Bazel Needs a 12-Step Program

My one true love, Bazel  —the most handsome cat in the world — is a kept man. It’s true. I slog off to work 5 days a week and he stays home preening, sleeping, lounging and rolling his poo balls across the floor.

And it’s okay. Because when he’s happy, I’m happy.

I buy him the best organic food, the most exotic litter, the finest hairball dissolver disguised as fish paste; and, of course a vast collection of toys and  gadgets.

He loves his toys, Bazel does.

He’s always so so grateful.

And I don’t want him to get bored or fed up and wander off to get himself noticed by someone like Madonna or Demi Moore, now do I?

So, here are some of the lovely things I’ve gotten for my toy boy cat.









These are by no means all his toys — just the ones readily available for this photo op.

There are many more toys under the furniture.

A few weeks ago, however, something terrible happened.

Perhaps Bazel has somehow gotten in with the wrong crowd or has grown weary of his bimcat status or something.  And maybe he’d been experimenting with stuff before and I never noticed, but the other day I caught him — high as a kite on one of these:


Oh ya, it looks harmless enough. A little plastic jelly bracelet – found on the floor of the daughter’s junk pile bedroom. 

Jelly bracelets, if you remember are those  soft, squishy plastic rings  all the girls used to collect a couple of years ago — the young ones just for fun, the older ones… for fun of a different sort .


 Human girls seem to be able to handle the powerful, narcotic effects of the jelly bracelet. Not Bazel.

Bazel was instantly irredeemably hooked.

His eyes went wild. He drooled. He made very odd squeaking noises. He raced maniacally around the house chasing his new jones. Or was it chasing him?


 He bats it around. Stretches it. Chews it. Stares at it willing it to move on its own. He hides it around the house and pretends to be surprised when he finds it again.


 He has now been through so many of these things now, it’s frightening. I’ve been secretly supplying him from the stash in the daughter’s junk pile bedroom, but the supply is running low.


Bazel is single-minded in his addiction. He wants nothing to do with anything else. He’ll do anything for another jelly bracelet. When he loses one, he whines pitifully outside the daughter’s junk pile bedroom where he knows the goods are.

Or he’ll pace the house restlessly, eyes glazed, hunting, hunting for places where he might have stashed a jelly bracelet. 

Ah-ha! There’s one under the closet door.


We’re down to the last junk pile bedroom jelly bracelet and I haven’t been able to find any in stores anywhere. And do I really want to keep this up anyway? Where will it end?

Bazel’s lost weight. He can’t eat. He can’t sleep. (Well, okay he still eats everything that’s put in front of him and manages to squeeze in 16 hours or so a day of shut-eye, but all the running around has trimmed him down a bit).

I know I’ve enabled this obsession and I have to be the one to help him kick it, but I don’t know if I can stand the arduous weeks of withdrawal ahead.

I don’t know if Bazel will survive.

36 responses to “Bazel Needs a 12-Step Program

  1. Hi,
    Awww..Bazel is so cute! Maybe you should get him one of those laser pointers to help him kick his habit. My cats (and my dog, LOL) love them! 🙂

  2. Aww.

    My cat Felicity has a similar obsession with a similar item; my black hair elastics. I used to take them away from her for fear that she’s eat one and I’d have to pay thousands of dollars having it removed from her small intestine.

  3. I’m sure you can find jelly bracelets on Ebay!

    One of our cats, lo these many years ago, had a thing for joints. If one was rolled and you didn’t keep an eye on it she’d run away with it and hide it under a carpet or a crack in the baseboards. Then she’d sit there, licking her paws and looking at like: Who? Me????

    Of course the joints were only for her amusement. No one ever inhaled.

  4. Personally, when I’m trying to break an addiction, I find some other addiction to move on to. Maybe you could get him interested in hairclips.

  5. OMG!!! INTERVENTION! INTERVENTION! And what’s next?? Jelly shoes??

    “Hi. I’m Bazel and I’m addicted to all wearable things jelly.”
    “Hiiii-iiiiii Bazel.”

    Swooon. The perfect shininess of Bazel’s fur is gorgeous beyond measure. I completely love tuxedo cats. Moses The Cat has been gifted by me every single cat toy known to man and all he is interested in playing with is shoelaces. And my hair.

    By the way: Is it pronounces “Bazz-ul” or “Bayz-ul?”

    “Obsessed cats.” Heh.

  6. Today on Jerry Springer: Cats and their Human Enablers.

    Before you can help Bazel, you have to know how to help yourself. Enroll both of y’all (and Daughter, too, unless she’s in hopeless denial of being his supplier) in the appropriate 12-step programs, and turn to your cyber sponsors whenever you need to for support.

    I haven’t given you my phone number, have I?

    By the way, by the looks of some of those toys, I suspect that Misster Kitty might want to borrow some of them for his own personal use. Maybe that explains his name…

  7. I’ll have to see if I can find a few of those for my cat. Would you believe that he has no toys? He is very deprived but he doesn’t know it.

