M Database Inspector (cheetah)
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While stricly NOT a classic FHS symptom,
rather the 'opposite', this is the first and very early
pecularity I found in Nekko at a very early age and is worth
Cat owners know that the only time one sees a cat with
an erect tail - sort of erect, not quite in a straight line -
is when the cat is very furious or fearful of a clear and present
danger. In this case the hair sticks out as if electrified,
making the tail look swolen, or expanded.
Humans know to take a distance from a cat in this
state, or else they are likely to be attacked when approaching.
Such is the case with ordinary cats
Nekko - since she was very young, long before FHS -
uses this body language conciously to express
a desire and invitation for me to join in a playful game.
What usually happens is about like this:
I would be crossing from one room to the next,
suddenly having Nekko in my view. Typically this
would happen just after I wake up,
not having been with her for some time.
She would then immediately raise her tail high an swollen,
not straight erect like with FHS,
but like all cats do accasinaly when under huge stress or fear.
So untypical this behaviour is for this istuation,
that at the first few times I wasn't sure whether I should be cautious. In fact, she is dancing in front of me,
walking mostly sideways, like a horse in
a horse show, and so I knick named this behaviour horse tail,
long before FHS.
She would be dancing like this in front of my walk,
keeping a measured distance, making funny as-if
furious faces, smacking me on the legs as I walk,
encourage my walk to join in the dance.
As I starts dancing, she would amplify.
If I completely ignore her, she would discontinue
and relax the tail in an instant.
It only takes less then two seconds for Nekko's tail
to shrink to width, which I found to be very odd.
An ordinary cat will take much time to relax
after a fearful event had caused the tail to expand in this manner.
It is also important to note that Nekko's control of
keeping the claws retracted varies with FHS episode level,
and this serves as a very accurate measure during episodes.
During horse tail, she is always with exact control,
and she can smack me many times with much force,
as well as jump at my walking legs with gentle bites,
never to let a claw go out un-noticed, nor have a bite
that is any harder or longer in duration then a gentle
I always liked horse tail as it shows Nekko in its most playfulness and friendliness.
It is interesting that Nekko's tail is also a central
part in her body language pecularities.
Over time I grew to suspect that this pecularity
is reserved only to FHS gene owning cats.
Nekko still excersizes horse tail somewhat frequently.
Today, (9/24/07) she ambushed me right when I woke up.
Much like she would wait patiently while I'm asleep,
only to ask for food when I wake up,
she was waiting patiently to play.
I have yet to catch horse tail on camera.
Its not the tail itself, which would like
that of a cat in the sudden presence of a large
The dance and the sideways walk
of wooing my attention is worth noting on video.
As this is not an FHS thing,
and does not occur in proximity of episodes at all,
it is impossible for me to predict,
and be ready with a camera.