I am mad allergic to cats. If you’re a regular here, you probably already know that. I once told a relatively offensive anecdote about Husband being lucky his cat died shortly before I met him or else he’d have had some choosing to do. I probably would have won anyway, unless the cat was a good cook. So now I’ve succeeded in alienating any cat lovers I might have missed the first time around.
It’s funny how things happen in life with cause and effect. When I was in my early teens, the only friend whose house I slept over owned a cat named Tiffany. I stayed in the guest room, which also happened to be Tiffany’s favorite place. I had no idea at the time that I had a cat allergy. What I did know was that I would awaken in the middle of the night every time sneezing like crazy, with the whites of my eyes looking like blood oranges. My friend and I thought it was a strange coincidence that I always got sick the nights I slept at her house. As a result, I never stayed over at other friends’ homes because I came to associate sleepovers with illness. Thank God that didn’t happen with Tiffany’s.
Once I connected ‘cat’ with ‘sick’, I became astonished at how perceptive cats are. If I’m sitting in a room with ten cat lovers and you set a cat on the loose, I guarantee it will make a beeline for me. I can even hear it silently purring, “There’s that whiny bitch. Let me go rub up against her ankles, hahahahaha.” I’ve also gotten the most inscrutable responses from cat owners when they invite me to their house and I ask, “Do you have any cats? I’m extremely allergic,” and they answer, “You’ll be okay. I vacuum all the time and I only have one.” What does that mean? I should only breathe with one lung?
The woman who cuts my hair for the past two decades is a good friend who used to own her own salon, but now works out of her house. About a year ago she got one cat, and then a second. I went there today for a haircut. I popped a Zyrtec and asked her what the deal was with two cats in her small apartment and she said she couldn’t resist. I think for cat people it’s like potato chips. They can’t stop at just one. The thing with this friend is she’s totally into fitness. She works out all the time and eats organic, when she eats at all. She’s close to my age, but has a body like Madonna. Who, come to think of it, is also close to my age.
But my friend’s cats are these HUGE slobs. I mean their stomachs almost brush the ground. They look like possums. I’m not trying to be cruel here because trust me, I don’t say a thing. I’m too busy choking. What I’m about to give you is a direct quote. When the cats escape from the bedroom and drag their stuffed fur around the living room, my friend shakes her head in loving disgust and says, “You are such HUGE slobs! Aren’t you? Come here and show me what big pigs you are!” And because the die has been cast and my fate sealed long ago, they turn their backs to their owner and head straight for my ankles.
Daughter’s Fotos are from MPB Urban Arts Festival in Brooklyn