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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » General Support » Is it dangerous to kiss your cat, or to let your cat lick your face?

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Author Topic: Is it dangerous to kiss your cat, or to let your cat lick your face?
James1979
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I have been wondering about this for a long time now.

Also, are the answers different depending on if the cat is an indoor or an outdoor cat?

Thanks!

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James1979
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Thanks for the reply, stillwater.

I'm becoming more and more germophobic as I'm trying to beat down this disease. Before I ever got Lyme, I was so fearless that I even licked my cat a couple of times! [lol] I just wanted to try it.

I try not to let humans kiss me on the lips, too. Whenever I leave the BatCave , I usually bring a few bottles of mace with me, in order to fend off all the girls that try to take advantage of me. :sigh: It's not easy being this beautiful. [lol] [Big Grin] [lol]

I'm curious to hear if there is a general consensus that we should be very careful around our pets.

Especially for cats: They are constantly licking their fur. That means that any bugs that are in their mouths are ALL OVER their fur, right? IF there was any danger of transmission, you would think that touching their fur would be just as dangerous as having them lick your face, you know what I'm sayin? I'd like to hear more opinions about this.

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payne
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if its a mouser ?? NO way..
would you eat out of the litter box ?

i won't even kiss my sister.. at least her husband says not too (:

--------------------
TULAREMIA/rabbit fever ?

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Keebler
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-
This is not about being a "germaphob" it's common sense.

Think of where a pet's mouth has been throughout the day (especially as they groom all their body parts). When you kiss a pet near or on the mouth, you are kissing everywhere that pet's mouth has been. We don't have the body systems to keep that kind of microbial circus in check.

Now, pets just love to lick their loved ones' faces. It's just the way they are. Most of us have survived a few love fests over the years. But now we know more. Our systems are also pushed to the max trying to contain various chronic stealth infections and we really don't need any new ones.

The mention of keeping cats away from faucets is also very important.

Dogs are not as likely to jump on countertop but the faucet should be off limits for all pets.

Affection can be shared by nuzzling, just keep be sure to turn your head if the lovey pets try to zero in for a big slurp. And, when that does happen, go wash face and rinse mouth right away. It's just a good idea.

Also, it's not a good idea to swim or bath with any animals due to the possibility of various infection. One of those is leptospirosis (another spirochetal infection transmitted from the urine of infected animals).

Bathing pets should be done with gloves if there are any cuts on hands.

Sharing pillows also can pose some risks. I know a lot of people share a bed with a pet and as hard as I tried years ago to stop it, the beagle in my life at that time always seemed to wind up IN bed. It was bad training on my part but, still, the love and cuddling that a pet offers is fabulous and has healing powers not to be sneezed at.

Just don't play kissy face or share a pillow. And talk to your vet if a bed is shared (worms are a consideration there as they can travel out of a pet's anus during sleep onto the bed linens, so be aware -- well, worms are also a consideration with kissing pets - remember where their mouth goes, so goes yours).

A good vet can help with more education about all this.

=====================

http://www.leptospirosis.org/

LEPTOSPIROSIS Information Center


http://www.leptospirosis.org/topic.php?t=31

CAUSES


http://www.leptospirosis.org/topic.php?t=41

PERSISTENT LEPTOSPIROSIS

=====================

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41235440/ns/health-pet_health/t/out-sack-cat-sleeping-pets-carries-disease-risk/

Out of the sack, cat! Sleeping with pets carries disease risk

Staph infections, plague, meningitis have been spread to people by animals, study shows

NBC news - 1/25/2011
-

[ 09-30-2011, 03:05 PM: Message edited by: Keebler ]

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sutherngrl
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I would almost rather my dog lick my face, than to drink after someone or kiss someone in the mouth. My hubby's family always shares drinks and food. I can't stand it. They don't think anything about it, but I always say no thanks!
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James1979
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LOOOL! [lol] Alice said "booty"!! [Big Grin]

Speaking of which, when you guys talk about worms crawling out of the pet's anus, are you talking about visible worms, or microscopic?

Here's another important question: When a cat (or a dog, I suppose) has a communicable disease such as Bartonella or Leptospirosis, does the cat display symptoms of being sick, or is there no way that you can tell?

Thanks a lot for the discussion. I'm very interested in learning these topics well.

