Alas, my friend's dog Dudley, of the goofy appearance and tiny brain, had to have part of a sore tail removed. This meant he had to undergo a spell in the sartorial splendor of The Elizabethan Collar. Named after the large starchy lacy ruffs worn in England around the time of Queen Elizabeth I (16th c.), they are a means of keeping your pet from chewing and licking where they must not.
Frankly, I just wanted an excuse to post these pix because they made me chuckle. But as it happens, I found very useful instructions on how to make an emergency collar. (Tip: Margarine might fit your cat.) Plus, just for sheer joy of discovery, here's a page on Elizabethan cosmetics -- don't try these at home.