olfactory deja vu

An addendum to my post about Thibault (though this is Fergus–the Tboy was orange all over & not such a chunky mutt [well spotted, Rosy!], whereas Teh Ferginator has a white muzzle & is much more of a shy boy)…

As I was just telling my esteemed associate mr-craig, since Fergus is finally all clean & tidy–his fur is sooo much softer than it used to be, too!–I’m able to get close to him, as he doesn’t object to cuddles anymore; he’ll actually stay on my lap for a minute or so before he wants off. However, it was only recently that I was holding him & affectionately buried my nose in his fur…only to receive a significant shock.

He smells like Thibault. The Tboy had a very specific scent–it always reminded me of amber–& other ginger kitties I’ve known haven’t smelled anything like that…yet Fergus does. I know this could be possibly attributed to wishful thinking, but I was completely taken aback, as I never expected to breathe in those warm tones of amber ever again. Perhaps it’s some kind of chemical reaction from me petting him & getting my pheromones on him or something, but Boo–the other ginger kitty I had in between Thibault & Fergus–never smelled anything like this, nor have any of my other cats.

Since I’ve begun tuning into my synesthesia instead of ignoring it (thanks, Phlegelina!), it now seems logical that my olfactory memory has always been so intense–I’m assuming they’re in the same part of the brain. Somewhere in storage I have a tin with empty perfume bottles in it, & after just one whiff of Anais Anais or Liz Claiborne, I can tell you exactly when I wore it & what I was doing at that time in my life. (I also met someone recently who was wearing Christian Dior’s Poison, & wow, talk about getting thwacked upside the sinuses with late-80’s deja vu!) Thus with olfactory memory this acute, I don’t think I could have mistaken the smell for anything else, & given that it was a total surprise, I tend to reject the notion of subconscious wish fulfillment, too.

Still, as the dogged empiricist I am, I persist in wanting a scientific explanation as to why a cat born in 2006 or thereabouts smells like another cat who died in 2001. Is it a scent particular to ginger kitties? Or to ginger kitties that belong to me specifically? Feel free to make with the suppositions, mes amis.