Atlantic Writer Licks Cat

Atlantic Writer Licks Cat

If you lick your cat and have a sense of humor about it, is the licking okay? This question comes to us courtesy of The Atlantic writer David A. Graham, who recently licked his cat, wrote about licking his cat, and sees the humor in all of it.

Exasperated with an unruly feline, Graham purchased a piece of spiked silicone designed for humans to extend from their mouths. Graham then used this tongue to lick his cat, stroking the device over his cat’s body. The cat, according to Graham, “seemed mothered” by his performance. Mission accomplished.

Not content to experience the so-called Licki brush in private, Graham immortalized his experience in the pages of The Atlantic, introducing an international audience to the harrowing imagery of a grown man brushing a cat with a plastic mold affixed to his tongue.

Nellie, the cat Graham tended to, seemed to enjoy her owner’s grooming. But it’s not all good news: “The experience was … not as pleasant for the licker,” Graham announced. The following is a real passage a real person wrote for public consumption (emphasis added):

“After holding on to the mouthpiece for a few minutes, my jaw started to ache from clenching it and my mouth watered uncomfortably. I ended up with a lot of hair in my nose and eyes. It’s tough to find a good posture to lick the cat in a way that’s comfortable for both her and the user for more than a couple of minutes.”

Detail. Drama. Disappointment. It’s all there. But take heart. Things could be worse. Graham — who, in fairness, did describe the Licki as “a silicone freak of nature,” and used it partially to “provide some entertainment” for his wife — at least has a sense of humor about it, according to his Twitter feed.

This brings us back to the question at hand. Does Graham’s apparent self-awareness make his decision to lick a cat with a plastic tongue any less objectionable? Maybe slightly, but not by much. If you’re going to brush a cat with your tongue, it’s at least important to feel weird about it. Then again, without “An Offbeat Approach to Bonding With Cats,” Graham’s prose about his aching jaw and watery mouth would never have seen the light of day.

All we’re left to wonder is whether Kevin Williamson would ever lick a cat and write about his experience. Some things just cross the line.

Emily Jashinsky is culture editor at The Federalist. You can follow her on Twitter @emilyjashinsky .
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