This morning I was awakened by a noise that no cat lover ever wants to hear: the bloodcurdling screams of one of my cats. I flew downstairs like a puffin (Stefano was taking a shower and heard nothing, by the way).
The first thing I saw in our living room was Priscilla, my second youngest, perched on the armchair and looking extremely upset. And just behind her I saw my little Peekaboo, whose claws had gotten stuck in one of those blasted furry toys attached to one of the cats’ scratching posts. Her howls of pain almost paralyzed me.
Now, we are normally super careful with cat toys. We have all sorts of cat wands and bright-coloured fluffy toys attached to strings, but once playtime is over (usually when we get tired), the toys get put safely away. We never ever leave out anything that might be dangerous to our cats’ wellbeing. Even a piece of string can be dangerous…or a plastic shopping bag. I remember one time when Piccolo, barely more than a kitten, put his silly little head through the handle of a plastic shopping bag. His head got stuck, at which point he flipped out and began running all over the house, with a very distraught me running after him. He was so terrified that he peed all over the floor and stairs before finally managing to free himself.
Anyway, this stupid dangling toy had been dangling on the cat scratching post for ages. We had never had a problem with it.
Back to this morning’s horror scene. I rushed up to my screeching Peekaboo and tried to set her loose. She screamed even more loudly, twisting and turning her little body so that I couldn’t hold her still, and ended up biting and scratching me. My sweet gentle kitten. Well, luckily this didn’t last very long. With my help, she managed to free herself and disappeared from sight.
My other cats were totally freaked out. Puzzola, my eldest, didn’t even come downstairs for breakfast (I think she is still hiding up in the attic). Piccolo and Priscilla ate their breakfast as though there were a bloodthirsty cat monster in the room: they would take bites of food and cast terrified glances over their shoulders as though something behind them were about to gobble them up.
And Peekaboo? After hiding for a few minutes under our bed, she came back downstairs as though nothing had happened and happily ate her breakfast on the kitchen counter (we usually discourage this type of behaviour, by the way…). She is now keeping a watchful eye on the birds flying outside my study window (see photo).
After tossing the evil dangling toy into the garbage and disinfecting my bloody hands, I was finally able to begin my Sunday morning with a nice cup of cappuccino. Phew!