Scalzi’s post on a feral kitten made me think of my kitty, Missy. I am allergic to said cat. More than a few have inquired into the origins of such an unlikely pairing.
I’m not sure exactly when I got Missy. Perhaps around 2004, not long after my mother died. I had inherited and moved into my childhood home. An only child living alone before she died, I didn’t feel particularly lonely in this new arrangement. This was irrelevant to my well-meaning coworkers, who seemed to think I needed something to love on. Plants, pets, a boyfriend. Something. Plants were not an option. I wasn’t really a pet girl. I dated off and on, but nothing serious.
But I shared an office with three women with husbands and pets. Three friendly, yet persistent women. They were determined I’d have one or the other before long. Two of the three had cats, the other, a yip dog, and we all decided that if, for some strange reason, I should desire a pet, a cat would be the way to go.
Cats are self-sufficient, yet entertaining to watch. They like to mind their own business but they enjoy gossiping and cuddling from time to time, too. On top of everything, they’re self-cleaning! A cat could provide company without being too consuming.
Michelle, The Cat Broker, was the most determined. Emails about cats needing a new home always found their way to me. There were slide shows of available cats. I was mildly interested, but remained unconvinced.
One day The Cat Broker announced she had found the perfect kitty. Missy was shy, and often hid in her house of three children and two large dogs. The family was moving and decided it would be best if they and Missy parted ways. She arranged a trial period.
Test the waters. See how it goes. Turn her back over if catastrophe ensues.
I’ll spare you the long story of us getting to know each other. But I will say I never knew cats could throw punches.
Early swipes aside, we bonded. Shortly thereafter, my breathing became noticeably labored. A trip to the allergist was in order once I became scared to fall asleep at night. A skin test revealed the news: I was allergic to dust, dogs, and of course, cats.
The thought of giving up my cat made me sad, so I didn’t. And although I did try to about a year later (that’s another story), it’s completely out of the question now.
So there you have it. And here you have us: