CO the Invisible Killer

28 January 2021

CO is called the “Invisible Killer” because it’s a colorless, odorless, poisonous gas.

Our Superhero Purrkins

Purrkins needed no cape for Howloween this past year, but evidently, he felt the need to show us he is 1000% a superhero kitty because he saved all of our lives!

Our Superhero Purrkins

We had carbon monoxide leaking into our home!

If you have been reading our posts, you will have seen we had furnace issues and have been without heat.

When the furnace people came out, they found soot on the outtake pipe of the house. He tested for carbon monoxide and found unsafe numbers over “2000 parts per million it should be under 100 parts per million at the exhaust!”

“We had Low levels in the house still dangerous.”

We have three detectors in the house, one on each floor, not one went off because the levels were too low on those particular detectors.

But high enough to cause symptoms to cause harm! Cause Purrkins to have seizures!

What are the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning in cats?


They had us open the house all up and get fresh air flowing thru. To get the poison out of the house~ He said our heat exchanger would need to be replaced. They could not tell the exact cause w/o getting into to replace it.

They got into the furnace and found a massive crack in the heat exchanger leaking carbon monoxide into the house and thru the outtake pipe outside the house.

When they came in to look at the furnace, I had Purrkins upstairs recovering from his MRI upstairs! I hear all this from upstairs!


I start hollering from upstairs because I cannot leave Purrkins. I tell him what Purrkins has just gone thru MRI/SEIZURES and ask if this caused this?!?!

YES, it is possible. He advised us to let our vets know !!!!!

I  emailed Dogwood Neurology, Dr. Matt, & Dr. R (kitty vet) right away. Saturday, I heard back from Dogwood, not Purrkins vet, but another neurologist. He looked over my email and ALL the info and had the front desk call me.

Saying YES carbon monoxide can predispose Purrkins to seizures!

I heard from Purrkins Neurologist today. Dr. Isaacs confirms what his colleague said and set up a plan with Dr. R to get Purrkins off the Phenobarbitol in 6 months if Purrkins remains seizure-free.

The saving graces –

  1. Purrkins is ALIVE – he will be ok. We are all ALIVE!
  2. The testing would have been the same. We both needed to hear that!  Does that make any of this easier? NO WAY
  3. Purrkins having to spend the night at Dogwood was the greatest gift. Being sedated for his MRI on oxygen and fluids, yet another lifesaver!

Hanging out by the Heat Registers

Purrkins hangs out by ALL the heat registers. The first time I noticed a mild whisker twitch was in Oct. when we would have started the furnace. I have videos of Purrkins seizures in front of the heat registers. Of course, I notice this now !!

Smart Sensitive Sexy Saxton

Saxton has not shown any symptoms! (looking back now, I can put the pieces of this puzzle together. Saxton used to hang out by the registers but has not for some time! I never questioned Saxton moving his sleep spots. The boys do change their sleep spots quite often. But still, this was a clue I missed!

Saxton must have sensed something/felt something and started lying on the sofa. It spared SMART SEXY SAXTON from harm!

We have angels watching over us, and they all came to Mr. P.’s rescue! I have no words, you guys. WE ARE SO THANKFUL THIS COULD HAVE BEEN SO MUCH WORSE! IT BREAKS OUR HEARTS PURRKINS HAS SUFFERED AND HAD TO GO THRU ALL OF THIS!

Human symptoms

Mark and I also experienced symptoms! Nausea, headaches, aura headaches, tired, my brain (hard to process and pull information like normal. HAZEY! I remember posting in the forums and telling a member my brain is not like it used to be and blaming it on the pandemic. Pandemic brain, NO, it was CO BRAIN!

ALL the symptoms Mark and I attributed to all the stress we have been going thru for months. I have been drinking ginger tea daily for nausea.

New Heat Exchanger Installed

We now have a new heat exchanger plus they replaced all the burners, gas orifices & exhaust. The heat exchanger was under warranty; the furnace is not even 10 years old.

Carbon Monoxide Monitors

So apparently, carbon monoxide detectors have a massive difference in how many parts per million can be picked up?!

We discussed this with the furnace people!! Why did our 3 detectors not alert us?!? He explained that our levels in the home were not high enough for these particular detectors to go off.

