Dear Paws Corner: I was reading your article, “What’s In A Name?” I have a cat named Luckey. We named him this because he and his sister were saved after their mother and two littermates were struck by a car one weekend about two years ago. Luckey and Callie were about eight weeks old when he proved his name again: I was litterbox training them when Luckey got behind the TV and peed on the surge protector while the television was on. He was “lucky” to have lived, and is still finding things to try and use up his nine lives. He fits his name very well. – Terri S., via e-mail
Dear Terri: He certainly does! That’s one lucky cat. I hope Callie doesn’t tempt fate as often, but from my experience with cats, two curious felines can mean double trouble!
Your description of Luckey’s “hair-raising” experience with the surge protector also serves as a heads-up to other pet owners. I’ve warned about the dangers of cats (and dogs, and even pocket pets like hamsters) chewing on the power cables of appliances. But I hadn’t thought about surge protectors, which are commonly used these days. These multi-outlet items have a fuse installed which trips when an irregularity in power occurs. However, you can’t rely on the fuse to save a pet’s life.
Treat surge protectors as you would any other electric-use item and childproof them. Place them in a spot that is inaccessible to most pets and put plastic covers (available at home improvement stores) on unused outlets.
Pet owners, do you have any additional safety advice for fellow readers? Send it along, and thanks!
Originally published nationwide the week of April 26, 2004.