Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A Beading Emergency by Jamie Hogsett

When I worked for Interweave Press full-time and would be away for bead shows or meetings, my out of office reply on email would say "If you have a beading emergency, please contact..." Little did I know one day I would experience a real-life beading emergency! When she was in Seattle a couple weeks ago, Sara met someone else who's experienced the same emergency, so she wisely suggested that I share my story. Hopefully it'll keep this from happening to anyone else.

About five weeks ago, I discovered my kitty, Ginger, on the couch with about two foot long thread ends hanging out of her mouth. I was working on a seed beading project, had started a new thread, and left it on the lap pad on my couch. When I came back about thirty minutes later, Ginger was trying to get the thread out of her mouth, but that just made her swallow more. For the moment, I completely forgot that I had already put a needle on the thread, grabbed the thread ends, and pulled it out. She had swallowed a lot of thread, so it took awhile to pull it all out, but it came out easily. About 20 minutes later, I remembered the needle, looked closely at the thread, and found only half of it there.

Because size 15 needles are so thin, it had broken in half, and half of the needle was somewhere in Ginger's throat. Four after-hours hours and some x-rays later, her regular vet could see the needle in the x-ray, but couldn't find it in her throat. So he sent me home with some painkillers for her and the uneasy feeling that if she jumped too much or turned her head the wrong way, the needle could pierce through something and possibly kill her. After lots of stress and worry and a couple of follow-up appointments, Ginger's regular vet referred us to the Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital. The CSU vet hospital is one of the best in the world which made me very hopeful that they would be able to get the needle out.

Ginger, post-op.

One week after she swallowed the needle, I tearfully dropped Ginger off for surgery. It was risky, because of where it was in her neck, but I did my best to remain hopeful. The CSU vet called me just before they started surgery to tell me it would probably take a couple hours. Not 45 minutes later, he called again with the fabulous news that the needle was out and Ginger did great during it all. He said it would take a few hours for her to come out of anesthesia and that I would most likely be able to pick her up and bring her home that night. Thank goodness!!!


When I picked her up, they gave me the needle piece in a tiny glass vial. It now sits in my curio cabinet as a reminder to keep dangerous things picked up and put away. I'm lucky that Ginger has always been good about leaving my beads and stuff alone. I think the reason she was so attracted to the Fireline was because it has a lot of body and moved around when she batted at it. I don't think she was even aware that there was a needle on the thread until it got stuck in her mouth and then it was too late for her to do anything about it. Poor little thing. She had stitches in her neck for two weeks, then managed to rip her wound open again not three hours after the stitches were removed.

It's been almost a month now and other than waiting for her fur to grow back where they had to shave it, Ginger is pretty much back to normal. She's as curious and ornery and sweet as ever, thank goodness. From now on, I'll be very careful to never leave thread or needles, or wire and beads for that matter, out and about where Ginger can get to them - lesson learned, for sure. I'm just grateful that she's okay! And I hope there are never any beading emergencies for you and your pets!


Guest blogger Jamie Hogsett is the Education Coordinator for Soft Flex Company. Contact her at Jamie@SoftFlexCompany.com.

11 comments:

Softflexgirl said...

Poor Ginger! Good thing she has such a great Human-Mom to take care of her.

Designs by Dawn Marie said...

Oh my.... Jamie, I was holding my breath through this entire post. It's a pet lovers worst nightmare what you went through. Glad it all turned out well and that Ginger is doing good. Very scary my dear!
{Hugs!}

Kristen (Creative Stash) said...

So sad, I had no idea Ginger was going through this. So scary! I'm happy to hear she is doing better.

susanc said...

I am so glad that Ginger is okay now. Thank goodness you noticed the thread before she had managed to swallow the rest of it. Phew. xxx

Spirited Earth said...

so glad you cat is ok..
this is fairly common..not just with beaders but sewing in general.i keep my pin cushion in a tupperware container with lid..
we've had a similare experience but it was a fish hook our cat swallowed.

Createology said...

Jamie I am so sorry to hear of such a close call for Ginger. Thank goodness she is all better now. I find my BooBoo kitty to be just like having a small child in the house and really have to be so careful. Safe and Happy Beading to you...

Sandra said...

Awww, poor Ginger. So glad to hear she's okay. I have two cats, Jack & Lilly. Jack fortunately isn't interested in stringy things at all, but Lilly is mad about them. Twine, noodles, ribbon, spaghetti, shoestrings, you name it. At one point I had to pull about 3 feet of soggy curling ribbon from her throat, that taught me to store them away in a box with a lid.

Kathleen Lange Klik said...

I had the same reaction as Designs by Dawn Marie! I am so happy that Ginger is ok. Thank you for sharing as any pet owner or mother can learn from this.

TesoriTrovati said...

Oh man! That is scary! We had a dog who would eat all sorts of things, but nothing like this! I hope Ginger recovers fully!
Enjoy the day!
Erin

Jamie Hogsett said...

Wow - thank you all so much for the sweet comments about Ginger! It was a very scary experience, but I definitely learned a lesson and am so, so grateful that Ginger is okay. I used to let her play with my longer scraps of Soft Flex wire - they are her favorite - but I'm not even risking that anymore.

Hope you and your pets all have safe and happy beading experiences always!

Bead Delirium said...

So glad Ginger is okay!
I never would have thought a cat would swallow a needle, but hopefully your and Gingers scary lesson will save another pet from the same ordeal!
thanks for the post.

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