In a photo album somewhere, likely buried deep in the bowels of my parents’ dark, dusty basement, there is a picture of me, at 2 years old, standing upright and surrounded by cats. Four are seated at my feet, two are curled lazily atop a bench just next to me, and I am happy.
The photo was taken in Key West, FL, at the Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum, where the legendary writer first kept the polydactyl (meaning six-toed) cats now called “Hemingway cats,” and where many of their descendants still live. I haven’t been back there since, but my affection for the most mercurial of family-friendly pets remains the same. I love those little bastards.
Here are a few reasons why: Firstly, they’re very cute. They’re also strong-willed, soft to the touch, independent, difficult, strange, resourceful, calculating, judgmental, and could possibly cause schizophrenia... but probably not. And here’s one more thing that you might not even know about cats: When you catch them in the right moment, they smell good. Really good. Like fresh powder and a spring breeze and a warm blanket all mixed together, sort of like a human baby but so much better. I can’t quite explain it, and trust me, I’ve tried.
Now, I don’t have to. Demeter Fragrance Library, a delightfully weird perfume company best known for bottling up scents like eau de Dirt and Rain and Paperback (like the books), has come out with Kitten Fur, which is exactly what it sounds like. After 15 years of trying, the brand says, they’ve finally managed to capture “the olfactory essence of the warmth and comfort of that purrfect spot, just behind a kitten's neck.” You can buy it as a cologne spray, roll-on perfume oil, body lotion, shower gel, massage and body oil, or an atmosphere spray or a diffuser oil, if you really really really want your whole house to smell like cats.
And why wouldn’t you? Like I said, cats smell good. There’s nothing in the world quite like burrowing your face into the fur of a cat you love, or, more likely, a cat you want to love you. Just, please — don’t tell my dog.