  8. Hannah – Cute? I beg your pardon, but I believe the correct term for such a fine gentleman in a tuxedo is “handsome”. And he does have a laser pointer, but he gets bored of chasing that after a while since there’s nothing to grab and chew.

    Dave – Naw, I’ve tried that. He’s never had any interest in paper. He loves his little soccer balls and mousies, but not since he discovered the jelly bracelets/

    LDG – Oh ya, Bazel loves the hair elastics, too. They are one and the same to him, but he has swallowed one of those once. It wasn’t pretty. The jelly bracelets he can’t eat at least – although I don’t let him play with them unsupervised because it’s quite surprising the things he CAN eat.

    Jazz – My eyebrows are raised at this new information I now have about you. I think Bazel would like joints, too, but I try to keep them out of the house away from impressionable teenagers.

    Laura – I’ve tried, believe me. Not even his favorite crunchies distract him from the JBs.

    Lesley – BAZZ-ul. And he does take a few hits off the kid’s crocs once in a while. Fortunately the kid is way over wearing the crocs so we just keep them around for him to gnaw on. He enjoys the odd shoelace, robe belt, dental floss and stray thread once in a while – but only if there’s no jelly bracelet. Bring Moses to the intervention and they can swap hair care tips.

    Bob – I’m very surprised that you of all people didn’t challenge my assertion over Bazel being the most handsome cat in the world. Hmmm. I don’t have time for even a 3-step program. What if we just made him quit cold turkey (he loves cold turkey, by the way)? I could possibly sit through a weekend of the DTs

    Linda – What? No toys? What does he play with? What does he do with himself all day? Does he go outside? I’m shocked. I’m calling kitty services and having him put into foster care.

  9. Have you looked under your fridge? That’s where Merlin and Jasper (our kitties) bat all of their playthings. We don’t have jelly bracelets here, but they love hair-ties…you’d be amazed at how many of those things can disappear under a fridge.

    (We have a metal grabber-dealie that we use to fish things out from under there – that’s the technical name, I swear! As soon as we get that thing out, they nearly die from excitement.)

    Merlin will do everything in his power to play with Qtips, so we have to hide them in the bottom of the bathroom trashcan. Jasper likes to knock the magnetized letters off the fridge. He has an affinity for the Q and C. Not sure why.

    Good luck with keeping Bazel from going into withdrawals!

    p.s. Do you pronounce his name BAY-zell or BAH-zell?

  10. Like living dead girl, all my cats love hair doodads. When my daughter lived here, they were always getting into them because they were probably all over her floor. My favorite odd cat toy was Sammie’s favorite: He LOVED those little plastic neck rings that came off a gallon of milk when you opened it. He would play with those for hours and hours.

  11. Despite the hundreds of dollars worth (OK, tens of dollars worth) of cat toys available for Max’s pleasure, nothing comes close to the nirvana of the drinking straw, but it has to be a bendy one. He will pinch them out of unattended drinks if he has to, and then he flips them in the air and bats them around the kitchen floor and carries them around in his mouth. He is unmoved by jelly bracelets. But should you wish to encourage his addiction, they are available at Dollarama.

  12. CP – My fridge handily rolls in and out of its spot, so at least once a week when I’m cleaning I gather all the toys from under the fridge and all the other movable furniture and pile them back in his toy box. The problem with the jelly bracelets is that he chews them up and when they get too wrecked I throw them out so he doesn’t end up eating them. I don’t know why someone can’t make cat toys that cats love as much as hair elastics and Qtips and all that other dangerous stuff they like to play with. And yes, its BAZZ-ul

    Geewits – I guess the hair things are a big hit with lots of cats judging by the comments. We only started Bazel on the jelly bracelets because he loved the hair elastics so much he kept trying to eat them. We figured he couldn’t eat these things as easily. Little did we know…

    Alison – Kind of like kids, eh? We’ve never given Bazel a bendy straw. I don’t see it ending well though. And thanks for the name of the nearest jelly bracelet dealer. Is there a code word or something I need to know so he’ll know I’m not a narc??

  13. i haven’t read any of the other comments, so forgive if i’m repeating. i can mail you some jelly bracelets, we’ve got them in spades.

    as well, i’ve found that milk carton rings are very popular with our cats, and every cat i’ve ever had.

    cat addiction could be far worse than any human’s so i’m prepared to help out.

  14. I will not question the assertion about Bazel being the handsomest cat. Coffee is the Prettiest Cat EV-ur, so it’s an apples/oranges thing.

    Please keep Bazel away from Misster Kitty, not only so that Kitty won’t steal Bazel’s toys, but so that Bazel doesn’t end up with a certain leopard-print ring of Kitty’s.

