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British shorthair: Proof you can sell anything with good marketing. These feral and muscular moggies were originally alley cats until some nutter took a fancy to them. The flat faces are indicative of being hit once too often with dustbin lids, and they reproduce faster than the rats with which they are partly interbred

Burmese: Feline psychopaths owned by those for whom a normal cat is not enough of a challenge. These chunky thugs (sometimes described as 'bricks wearing silk') are encouraged by vets who do not get enough custom from other cat-owners in the area.

Cornish Rex: These skeletons with fur are ideal pets for an anorexic who likes competition. Unsurprisingly, they first appeared in Cornwall, an area with high natural radiation levels, and their emaciated, deformed appearance makes them valuable background extras in horror movies

Maine Coon: These are actually boxer dogs crossbred with racoons. They love climbing trees, fetching sticks and walking on a leash. Once you have been brankrupted by feeding these 25lb monsters you won't be able to afford hernia treatment after attempting to pick one up.

Norwegian Forest Cat: The Norwegian Forest Cat is essentially a wild animal which has figured out that humans are inexplicably prepared to offer free food. Apart from mealtimes, the only way you know they still exist is because the goldfish keep vanishing from the neighbour's fishpond. However, they leave a full coat of a zillion zillion hairs around the house every spring to remind you of their presence. If you try getting one of these coats onto your lap whilst the cat is still inside it, prepare to be hospitalized.

Ocicat: The feline equivalent of GM food. Crossbred from Abyssinian, American shorthair and so on through to the letter Z, Ocicats so completely resemble their wild proto-ancestors that they usually only appear at mealtimes or to savage visitors, juvenile family members and passing rottweilers.

Persian: These hairball factories look wonderful in the ten minutes between their last grooming and their return from outdoors as a tangle of leaves, burrs and ticks, pasted on with what you hope is mud. The perfect pet for someone who prefers cat maintenance to getting a life.

Ragdoll: As the name says. For sissies who are too lazy to buy a wind-up fluffy toy. The only cats which manage to be agoraphobic and claustrophobic at the same time, ragdolls have been specially bred not to vomit when addressed as ikkle-wikkle-pookins.

Russian blue: Famous for being able to fight, crap and run simultaneously. These affectionate felines will sometimes lovingly place a dying and partly disembowelled rat on the pillow as a gift for their mistress to discover two inches from her nose when she wakes.

Siamese: People who buy them as fashion accessories find them unexpectedly affectionate - if your idea of affection is sixteen claws deeply affixed to your chest through your haute colture clothing while the beast howls incessantly in your ear.

Turkish Van: Not the Kebab dealer's transport on the corner. The Turkish Van is the ideal pet for a masochist with no taste for interior design. When not shredding its human, the Van likes to do the same to the soft furnishings. Best kept outdoors, preferably in a neigbouring country with which your own state is at war.

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