Lessons My Cat Has Taught Me: Number 7—Kisses

Loki waiting for me to come in.

When I open the door to my home, more often that not Loki is perched atop the back of my armchair by the door, waiting to greet me. If he’s not, he usually comes running to assume that position.

He meows while I take off my shoes and coat, meows until I pick him up—feet and belly against my chest, front paws around my neck. He then buries his muzzle in the crook of my neck and commences to suckle. I sit down in a chair and transfer his oral attentions to the pad of my thumb or the side of another finger. We sit together for five minutes or so while he nurses and purrs and looks at me with drowsy, contented, trusting eyes.

He’ll do the same thing in the morning when I let him into the bedroom.

The first time he suckled on my neck I thought to myself, “Oh great, I’ve adopted a neurotic vampire kitten.” Now I find it mostly endearing. He’s so enthusiastic about it. This display of physical closeness, bonding, and affection has become a touchstone for our multifaceted relationship. I treasure it.

Some people might try to discourage this behavior, or hope that their cat would outgrow it (although a little research online suggests that it’s unlikely to disappear spontaneously). Loki was separated from his mother and neutered at a very early age. I suspect that this will be a lifelong habit, though perhaps it will diminish in frequency and intensity.

I don’t know whether others will ever be the object of this kind of affection from Loki. I think I may be the new designated mommy. And that’s fine by me.

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