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kam
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This reminds me of the monkey post. Let cat kiss monkey instead. [Smile]
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Mo
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you licked your cat..oh man, only you james.. [shake]
my cat lola likes it when i pretend to be cleaning my face. [Cool]

i would drop all concerns for a chance to kiss a monkey on the lips.

that said.. i'm pretty sure bartonella is asymptomatic in cats, and they transmit it via cat scratches.

i don't know about licks.

lola nursed on my earlobe when she was a kitten.
maybe that's my problem [dizzy]

about the germaphobe thing, i believe going too far with removing all exposure is not good..
it's actually good for our immune systems to fight some exposure.
but with lyme you want to watch out for absolute risks.

when i get a scratch, which i rarely do, i treat it with topical oregano oil and take homeopathic ledum immediately, and some extra olive leaf for a while.

mo

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James1979
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Dear Mo,
Please send us a video clip of how you "pretend to be cleaning your face". I would very much like to see that. Thank you. [Big Grin]

Also, can someone please run a background check on her? I'm started to question her sanity because of the "chance to kiss a monkey on the lips" line. [Wink]

But yeah, your picture of the monkey on the "Monkey thread" was ADORABLE! But I don't think I would kiss it on the lips.

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Mo
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james,
big deal... so i'm obsessed with monkeys.
i would definately kiss one, if he took me out to dinner first..

also, anyone who has seen, touched, and especially kissed a wild monkey gets my undieing worship, forever.

alice,
about pathogens, i mean i wouldn't go nuts, but i would avoid stuff like bartonella.

mo

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James1979
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Mo: So, like, when you're doing the "pretending to clean your face" thing with your cat... do you... like... lick the back of your hand, and then rub the saliva all over your face? How exactly do you do this? I would really like to know. [Razz] [Big Grin]

I really like monkeys, too. But I would never kiss one.

About the pathogens thing: I agree that when someone isn't suffering from a chronic illness, they should definitely not be afraid of germs. It's very healthy to visit (organic) farms and mess around with the animals. Studies show that kids raised on farms or unsanitary conditions very rarely have allergies, whereas most allergy sufferers have been raised in sterile environments.

BUT, I think the story is different for someone with a chronic illness. Personally, I try to stay away from all germs as much as possible now.

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James1979
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Come on, Mo. Talk to us! Don't be shy, baby.

How often, would you say, do you do this "pretending to clean your face" thing? [Big Grin]

(I'm just teasin' ya. [Wink] I hope you don't mind.)

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Harmony
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Here is a quote for you'all:

"Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as the bold."

- Helen Keller (1880-1968) American Writer

I am gonna live my life now, especially after Lyme!!

I got pets and I'm outside a lot and I enjoy both!!!

After years of missing out on sex, no kissing, no travel to foreign countries, no food sharing, washing my hands 30 times a day, not sitting on a public toilet seat, etc. etc., I am infected with a concotion of the foulest bacteria, some of which are akin to the syphilis spirochete - God is laughing [lol]

my LLMD told me to treat our cats for Bart, they were strays and may well have it, cats are often asymptomatic, the vet wants to run tests for hundreds of dollars before treating - you know what: no way!

Gimme a break!

I am going to keep my money and spend it on something fun - I had enough of this fear mongering!

Alice, if you love your dog and miss cuddeling if you kick her out of your bed, just worm her every so often

why miss out on stuff, only to be hit by some other danger later? may as well take what life is offering while you can!!!

[woohoo]

we're only here for a flicker - life is not permanent - you may catch something from your cat, but then again, you may not

classic example is driving - if you took a realistic look at statistics you would never get into a car again, and yet, here we go....

having said all that, I am now going to drink my strange looking Kombucha brew and hope it won't mess me up as badly as the water kefir did - James seems to think my SCOBYs look great [Big Grin]

--------------------
Persistence, persistence, persistence!!!
"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence...
Persistence and determination are omnipotent."
attributed to Calvin Coolidge

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Dogsandcats
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before James posted this my cat, licked me in the face. I got up and ran in and washed my face...

i think it was a adrenal rush reaction. the dog licks my face, doesn't bother me. the cat usually scares the heck out of me and he doesn't come that close.

when i was little the dog always slept with me.
i wish our dog now could, but two non sleepers is enough. we tried it and every time one moved, everyone did....

funny post.

i am terrified of being out in anything woody or grassy. i felt like i got bit the other day and panicked. gotta work on that one.

