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Cat Tarmacked In Resurfacing Work Forces Owner For More Warning

Source: Bristol Post, UK


Lexi the cat came home covered in Tarmac.

An angry pet owner says her cat has been left traumatised after it traipsed through wet Tarmac and had to be partially shaved.

Little Lexi returned to owner Louise Lizin's house in a distressed state and caked in 'slurry seal' - a mixture of water and asphalt emulsion and aggregate - last Wednesday.

After attempting to get the sticky substance off with butter, Mrs Lizin was forced to take the five-year-old moggy to her local vet, where she had her front legs and belly shaved.Mrs Lizin, who lives in Westbury-on-Trym, is now calling for a better warning for pet owners when surfacing work is taking place.

She said: "There needs to be better communication. Tar is extremely toxic for cats and it could have caused Lexi serious harm. The whole thing was a nightmare and it could have been prevented if I had known about Tarmacking and could have kept her inside."

Mrs Lizin first became aware of the works when she saw contractors near her house, resurfacing a path.

Concerned about her cats, Mrs Lizin rushed home and closed her cat flap.

She said: "Loki was fine and sleeping inside the house, but a short while later Lexi came in and she was walking funny. It almost looked as if she was dancing because she was flicking her heels up."

The mum took a closer look at the little cat and was horrified to discover that she was covered in tar.

Mrs Lizin said: "It was all in-between the pads on her paws, up her legs and across the underside of her belly.

"I had a Google and discovered that tar is potentially deadly to cats so I wanted to clean it off her as soon as possible.

"One site suggested using butter and washing-up liquid, so I grabbed them and took her up to the bath."

She added: "The butter and washing-up liquid did start to work, but it was very slow going."

"Lexi was getting very distressed because it was taking such a long time and we were locked in the bathroom. It was a nightmare to be honest."

Frustrated, Mrs Lizin took Lexi to Vets For Pets on Gloucester Road where a vet said the tar was so thick that she had to be sedated and shaved.

Mrs Lizin said: "The veterinary nurse was so lovely, but even she said it took an hour when Lexi was sedated to get all the tar off."

Aside from shaved legs, the little cat has made a full recovery, but Mrs Lizin wants Bristol City Council to improve its warning system.

She said: "My neighbour received a letter through the door, which she showed me last week."

"I can't say for certain that we didn't get one, but all I can say is that it must not have been very obvious, because I hadn't seen it among the junk mail."

"Even if I had received one, the letter which was put through my neighbour's door made no mention of the harm Tarmac can cause pets and it was only luck which meant that Lexi was okay."

A Bristol City Council spokesperson said: "We are sorry to hear about what happened to Lexi."

"We do give at least 24 hours notice for any maintenance work like this and residents in the street would normally receive an information leaflet through their door the day before."

"As this work is weather dependent it is difficult to give more advance notice compared to other highway improvements, but we will always endeavour to give as much warning as we can."

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