I'm Allergic To My Cat!
Having a cat allergy came as something of a surprise to me. Growing up, I had many pets - cats, dogs and birds. My family were animal lovers and pets abounded, so being in contact with animals was a daily occurance. No one ever seemed to suffer from a cat allergy or any kind of animal allergy for that matter.
After my teens and my last pet had died, I wasn't in a position to take on another pet for many years. Then, eleven years ago, a friend of a cousin was looking for a home for their last remaining kitten. And so it was that Kira came into my life. This was a cat with attitude (and still is!) and we bonded pretty much immediately. While she was still a kitten, I'd put her in the kitchen overnight with a little cat bed to sleep in and the litter box close by.
As she grew older, I started letting her sleep in the bedroom. It's surprising how relaxing a cat's purring can be in wee small hours.
A little over a year later, when down with the vet getting some supplies, I heard that there was a kitten that needed a home or it would have to be put to sleep. And so, Fritz came home with me that day.
Unfortuately, Kira was less than impressed with this interloper and I had to keep the two separated for several days before an uneasy truce ensued.
They're an odd pair - Kira has attitude, Fritz is much more companionable; what you'd call a "gentle soul". She's still the Queen around the house and occasionally puts Fritz in his place with a right-hook to the face when she feels the need to assert her authority.
As Fritz matured, he also was allowed into the bedroom. Both he and Kira would sleep there during the day and night, as was their want.
We all know that cats are the greatest creature-comfort-seeking animals on the planet and a comfy place to catnap is one of their major concerns. But the place your cat chooses to snooze may not be your first choice. While I didn't mind the cats sleeping on the bed, I did take exception to Fritz's tendency to charge in from the garden and sleep in a basket of warm, freshly dried laundry straight from the dryer.
The Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine recently conducted a poll of pet-owners on the sleeping habits of their pets and found that 60% of them sleep in bed with one of the family. Where cats are concerned, there are two potential problems here: one is that, somehow, they manage to take up 90% of the bed and the other has to do with allergies.
I found I had a mild cat allergy when I started producing weird wheezing noises any time I was doing something strenuous. Coughing eased it for a few minutes but it would always return. I figured I