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the Continuing Adventures of Snip, the Wonder Cat - Diary of a Necromancer
Excuse me, I'm making perfect sense, you're just not keeping up
the Continuing Adventures of Snip, the Wonder Cat
{So as not to worry our Gentle Readers, I would like to state up front that this story does end well!}

Yesterday was going well enough until about 5:15 PM, when I began to hear the delightful sound of a feline projectile-vomiting. In our house, this is almost always coming from Weasel, who resents being expected to ingest kibble and will do so grudgingly at best. So when Snip ran past at speed into the other room and the noises followed her, I became curious enough to take notice. And then, when she came running back the other way I saw -- something -- hanging out of her mouth. Something... stringish.

The cat owners among you will be cringing right about now, and rightly so. Once a stringlike object enters a cat's mouth, the only way to head off an emergency vet visit is to catch the dangling end before it makes it all the way in. So, naturally, Snip headed under my bed. And by the time I had managed to persuade her out, the other end of the object I had glimpsed was nowhere to be seen.

Snip was in a bad way: her whole front end was splattered with vomit, and she was not the happiest of campers about this situation she'd gotten herself into. I sponged her off and called the vet. Hydrogen peroxide, the vet said, and if that doesn't induce vomiting within half an hour, by which time we will have closed for the night, here's the emergency vet's number...

Fortunately Mum is learning to turn her cel on when she leaves the house in the morning. While she was on her way home to assist, the hydrogen peroxide was duly administered, and duly failed to induce vomiting in our stubborn little bulldog of a cat. (Although it did make her fart quite prodigiously.) Snip went unwillingly into a box and we trundled over to the after-hours emergency clinic over at Clybourn and Belmont.

There is a progression of things one tries when a cat has swallowed a string; some three hours after the ingestion, the vet was concerned that it might be beginning to head down into Snip's intestines, which depending on the size of the object swallowed can mean emergency surgery, but decided to try another emetic first rather than send us home to wait to see if the string would come out the other end on its own. Snip went into the back, and we went out to the front, and about an hour later, LO, the vet called us back in to display about eight inches of lavender mohair-blend yarn. This, the vet said, was only part of the string, however, as it had become jammed somewhere along and they'd had to cut it. This was good, so far as it went; now, step two would be to see if the other portion would depart through the nether end of Snip without causing further problems. Three to five days of inspecting poop loomed, with the prospect of expensive surgery still on the table...

We exchanged $185 for the wretched animal and headed home, encouraged by the limited success but not looking forward to the process of trying to monitor one cat's outputs in a two-cat household. And after we'd been home about half an hour, Snip started horfing up globs of phlegm, and then voila, out came a lavender-mohair hairball!

Since that was the last thing she puked out before going off to sulk behind the fridge, we feel reasonably certain that that was the remainder of the yarn she'd consumed. Altogether it looks like she'd snacked down a good yard of it. We're supposed to call our regular vet in the morning to report and get further instructions; meanwhile, the offending supply of yarn has been secured properly, although the little monkey will probably figure a way to get into it again regardless, she's quite good at that.

The one bright spot in all of this is that I was home to spot that there was a string heading down her gullet in the first place. I shudder to think what might have happened if I hadn't caught sight of it before she'd finished swallowing it down... As it is, it was a financial setback, but if we hadn't been alert and able to treat it right away, she could easily have died. And we must become more vigilant about our craft supplies; I'm paranoid about it to begin with, but Mum's still not quite used to having a climber in the house again, and tends to put things "up" on shelves instead of truly "away". (The ball of yarn Snip seems to have gotten into was in a basket on top of a bookshelf -- although this is the same bookcase Snip fell down the back of a couple of weeks ago, which ought to have warned us...)

Snip is still sulking behind the fridge, but she seems to have made it through the night OK. Whether this experience will teach her anything remains to be seen...

feeling: shaken

3 responses | moved to respond?
shelbydee From: shelbydee Date: June 4th, 2004 07:01 am (UTC) (permalink this entry)
I'm thinking about getting a cat, as soon as conditions are propitious and I hoped that cats are more cautious about what they eat than dogs.
Such experiences are plainly scary.
[My dog once ate a rat posion somewhere, he went back home, acting very happy to see me, but he had terrible nosebleed in the same time. That was grotesque.
I spent with him 1,5 hour at vet holding a drip. He got enormous amounts of medicines, and happily he didn't bleed himself to death.
Rat poisons are dangerous not even because they cause hemorrhages, but because they stop blood coagulation.]

I hope Snip learns from mistakes.
silverwerecat From: silverwerecat Date: June 4th, 2004 07:37 am (UTC) (permalink this entry)
I'm so sorry to hear of Snip's adventure. You have my deepest sympathy.

I have eight of this critters and every day is a new adventure for me, so I can really feel for you. I had a case of viral stomach flu last winter, affecting half of them... it was not a pretty sight.

Pat Snip on the head from me.
scathedobsidian From: scathedobsidian Date: June 8th, 2004 12:05 pm (UTC) (permalink this entry)

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