--------------------
God will prepare everything for our perfect happiness in heaven, and if it takes my dog being there, I believe he'll be there.

Billy Graham

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Harmony
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the way I figure it, ticks in the grass are like brids in the sky: yeah they can be anywhere, but they are not everywhere

i've done so many drags now at my place, even where I saw deer just before, and: no tick harvest

they just are not on every blade of grass, just like there is not a big fat spider sitting on every blade of grass

I am not going to be afraid of every blade of grass now

just doesn't make sense

james, I think it is more "dangerous" to drive or ride in a car

did your cat make you write this?

maybe it wants humans to leave cats alone [lol]

--------------------
Persistence, persistence, persistence!!!
"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence...
Persistence and determination are omnipotent."
attributed to Calvin Coolidge

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sammy
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Every now and then I like to scoop my cat up and kiss her on top of her head. It's something I've always done, not worried enough to make me stop anytime soon.

I also let my cat sleep beside me in bed. When I'm feeling really bad and can't sleep, it's nice and comforting to have her purring happily beside me. Makes me feel better.

My cat was a pitiful mess when I found her as a kitten and took her in. She was treated prophylactically with anti-parasitic meds and antibiotics. She's been fixed and declawed and she never goes outside. She's very gentle and never bites or even tries to lick me. Because of this I'm not worried at all about her giving me any infections.

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FYRECRACKER
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I tested positive for toxoplasma (a common thing that cat owners have)

They like their ass, then they lick their fur, then you kiss and pet your cat, and then you forget to wash your hands and pick up something your about to eat, or you forget to wash your hands and you touch a door knob, or something else that you forget you touched w/o washing your hands... you get the idea.

And I'm not even in charge of changing the kitty box! Lol!

--------------------
www.mylymechronicle.wordpress.com

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racer
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From http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001614.htm

Cat scratch disease is a disease caused by bartonella bacteria. It is believed to be transmitted by cat scratches and bites, or exposure to cat saliva.

Causes
Cat scratch disease is caused by Bartonella henselae. The disease is spread through contact with an infected cat (a bite or scratch), or contact with cat saliva on broken skin or the white of the eye.

From racer:
I can also be possibly transmitted by dogs through saliva, and via fleas. Fleas are not great vectors since they don't stay attached as long as ticks, but fleas are the method of transmission between cats... so make your own decisions! Our next cat will definitely be an indoor only, and tested for whatever we can test for.

racer

--------------------
Me - Igenex: IgM: 41IND, IgG: 39IND, 41+ but Plasmid PCR Positive
Kiddo - after 1 year IV - positive Lyme culture (before IV: IgM:31,34,41,83-93 IND; IgG: 41+++, 66+)

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James1979
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Everyone - thanks for the info. I actually kiss my cat less because of how much you guys have scared me! But I'm not sure - maybe I'll start going back to my old habits soon. My cat used to purr more often when I would kiss him more.

You wanna hear something cute? Whenever I yell at my cat you can see his eyebrows go up like he's sad! [Smile] It's super cute. I feel bad whenever I yell at him because of how sad he looks.

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Keebler
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James,

How about going in for a "scrunch" ? - do all the other same contact movements, just avoid contact with the area around your mouth and eyes.

Not kissing should not have to mean any less hugging / cuddling.
-

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Harmony
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I think we should get it over with and put a couple of cat hair clippings into our morning smoothie -

eat a live toad in the morning and nothing worse can happen all day - [Big Grin]

seriously, I believe in what Fyrecracker said, as long as you live on the planet earth, you are imersed in it, whether you are careful or not

do you know what's in your well water and on the salad you eat and in the air you breathe when you walk past people?

my theory is that there is no escaping from germs and when we are made aware of them in one area we become so excited about that but they are everywhere and too hard to stop completely

a good immune system is the key and when things go off balance we need to get some help, but otherwise leave the body to it and don't worry so much (it weakens the immune system) [spinning smile]

thanks for letting me blab! [Big Grin]

--------------------
Persistence, persistence, persistence!!!
"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence...
Persistence and determination are omnipotent."
attributed to Calvin Coolidge

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James1979
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Keebles - Thanks a ton for the excellent advice! I was thinking about that also, but now I'll be more likely to do it after I heard it from you.

Harmony - I agree with you 100% for people who don't have debilitating chronic infections. But when we're fighting these serious illnesses, there's no such ting as a "strong immune system", at least not until the bugs are kept at bay.

