Funny Adventures in Cat Adoption, Part 13 - Pink Thread
Skeeter's Soulful Gaze
Stories of blending an abandoned yearling cat, Skeeter, into a staid two-cat family. Skeeter has enough gumption, energy, and personality to make every day a delightful adventure.
The Pink Thread
MyGuy and I were bustling around, getting ready to leave for a social event that would have us away from home for most of the day. As we circulated upstairs and down checking on doors locked, lights out, dry cat food placed in bowls, potluck food packed, and all those housekeeping details that seem important, Skeeter stood on the steps making strange noises. It didn’t quite look like the “bringing up a hairball” motions, nor did it look like pain, but he was wide-eyed and uncomfortable. Gagging? No, it couldn’t be because the possibility of one of our beloved cats being in danger is not permitted in my universe.
Nonetheless, gagging is what it was. Skeets was trying to get something out of his mouth very unsuccessfully. Then we saw it: the pink thread. One infinitesimal strand of sewing thread hung from his mouth and extended damply for ten feet into a junk pile on the floor. And, he was trying desperately to expel it from the back of his mouth.
I Think I should Buy This
Yarn and Thread
Sometimes I sew. As I do not have a room dedicated to this pursuit, I drag out my machine and some supplies when I have a project. (OK – some people would say I spread it all over the house. Probably a more accurate picture.) Of all the articles we hide from our curious rescue cat, Skeeter, a spool of thread never occurred to us. Before shaking your head in disbelief, know that none of the three cats ever seemed interested in playing with yarn. So, we thought we were home free on its close cousin, thread.
The Offending Object
Options Race through My Head in an Emergency
As we started comprehending the situation and seeing the possible emergency CAT-911 scenarios rip through our skulls, a pet advice article came to my mind. It conveyed a happy-ending story of a family with kids, dogs, cats, and not a whole lot of money. Therefore, when several of the children raced to their mom to report that a string was hanging out of their dog Fluffy’s back end, the mom internally brainstormed any way she could resolve the problem without needing to pay a veterinarian. Brave soul, she, Mom summoned the dog and grabbed a hold of the loose end of the protruding twine. Next, she asked her children to lead the dog away from her. As the dog disappeared, more and more string appeared until a soggy end signaled it was over. Their dog had no ill effects and mom washed her hands. Several times.
Strange how in a crisis, time slows down and such things can replay in one’s head. Simultaneously, I wondered will Skeeter start truly choking and suffocating? Will we pull, as did the mother in the preceding story, and have just a lot of damp thread come out of him? Or, will we realize that the spool is in his throat (I knew which thread and spool it was, and it was small enough for him to swallow) and we’d need to do Cat Heimlich Maneuver and Cat Tracheotomy with a paring knife, while racing him to the vet’s on a weekend? Again, the human brain is SO amazing in its capacity to consider all these things in the flash of an emergency.
What We Did
Fortunately, we also had a happy ending. While MyGuy petted and stroked Skeeter, I gently tugged at the thread coming from his mouth (thank you, Guardian Angels of Small Favors, that it wasn’t his hind end) until it was all out. I then followed the thread in the other direction and was able to retrieve the spool. Hallelujah! No tracheotomy!
This was a true “Phew!” moment of relief. Now, all our thread is counted, accounted for, and put away as carefully as sponges in surgery.
Why Bother? Answer: Love
Non-pet people and non-cat people may query why endure all this? Simple answer: Love. We love them and all three cats love us in their own way. All three cats like us, most of the time. The first two in the family definitely want to be near us. Particularly in the evenings, the Goddess and Sammy settle down in the same room as us. But the new guy, Skeeter, is a very affectionate people-comfortable little fellow. He is demonstrative. The love Skeeter gives us is heart nurturing. Whereas the Goddess and Sammy will position themselves about 2 to 7 feet away in the evenings mostly, Skeets looks for us and tries to be very near. If I am in one of the rooms of the house from which he is barred, he patiently waits on the floor just outside the closed door. When I open it, there he is, the ever faithful little buddy gazing up at me with expectant, soulful eyes. Yes, he tries to be near one of us much of the time he is awake (unless he must catch a stinkbug, chase his brother, sniff the outside air, or explore.) He has never adopted the disdainful cat-titude of not caring. On the contrary, Skeeter lets us hold him, and dance with him (ok, just I do that.) When he does manage to sneak into the off-limits bedroom, he hops onto the bed purring and snuggle. He even will give us a kiss.
That’s why we bother with all the rest of the adventure.
Photos and text copyright 2011 Maren E. Morgan