I finally had allergy testing done today after years of medications, infections, and countless sneezes. I had the standard (I’m assuming) 59 pricks done to both of my forearms. Am I allergic to the standard outdoorsy culprits? Yup. Am I allergic to cats? Yup. Wait. What?! Yes, I’m allergic to cats.
I’ve always had a cat in my life since I was born 34 years ago. In the summer of 2013, we got George, JungleGeorge. He was four months old and the cutest thing ever. 2013 was a rough year for me medically. My rheumatoid arthritis was (still is) rearing it’s ugly head, I had a horrible infection that lasted from March to September, and was also diagnosed with asthma. All while still pumping insulin to manage my Type 1 Diabetes. Through it all, I had George. He laid next to me for countless hours while I tried to rest as much as possible. He didn’t (and still doesn’t) judge my never-ending Netflix streaming.
Months later he continues to bring me, and the rest of my family, tremendous joy. He joins me for breakfast each morning, sits right in the middle of my yoga mat at the worst times, greets me at the door when I get home, and sleeps at the foot of my bed every night (and only bites my feet every once and awhile).
Today the allergist said, “no more cat in the bedroom” and to “limit my contact as much as possible”. I initially decided I would abide, told my husband and kids the bad news. They were heartbroken (maybe that’s too dramatic of a word, but let’s go with it) for George (and maybe a bit for me)..he inevitably would sit outside my door and cry all night long.
And then I thought about it. Was I going to avoid the cat who does nothing but want to make me happy , all because of a single prick of my skin? Was I going to upset him by not petting him, brushing him, letting him sleep with me? Was I going to give up the one thing that gives me comfort in the middle of the night when I can’t sleep because I’m in so much pain? No.
At some point, you have to take your doctor’s advice, do a little research/thinking of your own, and then make a decision. Have my allergies changed at all since getting George? Do I feel even the slightest bit different when he’s near me, when I hold him? No. Did I have asthmatic symptoms before George? Yup. Did they change after getting him? Not at all. If I hadn’t gone to the allergist today, would I ever have considered getting tested for pet allergies? No.
So Jungle George will continue to sleep at the foot of my bed as long as he wants (or until my husband knocks him off), whichever occurs first.