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12 March 2013 @ 11:27 pm
And then Moushka tried to commit suicide …  
Or was possibly the victim of a spectacularly cunning murder attempt. I honestly can't tell you if this story reveals her as dumber than even Monster or a secret and complete genius.

I do a fair bit of craft. Random things lurk around the house and I should probably be more diligent at putting them away. Especially the cotton yarn. Visiting Cat Moushka got her claws on a ball of cotton yarn and ferreted it into her lair. Her lair is the bottom of the sofa, where she has ripped out the lining to construct a hammock and play area.

Some time between 2am and 8.30am on Sunday she managed to swallow a length of yarn. I got up early to go up the mountains and when she popped out for her morning pat and feed, she was trailing cotton, with the ball bouncing along behind her.

THIS IS BAD! Many awful things can occur when cats swallow yarn, which is why I had watched her like a hawk every time I had been working with yarn in the living room over the last 2.5 months. She had shown mild inclination to grab at it with her claws, as all cats will, but none whatsoever to chew on it, so I had relaxed my vigilance when it came to packing everything up every night.

I put a little tension on the yarn to see if it was just in her mouth or at the top of her throat (I've swallowed enough of my own hair in my life to know how much tension is fine). It didn't come out at that, so I wailed 'Oh Mushy!' and ran to get her carrier.

This woke up Mr B, who leapt into action, telling me to keep on with my plans and go up the mountain. I had a little leeway in my day, so I rang ahead and checked trains and sorted arriving later than was planned, then ran some coffee over to him in the vet reception and joined the anxious wait.

We were soon seen, and the vet confirmed my fears. Moushka would need an endoscope at the university vet to remove the yarn from where it was, and if it had gone further down, probably surgery. It would be between $1000 and $3000.

I tried to get in touch with Moushka's actual owner, but of course it was late at night and she was down in London.

We decided that Mr B would take her over to the uni vet for endoscopy and that if we had to, we'd just wear the $1000, which is only one big story or a couple of days' work, really. Meanwhile, I had to go and catch my mountain train.

My phone rang while I was changing trains at Strathfield, I missed the call, due to running between platforms. A message beeped in: 'Problem solved, call me.'

I called. Mr B had gone home before heading to the uni, deciding that since he would likely be there for many hours, he should have a shower and put on clean clothes. At this point. Moush has either decided that life was no longer worth living, or that she should save us all a lot of money and stress. Or possibly Monster or Cookie has tried to kill her. Somehow she made her way out of the cat carrier, snagging the thread on the carrier, then ended up cornered under the study table in the middle room, with Cookie and Monster hissing at her and a long length of thread leading back to the carrier and none in her mouth.

All sorts of things could have gone horribly wrong here, from severing something, to chewing through the yarn and swallowing the rest which would then form a blockage later. We have been watching her obsessively for the last two and a half days, and she seems fine. Eating and drinking as normal, pooing away happily, purring and demanding cuddles, hiding from Cookie and Monster … Her tummy is soft, she has no blood anywhere, everything seems to be fine.

Which is just as well, as her owners have said they can't afford a big bill, and we can't really afford it either at the moment. So it is possible that she was aware she was in danger of being bopped on the head and decided to self-operate.

Mr B ran over to check with the vet to see what he should do; they advised wait and watch. They rang me today to check on her, I reported that all seemed to be perfectly fine. They told me it was the first time they had heard of a cat fixing itself. The question is whether she is an absolute genius, or a complete idiot.
Dragonfly_lily: Magicdragonfly_lily on March 12th, 2013 02:00 pm (UTC)
Goodness!!! Pet drama is very stressful, even if it's not your own pet! Glad Moushka decided to get well.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on March 12th, 2013 02:07 pm (UTC)
I've been checking on her obsessively, but she seems fine. I've put away all the cotton yarn, but I have left her out her favourite ball of wool: she uses it as a pillow and hasn't nommed it once. I gave her a new tennis ball to play with in her lair, apparently it is better than a cat toy ball.

Poor little fuzzball! She doesn't understand why we are fussing over her so much …
Catscatsintheattic on March 12th, 2013 02:02 pm (UTC)
Gah! CATS!!!

I'm glad you were saved the hassles of cat surgery and large bills and that Moushka is doing well.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on March 12th, 2013 02:12 pm (UTC)
I KNOW! And she was so 'Oh, human, could you fix this for me?' when she did it, too. I was going to grumble at Mr B for leaving her outside the bathroom when he went to have his shower, but she seems to be OK, so he's off the hook. He felt guilty, though, which is good.
wooly_bear on March 12th, 2013 04:40 pm (UTC)
That was disgustingly awesome! (Awesomely disgusting?)

I vote for idiotic genius. :D
blamebramptonblamebrampton on March 13th, 2013 12:14 pm (UTC)
I think you may have the right of it! And yeah, it was pretty vile. I am still deciding if I want to use the rest of the yarn that did not take a journey down her gullet …
lokifan: Simbalokifan on March 13th, 2013 03:07 pm (UTC)

Glad she seems to have been ENORMOUSLY lucky!!
being_herebeing_here on March 12th, 2013 06:29 pm (UTC)
Cats are furry little jerks. This is just another proof - as if it were needed!
blamebramptonblamebrampton on March 13th, 2013 12:16 pm (UTC)
Cookie and Monster have revealed themselves to be a little bit murderous: they do hate Moushka so. Sometimes they tag-team attack runs on her until she goes back into her lair, then retreat up into the hall where they sit licking each other and (I believe) giving each other little feline high-fives.