Purrkins suffered; we had symptoms at what point would those of have gone off!  I suspect we would all be dead by the time ours went off!

Who knew there was a massive difference in carbon monoxide monitors?


He told us there is a big difference in detectors and the amounts of poison detected – we bought ours at a big box store years ago. I remember paying 30 bucks apiece. We do test these and change the batteries etc.

So after the long discussion and him explaining the DIFFERENCES BETWEEN LEVELS AND WHAT IS DETECTED. THE SENSITIVITY!

We purchased a monitor that picks up low levels.

This is our new carbon monoxide detector.
Low-Level Carbon Monoxide Monitor
Model 3000

Low-Level Carbon Monoxide Monitor National Safety Institute Model 3000

THIS WILL PICK UP under 5 parts per million.

You have to buy this model thru a licensed HVAC company.

 Find an NCI-Certified Professional in Your Area?

Our manual and useful information

CO & how it can affect you & your family Common sources of CO
Do Not & Educate yourself and your family on the sources and symptoms of CO Poisoning and how to use your Low-Level CO Monitor.


This monitor was $250, no not cheap, and worth all of our lives!!!!

The furnace tech said most everyone balks at the price of this unit, which ends the conversation. Mark told them to please use us, Mr. P, as an example! We were fortunate to have the lower levels and not be dead! Purrkins being a cat small and hanging out by the registers, is lucky to be alive.

Different Types of Detectors Available


Please do us a favor!!

  • Get your furnaces checked out! We usually have someone come out each year for a tune-up and did not because of covid! (we have to live with that decision.💔
  • Please check out what parts per million your carbon monoxide detectors pick up! Please do not settle for less!
  • Purchase a maintenance program thru your HVAC company we did!  They will be out in the spring for the air conditioner tune-up and fall for the furnace tune-up. If we have a problem in the meantime, they will come out and wave the dispatch fee of $75.00. 10% off all repairs and parts.

Protecting Your Pets and Your Family from Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Thank god Purrkins will be ok that we are all still here to share this god awful experience! We can ONLY HOPE  & PRAY our story.

Purrkins story will spare other souls & SAVE lives. It has to!

I saved all of our lives; that’s what super kitties do!

Ok, my friends, that’s all we have for you today and a lifetime, honestly! ALL LUCKY TO BE ALIVE AT PURRKINS PALACE!


More useful links below:


What signs and symptoms suggest CO Poisoning

What Does a Carbon Monoxide Detector Do and How Does it Work?

About carbon monoxide detectors?

Carbon Monoxide Information Center

Chronic and occult carbon monoxide poisoning: we don’t know what we’re missing


Author: Purrkins

Cat Diagnosed with soft tissue sarcoma low grade 1 on his left front carpus at age six, now a cancer-free tripawd kitty.

9 thoughts on “CO the Invisible Killer”

  1. My dear Peeps in Michigan,

    I’m sure you can appreciate how frigging relieved we are to hear that you are all safe and sound!!! And we all thank the Good Lord for that!!

    My Whispering Purrrkins and Sexy Smart Saxton, you are both Super Duper Hero’s to your Aunt Petra!
    Smart Sensitive Saxton, you tried to tell everypawdy didn’t you lovey, but they weren’t listening were they, you can’t blame your hoomans though, they were just happy to see that you were ruvving your couch!
    And my darling Whispering Purrrkins, Im sorry you had to suffer through all that you have, but you really are a true Champion my little darling! You showed Mum you have been feeling poorly and with the hawk eyes and elephant brain that she has (when not fogged up with CO!), she made sure to take care of things very quickly for you all!

    I think you are ALL SUPER HERO’S!!! You persevered and stuck to your convictions, both you and Mark knew that something was severely wrong and you took care of the issue ASAP! And now you can all literally breathe easier and get Mr P back to being Mr P!! We miss seeing his zoomies Miss Holly, I’m sure you do too!

    Thank you for persevering through all of these blogs too Miss Holly, to ensure that we are ALL MADE AWARE OF THE SILENT KILLER IN OUR HOMES!!! We will continue to pray our hearts out, asking for Mr P to do well on the dropping of his Phenobarbital and get him feeling back to his normal, hungry, spunky self once again! Plus WE NEED YOU TO GET MORE SLEEP!!!

