An Imgur user has an important message for the rest of the feline-loving world and it’s more of a public safety announcement than a story. User Ramphasto posted about a household item that nearly took the life of his kitten, Ollie.
Ollie was a normal rescued kitten and was Ramphasto’s first pet. “The moment I went to the shelter to find my first pet and I saw him I knew he was the only kitten I wanted,” he wrote.
Needless to say, Ollie was a perfectly happy, healthy, rambunctious kitten until one day… he wasn’t.
“He was a healthy and happy cat until one day he began throwing up everywhere and eventually just stopped moving. It was at this point I knew I needed to get him to an emergency vet. They did blood tests and x rays and found something lodged inside his stomach and intestines. It was some sort of hard mass. They told me they needed to do an emergency surgery or he would die,” wrote Ramphasto.
The surgery wasn’t only risky – it was expensive. Ramphasto applied for a Care Credit card to cover the $4,000 emergency surgery that could potentially save Ollie’s life.
When they opened Ollie up, what they found inside was even more surprising. The large mass could have been anything, but it was a wad of hair ties. That’s right, Ollie had been chewing on and swallowing hair ties that became tangled in his stomach and intestines, causing the deadly blockage.
Ramphasto felt terrible. “When they showed me this bag of hair ties I wanted to hit myself. I felt so horrible for my ignorance. I would see him chewing up my hair ties and I would try to stop him, but I did not see or know he was actually swallowing them. I did not know the severity of the situation.”
The Imgur user posted to warn other cat and kitten owners not to let their feline friends play with anything like a hair tie or string, especially unsupervised.
“The vet told me it’s common for kittens and young cats to swallow weird things like hair ties or string. They said they once did surgery on a cat who swallowed an entire balls worth of yarn. ” Ramphasto said. “I did not know cats did this and my cat paid dearly for my ignorance.”
Thankfully, Ollie survived the surgery and is recovering beautifully. He’s alive and well, caring for the new foster cat in the home like a baby brother and cuddling in Ramphasto’s arms every night. Hopefully Ramphasto’s story will encourage other cat owners to be more diligent and bring awareness to the dangers of hair ties.