Why do cats rub up against your legs? One of life’s unanswered questions? Perhaps not. Cats rub up against your leg to make you smell like a cat. The more you smell like them the more they like being around you. Cats also rub your legs to show affection or because they are hungry. Cats have scent glands along each side of their face, chin, mouth and other parts of their bodies. They use these glands to scent/mark their territory. When a cat rubs you, he is marking you with his scent, claiming you as “his.” He is picking up your scent, as well. Cats rub up against furniture or doorways for the same reason – to mark the item as “his”.
How many times have you crossed your legs while sitting in a meeting at work or at a function and you see it….the despicable swatch of cat fur attached near the bottom of your slacks. It can be quite an embarrassment when you have the appearance of a human lint roller. It’s not as simple to remedy this situation as one would think. There are no means possible that will allow you to, nonchalantly, brush it away. It is stuck there with the strength of Velcro. Trying to remove it, at this juncture, would draw more attention and require some really weird herky jerky movement on your part. I often take the high road and ignore it until I can, privately, remove it so as not to draw more attention toward it than necessary. After all, I may be the only person who has noticed it. There is no good reason why someone would be fixated on the bottom of my slacks anyhow, right? On past occasions, I’ve bent down and carefully brushed the fur away while, at the same time, proclaiming with an excuse, “Will you look at that! My silly cat decided to show me a little affection right before I walked out the door“. But, of course, there will be that one non-cat person in the room giving you that condescending smirk of disgust. At that very instant, that individual just labeled you as a disheveled, eccentric cat person and visualized your house as being one big palace of fur.
I’ve become quite efficient at avoiding my cat, Smoki, with something I call the morning quick step, when I’m dressed and ready to head out the door. No, I don’t mean the latest dance move I just learned in Zumba class. I’m talking about the awkward back step/hop everyone has done to avoid your kitty just as she is headed straight for those pristine, crisply ironed black slacks. I feel a little guilty not allowing her that moment of ecstasy, so I usually follow-up with a treat to relieve MY guilt.
I haven’t quite overcome my hang-up with the cat hair on the slacks, but I am done with apologizing for the sake of the non-pet loving folks. All fur-bearing creatures shed; including humans. I have pets. They shed. I brush them to lessen the amount of hair floating about. I clean up the hair after them, have lint rollers to get hair off clothing and furniture, and I vacuum and dust, continually. For the stray pet hair that may, on occasion, adorn my clothes, I make no apologies. If you visit my home, I can’t promise you will leave not wearing a token of one of my pets. As a compassionate pet lover, it comes with the territory; a right of passage for the new pet parent and the new “Vogue”.