How a Single String Can Cost Your Cat Their Life – How it Happened to Mine

This story is a personal one, and I’m hoping it’ll help prevent others from having the same thing happen to one of their beloved pets.  I like to do a lot of crafty hobbies, including sewing – and had no idea how dangerous just having a sewing machine in open view could be when you have a pet cat.

This happened over 20 years ago and I still feel very guilty about it.

Shutterstock how string can kill a cat feat

Sewing Machine Left Uncovered

I’ve always loved making things, and I was pretty excited when I got my first-ever sewing machine.  It didn’t come with a cover, and I thought nothing of leaving it out.  I had the thread in the proper place, and it was threaded the way it needed to be in the machine.

However, one day when I came home from being out and about, I saw the thread pulled from the machine and didn’t think much of it.  I just winded it back and went about my day.  When my cat seemed under the weather a few days later, I took him to the vet – and never thought to put two and two together.

My vet didn’t notice either.  He said my cat looked perfectly healthy, and said he probably had worms, so gave him a dewormer and that was that.

Unfortunately, my cat got worse over the next day (and of course it happened during a weekend), so I took him to another vet for a second opinion.

Vet Found String at the Back of My Cat’s Throat

I really wish I’d gone to the second vet first, because he immediately noticed what was wrong.  When he opened my cat’s mouth to look inside, he noticed a tiny bit of string caught on his tongue at the back of his throat.  Apparently, the way a cat’s tongue is built can mean a simple string can get caught, and then entwined as it makes its way through a cat’s digestive system.

This vet suggested surgery to try saving my cat’s life, but the damage had already been done – and they called me in the middle of it to ask if they could let him go peacefully.  I said yes, of course – and I don’t believe I’ve ever bawled as hard as I did after I hung up the phone that day.

His name was Tenchi.

From that day on, I’ve been incredibly careful about the toys I let my cats play with, and about making sure any crafty supplies are secure and not accessible by any curious felines.  Even pet stores have plenty of toys that could cause harm, including;  toy mice with hard eyes, any sort of string and little bells.


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