NORMAN — Dear Dr. Fox: I am writing in response to a letter in your column regarding the hypersensitive cat in Fort Worth, Texas.
My 3-year-old female longhaired cat is an indoor cat who longs to spend time outside, which we supervise. The only time she allows me to brush her is when she is sitting on my legs outside. As long as she is outdoors, I can brush her as long as I want.
— C.W., Olney, Md.
Dear C.W.: Cats are curious creatures in that they react differently depending on where they are. Outdoors, your cat may be more relaxed and does not feel threatened by the intense stimulation of being groomed by you. Indoors, your cat no doubt feels confined, and she may resist holding and brushing.
You also should consider static electricity being generated indoors while grooming your cat. Grooming and brushing on a cotton sheet or towel rather than on a synthetic material may be worth a try. You could also use a moistened brush.
Dear Dr. Fox: Xylitol, a sugar alcohol, is deadly to dogs. I know this from firsthand experience. Luckily, our dog pulled through, but it was because of fast action.
Late on a Friday night last August, one of our Shelties, Buddy, got into a pack of sugar-free Tic Tacs. Within 10 minutes, he vomited, couldn’t stand up and was shaking. I called our Animal Emergency Clinic and rushed him there. They said his blood sugar was dangerously low, so they administered two IVs — one of glucose and one of saline. They kept him for 48 hours. His liver enzymes were rechecked and had dropped from more than 900 to 204.
Please put a warning in your column from time to time. People react with “Really? Tic Tacs did that?” Xylitol is in most sugar-free chewing gums, too.