South Carolina Cat Dies After Surgery To Remove 38 Hair Ties From Her Stomach

Juliet the cat and her two feline siblings were unceremoniously dumped outside their former home when their humans moved out of state a few weeks ago.

A Good Samaritan realized the trio had no one taking care of them and nowhere to go, and brought the cats to the Charleston Animal Society in South Carolina. After some time, Juliet stopped eating. A scan revealed why: The cream-and-white cat had an amorphous mass inside her stomach, a “seemingly endless bundle of strings” in the words of one veterinarian, which blocked Juliet’s stomach and prevented her from being able to eat or process food.

A vet performed emergency surgery on Juliet earlier this week and removed 38 hair ties.

β€œI’ve never seen anything like it,” said Leigh Jamison, the shelter’s associate director of veterinary care.

Hair ties removed from the stomach of Juliet the cat.

Vet techs monitored Juliet closely and fed her carefully, making sure she got the nutrients she desperately needed without overwhelming her shocked system, which had suffered a buildup of fat in her liver.

They thought Juliet would pull through, but the ailing kitty took a turn for the worse on Friday and died a few hours later, the shelter announced.

“Our expert veterinarians and lifesaving team perform what we think are miracles every single day. Unfortunately, even with the best care, not every animal makes it,” staff wrote in an Instagram post. “Even though Juliet was loved and was not suffering during her last days, she did succumb to this tragic accident. We are all heartbroken.”

Pica, an eating disorder that affects humans, also occurs with cats. Defined as the consumption of items which are not food, pica can manifest in cats as a predilection for things like paper, plastic bags, rubber bands, small pieces of plastic and, as was the case with Juliette, items like hair ties that are made of fabric, wool or synthetic materials.

While there are medical reasons pica can present in felines, it’s also sometimes brought on by environmental stress, and it wouldn’t be a stretch to imagine the kind of people who would abandon their pet cats may not have been good caretakers. No one except her former caretakers know what Juliet’s been through, and they’re unlikely to come forward.

Likewise, adoption isn’t a part time, halfway or temporary thing. Adopting a cat means committing to taking care of the animal for his or her entire life. Despite the stubbornly persistent idea that cats are aloof, solitary animals who are indifferent to companionship, research studies show felines are just as sociable as dogs and form strong emotional attachments with their humans. They care deeply, but they express affection in different and less overt ways. That doesn’t mean they suffer less when they lose their homes and the people they’ve grown to love.

cute black kitten
Credit: beytlik/Pexels


9 thoughts on “South Carolina Cat Dies After Surgery To Remove 38 Hair Ties From Her Stomach”

  1. I’m terribly sorry for the sweet little Juliet. She may have had Pica but I’m abundantly aware cats love rubber bands & strings. I’ve never left a rubber band alone nor do I ever use garland on a tree in someone’s home. I use beads instead. Garland can get wrapped in the intestines of the belly & be life ending. (Also check in with a vet or at least Google it, when getting house plants, as some are toxic to our kids)

    Aside from that, your point isn’t lost on me. Not one of my furry family members has been purchased. They were all rescues or adoptions because there’s too many homeless creatures in need of a forever home. I write consistently wherever I can that cats & dog’s & even bunnies & chick’s aren’t only there for us when they’re young & cute. You get them & please know there’s a commitment to that “being” for lifetime.

    Know it won’t always be fun & games. There’s going to be better days & some, not so much. They need care & compassion. They need food & shelter They’ll also need medical care if they’re ill & attention even when you may be tired & have had the worst day ever.

    But at the end of the day, the truth is they’ll give you back unconditional love & a gazillion times more than we’ll ever give them. They teach us so much about everything & they live & leave us with the best memories that never leave us, long after they’re gone. They may not always be easy but they are ALWAYS worth it.

    Happy New Year Our Buddy’s πŸŽ‰ ✨️ πŸ’› We’re forever grateful for your blog & your followers. Oreo & myself thank you both as often as we can & we wish you only the very best always & infinitelyπŸ‘£πŸΎπŸΎπŸŽ‰πŸŽŠπŸŽˆπŸŒŸπŸ’–πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ§Ώ

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Indeed. I had the kitten experience with Bud, but the next time I adopt it will be an adult, as their chances of finding a home are much lower than the cute kittens that everyone wants.

      You’re right about good days and bad days. When Bud is being particularly annoying or having one of his tantrums, I try to remind myself that there will come a time when I’d do anything just to have him around, tantrum or no tantrum. The 15 or so years of an average feline lifespan might seem like a lot, but it isn’t.

      Thanks for reading the site and for your support, and may you and Oreo have a great new year


  2. How sad. My clients have to keep any kind of plastic away and another rubber bands. My very first cat Kitty ate a tiny ball of rubber and got stuck in intestines. She survived surgery. I was shocked that it was a rubber ball from window that was being fixed.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Poor kitty. I hope her siblings were adopted together. My sister’s neighbors moved during the winter and abandoned their two cats outdoors. So my sister and her husband took them in, even though they already had two cats, and they still have them. In fact, they’re such good cats, none of us can understand why they would have been abandoned at all.

    I wish more people understood that last paragraph and took it more seriously.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. What a sad story in every way. We try to make sure all small objects that could be swallowed are safely put away. It’s good to watch some cat toys for stuff that can be chewed off and swallowed, like beads for eyes on toy mice.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I feel for these kitties that got tossed out, and I am saddened by Juliette’s predicament and demise, even under the best of care. I hope the other two found forever homes, and that the authorities have caught up with the previous owners.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. **hangss head** Poor Juliet kitty….
    Butt fore THE Grace of sky CAt that cuuda been mee or many other kittiess mee nsoe who spent life alone on THE streetss an been dumped!
    Run free deer Juliet…may you bee reestored to yre propurr self an enjpy yore stay inn Purr Land!
    ***purrss*** BellaDharma an (((hugss))) BellaSita Mum

    Liked by 1 person

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