I awoke very early this morning to the sound of licking. The cat was on the bed licking itself, its motions creating a slight 1.0 tremor. Then I noticed that the dogs that sleep around the bed were licking themselves, too. A throat gurgle, a bit of vomiting sounds, gums slapping to get it back down, then more licking. I could not get that sound out of my head. I imagined my own mouth filled with hair and vomit. I was not going back to sleep.

If someone wanted to make an alarm clock that had the most effective sound to wake one up, it would be licking. I'm not saying the sound of a puppy licking a baby's face. That's kind of cute and we all know puppy's slobber is almost sterile. Nosiree. I'm thinking of the sound a dog makes in the dark while it preens its own privates. It's not a quick licking sound. It's the long strokes of the tongue as it self-oralizes. It's worse than the nightmares I suffer after a pizza binge.

I once had a cat that would jump on the bed, stalk toward my head in a silent manner that didn't wake me, and lick my exposed armpits. I would wake up to a raspy tongue grooming the fine locks of pit hair I had so carefully cultivated. It was a feeling like no other. I wouldn't necessarily label it a disgusting feeling, but neither would I call it enjoyable. It was one of those strange feelings you allow to continue just to see what may happen. Who knows, I could come to enjoy it later, or at some point make my mind up that I didn't like it. The idea that it was weird never was part of the decision. It just was. If a cat today decided to lick my armpits again, I would let it, just to allow myself to go into that lucid state of "Hmmmmm, that's interesting."

It's funny that licking can create such an emotional reaction in us. Under the right circumstances it's a powerful erotic narcotic. Done in jest, or by a smelly hippy, it can be downright disgusting. Between humans it is quite poly-reactionary, with both nice, naughty and gross qualities depending upon the circumstances.

Between man and beast, in my opinion it mostly is just disgusting. For most of us, it is an involuntary act. We are attacked by a beast whose only method of showing us affection is an eight inch wet one. I won't delve into the subculture of consensual naughty licking between man and beast as I think that is disgusting, too. To each their own. Just do it in private.

I've been witness to beasts licking their masters. Most of us have. Humans allowing their beasts to lick their face, long animus tongues sloppily stroking a face and trying to sneak in a Frenchy. One of the beasts at our house will sneak in a Frenchy if you're not careful. It disgusts me. I watch that dog lick things I wouldn't pick up with a full hazmat suit on. But occasionally, she gets you. It makes me ill just to think about it.

This morning I could not go back to sleep. And being woken up by those sounds set the tone for my day. Even as I write this, I'm still annoyed at the beasts of this house. As I write this one is snoring behind me and I know, some time in the middle of the night, when all is dark and quiet, he will begin to lick himself. That thought makes me want to excommunicate him from my sleeping abode, but the punishment would be worse for the enforcer. I would have to listen to him scratch at the door all night.