This is a weird thought I had yesterday morning as I thought about how tedious it is to have to spray my armpits every day and how I stink after Zumba on a Monday night. As I sprayed my armpits, the cat looked at me and I looked back at the cat. I asked her: why don’t you have to do this? She just sniffed the air in reply. Why doesn’t she smell bad in hot weather? I smelt her armpits, they smelt nice (of fluff and cat).
I’ve never smelt a stinky animal. I have, however, smelt a stinky person.
Perhaps humans only smell so awful when they have forgotten to protect their armpits because we have adapted to constant spraying of our armpits. In other words, the body now overproduces the hormones that give off the smell to compensate (a bit like that theory that if you stop washing your hair eventually it won’t need washing). Or, alternatively, maybe we notice the smell because most of the time we mask it so that when we forget, we notice it. If we all stopped spraying ourselves, eventually we wouldn’t notice the smell.
Animals don’t use deodorant so they either don’t smell for reason one above, or we don’t notice it for reason two.
Or, maybe, animal B.O. is beyond our radar of smell abilities (a bit like bat sounds for our ears). After all, when dogs come across other dogs they give each other a good whiff and either hump or fight. And body odor is supposed to be related to sexual attention (we might like the smell of one person, but not the next, and there have been scientific studies to show that we actually like the smell of people who will produce good offspring with us – I don’t know how this works but this website explains).
Whatever the reason, I’m quite glad the cat doesn’t have to spray her armpits every day (and fill the bathroom with cat armpit products). I’m also quite glad she smells nice. I’m now going to bury my head in her armpit hair and have a good sniff.