Allergic? Boom! Cat Scarf!

Funny thing, I have always been Deathly allergic to cats but after buying a ranch…well, you have to have a barn cat.   (They keep rodents out of the barn and feed, also the scent of cats will help keep them from the home as well which is must for country living.)

No problem, I’ll just stay away from it, right? So we found two on craigslist that were “fixed”. Perfect! Of course the darn things ADORED ME!  They followed me everywhere begging for love, and I’m a sucker for it soooo…
But, lucky for me, they didn’t bother my allergies very much and I was ok as long as I kept their hair away from my face, incuding my hands after petting.

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Allergic to cats, you say? BOOM! Cat scarf!

They were so cute, I named the female Baby and the male, Tiger.  The nieghbor marvelled as I walked outside and yelled, Baby….Tiger, and they’d come running from the pastures just like dogs.  Being a full on city girl, I knew nothing about horses, donkeys, cats etc.  What I did know was dogs so I treated all my animals like dogs which means like babies. Lol No wonder all my animals were in an  identity crisis.  The dogs think they’re children and the horses, donkey and cats thought they were dogs!  The dog sucks his blankie and the donkey plays fetch.

Well, It wasn’t long before the “fixed” female, Baby, was pregnant and with being basically wild cats, the male, Tiger, disappeared.  This is something you just have to learn to accept with barn cats.  They are free to roam and in the country, face owls, hawks and cayotes as well as wanding off so it’s a very natural way of life there.

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In short season, Baby gave birth to five precious kittens.  With Baby being a black cat and Tiger…well, grey tiger striped, it was a wonder the she had 1, pure white, 1 black, 2 calico and 1 tiger!  Within 3 weeks, Baby disappeared too leaving me with 5 orphaned kittens to raise and I did.

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Cats are creative. We’ve had kikkens born in hay cradles, in the bottom of barrels and once in a plastic bin that was stored in the rafters! Though there was only a few inches of clearance,  the mother carried mouths full of hay, up into that bin, building a hay bed to have her kittens!

Once grown, the white and calicos had to go to indoor pet owners as they can’t hide from predators and the other 2 stayed on the farm.  Oddly, none of the babies aggravated my allergies at all!

Over the years, 5 generations of cats were born in our barn.  I’ve seen 2 sisters give birth at the same time and when one disappeared, the other would adopt the kittens and nurse them too.  One continued to nurse her sisters male kitten so long that it was bigger than she was!  Just like a darn man!

And still, not the slightest hint of allergy although these cats practically lived on me! I was AMAZED! All my life I had been so deathly allergic then suddenly at 50, I’m not allergic anymore! It was a miracle!

We were planning a  weekend to trio to Arkansas to see my mom.  once we arrived and got out of the truck, upon approaching the house, I spied her big white cat, Princess, sitting on the porch rail.  As I passed by, I snatched that cat right up and snuggled her! 3.5 seconds later…..I thought I was GOING TO DIE!!!!! My face blew up like a balloon, eye’s swollen shut, clawing at my itching ribs, chest and throat! Worst weekend EVER!

Apparently, I’m only able to handle cats that I love?

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For Joanne

 

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32 comments

  1. oooo – kitten faces to start the day!! 😻

    They really do worm their way into our hearts. I was told once that we do eventually develop a tolerance for a cat that lives with us but I don’t know if there is any science to support it. After 7 years with Theo, I still rely heavily on antihistamines to breathe. Breathing is definitely underrated!

    Even though I live in a city, Theo is an outdoor cat. I live on a quiet street with little traffic so I don’t worry much about him. I would be devastated if he never came back one day – although I know it’s a reality of farm living.

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    • That was the most difficult part of farm life for me to accept and live with…the natural cycle of life. I have a very soft and sensitive heart for my animals. It’d just crush me to have a kitten who didn’t survive, a cat they may have gone to a cayote, a horse colic and have to fight to save it, praying the whole time. They get sick, injured, die. Intellectually, I knew this was just life, all life and the same for us, but knowing that didn’t stop my heart from breaking.

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      • I have a friend with a horse farm and 2 years ago she lost 2 horses in one year. Although she is a very pragmatic and stoic woman, I could tell it took a huge emotional toll. Farm life is very difficult in more ways than one.

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      • It really is. Being a person who “life” happens to, dispite my ongoing attempt to guide it, I was ill prepared. In truth, a repetitive theme of the fantasy being so much better than the reality. Lol
        My life is like fly by the seat of my pants or better yet, leaping into adventure, blind folded and cannonball style.
        Those around me have viewed me as intimidating, tough, strong, not someone they’d want to scrap with…but in truth, I’m protective of me, my heart, because I’m sensitive, my heart so tender, love so deeply. After losing animals and fighting to save them, even succeeding sometimes, was traumatic for me. It’s the #1 reason that I was happy to leave that life. I couldn’t bear the stress, worry and grief of it. I admire those who can handle it with simple acceptance. I’m not tough enough. It devastates me.

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      • You and I sound remarkably similar. I could describe my life the same way – jumping in with both feet and only the vaguest of plans … figuring it out as I go along. But the core is marshmallow and easily hurt.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. How interesting! I grew up being told by allergy specialists, and then my mum repeatedly, that I was allergic to fins, fur and feathers. I’ve had a dog for 10 years and no problem. We too (against my better judgement – I’ve never liked cats) adopted a fixed male cat last year. While he has been badly treated in the past, I’m teaching him to trust me and accept my loving. No allergies here either.
    He’s been a great hunter and we were wondering why we haven’t seen as many mice around this spring, compared to last. Didn’t know the cats scent would distract them. Good to know, thank you!

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