When Good Kittehs Go Bad

I petted my friend’s gorgeous chocolate point Siamese, ultra smoochie kitten.


Until my usually mild cat hair allergy flipped out and I started oozing lumps of goo from my inflamed, swollen and mega itchy right eye.

My friend didn’t have anything that would help so I decided to get home where there is a bottle of eye drops and my antihistamine meds.

Halfway down the winding hill road, in my new car, with one eye gummed almost completely shut, the other eye begins to itch …

We’re down the hill and in one of the somewhat dodgier areas of town by the time my lungs start to shrink. I’m not leaving my new car here though. It may be second hand and slightly last century, but half an hour in this street will make it history.

Fairly confident with the road, not quite so confident with the car. I still have distance perception, only a little blurred. I feel sneezes crowding into my sinuses, many many sneezes, and think longingly of the sinus spray less than two kilometres away. I think the kid’s unused inhaler might be languishing at the back of the medicine cabinet. It’s only five years out of date, it *could *help.

We take the long way home so I only cross traffic on controlled intersections. The sneezes arrive and I cannot breathe, but I recognise the vague shape and colour of my neighbour’s car and swing into my driveway with the kid’s cry of “Ten points!” indicating that I have narrowly missed a pavement cyclist.

Gasping for air and weeping solid lumps of ick from both eyes, I retire to the bathroom, medications and a fur-removing shower. The car has miraculously avoided any solid objects but is staying in the driveway because I cannot see the garage door.

Two days later, people still ask if I’m upset because I look like I’ve been crying.

Who knew that kittens could kill?

Share your stories of near misses you wouldn’t want mentioned in the obituary.

I’m sorry to hear that; are you allergic to rainbows and sunshine as well?

I had several scary near misses, like almost merging in to someone while going 60 mph on the highway, right before I was diagnosed with sleep apnea. Nothing so amusing, though.

Aren’t there taxis, could she have driven you home instead? You were risking your life, your kid’s life and the lives of everybody you crossed!

Please people, remember that when you’re sick the first thing that goes is your judgement.

There was the minivan that dropped its trany/oil pan/random low-hanging major engine component while 15 feet in front of me. We were on a highway, both doing 65 at the time…and very quickly we were both doing 60, 50, 40, 30, and then full stop. He just had to stop; I had to stop while not hitting him, all while being treated to a massive light show of sparks completely obscuring my field of vision. It was like being inches away from an angle grinder.

I didn’t hit him, I managed to get over into another lane, and I admit I drove away cursing at his poor car maintenance skills. At least until I realized that I wasn’t the one stuck in a dead car on the GSP at night in January, when it was 5°F outside. I wasn’t the one facing a huge towing & repair bill.
I still got to go home on time.

Hyperbole for effect? I didn’t actually stop breathing or go blind while driving, but if you have allergies, you’ll know the feeling that you’re about to.

Horsetech, from spring to autumn, yes I think so. And it seems to get worse each year. This has been by far my “best” reaction to a cat, my old moggy used to sleep across my face fer chrissakes! Sleep apnoea sounds even more “exciting”!

Count Blucher, now you’ve reminded me of how I had to pull the (same) car across three lanes of motorway trafiic as I drove it home from the showroom - I could see the catch on the bonnet was about to give way. We’d been testing all the catches and fittings before we left and hadn’t put the bonnet down hard enough to lock closed.

I knew I was in danger of having my vision obscured by a large rectangular piece of metal - because that’s what happened back in 1985 with my first car. Thankfully I didn’t have to repeat that particular heart-pounding breaking manouver.

Ah, Maggenpye! I totally sympathize. I love kittehs, and have three domestic short-hairs (get OFF of that!), but I’m allergic to Siamese cats. I found out after petting a lovely one when I was about six. Then (not THERE! If you’re going to hack up a hairball, NOT ON THE RUG!) around age 21, having completely forgotten about this allergy, I was given a beautiful Siamese cat that actually had pedigree papers from Siam (whatever they’re calling it nowadays, I forget.) And I took it back to my little one-room apartment in Baltimore, and a day later, despite really good antihistamines, I was a walking tower of sneeze and snot, using up roughly a Kleenex per minute. Luckily the previous owner admitted that he and his wife actually wanted their cat back. Bye Bye, Mr. Tom Yum.

It turns out, my doctor says, that Siamese cats have a special kind of cat dander, much more irritating than the usual stuff. Because I can pet the three little fuzzballs I now have with no ill effects.

So–admire those slant-eyed kittehs from afar!



Ya know, in all my years here, I have never, ever – not even once – seen a Siamese cat. Early on, I asked about them and was assured they exist here but that they are valuable, and so their owners always keep them shut inside. Well, maybe. I dunno. Never seen one outdoors OR indoors.

I named mine ‘Lucky’, but thats a great name. :wink:

Don’t even remotely qualify under normal circumstances.

AuntPam - that’s really interesting. My friend’s previous cat was also a Siamese, but an aloof and unloving little bugger. The new kitteh is smoochie, soo smooooochie.

It’s going to be hard to resist. I may have to sacrifice a box of tissues to science and experiment with how much petting I can stand.

