i was unsure whether to post this here or in the NF forum because of what i wanted to ask, but decided in favor of this forum because of the photos.

my new cat has the most splendid set of salt-and-pepper whiskers i have ever seen. i thought they were white at first but a week or so ago, i discovered that some of them were darker - they start as black, then taper off to what seems to be a dark gray, and then to white at the tips. he has some black spots inside his mouth, too, so that might be why.

then i noticed that one of my other cats has broken one of his whiskers and chewed a few others off (this is one of the ways they can demonstrate dominance). i was concerned that they might do the same with the rest, and i certainly did not want that.

i did know that the cat would feel nothing (because all the nerve endings and blood vessels are in the skin at the base of the whiskers) and that this is a natural occurrence, with cats doing this to each other fairly often, finally, that cats shed their whiskers throughout their lives. but the idea still disturbed me much more than one might have expected. even after a friend calmed me and explained to me that the whiskers would grow back (about which i hadn't been sure), it continued to make me uncomfortable.

the oddest thing was, i felt for the whiskers themselves as much as i did for the cat. has something similar ever happened to any of you? how exactly can one feel for that which has no animacy of its own? yet i did. this is especially for those of you who are NF - i heard that ENFPs/INFPs sometimes identify with inanimate objects or feel sorry for them in the same manner, so i wondered whether any of you would be able to relate.

here is what the fellow looks like:

he has two names, dobrynia nikitich (after a russian epic hero), which i shorten to dobbin, dobbie, dobs or nikitich, and bullie (because he looks like a bulldog on first sight and seems somewhat intimidating, like a literal bully).