LICKI Brush; cat; grooming

Father’s Day is just around the corner. Normally, I’d use this occasion to point out that one of my books makes an excellent addition to any bathroom, outhouse, barbershop, or tire dealership. But I’ve just come across a new product that is so gratuitously horrifying and self-debasing that I realized I can no longer compete in the marketplace of useless crap. I can only genuflect in abject unworthiness before this stroke of genius.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Have you ever had the irresistible desire to lick your cat? Of course you have. Licking and grooming are are one of the primary ways cats relate to each other. (Killing and eating each other is also one, but let’s keep this light and fluffy for now.) Thing is, we humans are excluded from this intimate licking ritual. So, as fulfilling as your relationship with your cat may be, there are levels of fulfillment there you have never experienced.

All that is about to change, thanks to a couple of entrepreneurial cat fanciers from—where else?—Portland. Tara and Jason O’Mara have developed the LICKI Brush. According to the couple’s Kickstarter page: “LICKI is a high-quality, soft silicone brush, designed to feel pleasurable to your cat’s sensitive skin. Gently grasp LICKI’s bite portion with your teeth, slowly approach your cat when she is sleeping or in an otherwise pleasant mood, and ease into the soothing and mutually beneficial licking behavior of cats. Don’t be surprised if your cat licks you back.”

Ms. O’Mara reports that both you and the cat will benefit from using the LICKI Brush. “It’s such a soothing, meditative practice for you to use on your cat,” she told the New York Daily News. “It’s really Zen, because you can just look in their eyes. It’s really sweet.”

There are even “LICKI parties” now, where people reportedly gather to lick cats. This raises all sorts of ethical questions. If, for example, you’re in a committed relationship—with a human, I mean—do you need your partner’s permission to lick a cat that you’ve just met? Never mind. I’d rather not know.

Me, I’d have called this thing the ICKI Brush.

If you think the description is off-putting, take a gander at the video below. And the next time somebody asks you why you’re a dog person, refer them to it and say, “This is why.”