French kissing and the alcoholic cat

Domino after a cologne binge

I have a complaint about Hollywood. Actually, I have a lot of complaints about Hollywood, the least of how they glitz up things that have no right or business being glitzed up. I’m not just talking about the crime, adultery, and desperate singles looking for a mate. I’m talking about kissing. Not the cute peck on the cheek from your grandmother or godfather (not to be confused with the kiss of death bestowed upon a minion who has betrayed the family “business”.) I’m talking about the open-mouthed, organ-swapping activity that many of our spray-tanned, uber-sleeked, blinding-white smiled, 10-hour hair and makeup peeps we worship engage in on both the big screen and the little.

First of all, watching a pretty person kiss is so much different than watching a not-so-pretty-person kiss. But even if the latter happens to be close to screen worthy, the act of watching two people chewing on each other is enough to make even a person with the strongest of constitutions dry-heave.

Watching French kissing on the screen is a bit less nauseating when we have been programmed to suspend belief. It’s easy to do when the size of our entertainment (a 27 inch or 52 foot screen for instance) isn’t even in realistic dimensions. But in real life, like at a wedding after the minister announces that the couple are now man and wife, with no compunction, boundaries or filters grab each other like Frankenstein ready to rip off his new bride’s head, or going in for the bite like a Cullen ending a fast, you can almost hear the teeth clank like two wine glasses. It’s shark week all over again.

People, I know it’s your day. We get that. We’ve indulged you for most of your engagement period and we’ve made it this far; but this is where I draw the line.

Keep the mouth closed. Keep. It. Closed. Don’t make us feel like you’ve decided to start the honeymoon early. It’s awkward. It’s painful. And there is nowhere to look.  (Unfortunately, social conventions dictate we watch.) We are left with that plastic smile frozen on our lips, cooing “awwwwww” when we want to turn our heads and groan “ewwwww”. We’ve all brought you a gift; now give us one in return. You can keep the template thank you cards you will be sending out 6 months later. THIS will be our gift. Salvage your dignity and rescue our stomachs. You’re not on a big screen and it doesn’t look like it when we watch, and unlike Hollywood we don’t have the power or authority to yell CUT!

That brings me to another dilemma: alcoholic cats. We call ours “Alkie” for short. (That and Lil’ Hitler but that’s for another post.) Let me hasten to reiterate our Mormon lifestyle. We do not drink alcohol in any form (except Nyquil on occasion. Hmmmmm, does Nyquil still have alcohol?) Nor do we keep it in the house. So how does an Angolan cat get her hands on it?

Any way a druggie can.

She begins by stalking anyone in the house wearing even the tiniest spritz of perfume or cologne. There is no preference of taste or smell; it’s the booze in the bottle that’s been sprayed on the skin. Let that cat get near you and she’ll skin you alive with her sandpaper tongue trying to get every last drop even at a cellular level. She licks every plastic bag that crosses our threshold, hopping on forbidden tables to roll among the freshly placed new grocery bags from petro heaven. It’s a veritable smorgasbord of crinkly, tangy plastic waiting for a taste test.

We can accept the plastic bag fetish, it lasting only as long as it takes to unload the groceries. We turn a blind eye to the cologne sucking. A quick backhand and she is on the floor with that stupefied, slaphappy look of “it was worth it, man. It was worth it.” But we saw something the other day that couldn’t be unseen. It was a bridge too far, the line that was stepped over and now forever erased. We walked into the room to an unsuspecting cat – unaware and not caring who saw anyway – licking away, engorging herself on an opened, magazine perfume sample.

We could control it when the proverbial liquor cabinet was locked up and out of reach. But this – this was inexcusable. This was every pet owners’ nightmare. The outside world had encroached, the pushers infiltrating our haven, their tentacles slyly reaching into and stroking the dark corners of our cat’s psyche. Who would ever suspect an innocent, free perfume sample capable of enabling a cat junkie? We didn’t even consider moving the insert, or that after we had indulged our own nasal senses and casually flinging it on the table there would be enough to attract and entice a weak, foolish, and obtuse feline.

And, like Hollywood, you may think this scenario as glamorous, the image of a model in her penthouse sniffing her reward for landing that job as a centerfold model in a Lane Bryant catalogue. Well, it’s not, people! It’s not glamorous at all. Lives are altered forever. Once a cat has sampled magazine inserts she won’t stop there. Next she will be slinking onto the MW Cleaners truck looking to get hopped up on dry cleaning fluid.

We are taking this day by day, trying to be positive but not getting our hopes too high. Ha. {She chuckles wryly.} High. That’s exactly what we’re up against. A cat with no morals, trying to figure out how to get her next fix, lurking around bathrooms or pawing through the pantry looking for discarded, forgotten grocery bags.

We can keep the bags and magazine inserts out of a cat’s reach. That we have in our control. But the wedding kiss? Or the couple who forget they are in the midst of a crowd at the Renaissance Festival, making out like a monk forsaking his vows? We can only do so much in spreading the word. Blog by blog, subtle “raaaaallfffff” hints placed here and there . . . keeping the pet world drug free and the reality kissing at bay. It’s a lonely job, but someone’s got to do it.

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