Cat’s curiosity leads to sticky situation

Adventures fly with critters let loose

Cats can get into the stickiest situations.

Years ago, when I was in junior high or high school, our cat was a great trophy hunter. He’d catch birds, mice, moles, flying squirrels and, occasionally, a weasel.

He didn’t have a taste for eating moles or weasels, but instead left their carcasses lying on the driveway or in the yard.

He once brought a live chipmunk into the house and, as if it were scripted, let the darned thing go. We chanced around like Keystone Kops, trying to corner it and get it out of the house.

Our current feline friends aren’t much for hunting, except for the occasional spider or fly, but they can get into some interesting predicaments. Pinball — so named because he bounces from place to place — is especially adventuresome.

One morning last week, I heard a commotion in the kitchen and thought maybe the neighbor’s cat had gotten into the house the night before, when we’d had the back door open.

Pretty soon, I heard my husband shout a scream of alarm and then, a little while later, I heard him talking to someone. I hadn’t heard the phone ring, so I wondered if he’d called someone or was talking back to the television.

When he came downstairs, he informed me that the flypaper I’d had hanging in the kitchen was no


Pinball in one of his calmer moments

longer there. Strange, I thought, he had been upstairs the whole time, so how could he know …?

Then he explained: Pinball had gotten into the flypaper and, alarmed, raced upstairs and landed, claws deployed, on Al, who had been sleeping.

That explained the commotion in the kitchen and the shout upstairs.

Al had managed to pull the super-sticky strip of paper off the cat, but a fair amount of residue remained.

Pinball slunk around for awhile, alternately looking embarrassed and ticked off. He just couldn’t seem to get rid of the sticky stuff.

I Googled and learned that baby oil, mineral oil or cooking oil were supposed to work well for dissolving flypaper goo. I figured the cooking oil probably would be the safest, since cats clean themselves with their tongues.

I put some oil on a paper towel and wiped the affected area until the cat became a mass of claws.

His fur is still a little clumpy, but at least he’s not sticking to the furniture.

It could’ve been worse: Pinball has short hair. Our other cat, who’s half Persian, has very long, very thick fur.

Dee Camp is a reporter at The Chronicle. She can be reached via email at


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