About the portion of the Da Bird toy that Barney swallowed, the bit that Barney’s medical records refers to as a “foreign body.” This was the top part of the Da Bird toy that attached to the wand.
My beef with Da Bird is the string they use to connect the toy. The very first time the cats played with it, and I mean I had barely got the thing home when this happened, one cat bit through the string in ten seconds flat. Instantaneously. This happened so long ago, it was either Bugs or Fang who bit through it; I can’t remember who. Barney hadn’t arrived yet.
So I kept the feather portion and was on the point of throwing out the piece that, many months later, Barney eventually swallowed, when it occurred to me that the fishing-type hook was pretty nice and maybe I could use it for something else. I put it on a shelf high above where any cat could reach — and then, fatally, forgot about it. I can only conclude that I must have inadvertently knocked the piece off the shelf and Barney found it on the floor.
Human error, sure.
But my beef with the toy, again, is the string that caused the bite-through in the first place. It made the toy defunct in a matter of moments and it set up the situation that ended up with Barney in danger.
Again, have a look at the string close up.
Da Bird on the left. Neko Flies on the right. You can see that Neko Flies uses a braided cord, not the single thin strand. The Neko Flies cord has withstood eight months of mauling and it has remained completely impervious.
Of course Neko Flies is a much more expensive item.
Except not, when you consider the anguish and staggering expense in getting Barney back whole again.
So of *course* supervise your cats when they’re playing. Of *course* put string toys out of reach. But also be warned that disaster lurks in ways that seem completely avoidable — *after* it happens. You just don’t see how avoidable until after.
I thought I had done everything in my power to protect my boys. Not so. Awareness is a tricky thing.