I usually don’t climb into bed with people and stare at them while they’re sleeping. That would be creepy — and I don’t need another restraining order. (Kidding!)
But love my cats’ bodies. Sometimes when my cats are zonked out, I curl up beside them and just gaze at their little bodies. They know I’m there because the airplane ears engage just a little, but they don’t tell me to leave, so I just lie there and stare for a little while longer. It’s sort of meditative. It’s also an excellent way to avoid doing anything responsible. I highly recommend cat-gazing.
Yes, I am obsessed with the feline form. Here are five body parts with which I am particularly smitten:
1. The adorable ear
I enjoy holding a cat ear between my fingers and then rubbing my fingers together. Sometimes when I’m doing that to Phoebe, her eyes roll back into her head in ecstasy. In the winter, the tips of her ears feel slightly chilled, so I’ll occasionally place my lips around them and make kissing sounds. I like to believe she enjoys that as much as I do, but she quickly grows weary, so I have a few short seconds of that business before she not-so-politely “asks” me to stop.
2. The wonderful muzzle, snoot, snout, snuzzle, meowzzle, (whatever)
First, I have to say I conducted an informal Facebook poll to determine the official name for this feline body part. According to my friend who works in the veterinary profession, it’s called a muzzle. Others threw out words like “nose,” “snoot,” and “whisker humps” (my humps, my humps, my lovely whisker lumps).
A friend in Lisbon said the Portuguese name for it is focinho, and that it means the same thing for humans and animals alike. Next time someone is irritatingly nosy, I’m going to say, “Keep your focinho out of my business!” Lastly, some suggested “snuzzle” and “meowzzle,” which I think are terms originally coined by Snoop Dog (er, Snoop Lion). I’ve always preferred “snout” because it sounds cute.
Whatever the case, I love that part of my cats. When one of my cats is sleeping, I like to smooth the whiskers back and lay a few smooches on his muzzle/snoot/snout/nose/whisker hump/focinho/snuzzle/meowzzle.
3. The irresistible paw
Oh, sweet kitty paw. Even though you smell like Fritos (and I know you’ve been clomping through clumps of poo), I swoon at the sight of your pink jellybean pads and floofy patches of toe fluff, which I lovingly refer to as slippers. Who doesn’t love kitty paws? Seriously. In general, my cats don’t enjoy me fussing with their feet, but when they’re sleeping or too tired to care, I’m not ashamed to say I take full advantage.
I find if I stick my finger between the paw pads and scratch, they’ll fan their toes and I nearly pass out from a full-on cute attack. Do you know what I’m talking about? Just thinking about that little fuzzy toe fan makes me feel the need to breathe into a paper bag.
4. The heart-stopping nose
I realize this is part of the snoutal region; however, I will address it separately because my affection for it is in a different category. Like most other cat body parts, I love to kiss the nose. Sometimes, when one of my cats is purring, I press her nose into my ear because I like the happy rumble, and the wet nose feels cool and comforting. Other times I press her nose in my ear and pretend like she’s telling me secrets. And I have to reply out loud, of course. “Really? You don’t say! Cosmo did what with the box of tampons?”
5. The amazing belly
The kitty belly is the promised land for heavy petters. None of my three cats particularly enjoy belly scritches or rubs, but when they permit a few rare moments of tummy-touching, you better believe I’m diving into that fluffy wonderland until I feel the rabbit kick that signals my time is officially over.
With my Cosmo, I’ve discovered a no-fail key to his tuxie tummy. He’s addicted to Lickety Stiks, a lickable cat treat that dispenses liquid magic. If I hold him in my lap, sitting up, he grabs ahold of the Lickety Stik and goes to town. Nothing — and I mean nothing — distracts him from the beefy roller-ball. I can run my fingers through the fluffy belly goodness for at least two minutes, which is like two hours in kitty-belly-petting time.
What’s your favorite part of your cat’s body? Tell us about it in the comments!