I woke too early again, and Delilah licked my face. This always makes me cringe, for a reason. For years I’ve had to push away any cat who wanted to lick my face and it makes me feel terrible, like pushing away a child who tries to kiss your cheek. At least you could explain to old-enough children why you were doing that, but you can never explain to a cat.
You wish they would curl up comfortably in the crook of your neck and not try to do the lick. If you let them snuggle up again after blocking them, they try to lick again. If you’ve put up a hand, sometimes they sneak their nose under and lick you anyway. 🙂
When Delilah licked my face, I rubbed the area energetically, but after about 30 seconds, my skin started to itch and prickle. I had to get up and slap some TCP on – that’s the only thing (that I’ve tried) that stops the itching and prevents spots from forming. Rinsing your face with plain water doesn’t help, even with vigorous towelling afterwards.
I’ve a feeling I mentioned this before, saying that I was taking my bottle of TCP so much for granted that one day when I reached for it and tried to splash a little into the palm of my hand, all that came out one one solitary drip. I thought that bottle would go on forever and was almost in mourning.
When I got back into bed I was so wide awake I considered heading straight for the computer to type in a Google search: “skin reaction to cat licks.” Fortunately common sense prevailed and I aimed for more sleep instead. There’s something not quite right if you’re Googling for every little thing at all hours of the day and night.
I dreamed that a crime was being committed, to do with someone’s missing daughter. In my dream I contacted the police anonymously, as they hadn’t been aware of the crime up till then, and later on they came to the school (where we were all sitting in assembly) and put out a message (which somehow I was reading as a gigantic printed email hung over the top of the stage) about how everybody had to be very wary and alert, and if there was anybody there called Diddums, would she please get in touch. Informants had told them Diddums pronounced her name with a stress on the DID… that might be a small clue as to her identity.
I knew they hoped I might have more to tell them, but I DIDn’t. I wasn’t very worried, and while everybody else was looking at each other, saying “who’s Diddums?” I was wondering fretfully who it was who had been telling the police how I spoke, and how did they know that without knowing who I was, and what was wrong with pronouncing Diddums that way anyway?? Was it wrong? Did everybody else say, for example, “Little DidDUMS was acting up this morning?”
I’m constantly being tripped up by words I only know from reading them… for instance, today I was watching The Weakest Link. Anne Robinson asked “what kind of hat has a name that means ‘bell’?”
“Cloche!” I said, smugly – pronouncing it ‘closhay’.
The girl being asked the question said “cap?”
Anne said “no, cloche!” (pronouncing it ‘closh’).
Oh. Sometimes I wonder how I would do in a quiz show if I gave the right answer but pronounced it wrong.
But I’m rambling…
I had got about that far in my dream, wondering why the police considered my pronunciation was so offbeat, then my nose twitched and I smelled bacon frying. “Very nice,” I thought, “but she shouldn’t have started it so early… I’m too tired to get up, even for bacon and eggs.” Then Mum was trying to wake me up. I felt so sleepy I couldn’t move, and could only blink my eyes at her. Gradually it occurred to me that nobody was frying bacon… it was just that some kitten had been visiting the tray.
I probably wouldn’t have moved for some time, but Delilah came and slurped my cheek despite the smell of TCP.
After leaping up precipitately and rushing for my TCP bottle, I discovered a crime scene in the bathroom… plant soil everywhere. Some unknown individual or individuals had thrown the plant bodily off the bathroom shelf. The prime suspect is one Miss Delilah, along with her usual partner in crime, Master Samson. We had a bit of cleaning up to do before we could go out anywhere. Mum wanted to go right after, but I said I was hollow with cleaning up everywhere and hadn’t even had breakfast, so she said “hurry up.” As nobody had been frying any bacon, it had to be cereal.
It was not till the evening I made that Google search for ‘skin reaction to cat licks’ and…. ha ha! It seems I’m allergic to cats.
I don’t know why I was so surprised. I was allergic to my grandmother’s Siamese cat when I came home after my first term at university. It was so bad I couldn’t lie down to sleep – too congested. It eased with time…
Obviously it’s a very mild allergy now. Cat scratches go red and white, and itch. I sneeze and wheeze, and my throat catches on nothing. Only today I was lining up in the bank, and all of a sudden my throat stung, my eyes watered, and I was concerned that it would be my turn to talk to the bank clerk and I would be too busy choking. Fortunately I calmed down before I got to the counter… bank queues are never that quick.
When your throat catches in that manner, the worst thing you can do is cough. You want to cough, but if you cough, it stings more. I must have breathed in a particle of musty bank dust or something, and my throat was already oversensitive. Maybe the musty mote of dust flew off another cat owner, waiting ahead of me in the queue.
Shortly after the kittens arrived to live with us, I noticed my nose was getting very red and itchy – almost sore. I said “maybe it’s because Samson insists on standing right under my nose to be stroked, and all the dust flies off him,” but I wasn’t being serious. I thought it was more likely to be pollen beginning its mad Spring whirl, or dust from hoovering the house or changing the cat litter tray. But some of these websites point out that you can be desensitized to your old cat, and when it dies and you bring a new one in, suddenly you’re sneezing and wheezing.
The throat thing was something I didn’t realize might have anything to do with cats. Ah… (light bulb switches on over head).
I would never have kept cats this long if any of these reactions had been extreme, so I don’t see my lifestyle changing in a hurry. One thing that did shock me when I was reading up on cat allergies was that some people are allergic to cat owners and not just cats. Someone described swelling up when sitting next to some oblivious pet owner on the bus. I don’t sit on buses these days, but it makes me feel terrible that I could have that effect on anyone. Oy.