I’m not kidding; it’s true. But I think a bit of history is in order.
A few years ago, a cat started coming to my husband’s house. Every so often, perhaps once a month, the cat would come visit for a day or two. He had no flea collar, regular collar or tag, and was somewhat scruffy looking. My husband would feed the cat, it would rub against his legs and purr, and it would disappear. He assumed it was a neighborhood stray.
This continued for several years. The cat would come. He would feed it. The cat would leave.
Then this summer, the cat returned and didn’t leave. Still no collar. Still no evidence that he belonged to anyone.
He came to the door and started crying. So we did what anyone who likes cats would do. We fed him. We petted him.
Approximately a month later, a neighbor was walking down our street and she stopped by and indicated this was in fact her cat. She said he is one of five outdoor cats she has, and she wants him to come home. She asked us to stop feeding him, so he’d go back to her house. We agreed to try.
Well. After three days of non-stop crying, we told our neighbor this wasn’t working, so she came down and got her cat and took him home. Less than 12 hours later, the cat was back. Crying. We told her the cat had returned. She said she knew. And we did not feed it. For three days. Three days of crying. The neighbor didn’t come back. The cat kept crying. So eventually, we gave in and started feeding him again.
About a month later, the neighbor contacted us and asked if we were feeding the cat. Uh. Yes. Of course. It’s been a month! Anyway, the neighbor was really annoyed. She sent her husband and another man down to collect the cat.
So again, the cat went to his “real” home. Eight hours later he came back. It’s been a month and we haven’t heard from our neighbors. The cat hasn’t left. We went away for three days and came back and he raced to meet our car. So I’m guessing the cat decided where he wanted to live. Cats just know where they should be. This one thinks he should be here; so for now, this is where he is. He’s free to leave when he wants, as he’s an outside cat, but for the time being he seems to be quite content.
So what about this ear-licking thing?
This is one of the most affectionate animals I’ve ever met. He loves human connection. He runs to greet our cars when we pull into the driveway. He follows me to the mailbox. He joins us for our campfires. He races into the garage the second we open the door for any reason. He also attempts to run into the house which is not a great idea because while our Siberian Husky is a mush with people, he’s not so friendly to small animals. The cat also “helps” us rake the lawn, which is a nice way of saying he gets in the way. When I pick the cat up, he snuggles right in, sticks his head under my chin and then, yes, he licks on my earlobes. Kind of a strange thing for a cat to do, but this one purrs extremely loudly and licks away. First one ear then the other.
So for now, this is the story of the neighborhood cat who is partial to earlobes. I’m sure he will decide whether he will stay long term or whether this is just a short-term visit. Because after all, cats are in control of people; it’s not the other way around.