Tuesdays With Murray (Chapter 97)

Last week I woke up to find the balloon we had attached to Emory’s stroller deflated. The string sat lifelessly on the floor behind it. At the end of the string, trailing behind it like a dead fish, were the remains from a yellow balloon. I got a closer look and noticed that a great deal of the balloon was missing. The knot was still intact, and there were some pieces shooting off of it, but otherwise nothing. 

I immediately panicked. The section of my brain devoted to freaking out over what Murray may have eaten entered “Level: Imminent Threat”. I’m not sure what used to occupy this section of my brain, but it was evicted the moment I met Murray. 

Murray (or someone) had eaten the top of Em’s yellow balloon.

If you google something similar to “my cat ate a balloon”, you will find precisely what you might assume: that your cat has 24-hours to live and if you don’t bring he or she to the vet immediately, he or she will die a slow and horribly painful death.

The section devoted to Murray exploded into “LEVEL: ABSOLUTELY, THIS CAT IS GOING TO DIE.”

I told Toby, who immediately began wondering if we could afford another trip to a Brooklyn ER. Of course, we’d figure out a way. As long as Murray is alive and under our care, we’ll figure out a way to make sure he’s alive and healthy. The problem isn’t the money (although, it has caused a tiny bit of marital tension when I have to whip out the AmEx Card), the problem is I’m not sure how many more trips to the ER Murray’s little heart can handle. No joke. 

I sent out a few email. I called a few people. Finally, Lisa from Empty Cages Collective —the same person who bottle-fed Murray from the day he was knee-high to a grasshopper—calmed me down. Murray wasn’t going to die in 24-hours. She told me to up his fiber, make sure he gets several small meals over the next few days to get his GI track moving, and start Poop Watch.  

Several other folks also suggested that a deflated balloon remnant was something passable.

I relaxed a bit. And started giving him fiber. Tucker too.

That was a week ago.

Well, the good news is, Murray seems fine. He’s eating, pooping, peeing, and then eating some more. The bad news is, I have yet to see any yellow balloon pieces. So, I’m not sure what to do or how to proceed. Neither he nor Tucker have actually thrown up. (Tucker did dry-heave one afternoon, causing Toby Joe to suggest that we may have the wrong suspect in custody.)

All of this just to say that if anyone reading this has ever had any experiences with cats eating balloons, please kindly share them with me now. 

I hope they aren’t terrible.


  1. Growing up we had a dog who would eat balloons and sometimes it would be WEEKS before we’d see any trace of one make an appearance. I’m sure dogs digestive tracks are different, but perhaps in a few more days you’ll see something. Our current dog is a big fan of plastic cat toys. The vet just tells us to make him eat bread or something that will bind around the sharp edges… so yeah, he gets rewarded with his favorite treat for being an asshole.


  2. “The vet just tells us to make him eat bread or something that will bind around the sharp edges… so yeah, he gets rewarded with his favorite treat for being an asshole.”



  3. My dearly-departed Travis used to love curly ribbon. You could not leave ribbon or festively decorated presents anywhere near where he was likely to get at them. Being young and naive at the time when Travis enjoyed his curly ribbon binges, I never knew that the situation may have been dangerous. I just waited for the ribbon to work its way through his digestive tract. He had some colorful poop in the early years, but then I wised up and he was able to live to age 18. And nothing ever tempting him like curly ribbon. He did enjoy an occasional potato chip and maybe a piece of edamame, but nothing else that was dangerous.


  4. You are not alone. A little different but sorta similar. My dog, Cooper loves socks dirty or clean. He loves them and will swallow them WHOLE. He doesn’t chew them just swallows them, usually just throws them up. But once he found a new pair of Smartwool trouser socks and swallowed one sock. It took 4.5 days for it to pass, thank god he didn’t have any difficulty either. He is known by the vet as the dog with the stomach of steel.

    A high-maintenance dog but I love him!!


  5. I can ask the vet techs at work tomorrow and get back to you, since we’ve seen the animals consume all sorts of things.

    My favorite dog, Andy, one day ate a treat bag (just like this) with a plastic baggy full of treats inside. Like the whole thing, in one gulp. It was there one minute, gone the next. We had to give him stuff to make him throw it up so it came back pretty quickly, but there’s my animal ingestion story.

    And Lady, a sweet old dog, was found tearing apart leftovers of a toy that had some electronic noise-making gizmo inside. I don’t think we ever noticed the missing wires and pieces come out the other end, but she’s home with a family now so hey, surprise for them.


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