Barney’s “Foreign Body”

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.

surg3 001Now compare it with what Neko Flies uses.

surg2 001Da 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.


About nadbugs

Anita loves cats. This must be because she, too, has had nine lives. She’s been dancing since she could walk, she was a commercial artist and advertising producer, she earned a third-degree black belt in Aikido, she is a drummer with the Afrique Aya Dance Company, she is an attorney, and she’s a meditator and a devoted student of Nonviolent Communication. She also spent one lifetime sidelined with a devastating back injury in 1992. Since then – FELDENKRAIS METHOD® to the rescue. The FELDENKRAIS METHOD is all about dreaming concretely – thinking intelligently and independently by way of a gracious and kind physicality. The work affords all who study it a process by which to reach, with movement, into the mind and the heart, to make nine lives into one whole being.
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13 Responses to Barney’s “Foreign Body”

  1. Maybe you should let Jackson Galaxy know this if you haven’t already?

  2. Sparkle says:

    Binga is a big string biter – she has even destroyed Neko Flies! So yeah, we have to keep those things way hidden from her in particular.

  3. Thank you fur sharing your story.. The human almost bought da Bird fur me once…. Now I’m glad she did’nt!


    PS. Nose taps to Barney!

  4. Poor Barney, that was a huge thing to swallow! Don’t beat yourself up…that’s why these things are called accidents…and I’m SO happy that the stars aligned for you and him on the Midnight Express to the vet.

  5. Kitties Blue says:

    Around here, Mom knows that even the highest shelf is not out of reach for us. So, she says don’t blame yourself. You probably DIDN’T knock that off the shelf. Just always remember that if a kitty wants something, a kitty will get it. Always put things in places they cannot get to no matter how clever they are. The important thing is that Barney is home with you and should make a 100 percent recovery. He’ll remain in Mom’s prayers and our purrs. Purrs and hugs, Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth and Calista Jo

  6. Clooney says:

    What an ordeal, thank God that Barney is home again with you and that the surgery went well and huge purrs and prayers to him for all the healing of his incision to occur quickly and completely with ease.

  7. rena1021 says:

    So glad to hear the furball is on the way to recovery! And don’t beat yourself up – they do have a knack to get to things they shouldn’t get to. Like the mettwurst sausage my little monster gets into. It’s shrinkfoiled, for goodness’ sake! (Result: icky. From that day on: Out of the shopping bag and into a cabinet IMMEDIATELY, absolutely no detours.) HOW does he know to bite into that and not into the similarly sealed bread?!? 😉 Granted, that’s not nearly as bad as what happened to Barney, but face it, Forrest Gump was right. Hang in there and keep warm!

  8. cat9984 says:

    Kommando Kitty has eaten through Da Bird and several other toys. Fortunately for us, she immediately loses interest in anything she has destroyed.

  9. I had too many reservations about this kind of thing. At least now I know it isn’t just paranoia. I am so sorry you had to go through this but I am very thankful you shared it.

  10. Mags Corner says:

    We are just so happy that Barney is okay. We have never had any toys like that. We think it is good that you shared this so that others if they are not already will know to keep those toys put away in a good place when they are not using them. Hugs and nose kisses

  11. Carolyn says:

    Austin has DaBird. He didn’t chew through the string, but the thing doesn’t hold together. The two bits of stick do not fit together well enough so it flies apart at the gentlest of swooshes through the air. That could also be a hazard, so have stopped using it for quite a while. So glad Barney is ok! 🙂

  12. IsobelandCat says:

    Blimey. I have been thinking about getting Da Bird, or a variant thereof, for MasterB. Now going to investigate the Neko Flies which s a new name to me.

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