Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Of Cats and Butt Strings

Dilemma: Do I remove the string hanging out of my cat's butt or do I let nature take its course?

My cat, Christopher the Assassin, has an eclectic appetite. He relishes bugs, enjoys the occasional flower, scarfs grated carrots and sauerkraut, and generally eats anything that looks interesting. Like string. Thus his current problem. String and thread are hard for a cat to spit out due to the way their tongues are constructed. Cats have sandpaper tongues because their papillae are backward-facing hooks, and these hooks are partly keratin (think human fingernails). These little hooks help a cat hold onto struggling prey, and they're also a great aid in grooming. But because the papillae are backward-facing, cats end up swallowing hair as they groom themselves. If they happen to sample an interesting bit of string, down it goes. And then out it goes. But sometimes not all the way.

So I finally grabbed a big wad of Kleenex, got Christopher in a headlock, and took care of matters. He was quite blase about the whole thing, and while I disposed of the string and tissue, Christopher stuck his hind leg in the air and cleaned his butt. Then he came over and tried to give me kitty kisses. Eeewww! No thank you!

Does your cat have interesting eating habits? Does he or she eat bugs? How about begging for food? Do you feed your cat special treats? 'Fess up, now!


Lesley said...

Patches walked by me once, very nonchalant, with a two inch piece of grass hanging out of her nose. I pulled it out and it turned out to be almost a foot long!

Sherrie Holmes said...

Lesley, that is so funny! I've never heard of such a thing! And a foot long. Goodness. (Why does that make me want to laugh?)