Owners Must Read
conquered cat flu, triumphed over tapeworm and braved behavioural
quirks, it is time to focus attention on some oft-observed,
but little-documented, afflictions of cats.
Symptoms: The affected cat repeatedly headbutts any available
part of a readily available human and turns its head slightly
so that the lips and cheek are rubbed against legs, arms,
clothing etc. This condition gets its name from a contraction
of the phrase "soggy nudging." Snudging may well
be a form of excessive scent-marking. A bad attack can result
in soggy clothing.
Give the sufferer lavish affection. Most attacks subside
between 10 minutes to 1 hour after onset of symptoms. You
may need to dry off snudged clothing or skin. Attacks recur
frequently, usually when the most readily available human
is engrossed in a TV programme, book or telephone call.
Symptoms: The cat spreads to take up all available free
bed space at night. It then expands a bit more until any
human occupants occupy the smallest possible area of bed.
It may do this on top or underneath the covers or on the
pillow. It is highly contagious - any other cats on the
bed will also develop symptoms of bed-hogging.
The most obvious solution is to evict the cat from the bed.
If this is morally unfeasible, train yourself not to give
way as the cat expands. Buying a bigger bed is probably
pointless as most affected cats can easily expand to fill
standard, queen-sized and king-sized beds. Otherwise, simply
train yourself to sleep while hanging precariously off the
side of the bed. Attacks of bed-hogging have been known
to last up to 23 hours (in one case a 3-day attack was noted
by a cat-owner who was confined to bed with flu; the cat
thoughtfully kept her company during this time).
INSECT INFESTATION (also NONSPECIFIC SPIDER INFESTATION)
Symptoms: A disorder more prevalent among outdoor-going
cats and cats with access to conservatories and garden rooms.
Symptoms range from minor (the odd greenfly in tail, money-spider
on fur) to severe (entire ecosystems of insects living on
cat, spider webs spun between ears/whiskers, cat so weighed
down with spider webs that it has difficulty walking).
Minor symptoms can be treated by simply removing the infesting
agent (aphid, ladybug, spider, etc.) and combing webs out
of fur. If the cat suffers recurrent or severe symptoms
an exercise regime is highly recommended since highly mobile
cats appear to attract fewer greenfly (research into this
Symptoms: The cat appears unable to settle comfortably on
laps, instead treading, kneading, rearranging itself, fidgeting,
vocalizing, getting up and turning around, falling off lap
and getting back on again, attacking magazines, needlework,
computer keyboard, telephone etc.
Immediate treatment is essential. Drop whatever you are
doing (literally if need be) and give 100% attention to
the sufferer otherwise symptoms may escalate and become
quite distressing to the lap-owner. Only prolonged attention
will cure an attack of Irritable Lap Syndrome.
Symptoms: Having taken over a human lap, the cat proceeds
to spread in all planes. This may be accompanied by secondary
symptoms such as high volume purring, dribbling, kneading
and snoring. The condition is highly contagious and several
fungoid cats may infect a lap simultaneously.
Topical treatment with proprietary anti-fungals is ineffective.
Prompt treatment (as per Irritable Lap Syndrome) is required
to alleviate the worst symptoms although in a number of
cats, such treatment actually exasperates the condition.
This disorder manifests itself periodically through the
affected cat's life and there is no long-term cure.
Symptoms: Random dashes through to helter-skelter running
through house in pursuit of unseen prey. Greeblingz are
believed to be non-visible entities and some authorities
have linked them to UFO sightings or feel that they may
be diminutive other-dimensional beings. Cats suffering from
greeblingz typically have wild-eyed expressions. There is
a minor danger of greeblingz attaching themselves to humans;
if a cat tackles such greeblingz, injury to humans may result.
A very few cats are naturally immune.
None known. Anti-epileptics are ineffective as the condition
appears unrelated to other forms of seizure. Avoid getting
in the way of a cat engaged in greebling hunting. Attacks
usually subside spontaneously, perhaps as greeblingz return
to their own dimension. These irritating creatures are not
visible to human eyes, but no doubt the superior sight and
hearing of cats enables them to see them.