    Much love to you all, right to the moon and back!! 💕🌙🔙😘😽😽🧸
    Aunt Petra, Uncle Paul, Super Duper Stu, Chessie Chief in Charge, Loving Miss Lily, Always Talking Ted and our Special Spirit Spikey!

    1. Thanks, Aunt Petra, Uncle Paul, Super Duper Stu, Chessie Chief in Charge, Loving Miss Lily, Always Talking Ted, and our FUREVER SPECIAL Spirit Spitfire Spikey!💫💚🦁

      We have angels looking out for us, no doubt, and Yes, we have thanked the good lord over and over. The boys are superheroes in all ways.
      Smart Sensitive Stay at Home Sexy Saxton says thank you cause he is a superhero too!

      We sure do Miss seeing Mr. P zoomies; we look forward to lowering these meds and getting off of them! It’s way too much for Mr. P. all of this has been!

      Too much for us all. We are all so grateful we are all here.
      Thanks for all the prayers, ruv, and support, and yes, I look forward to some decent sleep too! It’s been a long haul sleep, and our newest normal will come that keeps me going;)
      Your safe peeps in Michigan


  2. WOW. I still can’t get over how close you were to a very deadly accident. Purrkins, you are a super kitty indeed! You risked your own health and safety to alert everyone about this terrible danger lurking in the home. Who knows what would have happened if you hadn’t been so intelligent. I don’t even want to THINK about it!

    But thank you so much for pointing out the dangers of CO poisoning, and the difference between ordinary detectors and low level ones. I personally didn’t know the difference and now that I do, it changes everything. We will absolutely get one of those detectors and make sure that we are never risking our lives over a faulty heater. CO poisoning happens a lot in RVs, we use tons of propane. Admin and I will get one of those low level ones to make sure we aren’t victims. Thank you for that helpful information!

    We are so glad you are on the mend.


    1. Us either Rene!

      We would all be dead likely!

      We hope by sharing our nightmare it will spare someone else and I think we should all be aware of the difference in monitors it SHOULD be common knowledge and who would know to look further ugh.

      Please do get a low-level detector, and maybe you guys can do a post on your live work dream blog to educate others! I never thought about the dangers in the RV until you brought this up, and yes, it only makes sense.. keep yours plugged in until you get the lower level one. Please!

      We are on the mend Purrkins is still not himself on the meds, but I will update soon. We have been in touch with the vets and have reduced the meds a smidge. It is a start, and now we hope and pray that Purrkins remains seizure-free and regains his hop and life back.

      Thanks for all the love and support thru all this.

      Loads of love and much gratitude to you both & Spirit kiss and woof to Wyatt and Jerry
      From all of us grateful to be alive at Purrkins Palace

  3. Wow, just wow. I wanted to wait until I could be on my pc to be able to read it all and see your photos. I for one had no idea that some of the things in OUR house would warrent a CO detector and I will be looking in to this. I just assumed that with the house being all electric that we did not have to worry, therefore we do not have even the inexpensive model. Just smoke detectors.
    We do have a fireplace and we do have it cleaned every 1-2 years. It depends on how much we use it. We do have an electric stove… who would have thought?!
    Life has been crazy for sure, and covid has stopped us from doing a lot of our normal routine things. We have missed dentist, doctor, veterinarian appointments. All for trying to keep ourselves safe until we are no longer in a pandemic. If it isn’t broken why risk exposure, right?
    I felt so bad when your furnace kicked out on you. What a lousy time of year to happen. Now I am actually relieved that it did. It saved your lives.
    I know this has been heart wrenching, but truly who on earth would have had any idea that this was the cause?? Nobody that I know of. And you acted quickly when Mr. P started to act “off”, thank God you still had the sense to be so diligent with his health. I mean, you were all being affected too!! Through the haze and feeling poorly yourselves, you still made sure that your boys had the gold standard of care that you have always given them. In turn, there were some positive things that came out of it and you have new healthcare for the boys.
    I don’t think there are words to truly describe the relief that I felt knowing that you were all ok in the end, and that this will be a temporary thing with the meds for Mr. P.
    You guys always go the extra mile with everything that you do. Whether it is how you provide for your family there at home, how you help all of the people here, how you give back to nature by providing sanctuary for wildlife.. you do it all.
    Thank you for taking the time to document all of this. I have no doubt in my mind that this will save other lives and give them a different option to consider if things go awry in their home or with their pets or family members.
    Sending you all hugs and love. And the boys extra ear scratches 💖💖💖
    Jackie and Huck 💖💖💖

