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February 4, 1974

All About Gray Cats

Author Affiliations

Woodhaven, NY

JAMA. 1974;227(5):558. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230180056025

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To the Editor.—  I would like to report the findings of an interesting study performed at the Newton Irwin General Hospital at Tattleboro (NIGHT). Our town is very proud of Newton Irwin, whom history records as the originator of baked beans, making Tattleboro the borborygmus capital of the world.Whether as cause or effect, the most common admission diagnosis at our hospital is abdominal tympany (AT), divided (of course) into acute abdominal tympany (AAT) and chronic abdominal tympany (CAT).During the first six months of 1973, it was decided to test the saliva of all patients admitted for AT with Gombarts reducing agent (GRA). As medical students will remember, a drop of GRA added to saliva will remain clear if the test is negative (GRAN), but will turn yellow (GRAY) if the test is positive.It is found generally, that AATs were GRAN, but at NIGHT all CATS were GRAY.