Chapter 938: In Which Our Hero Eludes The French By Covering Himself In Lard, Feathers And Small Bits Of Wool

…later earning himself the nickname “Slippery Jim”.

Our last entry for this theme. Next up: “Well, That’s Different”

The Doclopedia #1,208

Strange Pet Ailments: Avian Regression Disease

There can be little doubt that among the diseases of pets, Avian Regression Disease is the worst and potentially the most deadly. Not deadly for the birds, but for humans and other animals.

ARD is believed to have entered the pet population via a shipment of 2,000 parrots captured in Costa Rica in the 1990s, a few years after the mysterious military firebombing of Isla Nublar, an island which still carries the death penalty for trespassers. The parrots came into the United States, Canada, the UK, Europe and South Africa via the usual route and were passed through quarantine with no problems.

About a year later, some of these parrots began to come down with a disease that caused many of their feathers to fall out, new & much different feathering to grow back and beak and skull deformities to occur. These individuals also began to grow scales on the featherless areas. Veterinarians were stumped as to what was going on. It would be another six months before the truth was even guessed at. During that time, most of the surviving 2,000 birds showed signs of the changes. Around 190 of these birds escaped into the wild in North America, South Africa and Europe. Dozens of aviaries and zoos started reporting that the disease had spread to other psittacine species, ostriches, some raptor species and, worst of all, domestic chickens.

In 1994, Dr. Sheila Soong at the UC Davis Veterinary school suggested that these birds were actually regressing into something similar to dinosaurs. She was roundly criticized for this, until several paleontologists and geneticists backed her up. This was also the same time that several attacks upon humans and other animals made the news. The worst came when 10,000 hens at a Georgia chicken farm escaped and killed 45 people. Only 7,000 of those birds were ever destroyed.

We now accept that ARD is real and does indeed turn several species of birds into therapod dinosaurs. We also know that some, if not most of these neo-dinos produce young that are larger with each successive generation, generally about 10-15% larger than the previous generation. Fourteen species of neo-dino have been identified, including raptors, carnotaurs, pterosaurs, tyrannosaurs and spinosaurs. It has also been discovered that pigeons can be carriers of this disease, but are never affected by it.

Oddly, one of the best friends that the United Nations Dinosaur Eradication Agency has are crows and ravens, who hate the dinos and will fly in large groups above them.

It’s Been 11 Years Since I Ate Coconut Snot

…for an explanation of that, see the May 8, 2004 post in the archives

The Doclopedia #1,207

Strange Pet Ailments: Canine/Feline Anal Combustion

As all pet owners know, the flatulence produced by our animal friends can be overpowering. Well, if your dog or cat comes down with Anal Combustion, it can be downright dangerous.

The origins of AC have been traced to a canned dog & cat food from China that used a flavor additive contaminated with several strange bacteria. The resulting bacterial infections caused hundreds of dogs & cats in North America and other countries to have farts that burst into flame on contact with the air. Many fires were started in homes and a wildfire in Idaho was directly linked to an Australian Cattle Dog “ripping off a doozy” that ignited drought dried brush.

The pet foods were quickly banned and recalled, but by then, the bacteria were loose in the environment. Fortunately, it only seems to affect domesticated dogs & cats and is easily treatable with a series of antibacterial enemas. If your dog or cat should suddenly start “letting flamers”, get them to a vet ASAP.

It should be noted that the company in China changed their name, re-labeled the dog food as “American Style Beef Stew” and the cat food as “Finest Fish Pate” and sold out the several tons it had on hand to Chinese consumers. Sadly, the effect of direct ingestion on humans was much the same as on dogs & cats. The Chinese media has cracked down on reporting of all the factory and residential fires, but NASA has posted pictures of many of these fires online.

A Big Man Goes Down Hard

…must have been the weight of all that lead

The Doclopedia #1,206

Strange Pet Ailments: Spider-bunny Virus

Because this strange disease allows pet rabbits to walk up walls and on ceilings, it inevitably got the nickname “Spider-bunny virus”. Even vets use it.

The disease usually strikes bunnies between the ages of 6 months and two years old, but can affect older rabbits. Signs that your pet is infected include fur color changing to red or black, increased appetite and very bright green poop.

Infected bunnies can spread the virus to other rabbits, but only in the early stages. Once a rabbit can actually hop up walls, they are no longer infectious. One side effect of the disease is that bunnies become much healthier.

The disease does not hurt the rabbit and the biggest problems are trying to get them off the ceiling and when they urinate or defecate while up there.

Working In A Troll Mine

…going down down down

WOOHOO! The Doclopedia is back! The theme for the next few entries is “Strange Pet Ailments”.

The Doclopedia #1,205

Strange Pet Ailments: Feline Transparency Syndrome

Cat owners everywhere are worried about this new ailment that slowly renders the animal nearly invisible. Since cats are often underfoot and move pretty much silently, it’s easy to see how being invisible might enhance the chances of tripping and injury. There is also the shock that comes when a cay you didn’t see leaps onto your lap or otherwise interacts with you. And, of course, transparent cats are much harder to find if the get loose.

Little is known about Feline Transparency Syndrome, but it is believed to be linked to a double recessive gene. No cure is imminent, so most vets suggest putting a sweater on your transparent cat, since collars don’t seem to be enough to alets you to their presence. Painting the cat is, of course, right out.

Please note that FTS only affects cats over the age of 1 year and under the age of 10.