  15. Gee my cat doesn’t have any toys. He gets spoiled because the entire ‘house’ is his toy. He sits and lies anywhere and just waits for me and my miracle brush to do the daily thing so he can replace what I picked up! However I do confess that his favourite thing is the middle of my 6:00 a.m. newspaper (I leave the Business Section opened full for Simba) and I overlay the rest on him while I read!

  16. Sadly my cat is too old for toys now. On the rare occasions we try to interest her in something, she just gives us a withering glare and goes back to sleep. Maybe I should get a kitten. And some jelly bracelets.

  17. Leah – Shame on you, of all people, trying to undermine Bazel’s 12-step program! But really, thanks. If I can’t easily find any, he’ll just have to do without. Bad enough that I spend valuable hours of my day catering to the teenager.

    Helen – Yes, except cats are a lot dumber. If you hide something from them they just look perplexed. A toddler will catch on sooner or later — and get older and much smarter than you (especially when they’re teenagers)

    Bob – I’m a bit worried about that ring thing. I’ve led a very sheltered life and don’t really know what it’s all about. And speaking of obsessions, you should really make a trip to Montreal and spend a bit of time with Kitty. It would make an awesome blog post for you.

    Kathryn – Another person who doesn’t give his cat toys!!?? Holy jumpin’. What do these cats play with? Bazel is always looking for something to chew or bat around or hide or chase or jump on.

    Charlene – How do you know the turtle is a she? And you should totally get to know Violetsky if you don’t already. She’s a turtle gal, too.

    Loth – Awww. It’s so sad when they get old and tired. A kitten right now would either make the old cat’s life a misery or really perk her up

  18. LOL … Bazel is indeed a handsome furry fellow. Very much deserving of jelly bracelets. I think he may be related to my similarly outfitted feline Noods … or perhaps they just patronize the same tailor. ;~)

  19. Oh, I just got sidetracked by Charlene – who has a turtle! A compadre.
    …and I kept reading and see you mentioned that.

    Anyway, my previous cat LOVED elastic bands. She would dig through the garbage to get at them. I had to leave the broccoli bands in the grocery store. I begged the paper guy to not roll my Globe in elastic or she would be pawing under the door desperate to get the paper with the elastic band before I could get it and take it to work to throw it out. Those things always took precedence over any plastic ring pulls she could find. My current cat has no interest in bands or ring pulls. I don’t miss that inanity.

  20. Olivia – I expect you’ve posted a photo of the dashing Noods somewhere on your blog? I’ll have to go and hunt him down. I’ll let you know about the tailor — I’m not sure who Bazel uses these days.

    Raino – Yes, we’ve tried tin foil balls. We’ve tried all manner of things because we really want him to be happy and have fun. And he almost always does, but nothing like the fun he’s been having with these jelly bracelets

    Violetsky – Yes, you and Charlene should compare turtle tales! Bazel likes elastics a lot, too. I think the jelly bracelet is the ultimate elastic to him — it stretches and is chewable and tossable, but doesn’t break as easily.

  21. Nat – I have no idea. I even blogged about them once a long time ago, I think. Anyway, I believe it’s all over now.

    Olivia – The photos are amazing. He does look just like Bazel — maybe a bit more robust. And Bazel has a black nose. I can never get a good photo of Bazel, though, he’s always on the go and won’t pose as poignantly as Noods. Or maybe I’m just a crappy photographer.

  22. My cat used to be enamored of the plastic rings that come off of milk jugs. We would find those things EVERYwhere. But it was fine…a happy cat makes a happy home. 🙂

  23. haahaa! Memories of our cats, the flashlight, and the living room wall ensue… This was such a hilarious post XUP. You should be given a daily humour column in a newspaper. Scott Feschuk has nothing on you!

  24. Debra – Yes. It’s just nerve-wracking because he chews them up and bits fall off which he then eats. I don’t think eating plastic could be that good for him.

    Noha – Thanks. If you have any connections, send them my name. That sounds like a lot more fun than what I’m doing now.

  25. lol the things they will obsess with. my moomoo is facinated with kinder egg things. you know those containers all the parts come in to build the toy? loves them

  26. Mine is addicted to the covered hair elastics (especially the larger ones), rubber bands, and any little, plastic, round thingy. And Q-tips.

    You’re going to have to cut Baz off cold turkey. It’s the only humane thing to do if you’re not going keep him regularly supplied. It’ll take a few months, maybe years, but eventually the allure of the bracelets will dim and he’ll only dream about them every now and then.

  27. Bazel,
    I found your blog while looking for a photo of those crazy bracelets…I sell them in my shop and would love to share some with you…just send me your address!

  28. My cat is a tuxedo as well, and he is majorly obssesd with pipe cleaners. Can’t have projects, can’t make stuff and display it, I have to hide them in a case, that only a being with thumbs can open. Once he gets them he trips, drools, and attacks it. Once you bring one in the house, he knows. They call to him or something,lol. He Also likes pompoms and Barbie clothes! And anything else small and fuzzy that can fit under a fridge.