My cats drink from the sink in my restroom. I’ve lived here since October but the practice only started about one month ago. When I wake up, I 1.) Make a beeline for the kitchen to turn on the coffee, 2.) Walk to my closet to put on some shorts, a t-shirt and my New Balances and then 3.) Go into the restroom to take my daily medication. At the onset of step No. 2, Pete and Julie have already perched themselves on the bathroom countertop in anticipation of the running water from the faucet. To take my meds, I cup my hands, fill them with water and then down my pills in one big gulp. Afterwards, I leave the water on a very slow drizzle for them. It only runs for 3-4 minutes as I go and pour a mug of coffee, eyeball my day’s agenda and do an initial check of my Instagram activity that occurred during the prior night’s slumber.
While that pair voraciously slurps the water with their tongues and uses their paws to bat the water into their mouths, my shy child Walter watches (or judges?) them from afar. Unlike his siblings, he’s not yet fully comfortable to relax on the bed with me or allow me to pick him up for some face rubs or scratches to his haunches. In that same vein he’s also not confident enough to aggressively insert himself into the daily drinking frenzy that buzzes around the bathroom sink.
I cannot blame my felines for drinking from the sink because it runs in the family. It’s coded in their DNA. A tradition that originated way before I was born on my mom’s side of the family was having a “sink drink.” Going all the way back to my grandfather’s mother, that generation would enjoy a libation in this nonconventional manner. I’ve heard about the legendary “sink drinks” since childhood. Y’all, for the longest time, I thought that the name derived from the individuals involved hanging out in the kitchen to have a standard cocktail like a vodka tonic…and then possibly using the sink as a mixer source for cocktails that need a splash of water – or, as a receptacle for the ashes from the numerous cigarettes that were most assuredly being smoked. No. It turns out that a “sink drink” is actually a straight shot of liquor. And, one (if not the main) reason to be near the sink was in case the high-proofed liquid you just guzzled didn’t mesh well with your interior and quickly received a rejection from your digestive system. I’ll have to ask my mom for the exact details, but there was also a fun supplemental activity by my granddad and his two brothers called “trading licks.” All I know is that it had something to do with punching each other in the arm as hard as possible. As an adult, my takeaways from learning the truth behind these family traditions are 1.) Damn that’s kind of hardcore and fabulous, 2.) Thank God I wasn’t in that immediate family and 3.) People sure got super creative to have fun when you were dirt-poor during the Great Depression.
I’ve Googled enough on “why cats drink from the sink” to determine that this isn’t causing irreparable harm. Most sites explain why cats like to do it. The general consensus is because the water tastes better and fresher. That’s fair and sounds about right to me. And as I sit here, I don’t know why I would try to discourage or wean them away from this very brief joy that they clearly adore each morning. Y’all. Pets are meant to be spoiled, am I right?
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