Well, if everything is gonna go to hell all at once, I may as well unveil the video that the PETA and ASPCA people are all in a wad about.
You've probably heard the rumors.
I help Dobby get his freak on.
I'm not proud of it.
It's an addiction.
I gotta get in a 12-step.
So The Dobster, Our Little Idiot, has a predilection for what might be called the Extreme BellyRub. It began when he was but a wee runt, and Fred was really just trying to help his little body catch up with his much larger and more advanced siblings.
Fred says it's really more of an Intestinal Massage. Sometimes, after a nice dinner of dry kibble and fresh water, Dobby gets what are euphemistically called "the bubbles." He doesn't release these bubbles, doesn't pollute the air -- No, he just kind of sits there and percolates. Fred, who sometimes has similar issues (not so elegantly resolved, however), felt compelled to ease the bubbling percolations of this tiny runtling, and his intestinal massages became routine.
Now that Dobby is grown... he still clings to the ways of kittenhood and when he is stressed, he will present himself with great aplomb, lie down, and lift his leg. If your hand doesn't immediately inch toward his formerly bubblicious belly, he will politely issue head butts until you acquiesce.
So this video -- taken mid-rub -- shows the intense other-worldliness that overcomes this cat. It doesn't come through very clearly, but he is leaning, hard, into my hand. There is nothing overtly relaxing about it, but this position sends him deep into a zen-like trance. He looks for all the world like a 90-year-old man straining to get out of his slackassed corduroy barcalounger... or like a clumsy chubby prepubescent boy struggling to complete his last sit-up during the Presidential Challenge in gym class.
Back when they *had* gym classes...
Most of the time, Dobby is out like a light, within minutes, pink nose in the air, paws relaxed. He associates the massage with sleep. But, perhaps more importantly, it is also a stress buster. Reassurance. We took Sammy to the vet and he never came back. Now we've hauled Uncle Kitty Big Ball out in much the same hysterical manner. He's worried.
Here come the percolating bubbles!
"Rub my belly," he commands.
Who am I to do otherwise?