A Cheap, Simple Toy
I want to ask you something. Have you ever tied a piece of string to a chair or to something else for your cat to play with? Have you ever bought those toys where its a long plastic stick with at one end a sting is attached and the other a suction cup or a clip to stick it to the side of a desk or chair for your cat to play with? Maybe you have. Well, hear my story and you might have second thoughts before letting your cat play with one.
About one year ago, while I was still fostering cats, I took home a litter of 5 kittens. They were all very sweet, playful, adorable, everything a kitten should be. One of the kittens was Abby, a tiny little calico. She was the runt of the litter, but just as affectionate and loving as the rest.
A week after fostering the kittens, I bought a new toy for them to play with. A long yellow pole with at one end a red stretchy string with a bright blue fuzzy ball tied at the end. I attached to pole to the desk in the room and watch as the kittens cautiously check out the new toy. Soon enough, they were pawing the ball and jumping around having the greatest of time.
It was time for dinner for the kittens, so I went down stairs to prepare it. I wasn't gone more the 20 minutes when I returned with the five bowls of food. I placed them on the ground and the kittens run over, each picking a bowl and eating. I noticed one of the kittens was missing, Abby. I glanced around the room and screamed with what I had seen. Abby had the red string tight around her tiny neck. I scrambled over and lifted her up but it was too late. That cheap, simple cat toy had taken her life. Poor little Abby was dead.
I felt incredibly guilty after that and cried all night. I kept doing the "what ifs" in my head, what if I took down the toy before leaving, what if I had came back a little sooner. I was so upset. Even now, when I think about seeing her there, I cry.
Now that you heard my story, I pray that all of you will reconsider leaving your cats alone with that sort of toy, even for 10 or 20 minutes. It can happen that quickly.