katz: a continuing problem

my boyfriend is very allergic to cats– and then there's this:

which is what happens after about five minutes of petting them.

at first I was all, okay, the katz must go. you are wheezing and developing hives. my home is actively making you sick.

and then i confronted the reality of this decision, on top of my pet history and the positions I've taken in the past on other people's disposals and displacements of animals– I have been a judger, it is true. I have drawn rather hard lines around the ethics of pet ownership and am now being called to account by the universe.

because it's sort of starting to look like maybe the human being needs to take priority over the housepets in this scenario. I've kind of been digging in my heels over the last several weeks, weighing some other options, bathing regularly to reduce allergens and whatnot– but the truth is, I also know what kind of a housekeeper/pet groomer I am. i.e. not the more assiduous. I'm not even all that ardent about my own grooming, so you can bet that, despite whatever sky-high intentions I might embrace, it's just not gonna happen.

and so.

what are the alternatives? these are my, for better or worse, fuzzy sweethearts. I'm a big goosh. I cuddle my animals quite a bit, ordinarily, and so they've come to expect and to crave this level and type of attention. how do I begin to find another place in the world that would be good for them? this seems like an impossible conundrum to me– because, simply, once they're out of my hands, they're no longer mine and I have no say, really. they must become an integral part of someone else's household however that must work. and I'm having a really really difficult time coming to grips with this and initiating the process.

for now I guess this is all I want to say. this is the dilemma I am currently sitting with. maybe it sounds kind of dumb in the scope of things, but it's mine, and it feels big.

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14 Replies to “katz: a continuing problem”

  1. It is big. Somehow I lucked (?) out – my boyfriend said he was allergic to cats but he somehow, fortunately isn't now (I really don't understand how that works but whatever) – anyhow, what I'm trying to say is I thought I was going to be in a similar situation, and it really sucked. So I hear ya.On one hand, you've got your babies – you love them, you don't want to give them up. But on the other hand, they're making someone sick. It's not like you are a pet owner who decides an animal is inconvenient or something — it's a health issue. So you're in an understandably difficult position.The other thing to keep in mind is that even if you were to give them up, your place will probably still have a lot of kitty (for lack of a better word) leftovers. I speak from experience on this one — the hair will linger! No matter how hard you clean, there will be places where the kitty hair hides and waits — like a mean-spirited ghost. Stuck to the underside of furniture, lurking in a closet corner, camoflaged on a bookend, etc.

  2. oh no! this IS big and difficult. i don't really have any wisdom to offer here for you. wish I did. just know that it's a hard choice and you don't have to make it immediately.

  3. oh, sooooooooooo sorry for your predicament. i totally vote for you to do whatever you have to, definitely, but i hugely, hugely support finding any solution that doesn't include not having your cats and them not having you.ideas:claritin?also, there's something you can buy and put in their water that apparently neutralizes whatever it is that makes people allergic to them. it's an enzyme that i've been told you can get from your vet and that it's not bad for your cats. if i come up with anything else, i'll so jet it your way.

  4. i would NEVER EVER consider getting rid of my cat for my boyfriend. i would honestly tell him [if he was asking me to do that] that he's got to go! my cat is like my animal-spirit. when i am down, all i need to do is think of her or look at her or pet her, and it's enough to make me smile & realize that it's not all so bad.

  5. Sarah, I know the type of person you are and that you do not consider animals disposable. I can only imagine how hard it would be to be faced with this. It's bound to just suck no matter what. I know, I know, that's not very cheery of me. However, there's a world of difference in finding a loving committed home for your sweeties, keeping them together and doing everything you can to ensure their happiness and just dumping them outside or in a shelter. I am only sorry our dogses would eat kitties. I would happily take them so you would know they were always visitable and loved.

  6. That sucks. In my house, the cat would go. But the dog would be a deal breaker. ;-)Are there family or friends who could take them? So you could have visitation rights?

  7. yeah, mister chris is sorta taking the same line about, "hey, just gimme some time to get used to 'em– the allergies'll go away"– but my place is seriously hair central and then I see the hives and hear him wheeze and, uh uh, notso good making the people you love sick. we'll see. this is definitely an Issue Under Consideration– nothing is happening precipitously. just taking the opportunity to receive it as a Lesson in any available ways– to welcome it as a challenge to my ingenuity and thinking habits.

  8. yeah, he's been taking zyrtec when he comes over, but there are some concerns about the viability of longterm use. the groomer I've started taking the guys to was telling me about that water additive stuff but don't currently have it in stock– thanks for reminding me– I'm going to look for it online.

  9. I should clarify– the feller is by no means asking me to get rid of my cats– in fact he's saying quite the opposite– but I'm also confronting the very obvious health problems that are happening in this situation and consequently weighing all my options– some of which, clearly, are more palatable than others. but thank you for sharing your thoughts– I realize this is an issue we have very strong feelings about, generally. :)

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