Four months old and Gracie’s coat is coming in. She’s beginning to shed and she’s begun the feline bathing routine. Lick lick lick.
Here is Grace at about 10 weeks and at then at 16 weeks. Growing fast!
The rubber is meeting the road for me. I’m going to learn if I’ll be spending the next 15-20 years sneezing and sniffling.
Years ago, I endured allergy tests at the insistence of my then-husband. There was just too much sneezing and mucous for him. I don’t blame him: I thank him. My allergies were certainly bad enough to warrant a visit to the allergist.
CATS. TREES. MOLD. DUST! – pronounced the allergist.
(Finger-wagging) “You have to get rid of your cat”. Period. No question.
NOOOOOO! (Tears.) Sammy-cat is a member of my family! This was answered with a head-shaking, stony silence.
I kept the cat. I endured the weekly shots. (Guess I showed them.)
After Sammy-cat died I “kept” another cat. (Whoops!) Once again I wanted a furry friend to be my buddy, part of my home, part of my heart. So I went to the shelter and he chose me. He touched me on the shoulder and he looked at me with those bright, sunny eyes. Done.
My allergy held steady.
Murphy (a most intelligent, gregarious cat) was with me until 2004 when he left. I don’t know what happened to him. He was a wanderer and a fighter (even though neutered). I’d brought those (absurd to him) dogs into the home and he didn’t like it. He put up with them for 3 years.
Murphy may have chosen a new home. There were plenty for the asking. I’d received calls from lady admirers with homes he regularly visited. He charmed them. Maybe one of them took him in. I just don’t know. I searched and never found him. I hope his fate was a gentle one.
There have been no cats since Murphy. It’s been all dogs. I’m assuming I’m still allergic to cats. Not “asthma attack allergic”: more “perennial rhinitis allergic” and “sinus headache allergic”.
Fast forward: It’s 2011
I had an assignment to write a story about the numerous kittens fostered by the wonderful (government) employees at our local “pound”. My heart was deeply touched. I fostered a litter of four four-week-old kittens. Lo and behold: I adopted one. Shocking! I’m a foster failure. (Hey, at least I didn’t keep all of them!)
Now that I am owned by a cat, I’m hoping the years of self-restraint have reduced my allergy. I’m optimistic … or deluded. I have committed to this little wonder. I will endure her purring and playfulness and litter box odors and scratching. I will go for allergy shots if I have to. I will invest in Kleenex stock if I have the spare income. I will vacuum often. Um. Well. We’ll see on that one.
One thing is for sure — my feline will teach me to accept my irrelevance. (We are only good for opening cans.)
(Achoo! God bless you.)