Jul 23, 2010

Armpit Cat

I used to not really like cats.

Now, I don't like cats but I have two of them.

When I broke up with Last Boyfriend and bought a condo, people automatically began suggesting I get a cat or two.  It's like as soon as you are single and above 30 and live alone, you must begin Cat Hoarding.  This will usually involve, according to cat experts, one litter box per cat, plus one extra.  This complex algorithm was meant to keep cats from doing annoying little things such as peeing on your duvet.  I think that in most cat-hoarding situations, though, this isn't really an issue anyway because the whole house is a giantlitterboxcumfoodbowl, and cats can feel free to pee anywhere they like, even if it is where they eat, and which, incidentally, is probably also where you sleep.

So, I went to the shelter and fetched myself two cats, feeling rather noble in my actions as I had Saved A Life (two actually), and gotten myself love to last at least fourteen more years, which is ten years longer  than my longest relationship.

I have rued this day since the moment I got home and realized my cats were both infected with Feline Rhinotracheitis, which, if you are not familiar with it, is a Bad Disease including all major orifices in the cat's head.  It includes such wonderful fun as green stuff coming out of kitty's eyes, nose, and occasionally, for extra added titillation, the mouth.  Don't worry; both cats are fine now.  It was just not that fun spending my first few weeks as a pet owner by shoving antibiotical liquids down their gullets three times a day with an itty bitty cat syringe while trying to keep said cats in a tightly wrapped TowelKittyBurrito.

Marley-Cat had been dropped off at the shelter with no reason given for surrender.  He had come from a family of dogs, cats, children, and regular-sized adult humans, and was quite social and friendly.  I felt angry that someone would do something so harsh as to pick a random animal out of the family circle and put him in a shelter with No Reason For Surrender.

It took little time to discover the reason for his No Reason For Surrender.

He peed in his own bed (and my bed and clean laundry and dirty laundry and on towels) when he felt a mite stressed.

It was kind of a mood-killer at parties.  Apparently, Marley feels stressed at parties.

Soon, another disturbing tidbit revealed itself: Marley has an armpit obsession. By this, I mean that he will actively seek out bare armpits, slowly edge up to them, and before the lick-ee knows what is happening, Marley is attached like a flabby black-and-white unweaned piglet to the sow.

Now, before you get all full of pity and mistakingly suspect Marley has perhaps been weaned too early and is trying to suckle, let me make you aware of the fact that he a) is licking, not suckling, and b) only does it with certain deodorants for which he has a certain fondness.

Marley has developed a sneak attack strategy that, to the untrained eye, may seem only to be an attempt at obtaining pats or other forms of attention.  I am usually completely unsuspecting.

Not only is this awkward in front of friends and visitors, but there is also not much that can be done to deter him.  Obviously, he prefers it when I wear tank tops, as this allows him easy access.  However, trying to deflect his attacks by wearing t-shirts, or even worse...hoodies, just makes him belligerent and more likely to latch on to the offending fabric and start biting vigorously at it.

I am not sure what to do about this, short of squirting him with the Squirt Bottle of Unparalleled Liquid Terror or flinging him aside.  He is very persistent.

(PS In case you were concerned, he is not nutritionally lacking some mineral or something.  He's been to the vet.  He just really likes Old Spice.  And the taste of wall paint, but that's for another episode.)

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