A SCARBOROUGH man has been left devastated after two of his cats died after apparently being poisoned by anti-freeze.
Mike Simcox has now issued a warning to fellow pet owners and asked people to be more careful with where they leave the substance.
Both Smokie and Felix, who are siblings, returned to their home in Bracken Hill on Tuesday, and it quickly became apparent that they were unwell.
Despite the best efforts of staff at Swanzdale Vets in Scalby Road, Smokie died on Wednesday and Felix passed away the following day.
“The vets are pretty sure that it was anti-freeze. It could have happened accidentally if someone has left some out,” Mr Simcox said.
“The vets said that unfortunately it has a sweet smell which can attract animals, but a teaspoon can be enough to kill them.
“By the time they start to display symptoms it’s usually too late as the damage has been done. A lot of people don’t realise how poisonous this stuff is.
“It’s odd to use anti-freeze at this time of year and I’ve had a look around and I haven’t seen anything suspicious.
“Someone could have put some on their garden thinking it would deter cats or it could have leaked out of an engine. That would be enough.
“I’m devastated. It’s come out of the blue. They were born here and have been part of the family for 10 years.”
Mr Simcox said that he will remember Smokie as a “little gem”.
“She was the fittest cat I’ve ever seen - she could climb like a koala and liked to talk a lot,” he said.
“Felix was just like Felix in the adverts. He was affectionate and was very big. We used to say he had fingers rather than claws.
“After Smokie died we were clinging on to the slim hope that Felix could make it and his kidneys would kick-start, but his body just shut down.
“We got the call on Thursday morning to say he had deteriorated overnight.”
Mr Simcox and his partner Tania Dennis have five remaining cats, including Smokie and Felix’s mother, 12-year-old Bonnie.
“Bonnie knows something is wrong and that they are missing,” Mr Simcox added.
“She’s just turned into a recluse and stays upstairs all day. It’s hard to watch but there’s nothing we can do.”
Mr Simcox, who believes the cats ingested the toxin last Monday, says he will contact the RSPCA about the poisoning.