Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I'm Allergic to Cats

As far as I know, I've always been allergic to cats. I sneeze. I cough. My nose runs. My eyes water, itch and turn a beautiful color of pink. It's a miserable thing. That said, I've always been fascinated with kittens and cats. They're bright, funny, amusing and , for the most part, self reliant.

A few weeks ago a cute, pink nosed, female, stray cat showed up. She acted hungry, so Tina fed her thereby making her ours. She's a good cat for the most part - jumps too much, but she's nice. I keep my distance and I don't handle her much. If I do, I wash my hands immediately before I goof up and touch my face. So far I've kept the allergy under control without any medication. We've been calling her Miss Kitty. Clever, eh?

Fast forward to this past Saturday. I needed a 10mm wrench, so we stopped at Sears at Walnut Square Mall in Dalton, Georgia. Found a wrench, paid for it, and we decided to walk through the mall. We usually just cruise from one end to the other and look at the people and occasionally stop in the stores.

First store we spotted was the Pet Store. We usually stop there and check out the puppies, fish, reptiles and the assortment of rodents. There's the occasional ferret, chinchillas, guinea pigs and sometimes rabbits. This day they had a cage with kittens. They were a cute lot too. $25 later we're the proud owner of a kitten.

Meet Phantom... he's a cute one. He's a bundle of kitten ready to pounce, run, climb, jump, play, and sleep. He's a good kitten, doesn't scratch too hard, doesn't bite too hard, and is more content with a paper wad than a store bought cat toy.

The first morning (that was Sunday) he woke me up wanting to play "paper wad". He was beside the bed meowing. I called him, and he climbed up on the bed with his paper wad - cute.

Today may have been a bit stressful for him; Tina spotted a couple fleas. So he got a very gentle flea treatment (according to instructions from the vet), and two baths. I'm sure he was stressed out for the better part of the afternoon, but as of this moment, he's quite rambunctious, playing with Samuel and a ping pong ball -- the afternoon is ancient history.

One positive for him today was his encounter with Miss Kitty. So far they're not friends. I think sworn enemies may be the current state, but today they both got a good sniff of each other before the hissing started. After the confrontation he went back to playing with Samuel, and she ate quickly and immediately went back outside. Though that may sound fairly serious it's an improvement in the diplomatic relations.

Technically Phantom is my first cat. Tina and I had a cat when we were first married, but she was our cat. Phantom is all mine. Of course, Samuel and Tina like him too. But when it's time to sleep or just crash, he tracks me down.

My allergies? Well, honestly I've not had it so bad. I have taken a couple of loratadine tablets, but for the most part I've endured without the itchy watery eyes.

Oh, almost forgot - his name came by a suggestion by a Banjo Lounge regular and friend - Karyn. Thanks Karyn. It's a great name, has multiple meanings, and it just suits him.

I think it's time to go play with the kitten.

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