A cat is recovering from a brush with death – after swallowing 31 elastic HAIR BANDS.
Stuart the 18-month-old kitty was rushed to the vets by owner Abi Means after it started vomiting at home.
They feared a mass in his stomach was a tumour and ordered an x-ray – but were stunned when it revealed 31 elastic hair ties crammed together.
Surgeons had to painstakingly cut them all out in a 90-minute operation and popped them in a bag for amazed Abi, 21.
She went home to “sweep” the house for hair bobbles before Stuart returned and was baffled when she found more than 100 stashed behind furniture.
Abi, from the Isle of Wight, reckons the cheeky pet – who loves to play with the hair accessories – was stealing them from her room and had been eating them for months.
She said: “I knew he loved playing with them but I never for a second thought he would be eating them.
“When I saw the x-ray I just couldn’t believe it.
“The vet said if he had eaten just one more his stomach would have exploded, and that if he had chewed any up he would have died.
“When I went to see Stuart and saw the bag of bobbles I couldn’t believe they had all been in his stomach.
“For a cat that cost me £10, that was one expensive bag of hair bobbles – £665 in vet bills!”
Abi, a professional pet sitter who lives with partner Graeme Sime, 22, a welder, had noticed her hair bands were going missing, but thinking she had simply lost them, kept buying more.
But when she came home on November 1 she found Stuart vomiting, and then when he started to throw-up blood she took the cat to the vets.
An x-ray revealed the hair ties and Stuart was put on a drip to rehydrate so surgeons could operate.
“When I found out what it was we went home to sweep the house and found hundreds of hair bobbles – under sofa, behind furniture, in the dog basket – everywhere,” said Abi.
And even through Stuart is recovering at home from the ordeal, the silly pet still has an eye for hair ties.
“Even now I will have my make up bag open and he’ll see one and start trying to get his paw on it,” she said.
“But I’m pretty much keeping them under lock and key now.”