The nation's pets are at risk of coming a cropper through run-ins with the latest tech toys, according to shock new research.
A survey of 3000
irresponsible morons pet owners conducted by Petplan pet insurers found that careless gadget fans are injuring their animal companions on a daily basis with their expensive plastic button-laden wire-strewn future landfill-fodder. The heartless geeks' true allegiance to their clunky MP3 players and swiftly-obsolete games consoles is laid bare in the results - which we know aren't really funny but, having lost sight of the line long since, are heartily giggling at anyway.
The dastardly iPod was responsible for most injuries in reptiles and cats - we shudder to think - and perhaps unsurprisingly a number of pets have been trodden on by stumbling players of the Nintendo Wii. Domestic beasts have also suffered from run-ins with laptops, plasma tellies and Sony Playstations - rabbits being the most frequent victims of the latter.
Meanwhile, guinea pigs are displaying the survival instincts of lemmings by getting themselves run over more often than cats, but also making heroic inroads when it comes to gadget-injury. The South American rodents take the prize for being the most likely pets to end up in animal hospital after a run-in with some swanky bit of tech kit - and, quite astonishingly, 2.86 per cent of the little blighters have been damaged by a karaoke machine.
Our satire neurons just exploded. There will be no more satire today. Please come back tomorrow.
Other gems in the survey included a singed cat which has now learnt to appreciate the delicate scent of candles from a distance, and a dog whose owner had to cough up £1,700 when it necked a tasty pair of pants. (Your correspondent once had an Airedale terrier which ate a pair of tights, a Double Decker still in its wrapper and a balloon, so we know it happens.)
El Reg salutes Petplan for its ingenious and dastardly shoehorning of an IT angle into its press release, and for its tireless work protecting our fluffy friends from a dismal Dixons-assisted death. ®
What's the Paris Hilton angle? The survey found that some dogs sustain injuries tumbling out of the kind of designer pooch-purse in which the heiress has been seen to tote around some of her long-suffering genetically-engineered mini-mutts. This is because, contrary to common perception, small dogs do not actually have functioning legs.