Moushka is very silly and will hopefully never do anything half so stupid again!
ladyjanevaladyjaneva on March 12th, 2013 08:13 pm (UTC)
And with a cat, you'll never know whether it's the first or the latter ;_)

Very glad to read it all ended well.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on March 13th, 2013 12:24 pm (UTC)
She is still doing well, so I thing we may be in the clear. Yup, just squished her tummy, it's all soft and fine and she only bit me because she hates having her tummy rubbed. Typical.
mahaliemmahaliem on March 12th, 2013 11:30 pm (UTC)
So glad the kitty is okay. Sometimes I wonder about the truth of the myth of cats having nine lives.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on March 13th, 2013 12:26 pm (UTC)
She remains well! I read about your kitten's mad mistake, I was so relieved that all turned out well, too! This month has been insane and my commenting has been dreadful, but that was one post that literally made me sigh with relief.
Jae: Crazy cat ladyenchanted_jae on March 13th, 2013 12:46 am (UTC)
My personal theory about cats is that they are basically dumber than a box of rocks, but with occasional flashes of brilliance. Which still leaves your question unanswered.

Brainless, or brilliant? The world may never know.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on March 13th, 2013 12:29 pm (UTC)
I think your theory has a lot going for it. Whichever she is, she seems to have succeeded with her surgery! She's over fanging the cat grass as I type, happy as a pig in mud.
Azure Jane Lunaticazurelunatic on March 13th, 2013 01:07 am (UTC)
Oh, *cats*.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on March 13th, 2013 12:30 pm (UTC)
I suspect it is a campaign to whiten my hair so I can stop bleaching bits of it before dyeing them silly colours. Well played, cats, well played.
Keeper of the Superfluous Es!themostepotente on March 13th, 2013 01:58 am (UTC)
OMG I'm so glad Moushka is all right. Poor bebe :((((
blamebramptonblamebrampton on March 13th, 2013 12:13 pm (UTC)
She continues well, so I think she was successful in her surgical endeavours. Now she is just focussing on making sure I pat her as much as possible – she's found an upside!
shu_shu_sleepsshu_shu_sleeps on March 13th, 2013 09:36 am (UTC)
Poor Moushka (maybe she is now down one life, or maybe it was just not her time), and poor you and J - very stressful. So glad it has all worked out well. Cats certainly like keeping us on our toes :)
blamebramptonblamebrampton on March 13th, 2013 12:11 pm (UTC)
I think after life with M and co, she's probably at -3 … She continues well, so I think we can relax. I was sorry to hear about your rat corpse issue! Meant to comment, but I have been reading my flist in such snatches that commenting has been dire. Sounded awful, but you dealt with it with aplomb!
astardanced77astardanced77 on March 13th, 2013 11:55 am (UTC)
Evil genius, obviously! She was just checking you we're paying attention. Once she'd had enough of watch the humans run in circles, she fixed it herself. She probably sneaks out at night while you and J are asleep and plots to TAKEOVER THE WORLD (muah, muah, muahahahaha)!
blamebramptonblamebrampton on March 13th, 2013 12:09 pm (UTC)
Well, I would prefer her to Tony Abbott …

I do think you might be right about her deciding to lend a helping hand. She is a friendly little beast with a good attitude.
κάτι τρέχει στα γύφτικα: Kendra_inbetween_ on March 13th, 2013 05:18 pm (UTC)
That's the one thing I'd been dangerously ill-informed about. And with my personal problem being them dragging their poop around behind them on my hair, I might be forgiven for having at least once pulled out a loooong shoelace from a cat's front opening. And hair of course when I see it, and I squirm at how none-too-gently I had to pull out the hair before she runs off. At least twice also from the bum ... Would the vet have put her to sleep if you couldn't pay, or what was the option???

Edited at 2013-03-13 05:21 pm (UTC)
blamebramptonblamebrampton on March 13th, 2013 10:22 pm (UTC)
I suspect I would have just sold a bike to pay for things, as her owners were going for the put her to sleep option, but I am far too soft!
κάτι τρέχει στα γύφτικα_inbetween_ on March 13th, 2013 10:26 pm (UTC)
If they could have lived with that ... I'm just still stumped that a vet would do that, but they must more often than not. I wish I weren't so OTT soft and teary when it comes to cats etc. *squishes you*
blamebramptonblamebrampton on March 13th, 2013 10:33 pm (UTC)
Looked at brutally, she is 12, they are in a foreign country for a year and have two kids, and the husband doesn't like Moushka, so economically there is a poor argument to pay out a large sum for her. But I am as soft as you, so economics be damned.
κάτι τρέχει στα γύφτικα_inbetween_ on March 13th, 2013 10:35 pm (UTC)
Realistically! I'm more and more glad she has that little burrow inside your couch :)
Nico1908nico1908 on March 25th, 2013 05:38 pm (UTC)
Good grief! Sounds like quite an ordeal for everybody involved! Glad to hear kitty is okay now!