FDS

Ash-Matic Does Feline-Distraction Syndrome

I like cats, but my affection for these aloof felines sometimes comes with negative consequences – and therefore I don’t always like that affection.

For instance, as much as I love getting cat on my face, my immune system doesn’t. It makes my skin turn red and bumpy. I start to wheeze and sneeze. I scratch my neck. And if I get cat in my eyes – either directly or via my fingertips – they turn red, water, and itch like a motherfucker.

But I’ve recently realised another disadvantage of liking cats:

Feline-Distraction Syndrome.

I suspect I’ve had it for some time – years, maybe. But I never realised it until now.

I first started to suspect something a couple of months ago, when I was at a party. I was standing in a small kitchen with a group of people, who were talking and drinking, and possibly eating. But although I was holding a beer, and possibly food, and maybe had my mouth open, I was doing none of those things.

Instead, I was watching a cat.

It was on the floor, eating, drinking, talking or whatever. My friend got my attention, looking slightly exasperated, and pointed out that I had been saying something – trying - to say something, for quite some time, but was clearly incapable of doing so with a cat in the room.

I can’t really remember how I responded to this accusation, but after subsequent events now suspect it was with something like:

‘What? Don’t be ridi… awww… come here. Come here! Aww… Does it like cheese? Can you pass me some cheese?’

I forgot about my friend’s comment for a few months. Maybe because I was drunk by the end of the night, or had encountered another cat. But last friday I went to one of those civilised things adults occasionally stage – a dinner party – and this was where I truly learned about the nature of this debilitating condition.

It went something like this:

Six friends sit in a room, making noises that might be interpreted as conversation.

Friend A: ‘…yeah, really, really good.’

Me: ‘Did they have all the pyrotechnics again?’

Friend B: ‘Yeah, so much fire! The flamethrower thing nearly burned my face off.’

Miss-Matic, joining the conversation: ‘Who was supporting?’

Friend A: ‘Oh, I, uh, can’t remember…’

Friend B: ‘Wasn’t it… Oh… Erm… We got there late and missed most of the other bands.’

Friend A: ‘You’ve seen them before, have you?’

Me: ‘Oh, yeah, when Miss-Matic and I first…’

<!–A cat enters the room–>

Me: … started…’

<!–It’s a small cat – barely larger than kitten-size. Black, with white hind legs, front paws, underbelly and chin.–>

Miss-Matic: ‘Yeah, I bought him tickets… When was it? Two thousand… … ….. … …

<!–Where is it going? What is it doing? Is it coming towards me? It is! No… it’s not. No, don’t go to Friend A! I can smooth you better than he can. You’re his cat – he gets to smooth you every day. Come to meee! Yes! That’s it come here…. Aww… You’re cute… aw… you like that, don’t you? Aww… I bet you like… aw…. you do like that, don’t you? Aww… –>

Miss-Matic: ASH!

Me: ‘Huh? What? Where?’

<!–The black and white cat runs away.–>

Friend B: ‘Do you want another beer?’

Me: ‘Oh, yes please.’

Conversation resumes as normal. Drinks are served, places are taken at the table, food enters faces.

Friend C: ‘…I love his status updates! He loves himself!’

Friend A: ‘Is he the one who keeps posing with his cameraphone?’

Miss-Matic: ‘Yeah. He moves a bit of hair slightly to the left and thinks it deserves to go on Facebook.’

Me: ‘I don’t think I’ve met him.’

Miss-Matic: ‘Yes you have. You just don’t remember anyone. Ever.’

Friend D: ‘He’s a really boring guy…’

Me: ‘Maybe that’s why I…’

<!–A cat enters the room–>

Friend B: ‘Does anyone want this last piece of pizza? If nobody wants it … … .. ……

<!–It’s a small cat – barely larger than kitten-size. Black, with white hind legs, front paws, underbelly and chin. Where is it going? What is it doing? It’s coming towards me! Yes! That’s it! You remember me! Aww… You’re cute… aw… you like that, don’t you? Aww… I bet you like… aw…. you do like that, don’t you? Aww… No! Don’t leave! Where is it going? What is it doing? It’s going towards a pizza box… It’s… it’s stepping into the pizza box… It’s getting comfortable… Okay… it’s in the pizza box. Aww. It’s still in the pizza box. Aww. Look at it. In the pizza box. Aww… –>

Miss-Matic: ASH!

Me: ‘Huh? What? Who?’

Miss-Matic: ‘Friend C was talking to you.’

Me: ‘Oh. But… But the cat is sitting in the pizza box.’

Friend B: ‘Yeah, she does that.’

Friend B flaps her hands at the black and white cat, and it runs away.

