Since there was no apparent physical trauma to Markie’s body, it isn’t probable that she was hit by a car or attacked by a person or animal. Since she was only 4 years old, had her shots, had a clean bill of health 1 month before her death, had a healthy appetite and was in good spirits the day of her death, it’s not likely that an illness killed her.
Saturday morning an exterminator came to my place to remove a bees nest that was in my balcony ceiling. There was no warning about it as far as pets, children, or adults were concerned. I never even thought about the bees being a possible issue and hadn’t been on my balcony. I noticed after Markie was buried that there was a white powder on my balcony floor that had fallen from the ceiling. I found out that it was boric acid which is a common substance that exterminators use to get rid of bees. I called the vet’s office to ask them if boric acid was ingested by a cat if it would kill it. The answer I got was that it could. My theory of her death, which is probably a fairly sound one, is this:
I think Markie was on my balcony, as she often was. I think she got the boric acid on her paws and in her hair when she was lying on it. Once she would have groomed herself, she would have ingested the boric acid and it later killed her.
Although it’s possible she came into contact with another substance, it’s not likely. My advice to anyone with pets is if you’re going to let them out (I will no longer let any of my cats out unsupervised), if you’ve had a pest control substance used on your property, do not let the cat out until the substance has been removed. On Monday after noticing the white powder, I vacuumed it up since other people’s cats do occasionally visit and I would not want the same fate for them.
I will be looking into seeking action to make it mandatory for extermination companies to provide warnings (preferably in written format) to clients about the possible threat that’s posed to pets (even if it’s minute) of the substances they use to get rid of the pests. I’ve shed many tears over this whole ordeal and feel a big loss to my family. Taking such action will not bring my wonderful little cat back to me but it might save the lives of others.