What To Do When Your Cat Eats Yarn

On Friday, I posted a picture of our handsome cat, Neville, doing what he does best - hanging out near the yarn. 
 
Here is another picture of him laying across my computer while I am trying to work. His handsome looks and charming personality help him get away with a lot. 
 
Though he loves yarn, he never interferes with my knitting.  Usually he loves yarn from afar: naps in the yarn room and laying with me while I knit.  Last week while going through my box of scrap yarn, he took a partial ball of KnitPicks City Tweek HW in the colourway 'Kitten'.  We took it away from him as soon as we noticed, but apparently he had already eaten some. 
 
Imagine my surprise when, while I was on a conference call, Neville ran past me with about 12 inches of yarn hanging out of his butt.  I panicked.  I hung up on my call (without saying goodbye), and called my friend.  She came right over.  I called the vet.  He advised me not to pull the yarn out (this was never an option in my mind, anyway).  
 
We spent the next 15 minutes and several cat treats trying to lure Neville out from under one of the kids' beds - at this point he knew something was up.  We finally wrangled him, got him into his carrier and made an emergency trip to the vet. 
 
The vet 'examined the area' and safely removed the yarn.  He then tried to give it back to me. Seriously, he thought I 'might want it'  It was about 18 inches long. 
 
We were very lucky that none of the yarn had wrapped around his intestines or knotted itself and created a blockage.  The vet told me (sternly) that we had the best possible outcome.  He has seen cats die from eating string and yarn.  He has had to perform major surgery, dissecting cats and removing pieces of yarn that become tangled around their intestines. 
 
In our case, the biggest injury Neville suffered was a bruised ego and a blow to his kitty-dignity. 
 
The yarn room door is now closed at all times.  WIPS are kept in project bags when not being used,  and Neville is not allowed to be in the yarn room (the kids like to do homework in there, often Neville sits with them).  
Scary lesson learned: cats and yarn do not mix.