We have kittens at our house. This surprises some of my readers who know that I am allergic to cat hair. I am also allergic to dogs, pollen, dust, sage. Tumbleweed, latex, glue that is used in surgery. The list goes on and on. In short, I am allergic to almost everything.
I had eczema, from a very young age until I was 15. This horrible itchy skin condition manifested itself in rashes inside my elbows, behind my knees, in my fingers and toes, and all around my face. It was from allergies, I was told.
How can I stand cats in the house then? Have you ever heard of Benadryl? Loratadine? Allergy eye drops? I take all of these and wash my hands and don’t touch my eyes.
Why did we get some kittens? Mice! The mice took 5 years to find us. I am sure they have been looking for us since we moved from the old house. If they would have just followed us across the pasture, our mouse worries would have started sooner.
I admit that I have not been particularly fond of cats.
But cats, like many animals like me.
When I visit friends with cats, the cats come to check me out. Our new kittens love me. Sitting in my lap or laying across my chest with their head on the neurostimulator for my DBS device, their breath in rhythm with the electrical impulses to my brain.
Where does one find good mousing cats? Facebook has the answer. A Facebook friend arranged for two kittens to be delivered to my house. I asked my husband Charlie to pick up the to get the essentials: litter box, kitten food, cat carrier.
The kittens arrived much sooner than I expected. I kept them quietly contained in their carrier until Charlie returned from the store. Then all hell broke loose!
It was quite fun watching the kittens tear across our living room. It made me realize why pets, even rescue dogs and cats were difficult to come by during the pandemic. Their companionship and entertainment value is priceless.
A rooster crowed. The sun rose. Dawn came and it’s the second day with kittens.
Charlie fed the kittens before he left the house. The kitties got sick. There was cat poop and vomit on our living room floor. I got cleaning materials out and then searched for the kittens. They were much faster than me. I reached over and caught one by the leg. In the process I rolled on the floor and came into contact with the lamp cord which pulled the lamp down onto my favorite rocking chair, breaking the glass and leaving a scratch. The shattered glass surrounded me, the kittens, and completely covered the leather seat of the rocking chair.
Did I say I had shoes on? Well, I didn’t.
While I was contemplating the situation, I started to feel sorry for myself. If this had happened 15 years ago it would be all cleaned up by now. I just sat there in the mess of glass, cat poop, and vomit, and BANG something happened outside. That jarred me back to reality. I backed away from the glass to where I had a window view and saw what happened. Picnic benches that had been stacked on top of a table blew over in a huge gust of wind and had taken the screen door with them. Now the benches had the screen securely pinned against the glass patio door so there would be no more damage.
From my position on the floor, I saw something on the screen door. It was green, more than green. Long and narrow. What the heck was it? My curiosity pulled me off the floor, something difficult for me to do, and I staggered to the patio door. I saw the largest praying mantis I have ever seen. While I examined this interesting bug I was distracted from my sadness about the loss of the lamp and worry about the kittens being sick. My depression about how physically hard it was going to be to clean up went away.
Shoes on. Paper towel and plastic bag in hand I finished the floor part of the disaster just as my husband came in the door. He finished up the glass clean-up and made an appointment with the veterinarian.
There were no strong words exchanged between me, my husband, the kittens, or their mess. My husband, who lately has displayed some anger in these types of situations, took it in stride. “Stuff” happens when you take on the responsibility of pets. I welcomed that attitude of acceptance and adopted it for myself.
Later, I thought more about the whole situation.
Could I care for a pet by myself? Can I even care for myself?
Go away bad thoughts. You are not going to fill my brain with these stories of “can’t”.
If the “mess” in your life is overwhelming, break it into smaller pieces. Invite a friend to help you. Laugh about it. Take your time. But don’t let it rule your thoughts.