Beware of Cats with Yarn

by Marinka on December 27, 2012

I don’t want to sound more insane than usual, but what the fuck? And by that I mean, what the hell?

You know how we, as a country, and as a human race, hold certain truths to be self-evident and they’re also so-ordered by God? I could give you a million examples, like All Men are Created Equal, Not Sure About Women, but the one that really brings it home is the fact that by law, all cats like to play with yarn.

You know this, right? I’m not breaking any new ground here.

Kitten and yarn, what could be more adorable and wholesome and natural? Well, science and nature had to take a backseat the other day as my family went through an ordeal orchestrated by Satan himself in his spare time.

On Saturday, the day before Sunday, when the Good Lord rests and my family was scheduled to fly to North Carolina to celebrate Christmas with my inlaws, my beloved Husbandrinka sat down for the annual tradition of writing holiday cards to the doormen and others who work in the apartment building we live. The cards are to wish them a happy holiday season, thank them for all the good hard work of saying “good morning” and “good evening” according to the time of day and answering my questions of “WHAT’S THAT WEIRD SMELL? IS THERE A GAS LEAK? SMELLS LIKE THE GAS CHAMBER IN HERE!” a few times a year. So we include a holiday gift in the card, as a way of saying Thank$. And obviously we need tons of cards and that’s where I really came through this year.

Because Young Ladrinka’s class has been learning to use the printing press and to celebrate their success, they had a card sale where all parents could buy a pack of cards for only $20. Boy did I jump on that deal! I got one package of 24 cards for $20, even though Young Ladrinka tried to persuade me to make a bigger investment, because apparently you never know when you will need to go on a card sending campaign. I made a few observations of my own like the fact that they had approximately 8000 cards left over means that they did not price them competitively and perhaps the school should focus on modern concepts such as “supply and demand” instead of the printing, since most kids in the class have MacBooks, and then we were suddenly discussing the Fiscal Cliff and how I was going to throw myself off it.

But the point is that I brought out the cards and presented them to Husbandrinka. I may have said TADA! and made a few comments about my saving the day and the human race, but that’s a different award-winning post.

And Husbandrinka took the stack of cards that were festively tied with a piece of bluish yarn, and untied it and then there’s all that stuff that happened when he wasn’t sure whether these were good cards to send or whether we should save Young Ladrinka’s handiwork and I went to get the laundry and when I came back, Husbandrinka told me that Nicki swallowed the piece of yarn that had held the cards together.

One of my real strengths is keeping a cool head in a time of potential crisis, so I took the news in and told Husbandrinka that string swallowing was often fatal in cats, that Nicki’s intestines were going to get all tied up, she would die and we’d have to tell the kids that their father killed their cat for Christmas.

Husbandrinka looked like a little unsettled, but murders often do, until they get the hang of it and appear more blasé.

Then I Googled CAT SWALLOWS YARN, which led me down the rabbit (no pun intended or made) hole of cat forums, with many jovial accounts of how someone thought their cat swallowed some string and was about to panic only to discover that the string was somewhere else, like being used as a noose in the next room, for example.

“Are you sure she swallowed it?” I asked Husbandrinka and he nodded, yes, he was sure. And he had evidence, a tiny piece of yarn that he was able to rescue. He showed it to me and we both looked at it sadly.

Then I realized that I was sitting there looking sadly at a piece of string, and snapped out of it.

The other cat forum advice was to check if the string was still in Nicki’s mouth, which was excellent advice, because if your cat takes string into her mouth and then just sort of keeps it there, you’re on your way to training her to tie a cherry stem into a bow with her mouth. How could that be not fantastic?

Unfortunately, when I looked in Nicki’s mouth (by inserting my entire head into it, lion-tamer style) there was no yarn. Only gums, teeth and sandpapery cat tongue. Maybe some other cat mouth stuff, I wasn’t doing a full anatomical study.

Husbandrinka wasn’t wasting any time either. He called the Emergency Vet clinic that Nicki previously had visited and told them the tale of woe. Apparently, they had good news. Because Nicki swallpwed the string so recently, if we brought her in, they would induce vomiting before it got into her intestines or some other Point of No Return Organs.

