I have two cats, and I spoil them rotten. It doesn’t matter what they do. One compulsively urinates under the stairs, turning that section of the carpet into a nightmare landscape of horrors. The other is a fat slob who flings his cat litter everywhere and throws up on my bed. Despite all this, I find them irresistibly adorable. I snuggle them every chance I get. This is a feeling that I find hard to explain, like the feeling of awe you experience while watching a sunset or the feeling of unbridled disgust while watching Jersey Shore.
Many people wouldn’t be ashamed to admit that there are certain things they find outrageously cute. Women everywhere squeal with delight when they see a baby or a puppy. Their lower lips quiver with barely contained glee when shown a picture of Grumpy Cat. Even the butchest, moustache-twirling, muscle-flexing men have moments where something blindsides them with cuteness. Don’t be ashamed, guys. It happens to the best of us.
It doesn’t come as any surprise that there’s a word for that. This word comes from our friends in the Philippines, where apparently there is such an abundance of cuteness that it’s raining from the sky and permeating everything with a fine layer of everything fluffy and doe-eyed. The word is gigil (pronounced ghee-gill) and means “the urge to pinch or squeeze something that is unbearably cute”.
Wow, that’s fitting. Even the damn word is cute. It sounds like the name of an adorable Pokemon, one with the voice of a constricted Furby and possessing the kind of fluffy fur that would make clothing designers drool.
Finally, I have a word to describe how I feel while watching a sleeping cat. There’s one right next to me, head curled into his chest and body contorted like a pretzel. He’s so cute I just want to bury my face in his side and snuggle him to death.
Now he just farted in his sleep. On second thought, he’s not cute. I take it back.
Jacob Rennick was born in Hamilton, Ontario in 1993. He has lived in several cities during his life, and made the move to Ottawa in the summer of 2012, where he’s currently studying Professional Writing at Algonquin College. He lives with several roommates and his two cats, Virgil and Maximus. He has written several short stories and is working on a longer piece called Cleaning House.
You can friend him on www.facebook.com/jakob.rennick