Seriously wasn’t that bad a month or so earlier when I spent an afternoon playing with the kittehs at the animal shelter. That time it was the kid who swelled up like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man (hyperbole again - no epipens for her either).

How about a Primatene Mist inhaler? It’s over-the-counter (AFAIK), and it’s the same stuff.

Disclaimers an’ shite: I don’t have allergies, so I don’t know anything about their treatment. I know one shouldn’t take drugs without educating himself on their effects, and preferably with the advice of a doctor. I’m just curious about emergency treatment if a medico isn’t immediately available, and in a life-or-death situation.

I am on the waiting list for an ENT specialist - I will be discussing that reaction with him. But honestly, apart from bog standard hayfever which is pretty much under control, this cat reaction was several orders of magnitude larger than anything I’ve experienced before. I think **AuntPam **nailed it.

And if the kid could be trusted to use her inhaler, she’d still be volunteering at the pet shelter.

A friend of mine did stop breathing due to cat allergies. Twice.

Geez, that sucks, but at least you’ve pin-pointed the source. A dozen times a year for the past three, I’ve been attacked by something that hates my eyes. My eyes first itch, then burn, then stream tears so badly I can hardly see. I’ve had to pull off the road while driving three times to wait it out because I can’t see well enough to safely drive.

My clues:

  • whatever it is, it’s plant or tree life, and it blooms or whatever early spring and late fall
  • there’s a lot of it at Canobe Lake Park in Salem and it grows all over the Sommersworth/Dover/Madbury area
  • they for sure sell it at Home Depot because I can’t go into the plant section in the spring and leave without my eyes streaming tears

Besides not knowing what it is, I don’t know if it’s something that has always grown in this state and I’ve developed an allergy to it, or if it’s some newly popular imported plant/tree that only began to be planted widely here three years ago. sigh.
Maggenpye, if you’re brave, you can try the only thing that works for me: when I know this is going to be a problem (unfortunately not until the first time it happens!) I start taking sudafed an hour before I need to drive for the next several days. This staves off the streaming eyes until it doesn’t happen again for a few weeks or a month, and it starts all over when I’m caught by surprise by the next onslaught. But with you knowing that the kitty is the issue, you wouldn’t have surprise attacks, so if it works…

Nava, no-one was harmed in the telling of this story. No one was even put at risk. *I *do not stop breathing, really - I would have noticed.

elfkin477, Olive & Pine pollen - two things Hawke’s Bay grows a lot of. They’re also two of the most common allergens. Again, when I take the standard antihistamines, no problem. The worst that happens is that I’ll get a little more puffed than usual while riding my bike. If I forget the pill in the morning, I’m sneezing like a champion sneezer, sneezing for an Olympic medal in sneezing.

We did have one tree that was causing something like what you describe, with the burning and the itching, but the council not only banned it several years ago, they dug up every plant and burned them - Privet. Dastardly stuff.

And have I ever told the tale on this board of the day I mistakenly took the “night” portion of the Day and Night sudafed?

Luckily I was walking that day.

If you can call it walking.

It was *fun *though.

Don’t blame the kitteh, it did nothing wrong except be adorable. It’s your own immune system that has a problem.

That sounds like a pretty serious allergy though, you should make a point to carry some meds with you at all times just in case you are accosted by a roaming gang of Siamese kitties.

I’m allergic to some cats, too. Of course one of them is my best friend’s kitty Poe. And it loves me half to death, and insists on sitting in my lap and being petted. I always have to take allergy pills pre-emptively when I go over there.

and not the safest stuff in the world, nor would it have touched the eyes / sneezing issues.

Sorry kitty tried to kill you with love :(.

We’re a cat-free household, after (many years ago) adding a second cat to a one-cat household. We don’t know whether it was the increased dander load due to multiple cats, or that the second cat had especially virulent saliva and fur… but my asthma (in near-remission for years) flared right back up and even though it’s been 20+ years and we’ve now moved 3 times since going cat-free, the asthma is still there :mad:.

Oh - and speaking of eye irritation that scares all who behold you:

When the senior of our two cats (who had feline leukemia when we got him) was in his final decline, he quit eating. One of the things the vets had us try, to get some calories in him, was a paste that had all sorts of nummy-sounding stuff in it (beef concentrate, brewer’s yeast, etc.). I think the ingredients were similar to hairball remedy. We were to try to get him to lick it off our fingers, or off his paws.

Shortly after the first (failed) attempt… my eye started itching / watering / generally behaving as you describe. An hour or so later, so did the other eye. Whatever the hell was in that stuff, apparently it was some POTENT eye irritant. I spent several miserable hours before it finally let up enough for me to sleep.

I went to work the next day and people kept coming up to me with horrified expressions asking “what HAPPENED to you???”.

Yes, though the ones who worry me are those who don’t ask, they just treated me to a sympathetic stare and walked away - what the *hell *did they think had happened??

Sorry about your older cat. My old Magpie went downhill quickly, so it was an easy decision at the vet’s office. The only memory my kid has of him is: “Oh mum, you cried and cried so much.” Must be coming up for ten years ago now - and I think my allergies are acting up, sniff.