Posted by: peterhact | July 17, 2012

Fluffyitis: Kittens have it, Cats seem to perfect it.

Fluffyitis is the term I have given to the S&D Cat Module’s behavior when he is surprised, scared, upset, attacked, angry, in fact any state at all that involves changing from a cat of small stature to a cat which is double the original size and has a tail like a bottlebrush. Fluffyitis was evident when he was a kitten, when every single thing was a reason to fluff up. He had two methods of dealing with scary things, one, run for cover and two, stand his ground and become a tiny ball of fluff. The seething aggression and evil was evident even then, woe betide the person who looked at the “ickle kitten, awwww, he is so cute, is oo cute, is oo?” The small ball of fluff became a nasty bitey clawy cute ball of fluff. already able to identify pressure points and how to bring down larger prey with a savage attack. Come to think of it, he did get trodden on a couple of times as the visitors stampeded towards the exit, blind panic leading to blind stepping. That really did not improve the situation at all.

He also had an inbuilt “Embarrassing Situation Detector” which meant that if he timed it just right, usually with an accompanying act of flatulence, people having showers were trapped in the shower, with the bathroom door inexplicably wide open, and all the vertical blinds pulled down off their hooks. The towel rail was on the other side of the bathroom, so to get it meant that you had to walk the length of the double entry bathroom, in all your naked glory. That first townhouse was in a complex mainly occupied by elderly people who would wander between townhouses, visiting each other. I never managed to find out how he did it, but I did have to apologise to several residents on a regular basis.

There were no sympathetic people in the house, if you weren’t the one in the shower, you were usually the one laughing so hard that you had tears in your eyes, and were no help whatsoever. Or you had a brief moment of kitten attention, and moving to help dislodged the tiny, sharp needle like claws currently gripping your leg. This was when I was introduced to dettol and bandages.

The two biggest evil fluffyitis inducing devices were the vacuum and the digital camera. After the last Bathroom Incident, I decided to get some payback. sneak out, get vacuum, set it up next to kitten, turn it on, sneak back to powerpoint and turn the power on…


Hold on, where is he now? the kitten space next to the vacuum is decidedly empty. I can hear strange faint mewing. He was too big to vacuum up, surely?

Panic ensues. He is trapped in the vacuum (I know he can’t fit), a crawl space, under the small bed, aaargh, where is he? Frantic search of the house, every cupboard, drawer, room searched. The place looks like a bomb has gone off. Then, as I was searching the bathroom, the laundry hamper was making a strange purring noise. Found him. Survey damage in the house. It took me the best part of the night to clean up the mess I made. The clean up was done because my house inspection was the next morning, in hindsight I should have rescued him from the hamper and cuddled him, maybe the morning’s dawning would have not included the carnage and flour tracks throughout the house. There was flour everywhere. On the ceiling, even. right. two hours till the inspection. corral cat in laundry, after changing the litter (just in case, I mean, it makes sense to avoid nasty “surprises”), clean like a demon, get the house up to spec again, decide to have a drink of water, open the cupboard….

Ah. so that is where the rest of the flour is.

The second device for fluffyitis is a digital camera, but it must have a flash. The digital camera noises and whirring do nothing to a cat. The flash on the other hand has the ability to temporarily blind and render the subject fluffy and very, very angry. This was discovered very early on, when I tried to get some photos of his life as he was changing from fluffy kitten to sleek panther cat. The first photo was taken in decent light. No flash. No clue of what was to come.

That night, he was being particularly cute. grab the camera, line up the shot…..




extricate cat from leg. carefully. tend to cuts with dettol and bandages. Take the camera to the photo place the next day, print out a picture that would have made a wildlife photographer proud if it was a panther. It would have a title like “panther mid leap at its prey”. Shame I was the intended victim. I had to wear long pants for a couple of weeks in summer, one of the hottest summers I could remember.

The S&D Cat Module was out the back yesterday in the sun. he was asleep and kitten dreaming. There was no mistaking the bit with the camera, he subconsciously became a fluffy cat and started clawing at the air. So that was what he was doing to my legs. Right.

The new Scary Thing for an older and wiser cat is the large birds that come to visit our backyard. Currawongs are scary, Murray magpies, whilst smaller, are scary and screechy, and Magpies just don’t quit when you are just lying there in the sun, minding your own business. It is definitely a life of things to be scared by.

The things that are not scary seem to be other cats. Any suicidal cat that decides to shortcut across our backyard and survives is certainly recreating a safer route that does not involve leaping over a fence into a backyard with a homicidal maniac cat in it. Standing up and being tough does not save you. running for your life, leaping over the fence into the yard with the big barking dogs is a slight improvement, but the dogs don’t bark at the S&D cat module, it is almost as if they know a Bad Thing when they see it.

Dogs are smart, aren’t they?


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