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Mo
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aw, i think you should still kiss your cat.

or do the pretend to clean your face thing!
i'm telling you, he'll love it.
he'll at the very least watch you with great interest..may raise his eyebrows as well. [Razz]

if you MUST know;

it goes like this -- while lola's cleaning herself, i just lay next to her and we bond as i clean myself too.
(i don't rub saliva on myself,
....that would be wierd.)

pretending is fine,
as long as it looks real.. gotta have the right motion.
it's all in the wrist.

and so we bond..
like the movie 'gorilla's in the mist',
when she eats plant leaves with the silverbacks.

so there you have it!
but i bet you've tried it yourself by now..

[Big Grin]

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James1979
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Mo - that sounds like a good idea. I'll have to try cleaning myself in front of my cat, also.

You know what kind of pretending I do with my cat? When I first give him food, I pretend to eat it myself!! [Big Grin] It drives him crazy! He walks around rubbing his face against everything he sees because he gets so excited.

You should try that! Just make a bunch of slurping sounds over his food. Tell me how it goes! [Smile]

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Carol in PA
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quote:
Originally posted by James1979:

I feel bad whenever I yell at him because of how sad he looks.

Hmmm, you might want to be careful about yelling at him.

We have a friend who yelled at his cat about something.
The cat went and pooped in the chair he always sat in.

[Eek!]

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Lymetoo
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Maybe it would be safe to touch noses, like this cat and dolphins!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JjIxtXhNMXE&feature=share

--------------------
--Lymetutu--
Opinions, not medical advice!

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Liz D
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kissing and cuddling my cat is one of the few pleasures left in life. Foolish or not I am not going to stop.
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James1979
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Mo - I tried pretending to clean myself in front of my cat for the first time today. To tell you the truth, it wasn't all I thought it would be. My cat was just staring at me, and he was like: "What in the world are you doing?" I felt a little embarrassed.
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Carol in PA
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Lymetoo, that's a great video!
The dolphin was carefully "petting" the cat on the top of his head!

So sweet.


p.s. I kiss my cats right behind the ears, where the fur is really short.

[ 10-05-2011, 06:12 PM: Message edited by: Carol in PA ]

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Lymetoo
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quote:
Originally posted by Carol in PA:
[QB] Lymetoo, that's a great video!
The dolphin was carefully "petting" the cat on the top of his head!

So sweet.

-
It was so cool. I thought the cat was going to jump in!! [lol]

I LOVE animals and have had cats and dogs, but I can't imagine kissing one... especially not a fuzzy, shedding cat. I can't imagine getting hair in my mouth.. ewwww.

--------------------
--Lymetutu--
Opinions, not medical advice!

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Harmony
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quote:
Originally posted by James1979:
Mo - I tried pretending to clean myself in front of my cat for the first time today. To tell you the truth, it wasn't all I thought it would be. My cat was just staring at me, and he was like: "What in the world are you doing?" I felt a little embarrassed.

maybe you need to give it some time - maybe he was thinking:

"FINALLY!! - I thought that guy was the grossest cat I ever met - wondered when he would finally take a shower, I mean, it's been years!" [Roll Eyes] [Eek!]

--------------------
Persistence, persistence, persistence!!!
"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence...
Persistence and determination are omnipotent."
attributed to Calvin Coolidge

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James1979
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LOL @Harmony. That was pretty funny! [Smile]
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Mo
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quote:
Originally posted by James1979:
Mo - I tried pretending to clean myself in front of my cat for the first time today. To tell you the truth, it wasn't all I thought it would be. My cat was just staring at me, and he was like: "What in the world are you doing?" I felt a little embarrassed.

[Big Grin]

lymetoo, could you please insert that laughing green cat you used to have right about here??
the one slapping the floor.......

 -

[ 10-06-2011, 08:41 PM: Message edited by: Lymetoo ]

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James1979
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Yeah, I also want to see the laughing green cat! [Smile]

Has anybody here ever successfully gotten your cat to drink alcohol? I can't figure out how to do it.

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Mo
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have you tried playing some marvin gaye?
maybe a little sweet talk?

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Lymetoo
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Can't believe you remembered the cat, Mo!! [Big Grin]

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--Lymetutu--
Opinions, not medical advice!

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Mo
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wohooooo!!

thanks, lymetoo!

