Each feline body is a work of art. I sometimes stare at my Cosmo and Phoebe like I’d quietly admire a Monet or Picasso at a museum. I carefully count their whiskers and look for distinct patterns in their fur. I want to memorize every speckled paw pad and curl of their tails. I watch their bellies rise and fall with their breath, and sometimes I place my hand on those bellies and feel the still softness. Occasionally they’ll start purring while my hand is resting, and I swear I could stay in that happy place for hours. Sigh.
I could go on and on about my cats’ fuzzy little forms — I’m sure we all could. Today, however, the mouth is the star subject. There are so many reasons why I love that meow-filled megaphone — here are five of of the very best ones.
1. The peeking tongue
You know when kitties finish bathing themselves, but their tongues don’t yet make it back inside their mouths? And then there’s this little pink sliver peeking from between their “lips?” Yeah, that. That’s the one. It’s beyond adorable, and no one could convince me any differently. Sometimes Cosmo’s peeky tongue will stay exposed for an extended amount of time, and I go absolutely crazy for the cute. This is what I refer to as a “lucky day.”
2. The spotty gums
Phoebe is a calico-tabby mix, so she’s full of patterns. I frequently marvel at the various color patches on her fur and paw pads. She has this one orange patch on one of her haunches that I lovingly refer to as her “pumpkin patch.” What most people don’t get to see, however, is the spottiness on her gums and roof of her mouth. It’s part pink and part black, and 100 percent delightful. I only catch those areas when she’s yawning or cleaning herself. but it’s a real treat when I do, I can tell you that.
3. The drool dribbles
My Cosmo is a total drooler when he’s wearing his happy pants. If he’s high-level purring, chances are he has a few drool drops dribbling from his wee mouth. If he’s sitting in my lap, my pants get soaked unless I place a tissue or napkin under his drippy “faucet.” I like seeing the full-on droplets poised on his black-and-white mouth fur. Some people think it’s gross, but I find it rather charming and sweet.
4. The tiny teeth
Teeth! There’s little that pleases me more than seeing my cats’ tiny front teeth. I like to call them “baby corn” teeth because they look like the niblets on the teeny corn cobs we sometimes find in stir-fry dishes. I don’t get to see the teeth very often, so I have to help myself when I get the chance, which is usually only when the cats are sleeping. On occasion, I’m gifted with a peeky tongue along with the “baby corn” teeth. That’s what I refer to as an “extra lucky day.”
5. The curly tongue
In addition to the wildly captivating peeky tongue, there’s another tongue move that’s off-the-charts cute: the curly tongue. This one is popularly seen while my cats are yawning. Their eyes squeeze shut, their whiskers flare in all kinds of craziness, their ears point slightly back, and then the tongue does this perfect curl. It looks like a water slide at an amusement park, doesn’t it? It also reminds me of that Bubble Tape gum — you know what I mean? Like if there were a water slide in an amusement park made out of Bubble Tape gum … except the gum would be rough and slightly prickly. Hmm — maybe not such a great idea. But still, I love the curly tongue for exactly what it is.
What parts of your cats’ mouths make you crazy for the cute? Tell us in the comments!