uncertain whether or not the cat had ingested paint. It turned out to be a non-toxic, water-based oil paint, but was it toxic for cats? We tried sticking her paws in tepid water and then rubbing them with a clean, soft washcloth to no avail. I phoned the local Vet Emergency Clinic, which referred me to the APCA Animal Poison Control at 888-548-2423. This outfit maintains a huge database of information on toxins. The individual at Animal Poison Control asked me multiple questions, and then had read information on the Grumbacher MAX 2 Thalo Blue tube of paint.
Here is what we had to do:
1. Pay the $65 Consultation Fee.
2. Rub either vegetable oil or butter on her blue paws to loosen the paint. Coco Chanel is a Julia Child disciple in that she is always angling to eat butter. We used butter.
3. Wipe off the butter.
4. Spread Palmolive Dish Soap on the blue paws.
5. Rinse the paws to remove the Palmolive soap.
6. Dry the paws.
7. Clip any remaining blue painted fur from her paws.
8. If the cat drools, vomits, or refuses food over the next two hours, take her to the Vet Emergency Clinic immediately with the Animal Poison Control Case Number. No further charges would be incurred for further consultation with Poison Control for this case.
Here are the results of said advice:
1. We thanked our lucky stars our seven-pound cat didn’t have her front claws because to say she was resistant to our efforts would be a gross understatement.
2. Anjelica and I were covered in butter, Palmolive soap, and black and white cat fur. Cats release fur when stressed.
3. The cat did not drool, vomit, or refuse food; however, for some hours she did refute our attempts to pet her or be anywhere near her.
4. We opted not to further stress the cat or ourselves by clipping the long fur on her feet.
5. Anjelica plans to frame the canvas of Coco Chanel’s paw prints.
6. Coco Chanel’s paws are now light blue.
Ciao for now.