|Feb. 28th, 2014 @ 10:13 pm ZOMG! Cat!|
|For my entire adult life, I've avoided living with cats, as I am quite allergic to them. Cute, furry little balls of poison I used to call them.
Brit, on the other hand, is so fond of cats that I suspect her of being partially of feline descent, likely due to an ancient race of cat-creatures that once visited Earth, saw the synergy between the human and feline sentiences and sought to combine them with their advanced genetic engineering.
To resolve our conflicting preferences, I proceeded naturally through Patri's 5 Stages of Disagreement: stubborn resistance, grudging experimentation, whining acceptance, enthusiastic endorsement, and finally the claim that it was my idea all along.
Having reached that wonderful end-stage, I can now say that after 1.5 years of living with our beautiful Abyssinian cat Coconut, I have trouble imagining a catless household. Why would I want to live without a sweet, loyal, fierce, cuddly, independent cat companion who loves me? Coco greets me when I wake up, watches me leave, is excited when I get home, and curls up next to me when I go to sleep. He adds softness and love to my life, and has become a part of the family.
One thing that has helped is that I grew up reading SF, which is chock-full of pro-cat propaganda, so the idea of cats as an essential family ingredient has been easy to accept. Heinlein, for example, wrote "If you would know a man, observe how he treats a cat", and “How you behave toward cats here below determines your status in Heaven.”
As for the allergies, with the right conditions they can be sufficiently ameliorated. Coconut has short hair, doesn't shed much, and in our hard-floored house, using a special cat-wash and special laundry detergent, it's been fine. I'm definitely allergic to cats, I still react strongly when I go into carpeted, long-hair cat environments, and for those occasions I have to take decongestants and antihistamines. I wouldn't do that every day even for a cat (I hate how allergy medicines make me feel), but since the allergens build up slowly over time, even one de-allergenizing rubdown a week makes a huge difference.
The rubdowns are pretty easy, I put the magic denaturing enzymes on a washcloth, and then I use a trick I learned from watching Brit: I talk in a super-excited voice about how it's time for his special wash, and it's going to be so wonderful, and then I pet him when I do it and he feels like he's getting special attention and he purrs instead of running away. (Pro tip: making chores sound like treats works for kids too, as I also learned from Brit).
Too bad Google is a dog company, not a cat company, I wish I could bring Coco to work. Hmm, there's a WikiHow for that....