I love our cat, but his breath could end wars.
I mean it. Just drop our cat, Nigel, in the middle of a battlefield and have him breathe on members of each side.
Swords will turn into plowshares pretty damn fast, I promise.
Nigel is classified as a ‘good kitty,’ but the odor of his cat breath can be classified as Toxic. Or to use Layman’s terms, Peel the Walls Nasty.¹
I shared this observation with Stephanie last Saturday morning. As I petted Nigel, he yawned a mere two inches from my nostrils, and loosed the kitty equivalent of a chemical attack.
“Ack,” I said, fighting back tears. “Nigel, it is a good thing you are cute, because your breath is terrible.”
“He probably thinks the same about your breath,” Stephanie said. “When did you brush your teeth last?”
“Last night,” I said.
“See,” Stephanie said. “You have morning breath and are right in his face. I bet he can’t stand it.”
“Yeah, but he’s never brushed his teeth, and he’s three years old. There’s a big difference between three years of no brushing and about eight hours.” As I watched Nigel lick himself, I added, “And he cleans his butt with his tongue.”
Stephanie’s eyes widened a bit as they fell on Nigel, mid tongue bath. “…Good point.”
The situation worsens on the rare times when Nigel licks my fingers or hands: I am bathed in foul smelling saliva, and flee to the sink to wash off the stink, feeling like a space marine frantically removing acid drenched armor in the film Aliens.²
But, stinky breath is a small price to pay for such a lovable cat. Nigel keeps our lives interesting. He is the Joker to our two-bedroom Gotham City: introducing a bit of chaos with the swipe of a paw or a swish of his tail.
Case in point: the other day Nigel turned on my Nintendo Wii, by himself. Sure, all Nigel did was rub his face against the console and accidentally hit the power button, but I couldn’t help but love him even more. “It’s a sign!” I said. “I should play Ocarina of Time all day!”
However, feelings of increased love quickly evaporated while I was napping on the couch later, when Nigel curled up next to me, and promptly sneezed in my face.
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¹ Pronounced: nas-tay
² Y’know, that scene where Hicks and Ripley get stuck in the elevator? I also feel the same way when coming inside from the cold covered in winter gear. GET IT OFF