A true story of the darker side of pet parenthood.
Ethel loved to play, and rambunctious curiosity ruled her days. She dumped out all the toys in her toy basket and ran around like she was possessed chasing shiny balls or little stuffed mice.
My dad built her a toy she adored. It was a fishing pole with string and a little tuft of crumbled up newspaper at the end. I cast out the line and Ethel would chase after the newspaper at the end as if nothing greater in life existed. She grabbed it and shook it in her teeth imagining her prowess at murder.
One morning I found the fishing pole on the ground and the string was missing. I thought it was a little odd, but I figured the cat had most likely dragged it under the couch or something.
Then later that night I wandered into my office and found Ethel there with about nine inches of poop-covered string hanging out of her ass. You cannot imagine the horror. What are you supposed to do upon stumbling in on your cat in this predicament? I certainly didn’t want her running around the house dragging a shitty string all over the furniture. How much more string was in there anyway? Terrifying visions of pulling on the sting and having her little kitty intestines come out with it swirled in my head. Panic set in.
Finally, sweat pouring down my brow, I decided to cut the string off at the butthole. I figured this was the safest option to avoid accidentally gutting my cat. So I grabbed scissors and a bunch of paper towels and set forth to de-string the cat’s ass. Ethel saw me coming and was not pleased. I think she was perfectly content with the state of her stringy bum.
As soon as I got a grip on that string to try hold it so I could make the cut, the cat bolted. She ran away from me like she was on fire. In a heartbeat I was stricken with dread. Visions of intestines spattering from her butt flashed in my brain until I looked down. I held in my paper towel clad hand a two-foot long, shit-covered string and there was no longer a cat attached to the other end.
Ethel had freed herself. More relief arrived when I scanned the room and found not an intestine in sight. Ethel’s biology remained intact.
That fishing pole toy went straight into the trashcan. I was not going to mess around with string-based toys any longer, since it seemed my cat saw no problem with eating multiple feet of it at a time. I should have been a better pet parent, but sometimes you just have to learn from your mistakes.