Saturday, November 28, 2009
Local Cat Says He Cannot Work Due To String Addiction
A local cat today has admitted to his family and co-workers what they had secretly believed for years, he is addicted to string.
Clarence, a 9-year-old, neutered, Domestic Long Hair, says he is now unable to work due to the extreme disability stemming from his addiction. In Clarence’s case, he’s about to be homeless, and is already subsisting on food stamps.
“I have tried so many times to stop,” said Clarence but then I just get an overwhelming urge to take (string) out and claw at it, bat it around, even.”
Not many cats are aware of the very real dangers of string and yarn addiction
The issue began as a young kitten, when he would spend “hours” mesmerized by string. Desperate to get more, he said he would steal it from craft and yarn stores and horde it under his mattress.
“It was so much fun,” he said. “I just had to claw at it and whip it around the house. At first I could play for 20 minutes or so then put it away. As time went on I’d sit and all I could do was think about playing with string. I couldn’t focus, it got scary.”
“I tried to curb the urge to play with it,” he continued. “But I’ll be just about to go off to work and suddenly I gotta play with string. It’s bad.”
Concerned neighbor Barrett said he noticed Clarence’s gradual withdrawal from friends
Clarence said that if he is out of string or yarn he sometimes will go to a neighbor’s home and ask to “borrow” some. Worse yet, if none is to be found, he will make use of dental floss as a substitute.
Trouble at work began when his supervisor at the bank where he works caught him looking at pictures of soft, fluffy balls of yellow yarn on his computer during working hours. “I heard he’d been arrested once for going to the emergency room hoping to score some string,” said a co-worker who did not want to be identified.
“I got so I couldn’t go four hours without playing with string,” Clarence said. “I’d bring some to work, until one afternoon I was caught in the men’s room batting around a red ball of yarn. It was embarrassing.”
Part of The Center’s intensive treatment for string addiction involves being “unable” to move or play with string while string is present
Friends and neighbors say Clarence used to be very active, tending to his garden and frequently washing his car. They said they started to notice him withdrawing from his usual activities and said he even stopped answering the door.
“I’d go knock on his door, just to say hello to him,” said neighbor Barrett, a 5-year-old, neutered Pug. “I could hear him in there, hitting something around and breathing heavy. I knew it was string.”
After admitting his addiction, Clarence’s family has agreed to send him to a 28-day intensive inpatient rehabilitation visit at The Center, located in Edmonds. Luckily, his employer has graciously offered to hold his position until he can safely reclaim it.
Sharyn Thoma-Guay reporter-at-large
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