    1. Hi Jackie,
      I am with you and would not have known & it should be common knowledge, right! I think so!

      You need one with your fireplace; please read the fine print how many part per million are detected!. IT MAKES THE DIFFERENCE, as you can see here. It angers me we have three, and Purrkins suffered the most. Yes, we suffered but not as he did, and of course, it makes sense he is a cat and very sensitive in all ways. Just not sensitive enough to know to move away from his heat like Sexy Saxton.

      I will add this. I have little pet warmers in the boys’ beds, so it’s not like he has to get heat from the vent, but he ruvs to.

      Yep on covid, and here we thought we were keeping the family safe by not having someone come in the home. Damn if you do and damned if you don’t sometimes. Mark retired because he is immune-compromised, so yea, it’s something we have to live with, and believe me, when I tell you, we will live with a broken heart and abundance of gratitude both.

      I do try to look at hard life lessons as that a lesson and to share these lessons if they may help another.

      We can only hope by sharing it will save another soul, furry or human, and we can all move forward more aware!

      I know about the timing, and we felt the same way when it rains; it pours! But to look at things in perspective, we need rain to live, for plants to grow for us to eat.

      Our angles made sure to X the heat in the nick of time! Yep, we have many blessings to count thru this.
      We now have a brilliant team for the boys they are getting us thru this! Having Vets that care and be there makes all the difference anytime. It’s a massive change we ALL need—no scrambling on our own!

      As I told Rene, I will update soon on Purrkins and the vet’s plan. We have started a smaller dose of meds as of last night. 🙌🏻🙏🏻🙌🏻
      13.13 mg:) see the threes?:) instead of the full 15 mg now.

      Purrkins was not adapting to the 15mg dose, and it’s been a longer haul. 🥺
      We will hope and pray we can successfully get off the meds, and this is temporary. Mr. P will be our guide and let us know. The main thing is balancing right now, finding a dose to keep Purrkins seizure-free and stable on three as we work on reducing it. Allow Purrkins to be himself again and not drugged to the nines and unstable. As of yesterday, that is now in the works, thankfully.

      Thanks for your comment Jackie; your heartfelt written word provided me a lot of comfort to read!

      We are sending loads of love and hugs to you all! Scratches and belly rubs to the furmily, please!

      I will happily deliver your ear scratches in a few.

  4. Purrkins Ray! My mama read all about your latest adventures and gave me the Readers Digest version. My Dude, what a wild ride you and your family have had! You are mos’ def the Superhero of the Year! You saved your whole freakin’family!! And, major bonus points, thanks to you, your mama has been able to educate the whole world on the EVIL that lurks within our furnaces! I’m just sorry it all took such a toll on YOU, my li’l friend. Sending you a TON of peace and love and OP juju to help you heal up and get back to your zoomy self! Here’s to no more pheno-whatever-it-is!

    Love you and your mama too, Travis Ray and the OP

    1. Thanks, Travis Ray, we had the biggest evil lurking in our home, and I did my best to warn everybody. It took a toll on me and these drugs; well, it is no fun! Mom and Dad are working with the docs to help me wean down, and it is going ok. Mom keeps meaning to update everypawdy, but she says things keep changing, and we are hoping we can give a good update here soon. Paws crossed, K?

      I’m giving it my all here to work thru these drugs, I tell you, for the first time on three. I can say it’s NO fun to be wobbly and itching! The good news is Mum stays with me 24/7, and that’s a bonus! But we both look forward to a new normal, whatever that means.

      We will gladly accept some more good juju from the OP. Thank you, TR, and of course, Martha. We appreciate it & love you all back!
      Loads of love from all of us at Purrkins Ray Palace 💝💝💝

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