Cats, like people, exist on a spectrum of cleanliness. Ghost Cat is like a kitty neat freak, while young Specter is comparable to a teenager with a room full of old food and dirty socks. She leaves toys all over the house, kicks litter all over the place, and knocks her wet food out of the dish and onto the ground. Sometimes she has chunks of food in her hair. Not surprisingly, she occasionally smells bad.
I was sitting on the couch the other day when Specter climbed up onto the back of the sofa to chill by my face. At first, I wasn’t sure what I was smelling, I just knew it was gross. Then, I gave Specter’s tiny paws a sniff.
"Oh my God. Specter smells really bad," I said to my husband.
"Yeah, I noticed, she’s not as clean as Ghost Cat. She’s got those pee paws."
"Is she just not cleaning herself?"
Specter must’ve been offended by my words, because she jumped down off the back of the couch onto the middle cushion, and Ghost Cat jumped up onto the couch to start grooming her.
Ghost Cat’s grooming sessions with Specter have been happening a lot more lately. I think they’re spending more time on cleaning now than they are on fake nursing, which is probably a good thing. I really do hope that Ghost Cat is a good influence on Specter, because Ghost Cat is the nicest smelling cat I have ever met. She somehow manages to smell cleaner than soap. If I could I would bottle the scent of her fur. Specter, on the other hand, sometimes smells like eau de urine and wet food. Our little one has a long way to go on the road to appropriate personal grooming, but in the meantime, Ghost Cat is willing to pick up the fur-licking slack.
Personal grooming aside, Specter just doesn’t mind a mess. Ghost Cat never gets into garbage, but with Specter, you better be sure that lid is on tight if you don’t want baby cat feet tracking trash all over the house. She’s not very good at hiding the evidence of her escapades, either.
I kind of wish she would be more sneaky with her grossness, if only because it would save me from having to Lysol everything, including our dinner plates.
The plates especially make me nervous. I love my cats, but it’s pretty easy for bacteria to make the journey from litter box to pee paws to kitten tongue to human dishes. Specter makes a beeline for the plates the moment my husband and I finish eating, and sometimes even before. Until I break her of this habit I guess I’ll just keep washing our plates with Lysol and bleach.
I can only hope that one day Specter will take some cues from Ghosty and start using that tongue on herself instead of on our dishes.
Do all cat families have a clean cat and a messy cat? Where do your cats fit in on the cleanliness scale? Let us know in the comments!
Read more from Heather about Ghost Cat and Specter:
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About the author: Heather Marcoux is Ghost Cat’s mom. She is also a wife, writer and former TV journalist. Some of her friends have hidden her feed because of an excess of cat pictures. If you don’t mind cat pictures, you can follow her on Twitter; she also posts GIFs of her cat on Google +.