Either way, it's disturbing...
August 16, 2008 5:06 PM   Subscribe

Does my cat hate reading, or have a really, REALLY un-natural love of books?

I have one of those very stand-off-ish cats - she won't tolerate laps, or really even petting, except for one exception. Frequently, when I lay on the bed to read, she hops up and starts rubbing on me and licking any exposed skin she can find. She paces back and forth across my chest or the book (depending of course, on face-up or face-down position).

Then...this is the gross part - she MUSKS on or near me...she NEVER. NEVER. NEVER has done this at any other time, in any other situation. But three times now, during these book-induced frenzies of hers, she has released a few tiny drops of dark liquid from her anal glands, and they reek to high heaven!

So metafilter:
1) Why in the world does she do this?
2) What can I do to get that SMELL out? The scent is overpowering, and LINGERS... even if I rip the sheets off the bed immediately, throw them in the wash, and get myself into a shower.
posted by InfinateJane to Pets & Animals (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Does she scoot her bottom on the floor? You've already read about their anal sac problems, right?
posted by Houstonian at 5:24 PM on August 16, 2008

Best answer: Maybe she does this because she wants your undivided attention (on her terms of course, she's a cat).
posted by iamkimiam at 5:41 PM on August 16, 2008

Yeah, if I was going to speculate about her motivation, it would be that nothing else absorbs all your attention like a book does.
posted by winston at 5:47 PM on August 16, 2008

Ah, hell -- is her name Michiko, by any chance?

Different cats do this under different circumstances. Assuming she's not displaying other problems, you just face the choice as to whether to discourage her by pushing her away when she approaches.
posted by Clyde Mnestra at 5:52 PM on August 16, 2008

I used to let a stray cat stay in my house occasionally when I was in school. Whenever I was studying at the kitchen table, the cat would curl up in the middle of the book I had open before me. I assumed it was because she could see that was where my attention was directed, so she reasonably concluded that in order to get attention, that was where she needed to be.
posted by jayder at 6:20 PM on August 16, 2008

Best answer: 1) Why in the world does she do this?
The cat is communicating clearly that it is an outdoor cat.
posted by dancestoblue at 6:20 PM on August 16, 2008 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Houstonian - I did check up on that first. No scooting, no other signs of irritation.

As noted, she has only EVER done this while I'm reading. ...of all the things she chooses to care about, it's books? She couldn't take to musking on Mr. Jane's PS3 instead?

Anyone know how to get rid of the lingering odor? Or the cat? ;)

posted by InfinateJane at 6:52 PM on August 16, 2008

Best answer: I wonder if it's the book or simply that you're laying down in bed. My male (fixed) cat waits until I lay down to ...uh...rut on me every night. I figure he does this for pretty much the same reason that my boyfriend does. Affection! And a passive . . . audience.

Luckily, there have never been any...fluids...released, though. From the cat, I mean, not the boyfriend. So I can't help you there.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:02 PM on August 16, 2008

Response by poster: oh my god, phoB - I have a lesbian, incestuous cat on my hands?
posted by InfinateJane at 7:13 PM on August 16, 2008


Technically, no. But you do have a back door kitty on your hands.

(By which I mean, of course, that dancestoblue may be right.)
posted by Clyde Mnestra at 7:17 PM on August 16, 2008

Response by poster: Well, Clyde - I get called the cat's mommy sometimes.
posted by InfinateJane at 7:19 PM on August 16, 2008

nb, but the pet groomers at the pet stores are trained to "handle" the anal sac cleaning for you as part of their cleaning routine. A mighty fine service if you ask me, though of course cats don't need grooming IME.
posted by yort at 10:39 PM on August 16, 2008

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