Sunday, December 21, 2008

Highly Disturbed And A Little Confused

First of all, I would like to apologize for all of my recent posts being about weird subjects that there are no words for. Second, I would like to apologize for this post being the second of weird ones about cats. This one is incredibly funny though, so even if you don't like cats, please keep reading.

Okay, a little background: my family is a family of cat lovers. We always have been. Everyone has a cat except for two of my brothers (and they may have cats but I don't know). Aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, everyone. So when we all get together you can guess where our conversations go 90% of the time...cats. And everyone knows everyone else's cats names and we tell stories about them like they are part of the family. Stories often begin like this, "You'll never believe what (insert cat and/or child's name here) did..." You're laughing already aren't you?

Here's an example: Tonight my brother and SIL were asking me what I wanted for Christmas and I couldn't give them an answer. So to try and get me to think of something, my brother asked, "If Millie could get you something for Christmas, what would she get you?" to which I answered, "Uh, probably poison." Because we all know that Millie pretends to love me but in reality I think she plots ways to get rid of me on a daily basis. Mostly her plots include tripping me, ignoring me, or my favorite: playing with my emotions (this is where she comes up and loves on me and then promptly growls and runs away).

So my most recent cat story I have been sharing is that Millie has taken to getting up on the couch behind me and rubbing her head on my head. Sometimes she will even lick my hair. If I reach up and pet her, she just pushes her head against mine. It's very odd.

Well, my cousin came over tonight and brought his girlfriend and as we were sharing cat stories, I brought up the head rubbing and she said it was because Millie was trying to dominate me.


No, no. (insert finger shake here) My cat knows who is in charge. My cat comes when I call her. My cat sleeps at the foot of the bed. My cat doesn't jump on the counter or the table. She's a brat, but she knows who is boss. I know the rest of you don't believe that, but it's true.

I was very disturbed by this whole "cat dominating human" thing so I decided to do some research of my own on Google. My initial search led me to believe that it wasn't a dominance issue, just her marking me with her scent to show love and affection (although why after 10 years of companionship she has decided she now needs to mark my head with her scent instead of my legs, I don't know). I then did a search for "my cat rubs my head with her head" and found some very interesting stories. Some very disturbing stories. Some very funny stories. And I have posted them here for you to read.

"All three of our cats do this to some extent. One will knead my hair while I'm laying down and then sleep in it once it's arranged to her liking. The other will chew on it and play with it. And the third likes to sort of perch of my shoulder and knead and nuzzle until he's entangled in it. Then he purrs and drools. The drool is actually a little gross, but I haven't really worked out a solution yet since I don't have the heart to make him stop. It's really the only time he's affectionate and I feel like it's sort of a bonding thing between us."

This person IS dominated by their cat. And not just one, but three! THREE! Never in a million years would I ever allow any animal to arrange, chew, play, or entangle themselves in my hair. Yuck. Just plain yuck.

"My oldest cat loves to play "hairdresser" when my hair has been freshly washed and up until the next day. I'm pretty sure she loves the smell of the various shampoo and conditioners (since I use several different brands).She will come up behind me on the couch, or on my pillow when I am propped up in bed and will stroke my hair gently with her trimmed claws as if combing it. Sometimes, I will hear her sniffing and breathing the scent deeply and then she will sometimes "bonk" my head with hers because she is so happy. So yeah, lots of cats have a "hair fetish", especially for freshly-washed hair..."

This person is also dominated by their cat. Seriously? I would be scared to go to sleep at night with a cat in my house that combs my hair with it's "trimmed claws".

"My cat loves hair. I wouldn't really care that much, but she loves to swallow it, too. I am constantly pulling soon-to-be-ingested chunks of hair (still connected to my head) out of her mouth. Since I shed constantly (and, oddly enough, as a semi-hairless cat, she doesn't shed at all), she always has a strand or two of my hair hanging out of her mouth. This wouldn't bother me so much, except it causes disgusting digestive troubles for her on the other end. Ew."

How do you sit there long enough with your cat chewing on your hair that they actually have time to begin ingesting it? If it's so gross, do not let them get that close to your head! Your cat is looking at you as something to eat. You should be worried...a lot.

"I used to have a cat that loved to get on the pillow while I was sleeping and knead my hair. On several occasions I woke to find him completely entangled - unwrapping a cat from your hair at 4 a.m. is not a fun process. After that he slept downstairs."

Finally, one smart person! You don't allow your cat to sleep with you anymore when it is entangling itself in your hair.

So now I am confused. Is Millie trying to dominate me or just show love and affection? Regardless, the head rubbing is ceasing effective immediately. I know you all think I have a bizzaro cat, which I do, but let's face it...all cats are bizzaro. Maybe that's why my family likes them so much. Maybe that's why we prefer cats over dogs (animals that do nothing but love you and try to please you)...we are more bizzaro than affectionate. I don't know.


WhiteEyebrows said...

"To me, cats are the crabgrass on the lawn of life! I am a cat hater, a cat despiser, and a cat loather...

... I'm also scared to death of them."

- Snoopy

Alison said...

Ok, that hair story was DIS-GUST-ING. Ugh. :P I say, you enroll Millie in boot camp and don't tell her about it until the drill sergeant shows up at the house at 3 A.M. to pick her up. Works with unruly whipper-snappers these days, why not the cat?

Matthew Ware said...

Assuming I had hair long enough to swallow while still attached, the first time it happened would also be the last. That's just wrong.

Our cat doesn't get to stay in the bedroom when I get home from work. He insists on sleeping on peoples' heads. I will not be dominated!

And here's my cat story from today. The mother in law sent a package of Christmas gifts to us today. After emptying the box. I remembered Alison's video of a cat running into a box and decided to deposit our cat in the box to see what would happen. Well, like any cat, he got out of the box. But I don't give our cat a lot of love, so I felt good about the whole affair.

Gabby said...

This is interesting, never heard that before (about the dominance thing). One of my cats likes to groom us, but she will only do it on the back of the couch, where she has access, She gets my hair stuck in her mouth and I pull it, but with Brian she licks. AND, a cat giving you head butts/bonks IS a sign of affection (and the nuzzling is marking). I don't let my cats sleep in the bed with me. They get locked out and they're mostly fine with it (besides, we have a heating pad for them on the bed in the guest bedroom and that keeps them happy -- spoiled? Nah!

Emily Anne said...

I don't think after all this time Millie is trying to dominate you. I think she's getting older, realizing she won't be around forever, and is trying to make up for all the bad times she has given you by doing some bonding.