Have you ever watched a cat clean herself? It is a perfect ritual. The other day Midnight found a sunny spot on our bed and curled up there. After a couple of moments of settling in, the ritual began. She started by licking her forepaws, slowly and carefully, not missing an inch of her fur. If she found a difficult spot, she used her teeth to get at the intruder. Then she cleaned her hind paws. She made her way over her chest and tummy, slowly and deliberately. Several areas were cleaned more than once. In the meantime I wondered how she was going to reach her head, but she was a step ahead of me. Several times she licked her right paw, reached it over her head and ears and rubbed. Then she did the same with her left paw. Brilliant! It took several minutes before she was completely finished her "bath". How did she learn to bathe herself? Did she watch her mother in the first few months of life? I understood that her mother disappeared shortly after giving birth and that her aunt "adopted" her and her siblings. Was the process an innate ritual that all kittens do? I was impressed, nonetheless. Cats are the cleanest creatures!
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