A Twitter user, Nekomarusuisan (@nekomarusuisan7), got a lot of attention recently upon posting this absurd, and hard-to-explain image:

At first glance, it's certainly not obvious what's going on here. Maybe someone had one too many and mistook a furry companion for a pillow to pass out on?

Nekomarusan offered a brief explanation in his tweet, translated below:

"I talked myself into doing this by telling myself 'My friends do it too' and 'It's okay. I'll just do it once.' However, when I do this, I can forget about everything I hate. As I repeated this again and again, I told myself 'I can stop anytime.' But I thought about it when I wasn't doing it, and the deed slowly began to dominate my life. I don't have the will power to quit by myself. Can somebody help me?"

Reading this, I definitely thought something is not right. After looking carefully, however, I noticed 160,000 people liked this post. Indeed, Nekomarusan has a peculiar way of relaxing. As you can see, when he's feeling a bit stressed or tired, he buries his face into his cat's stomach and smells her fur.

And voilà, we have the pleasure of seeing such an eye-popping tweet grace our Twitter feed.

Followers reacted:

  • "I'm a cat smeller too! While I'm working, I can't wait to smell my cat. If there is a smoking room, why isn't there a cat room for cat smellers?"
  • "I just quit an exploitative company. During the time I suffered there, my cats helped me by allowing me to smell them."
  • "I thought I had quit cat smelling for good, but my hands started shaking immediately after I saw this tweet. And I couldn't resist anymore...you need to take responsibility for this."

A growing number of animal smellers

I know deep down I shouldn't be surprised by anything anymore….but, to my surprise, I found out that animal smelling is something of a trend. As it turns out, there are many people who not only smell their cats but smell other animals such as dogs. I guess they've simply taken the notion of an emotional support animal a step further than most.

Sure enough, there are many tweets by others who smell dogs:

"I shared my pillow with my dog Junta. He's a cutey. Junta says my cat Jyue's paws smell like popcorn. However, my other dog's paws and nose smell like nuts. I love that smell."

"I love the smell of my dog's farts. My husband always complains 'Oh god! It's so stinky!!', and I just laugh and smell them."

"I think dog's paws smell crisp like popcorn, and I love it. Is it only me?"

"When I wash my dog, she smells fresh and feels better. But I love her 'dog smell,' so I always feel disappointed. Her animal smell is highly effective at relieving my stress."

"I want to smell my pet Nene's stinky mouth and her stinky butt…I've gone beyond being a helicopter parent. Am I a psychopath?"

I never knew how many people are addicted to smelling their pets. I doubt it's only a Japanese phenomenon. Nevertheless, I asked a Japanese acquaintance what she thought about these posts, and she said, "I think there may be many pet smellers in Japan because Japanese people have such a principled and disciplined culture. While it's sometimes good, maybe it leads us to feel lonely sometimes. Yet, when we smell animals, we can feel close to them and feel relieved." It seems like raising pets--and pet therapy in general--may be a necessary part of many people's lives in Japan.

Finally, the famous Japanese actress Rei Dan 檀れい is also known to be an animal lover. She also admits that she loves the smell of her pets:


She loves to smell her dog and cat's paws. She cares for them so much that she even smells their bottoms every day to make sure they are healthy.

Wow, she is not only a wonderful actress but also she is a medical smeller.

My family has dogs back home. I've never tried to smell their paws, but I'm afraid now that I'm growing a bit curious.

However, too much "kinship" may make people sick, or your pet might become stressed out. So be sure to smell your pets in moderation…

Be safe out there!

By - Luke Mahoney.