Three weeks ago I made good on a promise to my children when we adopted two little kittens. I have two children, so naturally they each need their own pet t̶o̶ ̶t̶e̶a̶c̶h̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶m̶ ̶r̶e̶s̶p̶o̶n̶s̶i̶b̶i̶l̶i̶t̶y̶, so they wouldn’t fight over the poor creature(s), except this hasn’t been the case. We are working through it, mostly by me reminding my son that I will claim his cat as my own and change the name if he doesn’t leave his little sister’s cat alone sometimes.
I really have no problem changing his cat’s name, either of the cats really because I can’t remember them to being with. Since they are not “my” cats (except for all the responsibilities), I let my children name their own pet with the understanding that I have full veto power. My daughter named her cat Coco, and after talking to one of the board members of PETA during the adoption process, she now calls her Coco Chanel. My son tried several variations of his father’s name for his cat including: Tom, Tommy, and T.J. (Tom Jr.), but I wasn’t a fan and none of those fit his cat. My Mother has been here for the holidays and we both kept referring to him by his shelter name, Marvin. So, it has mostly been decided that we will keep his name as is.
Marvin looks very similar to one of my childhood cats, Mr. Marshmallow, who you’d expect to be white, but wasn’t. I was in first grade, so there is no way to know my reasoning. Sometimes Marvin is called Mr. Marvin or Mr. Marshmallow. I also call him Martin or Marvey because I cannot remember the poor thing’s name. To be honest, I can’t remember Coco’s name either. I call them The Boy and The Girl and if it wasn’t for the need of my children to give their cats “real names” then they would officially be known as “The Boy” and “The Girl” from here on out – even at the vet’s office.
Speaking of the vet, the Atlanta Humane Society is amazing. The kittens’ first vet visit was free, and The Boy, whom they’d only had a few days came to us with a parasite and a nasty virus. When we got home from my son’s birthday dinner I thought he was dead. It was bad, but it was covered by the Humane Society, which saved me $150. I love the Atlanta Humane Society. When we saw Marvin online we knew we wanted him, so the Saturday before Christmas we ventured down to Atlanta, 45 mins from home to check out this kitten. My daughter made a B-line to the other side of the cat room and fell instantly in love with her now kitten.
I wasn’t feeling well that day and wanted to leave, but there was a line and we waited well over an hour. I have adopted from a shelter before, but it was nothing like here. They went over everything about the cats with us and made sure any questions we had were answered. They gave us a collar and tags, a bag of food for each kitten, and a stocking of toys. The best part was that not only are their prices better to begin with than the shelters closer to home, but they did/do a two-for-one deal on the kittens. They even do a follow-up call to see how things are going. I can’t say enough about this place!
Almost nothing in life ever goes this smoothly for me. I kept telling my Mom that this was obviously meant to be. Or so I thought. Well, about 6 days ago I woke up with itchy hives from head to toe. It was miserable. Who wants a full body rash?! I spent 3 days taking multiple doses of Benadryl and Zyrtec to no relief before going into the doctor. I had no idea why I was itching. I thought it was something I had eaten and was allergic to.
My doctor gave me a shot of steroids and a Z-pack, and said that if I’m still itchy in 7-10 days then we need to try to really figure out what could be causing this. That was Tuesday. Thankfully my doctor’s office is closed on Wednesdays because when I woke up the hives were worse. And they looked like streaks that would appear and disappear all on their own. I tend to either overreact or underreact about things, and in this case I erred on the side of overreacting. I thought I had a parasite in my skin and took myself to the urgent care.
As soon as the doctor came in she knew what it was minus the cause. She seemed irritated that my doctor didn’t take any blood to find out what exactly was causing my allergic reaction, and took 4 vials to send out. She also gave me “real drugs that will help.” They have, but as you guessed it, the test results showed that I’m highly allergic to cat dander. I can’t live like this forever and I don’t think my body was designed to spend the rest of my days on steroids and other medications.
Since these little fir-balls are already part of the family, and because my children would shun me if the cats were re-homed, my only option is to get allergy shots. Every. Week. For Two Years. The only thing I’m allergic to more than cats is Commitment. This should be interesting.