When Jake checked in at chez Jennyta, his coat had been clipped almost into non-existence and he had purple patches on his right side, which I assumed were patches of skin pigmentation and which would soon be covered once his hair had grown back. A month later, most of his hair is growing nicely, but not the areas over the purple patches, so when I took him to the vet's today for his injections, I asked about the problem.
"Well," said the vet, "it could be one of three things; an under-active thyroid, Addison's disease or...
seasonal alopecia. Most likely to be that," she said, "as he doesn't seem to have any other symptoms. Of course, if you wanted to have the tests for the other conditions... " and she read me out the respective costs.
I remembered that Keith had said that Jake had had similar patches last year, so it seemed that the alopecia was the most likely.
AND, he didn't try to career round the waiting room like a mad thing because of the smell of cats - like SOME dogs I could mention! (Are you reading this, Paddy?)