Friday, August 12, 2011
Coming Clean About Cats
I don't even WISH I liked cats. I've known I didn't like them from the day I was born, I think. Can't remember a time when I liked them. I discovered my allergy when I was about six, visiting my cousin, who had a great big, furry, toxic cat. I had only been in the house about fifteen minutes when my eyes started itching and watering, my throat closed up and my lungs collapsed, or at least it felt like they did. It took my parents quite a while to notice what was going on and by then, my whole face had puffed up and my eyes were red-rimmed slits and I was gasping pitifully for air. For two medical people, they weren't very observant when it came to their beloved daughter's suffering, as I recall.
Fortunately, there weren't many cat people among my family and friends. So, it was easy to avoid contact, with only a pet-related question or two before going to their houses.
It was after I married that I found that I might not be allergic to Siamese cats. My then husband's aunt and uncle had two of them, which I didn't know until I had been in their house for over an hour without an itch, a sniffle or a gasp. Turned out, one of them was even stretched out on the back of the sofa where we were sitting, and D.J. 's head head was resting on it. The cat didn't even seem disturbed by being used as a throw pillow.
My sister-in-law loves all animals. She always seems to surround herself with dogs and/or cats. All of her cats are toxic and, they live in the house,even though she tells herself and everyone else they don't. People always seem to claim that their cats are "outside cats", even as they open the doors and bring them in for a few hours' play. Since she always has a cat or two, I can't go to her house. I have comforted myself with the thought that she isn't keeping her cats in, in order to keep me out. She's too nice for that. But, no matter, the effect is the same.
My daughter loves cats. She can either have a visit from a cat or her mother. She has sacrificed the cats, always keeping in mind her place in the will. She has a friend with a cat. This cat doesn't even try to hide its antipathy toward people. He hides under chairs and lashes out with his sharp little claws extended at anyone who walks by him. At least he's honest.
Yes, yes, cats are cute, especially when they are kittens. But, face it, they don't like us, they are always plotting against us, and they can tell who's allergic to them at a distance of 1/2 mile. They'll find us and weave in and out of our legs if we're standing and jump up into our laps if we're sitting. And, they suck all the air out of a sleeping baby's lungs. I believe that.
I don't know what possessed me to write this, but they say confession is good for the soul. And, also, I'm seeing more and more videos of people's cats doing catlike things. Not that I watch them, although I'll watch all the cute antics of dogs. If you love your cat, fine. Just don't invite me over, unless you want to have to call in the paramedics within the first thirty minutes of our visit.