DEAR NOREEN: I was adopted a year ago by a pair of Humans. Almost everything is perfect, but one thing puzzles me. From the beginning, these Humans have had the strange habit of placing their lips on the top of my head. This action lasts only a second and it culminates in a soft, smacking sound.
Now, I am not a puppy; I have been sniffed, chewed, nuzzled, and licked, but I have never had anyone plant their lips on me. Can you tell me what the significance of this gesture is? Should I be worried about it? — PERPLEXED
DEAR PERPLEXED: The action you describe is known as “kissing.” (This is not to be confused, of course, with “hissing,” which is something else altogether, especially when performed by our Feline friends.)
Kissing is a holdover from days gone by and, in the Human world, it serves no other purpose than to transfer a feeling of affection from one individual to another. Though it seems primitive to us (not to mention downright useless), Humans make quite a thing of it. They’ve even developed a number of different forms of kissing and their pride in that achievement has led them to write long treatises on the subject and to fill whole stanzas of poetry with recollections of their kissing events.
There’s no need to fret, though; the gesture, itself, is entirely harmless. But, only you can decide whether it is right for you.
As for my personal tastes, anyone who reads this newspaper regularly knows my opinion of Humans: they’re lovely to look at it, but I wouldn’t want to live with one…or be kissed by one, either.
Dear Noreen is a regular feature of The Mammalian Daily and The Mammalian Daily online. If you have a question for Noreen, please send it via Twitter at @talkswithnoreen.