[woohoo] [woohoo] [woohoo]

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James1979
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quote:
Originally posted by Mo:
 -

I don't get it. Where's the laughing cat?


[Eek!] [Eek!] [Eek!]
[tsk] [tsk] [tsk]
[lol]

[ 10-06-2011, 09:44 PM: Message edited by: Lymetoo ]

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Kudzuslipper
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This is so sad!!! I got my first dog ever 6 years ago...a year later number two. I was like a 12 year old with my first puppy!

One used to eat poo- but is not a kisser...thank heavens...but my other is a big kisser... i love his kisses! I don't think I can stop him!

But that being said, animals are pretty gross! the kisser just decided he likes to roll in turkey droppings... Me and my achy body has given this guy a bath 4 times this week!!!

But then again I have had rashes and aches and pains long before I got my boys, but still... when I was first dx I tried to stop the loving...it didn't work!

I don't know...we use frontline and interceptor (for heartworm and other worms) monthly...bathe them often and scan for ticks before they get in bed.

I don't know which makes me sadder...no doggy kisses or no wine!

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James1979
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Oops... Tutu, I apologize that I went over the line with that one. Thanks again for correcting me! [Smile] I'll try harder next time to behave.

Hey, I don't mess up THAT many times, do I? [Smile]

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HopesAlive
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I cannot read all the responses right now, but I do let my dachshund give me kisses. Sorry if that grosses anyone out (it does my mom, lol). I have been getting kisses for 11 and 1/2 years now. Not going to change that.

My son's cat, when I put my face up to hers, does something cute and funny. She will lick my nose, once or twice, then try to bite my nose, lol. She does this to my son, too. She doesn't clamp down, but she will just put her teeth there, gently, like she is playing or something. I don't do this very often and she is a house cat.

I can give up a lot of pleasures in life, but not my dachsie kisses, lol.

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Best Wishes,

Hope

"Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies."

~~The Shawshank Redemption~~

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Harmony
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quote:
Originally posted by HopesAlive:
I cannot read all the responses right now, but I do let my dachshund give me kisses. Sorry if that grosses anyone out (it does my mom, lol). I have been getting kisses for 11 and 1/2 years now. Not going to change that.

...

I can give up a lot of pleasures in life, but not my dachsie kisses, lol.

you made me smile - thank you!

there are things in life worth keeping and they are different for everyone - thank God.

sounds like your Dachsie is made for you!!!

hope you feed many peppermints! [lol]

I can't give up hanging out with my horse - even if I stand in the middle of tick territory - just need to give that thought a break sometimes, just have to, I know what you mean!

the other night the moon came out and we were standing there - the neighbors came over to chat - everything is nicer with a horse around - and I can't keep her in my living room (indoor horse) he he

James, this is your thread: so I think it is dangerous, as life itself, your call which part of the danger you want to participate in and which part you want to miss out on - sorry, no easy answers, your call [kiss]

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Persistence, persistence, persistence!!!
"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence...
Persistence and determination are omnipotent."
attributed to Calvin Coolidge

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lou
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Hey James, just blow the cat a kiss. Safer and it will puzzle the cat.
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James1979
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You guys wanna know what I finally decided to do? I'm only gonna kiss my cat on the head from now on. No more kissing on the mouth and no more french kissing! [Big Grin]

Seriously, though, I do keep them all on his head. Not like it's sterile and sanitary up there, but it's probably the cleanest part of his body.

Now I just gotta figure out how to get rid of this crazy skunk that's bothering me at night... There's nothing like the adrenaline rush of hunting a skunk, because they're the only animals that can harm you from 15 feet away.

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Lymetoo
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James, I was ready to forgive all and then you posted at 11:19 pm with french kissing??!! [rant] Hey, cut the visuals, OK?! [Razz]

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--Lymetutu--
Opinions, not medical advice!

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James1979
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quote:
Originally posted by Lymetoo:
James, I was ready to forgive all and then you posted at 11:19 pm with french kissing??!! [rant] Hey, cut the visuals, OK?! [Razz]

Eek! Tutu, you are correct... that WAS gross! [Smile] Sorry. I can't believe I wrote that!!

For some reason at night I get very silly. Well, you guys know that I write silly stuff during the day too, but I get much worse at night. It's almost like a non-alcoholic drunkenness.

I actually try not to email anybody at night for that same reason. Sometimes at night I feel super happy and then I tell people how much I love them. [Big Grin] lol.

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