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My parents have a white cat, Snowball, who lives on their front porch. They've had cats living out there all my life, and I've always been very allergic to cats, so the whole time I was living with them I had asthma and nasal allergy problems. I tried many different prescription drugs to combat them, always with limited success. Not until I moved away did the problems really clear up, but now every time we visit my parents everything flares up and I'm somewhat miserable for the entire trip.

This year, I decided to see if any of these new-fangled drugs on the market could help me, so my doctor agreed to put me on Singulair and Zyrtec. He recommended that, after being on them for a few days, I spend some time with a cat to test the effectiveness. Today, I went to the Charlestown Animal Shelter, and after laughing at my unusual request, the guy there plopped an extremely fluffy kitten (named "Fluffy Kitten") into my arms, and I proceeded to pet it and let it climb all over me, rubbing its long dander-filled fur on my face in the process. After Fluffy Kitten got tired, I played with Jojo, a slightly older cat with slightly shorter hair. Half an hour later, I had absolutely no asthma symptoms.

I've had asthma my entire life, and it's always been pretty severe. Any time I'm in a house with cats or dogs, my asthma usually begins acting up pretty quickly. I love cats, so this has always been very sad to me. I didn't have a single asthmatic symptom at all while playing with the cats, or any time after that even though I was wearing dander-covered clothes for many hours. It was amazing.

Hopefully this was not a fluke, and this time while I visit my parents, my asthma will stay under control and I'll even be able to play with Snowball without feeling like I'm putting my health in danger. Hooray for Singulair!

Sadly, the Zyrtec didn't work at all, and I've been congested all day since playing with the cats. Guess I'll need to try another plan for those allergies.



( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 6th, 2005 03:50 am (UTC)
it's funny you wrote about this today because my roommate is currently on a cleaning frenzy, trying to get houdini's hair out of the apartment. her boyfriend is very allergic to cats and can't be in our apartment for more than five minutes without being affected by his allergies. i don't think she'll ever get it clean enough, especially since houdini will just be walking around right after she finishes, but she's trying.
Dec. 6th, 2005 07:07 pm (UTC)
Oh man, vacuuming never helped me. Cat dander won't really just go away by running a vacuum over it, and actually, vacuuming is probably as likely to pick up the dander as is it is to just make big clouds of it float through the air and into unsuspecting lungs. I feel sorry for your poor roommate's boyfriend!
Dec. 7th, 2005 02:11 am (UTC)
yeah, ryan (her boyfriend) said his mom told his this story of an island that got rid of all of their cats, and fifty years later there were still traces of cat dander on the island. not sure exactly how true it is, but yeah. hehe

it is bad for him, but not too terrible in my opinion, because he's our neighbor and his front door is two feet from ours. so at least they can easily see each other and hang out over there.
Dec. 6th, 2005 05:41 am (UTC)
huh. this is interesting, because I too have cats and am pretty allergic. perhaps I should try me some of these newfangled drugs, (I occasionally pop Claratin, which helps, and I generally adjust to any specific cat after being around them a few days. But we've had Kea nearly two months and my allergies still flare up around him, so I'm open to drugs.)
Dec. 6th, 2005 07:08 pm (UTC)
Well, if I find one that's good for the non-asthma allergies, I'll let you know. At this point, though, I'm thinking I'll just stay on Alavert for the time we're at my parents' house and hope that it does the trick.
Dec. 6th, 2005 04:42 pm (UTC)
i remember meeting snowball!
i'm glad you can be friends with her now. :)
Dec. 6th, 2005 07:09 pm (UTC)
Me too! I used to just have to kind of say hi and bye to her as I passed through, but now maybe I can actually spend some time with her. Hooray!
Dec. 6th, 2005 06:45 pm (UTC)
Ryan, I'm so unbelievably happy for you! I know how much you love kittens and cats and fluff :), so I'm really elated. I can't wait to see you be all smiley and enjoying the cute little cats. Maybe you'll get a kitten!!! Watch out Petri and Pico...

Dec. 6th, 2005 07:11 pm (UTC)
Re: Kitty!
Thank you! I'm not quite certain that this will really take care of my asthma 100%, but it seems like I can at least be hopeful. The real test will be spending time at mom and dad's. If I can make it through that, I'll be really impressed.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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