I like cats. I really do. I am just very allergic to them. All my kids know this – and they have reminded me many times that it is all my fault that we can never have a cat as a pet. I actually think a cat would be a perfect pet – they are not as needy as dogs, easier to manage if you have to go out of town, and they are cute and cuddly and fun to watch. If they didn’t make me so sick, we definitely would have a cat.
I am highly allergic. I can go to someone’s house and after being there a short while, I can determine if they have a cat or not – just based on how I feel. Itchy eyes, itchy throat, itchy ears, itchy lungs – Yes! Even my lungs get itchy! Then there’s the sneezing, runny nose – and then the cough. Once I get the cough, it is best that I leave because that means I am starting to have an asthma attack.
My son, Asa, lives in Montana with his dad. Asa just got a new kitten! Asa wanted to show me the kitten in person so asked if he could bring it with him when his dad drove him over for Christmas break. I said, “No.” – but then it’s “But mom! He’s soooo cute and he will only be there overnight. He can sleep in the car and then go back with dad, while I stay and visit for a few weeks.” I don’t really remember ever saying “yes” but when I found out they were on their way over, the cat was with them. Great……..
I figured, “Okay – I can oooh and aaaah over the cat, pet it briefly, tell Asa how cute his cat is, etc – and then go shower as he puts the cat back in the car.” But of course, things never go exactly as planned.
On the way over, in the middle of nowhere, their car broke down. They were eventually able to get rides and get the car towed to my house – all three of them, my son, my ex-husband, and the cat. Yay.
So now I have my ex-husband stuck at my house, as well as a cat. I did the oohing and aaahing of the cat, the petting and such to get it out of the way, and then told Asa he would have to keep the cat in the back bedroom – at all times. The cat of course, did not like this arrangement and meowed and meowed and meowed!
It took a few days to get the car looked at (which means my ex-husband was sleeping on my couch – and the cat was meowing like crazy for days). I finally get a text at work from a friend that said, “Your ex’s car is screwed. He blew the head gasket.” – and it would take $1800 to get it repaired. Okay, now what?
My ex does not have $1800. I don’t have $1800. Nobody I know has $1800. So the car is now parked in my back yard, and my ex took a train home to Montana – and we still have the cat. Still meowing and howling.
I finally gave in and allowed the cat to romp around the house a bit – to play and spend time with Asa. I was starting to get a little bit of a sore throat and chalked it off to a cold (which I really think it was at the beginning). But then over Christmas, my throat got worse, and I could barely talk. My mom didn’t recognize my voice when I called to wish her a Merry Christmas. My kids wondered what was wrong with me – was I okay – did I have the flu – was I dying?
Still the throat and nose thing felt more like a cold than allergies. But then today, I was laying on the couch, binge-watching “Law and Order”, when I felt it. The itchiness. Inside my chest – in my lungs. And then I began to cough. Meanwhile the cat is running along the back of the couch to the recliner, to the window sill and then back again. Damn.
I felt like such a bad guy, having to banish the cat to the back bedroom once again. Asa looked so sad and forlorn – especially when he realized that the cat would have to stay locked up for the rest of the visit (that in all reality could be a month). It really sucked. I felt bad for the cat, I felt bad for Asa, I felt bad for the rest of the family. I was having to make an unpopular decision and I hated it. But I also hated being sick and knew that I could not stand another few weeks of feeling miserable – and then having to deal with all the cat hair and dander left on the furniture and carpets even after they left. So I had to do it.
Hopefully I will feel better soon – after showering thoroughly, vacuuming, dusting, laundering – and liberally spraying anti-allergy febreeze on everything that the cat might have touched (so like the whole house). Asa seems to still be talking to me, which is nice. I still feel guilty. You always want to do things to please your kids – and I really do like cats. Maybe if we shaved off all his fur….”Hey Asa! Have you seen my clippers?”