Originally Posted by Dave_PH
This is all speculation so I asked Fay but all she'd tell me was "meep".
This gave me serious giggles. No fair!
Both of mine do this, but not consistently. They do not generally do it if *I* pet them...however, if my parents, grandmother, or sister so much as brush against them, it's bath time. I do share a house with my parents, but the second floor is all my space, and therefore the kitties' space. All their various stuff - food, water, litter boxes, beds, toys, etc - are mingled with my things, and therefore I'd guess that my own scent is transferred heavily to them. They spend 75-80% of their day with me, and always bathe like maniacs after their time downstairs (which smells of my parents and their two slobbery dogs!), or after my mother pets them.
Surprisingly, Sophie will allow Nika (my parents' Malamute/Collie mix) to give her a tongue-bathing, complete with dog drool, and be perfectly content with it. I'm talking literally head-to-toe slobber stripe. She loves it. She will roll around on the floor while Nika bathes her, then rub against the dog's legs to cap it all off. Then she'll go sashaying off with a dog-drool mohawk like it's the latest fashion.
In any case, I lean more towards hissy's theory based on my own experiences with them (the dog slobber being a notable exception to the rule). I have also heard the theory that they are trying to sort of "extend" their petting session by "tasting" our scent after we pet them...but if that's the case, then they really don't like me much.