I have an office cat, Sarah. She’s a scrawny little tuxedo cat, about 18-years old. Sarah hates it when I try to work. I mean she really, really hates it. As soon as I enter the office she starts screaming at me. It’s not a polite meow. It’s more like a baby banshee being attacked by a porcupine. The noise penetrates my entire body. I’m almost certain it causes internal bleeding. This screaming lasts from the time I come to work until I leave.
Sometimes she punctuates the shrieking by puking on my carpet, destroying any documents she can reach with her arthritic leaping ability, and grunting out WMD in the cat box. Only one thing can stop this cycle. I must lift her up and pet her in just the way she likes. Any deviation from the recommended petting pattern means bloodshed.
You might wonder why I haven’t thrown her through a double-paned window in all these years. That’s because I haven’t told you about the licking.
When I hold her in my arms, her pupils widen with love and she starts to lick my chin. I am not talking about a perfunctory little dry tongued “how ya doing?” here. Imagine a toothless, starving angel trying to lick a pork chop. It’s like that, but less creepy.
I know I am special because she only licks the things she loves the most, including soft cat food, my chin, and her own ass, not always in that order. She doesn’t have a favorite book or TV show, but if she did, I am sure she would lick them too.
Her tongue is surprisingly wet. I think she drinks water all night long to get ready for the morning. She’s 4 pounds of cat and 2 pounds of pre-slobber. I’ve gotten used to the moisture, but the sandpaper texture has made it impossible for me to grow a beard. I live in fear that my town will have some sort of old-timey festival where all the men are expected to grow facial hair. People will just look at me, put an arm on my shoulder and whisper “Must be a great cat.”
And they will be right. My cat is great.