So he did. He brought Nicki in. They did an intake form.

And then the doctor told him that they would try to induce vomiting but that “cats are weird” and don’t always vomit. Personally, I find that really racist. Especially when I found out that if she didn’t vomit, they would have to do an endoscopy, which is a $urgical procedure.

And then a bunch of stuff happened, and Nicki vomited up the yarn, and then got some anti-nausea medication, like Kate Middleton, probably, and then we took her home.

And the whole thing was only about $200, which I think we can all agree is not that bad to entertain a family of four for the afternoon. Five, if you include Nicki.

So I don’t know what all those cute images of cats and yarn are about. I suspect it’s propaganda by the Cat Vomiting Inducing Medicine Association. Don’t fall for it.

New! I finally updated the Books I Love page on my blog. I’m hoping to carve out that space to list all the books that have been important to me and/or that I’m reading now. It’s entirely possible that this will be interesting only to me. But if you think you’d like that kind of thing, here’s the link!

One year ago ...

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the RSS feed.

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Mama D December 27, 2012 at 9:55 pm

A creature designed by nature to vomit up hairballs has to be induced to vomit yarn! Nice… 🙂


December 27, 2012 at 10:45 pm

I usually discover that the cat has swallowed string or christmas tree icicles when there is an inch or two hanging out their hind end.


Bella December 28, 2012 at 12:25 am

Our cat swallowed a piece of shiny ribbon which reappeared in the litter box wrapped around a cat turd!

We were thankful she wasn’t hurt and strive to keep the helium balloon ribbon away from her now.


joeinvegas December 28, 2012 at 10:07 am

But the important question – did the cards get filled out and distributed? You know, no Christmas tip means that front door might end up locked some day.


Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes December 28, 2012 at 10:25 am

This is the first time I hear of a cat eating the yarn instead of playing with it. But then again I’m never on cat-owner forums either. My bad.


b a seagull
December 28, 2012 at 11:02 am

I’ve telepathically discussed this with Nicki. Only 4 of you were amused.


Alexandra December 28, 2012 at 11:49 am

omg i say this with a heart bursting with love for you: i love that you’re insane.

So dang much.



katilda December 28, 2012 at 12:37 pm

i tried to read this quietly at work and that required me to not let my laughter become more than a belly twitch, and since i went to a pilates class a couple days ago my belly twitches feel more like contractions right now so…now i’m sore, but i still enjoyed the story.


December 28, 2012 at 1:13 pm

I think this could totally be turned into the best Christmas/Holiday movie ever. It has everything: Suspense! Drama! Laughs! A cat! A Family!! A Christmas miracle! Angelina and Brad would play the parents, of course. And maybe two of their brood could be plucked for the kids. And they could have a worldwide search for the part of Nicki. Where is Hollywood when you need ’em?


Mommy Shorts
December 28, 2012 at 4:05 pm

Yes! The whole cat and yarn conspiracy is totally the workings of the Cat Vomiting Medicine Association. I wouldn’t have anything to do with it. I love cats! I would never want to bring any of them harm. Especially Nicki! The day my daughter asks for a cat (which will be entirely you and your book’s doing) will be the best day of my life, because wet cat food and kitty litter in a box on your bathroom floor isn’t gross AT ALL. Really!


December 28, 2012 at 4:19 pm

Cats have nine lives, so technically Nicki would have most likely survived this and future yarn swallowings. My former dog ate everything including many inedible things and yet magically survived due to what we called an iron stomach. But let me tell you the first time it happened I too panicked severely.


the mama bird diaries
December 28, 2012 at 6:06 pm

We have been desperately trying to come up with things to do with the kids in bad weather in Memphis and not once did I think to buy a cat and some yarn.


tracy@sellabitmum December 29, 2012 at 9:04 pm

$220 for a $et of note card$! $ound$ like NYC price$ to me!


anymommy December 30, 2012 at 12:03 pm

You’ve managed to do the impossible. I was briefly happy to own a pet cow, who can pass anything he eats with relative ease. Bring on the yarn, we need family entertainment.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: