'Our cat's robotic and we've become its full-time carer': Family's trauma over rigid tom


'We live our lives around him': Allister and Shona Sim, from Aberdeenshire, with their cat Tinker

It is a tale as bizarre as it is heartbreaking.
The owners of a cat struck down with a mystery disease that has turned it into a ‘living robot’ have told how they have had to become its full-time carers.
Shona and Allister Sim have even passed up on holidays to stay by the side of their beloved nine-year-old tom, Tinker.
The cat is the victim of a disease that has baffled vets and has no known treatment.
It strikes older cats that like to hunt and makes their legs rigid, giving them an oddly stiff gait. Their personality changes and even their tail stiffens and sticks out. Vets describe afflicted animals as looking like robots.
Around 50 cases have been spotted in the UK in the past decade, but researchers believe more may have gone unreported.
In the past year, Mr and Mrs Sim have watched Tinker degenerate from an active pet to such an extent that the couple now care for him around the clock, take him for walks in the garden, feed him by hand and take him into their bed at night.

Mystery: Tinker has been struck down with 'robot' syndrome

Tinker has become so confused he forgets to eat, drink and even blink.
Mrs Sim, 50, of Huntly in north-east Scotland, said: ‘I took him to the vet just over a year ago because I felt he just wasn’t right. He seemed to be slowing up. His back legs were starting to be a bit frozen. The vet actually thought at first he had been hit by a car but then she found out he had robotic cat syndrome.’
‘He forgets to eat, he forgets to drink. We use a syringe to give him water. We live our lives around the cat now.’
Tests for all known viruses have come back negative, leaving vets to speculate that it is caused by a mutant bug, likely to be carried by mice and voles caught by the cats when out hunting.

source: dailymail