The other night around 2 a.m., I caught Malcolm trying to eat a long piece of thread off a quilt stored under my bed. I got it away from him, but thought I saw another piece dangling from his mouth. So I chased after him to get a better look, and he ran under G's bed and hid. Hoping that I'd been seeing things, or if not, that he'd just chew it for a while and spit it out, I let him go.
Fast-forward to this morning, when G banged on the bathroom door while I was in the shower to report, "Mommmmm, there's a string hanging out of Malcolm's butt!"
I put on a towel and checked, and yep, it was that good old red thread, with about two inches of it dangling from his backside. I gave it a very gentle pull and another inch slid out, but that was it. Then I paged the vet and had a rather embarrassing conversation ("Hello? Yes, there's a thread hanging out of my cat's ass.") and he told me that my best option, seeing as the cat is eating and running around and acting normal, is to wait and see if it comes out the next time he visits the litter box. He also suggested that I might want to give him a laxative, which sounds like a recipe for disaster, but I'm considering it.
For an alley cat I got for free, Malcolm is shaping up to be a very expensive pet. We've had him for 10 months, and in that time he's chewed through $560 worth of laptop cords (a habit he seems to have given up, thank goodness), banged up his eye and needed $200 worth of treatment and medication, and now, if this thread doesn't magically emerge on a tidal wave of poo, he'll be back at the vet for who knows what kind of high-tech thread-removing procedure. I've really got to revisit that pet insurance I was looking at a couple of months ago.