Me: ‘Aww.’

There comes a knock at the door, and Friend A goes to answer it. He is knocked to the floor as three masked men rush inside with baseball bats. A furious battle ensues. Soon the intruders have the upper hand, and only I stand between them and the drugs. I mean, gold.

<!–A cat enters the room–>

Miss-Matic: ‘Ash! Do something! You’re the only one who can save us …. …. …..

<!–It’s a small cat – barely larger than kitten-size. Black, with white hind legs, front paws, underbelly and chin. Where is it going? What is it doing? It’s going towards that guy. Hey, he’s a bad guy. No, don’t rub on his leg. Rub on my leg. I have nicer legs. I can smooth you better than he can. Yes, that’s it, come here. Aww. Aw… you like that, don’t you? Aww… I bet you like… aw…. you do like that, don’t you? Aww… You’re so cute… Yes, you are! Aww… –>

Miss-Matic: ASH!

Me: ‘Huh? What? When?’

Miss-Matic: ‘I’ll just kill these bad guys myself, shall I?’

She snaps the last of their necks, and lets the body slump to the floor. I stare, open-mouthed, at the corpses.

Me: ‘How… How the hell did you do that?’

Miss-Matic shrugs as she opens another beer.

‘It was easy. They were too busy staring at that bloody cat.’

25 thoughts on “Ash-Matic Does Feline-Distraction Syndrome”

  1. I’m the same with any pet at someone’s house. I start talking in a funny voice as well – or start meowing thinking they can understand me and I’m some kind of ‘cat whisperer’ Funny because children don’t have that effect on me at all. I avoid them like the plague.

  2. The thieves were going for the “gold.” Riiiiiiight.

    I have a similar thing happen to me when I stare a ducks, oddly enough. I have a canal in my neighborhood where plenty of ducks are free to roam to beg for scraps of bread.

    -Barb the French Bean

  3. I am liking you better all the time.

    I have been known to have a bad case of Feline-Distraction Syndrome. Because I was born an over-achiever, I must also force my F.D.S. on others. For example, we have beautiful black and white cat who loves me and nobody else. If anyone comes near her (besides me), she will scratch their eyes out, eat their eyes, then spit out the left over capillaries and poop in the person’s empty eye-sockets. However, this does not stop me from saying, “Please, dear friend, pet my adorable cat Kitty, she is sooooooo sweet, just pet her on the neck there, she loves that.”

    I swear I am not doing this to be sadistic (the claw scars on all my friends’ arms indicate otherwise), I just think that somehow Kitty will miraculously change in two seconds and be as nice to everyone as she is to me.

    Feel free to come over any time to get your Kitty Fix and work on therapy for your F.D.S.

    best,
    MOV

  4. But what if the cat is genuinely more interesting than your friends? I mean, sure, the obvious answer is to find new friends, but to me, it’s to go rub that little animal’s belly while your friends talk about their fantasy football draft or whatever else drivel I don’t care about.

  5. Cats hold no sway with me. Mainly because I’m allergic and have grown to despise them and their allergen-ridden fur. However, you could easily replicate this scenario with me and almost any other animal.

  6. My girlfriend’s cat has that same influence. It can stop me mid-sentence. It’s so soft and furry. It hates me though. I do get the itchy, red bumps though. My girlfriends says it’s because the cat has poop on its claws and when it scratches me the poop infects my skin or something.

    I love the dialogue though. Hilarious post!

  7. You are kind of like a masochist in being fascinated by and drawing something nearer to you that you are actually allergic to and have a negative reaction to. Your girlfriend’s name isn’t Kat is it?

  8. Aha – I understand the syndrome! The gal I keep nearby to cook for me and I were traveling about 200 kilometers on a motorcycle. Sadly, the cat had to ride with us as I don’t have a car in the Philippines.

    So there we were riding down yet another dilapidated road called a national highway, with the cat meowing to beat the band. Well, I kept looking back in a foolhardy attempt to placate the furry fiend, when my gal shrieked, “Watch out!”

    In the Philippines, driving is much like being Robbie Knievel on a full-time basis. Erratic is an understatement.

    At any rate, a provincial bus and a trike were both passing a slow car (or was it a tractor) and headed right for us.

    With the deftness and agility of a paranoid, I went off into the sand and gravel at 80 kph and avoided newspaper coverage.

    The great news is that the cat maintained his cool the rest of the trip.

  9. We had to adopt our grandkittens when my daughter’s (not her real name) rommmate was discovered to be allergic. My husband (not his real name) professed to hate cats. Guess who has FDS? (Which sounds like a hygiene product, BTW.) Yep. the old man (also not his real name).

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