The state of the cats’ scratching post reminded me of a very old joke I heard last century:
A string went into a bar and ordered a beer. The bartender told the string that he didn’t serve strings. The string left the bar, tied itself in a knot, fluffed up its top, went back in the bar, and ordered a beer. The bartender looked sideways at the string and asked: “Aren’t you that string that was in here a few minutes ago?” The string answered: “No sir! I’m a frayed knot!”
The cats have enjoyed their scratching post so much they have frayed the knots.