LITTLE KNOWN FELINE AILMENTS
Having 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 places one side of its head on the ground as
though cheek-marking the concrete, carpet etc. After several such
maneuvres, the legs on that side of the cat suddenly collapse, leaving the
cat waggling its feet in the air.
Treatment: This involves placing the palm of one hand on the exposed
belly and rubbing gently. There are side-effects though - some feline
sufferers attack the rubbing hand while others recover spontaneously, often
after prolonged treatment. This condition is probably incurable and any
cat which requires prolonged treatment after an attack will most likely
suffer repeated attacks of collapsible legs throughout its lifetime.
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
Treatment: 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 program, book or
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.
Treatment: 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
NON-SPECIFIC INSECT INFESTATION
(also NON-SPECIFIC 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).
Treatment: Minor symptoms can be treated by simply removing the infesting
agent (aphid, ladybug, spider etc) and combing wbs 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 factor continues).
Symptoms: The cat lowers its nose into water and exhales. This is
followed by whiffling, spluttering, sneezing, snorting, head-shaking and a
generally confused expression. Bath-foam appears to trigger attacks of
fuffling in some cats. It may also be linked to interesting items seen in
the water e.g. goldfish, food-crumbs, greeblingz. Fuffling is most common
during kittenhood although even quite elderly may suffer an occasional
Treatment: None. Snorkelling apparatus or scuba suits are possibilities,
but cats do not readily accept such treatment. Kittenhood fuffling
generally subsides as the cat grows older, possibly due to some acquired
immunity (or greater common sense).
IRRITABLE LAP SYNDROME
Symptoms: The cat appears unable to settle comfortably on laps, instead
treading, kneading, rearranging itself, fidgeting, vocalising, getting up
and turning around, falling off lap and getting back on again, attacking
magazines, needlework, computer keyboard, telephone etc.
Treatment: 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. Like
Collapsible Legs this syndrome is incurable, although attacks may be
effectively treated as and when they occur.
LAP FUNGUS DISORDER
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 infest a lap simultaneously.
Treatment: 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 aggravates the condition. This disorder manifests
itself periodically through the affected cat's life and there is no
Symptoms: Varied:- sucking at clothing, owners earlobes/nose/fingers/skin,
drooling, glazed expression. Often accompanied by kneading and high volume
Treatment: Ultimately incurable. It is possible to remove smurglable
items from around the cat. The ailment may be transmitted to humans in the
form of large laundry bills, mis-shapen clothing and chapped skin.
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
Treatment: 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.