When my cats want to snuggle, I normally welcome and encourage it. After all, there are few things more pleasant than a warm, purring kitty gently kneading my leg while wholly stoned on love and good vibes. But sometimes it is neither the time nor the place for snuggles; in fact, it can be downright inappropriate. Here are five times my cats need to respect my boundaries a little more.
In the mornings, it is not uncommon to find me standing in front of the bathroom sink with a toothbrush in one hand and a cat in the other. For some reason beyond my comprehension, Phoenix wants to be held while I’m using a tiny handheld brush to remove plaque and tartar from my molars. She usually purrs. Whatever floats your boat, weird cat.
Phoenix doesn’t know what I’m doing on the toilet. All she knows is that a lap has suddenly appeared, and she’s gonna sit in it. Even if I close the bathroom door, she’ll push it open and force her way in. She does this because she loves me so much and is in no way troublingly codependent. I won’t get into the complications of sharp claws on bare thighs — especially when it happens first thing in the morning (read: pre-coffee). I don’t even know where I am before I’ve had coffee. It is a rude awakening indeed.
As a freelance writer, I’ve talked to people all over the world: Turkey, Alaska, Canada, England. I recently interviewed a woman in India, and Bubba Lee Kinsey was as excited about it as I was. He was so jazzed, in fact, that the moment the call went through and I clicked on my handheld recorder, he started chirping and demanding chin scritchies. Then he started headbutting the phone when I did not comply. Eventually I had to carry him, the phone, and the recorder into the bedroom simultaneously so I could lock him inside the room without interrupting my interview.
When I played back the recording, I could still hear Bubba and Phoenix crying in the background as though I hadn’t fed them or acknowledged their presence in weeks. They do this because they want to help me advance my career, obviously. Because nothing says “consummate pro” like someone who takes orders from her cat.
When Bubba finishes pooping, he wigs out hardcore. He darts out of the box and into the living room, back and forth, at seriously impressive speeds for a 12-year-old cat. It’s almost as though he’s been activated like a nitrous cartridge or detonated like a bottle rocket, and he’s gotta burn off all that fuel before coming to rest at his final destination: my lap, of course. It seems like Bubba is the most enthusiastic about snuggling when his paws are still covered with a fine layer of kitty litter dust. I can even smell it on his chin when he slams his face into mine — though I might be imagining that part. Either way, he just pooped, and he needs to take a minute to collect himself before getting up close and personal with my face. Seriously, wash your damn hands, cat. It’s nature’s fault you have to use your tongue, not mine.
While I’ve been writing this blog, Bubba has licked the granola bar I was eating, thereby making it worthless and forcing me to share, and Phoenix has stretched out luxuriously on top of the keyboard. Oh, look — Bubba is back. He’s pawing at my chest, looking for an in. I just slid the computer back to make room for him because I’m a sucker. He’s purring. Hsadaddsdfas. Sorry, he just headafesdddddddd — I mean, headbutted my hand. kl;ljkl j jkll;kllfkl Be right back, gotta pet my cat.
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About Angela: This not-crazy-at-all cat lady loves to lint-roll her favorite dress and go out dancing. She also frequents the gym, the vegan coffee joint, and the warm patch of sunlight on the living room floor. She enjoys a good cat rescue story about kindness and decency overcoming the odds, and she’s an enthusiastic recipient of headbutts and purrs from her two cats, Bubba Lee Kinsey and Phoenix.
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