Many years ago, OmegaGranny and Uncle Grump (Gramps) had a cat they named Charlie. A lovely, loving Siamese mutt cat. He was, we were sure, removed from his mother at too young an age. From the start, he would climb up your chest when you were sitting in a chair, fling his kitten arms around your neck, stick his muzzle under your chin, try sucking any skin available, then start purring wildly.
His eyes would cross and half-close in an endorphin-induced haze of kitty ecstasy.
Then he'd start drooling.
He'd nuzzle and drool.
The drool would start dribbling down the front of your chest.
And within minutes, the itching would start. You know the kind of burning itchy pain you get when you're foolish enough to brush your fingers across the stem of a thistle? Or anything that has lots of teeny tiny microscopic prickers that stick into your skin and turn it bright red and blotchy and bumpy?
That's the kind of rash that would spring forth, full blown, when Charlie got his thang on under your chin.
Some experts claim that cat allergies are a result of cat dander. I am convinced that it is actually related to kitty drool. This immediate reaction to Charlie's never-ending source of drool was not limited to me, or my immediate family--it happened to anyone who was subjected to the drool-fest.
So one would be stuck in a dilemma. Enjoy the full-on, total lovin's from Charlie and endure the nasty itchy results for hours after he decided he didn't want to be lovey-dovey any more? Or banish the toxic cat to the floor, where he would mew piteously and climb back up again? (Lather, rinse, repeat.)
Since Charlie was so charming and loving, almost everyone succumbed, and suffered the results.
Charlie is long since gone. OmegaGranny's replacement is Max, a cat with a totally different personality.
We, on the other hand, now have a kitten-child who is--though in no way up to Charlie's Master Drooler status--beginning to demonstrate a drooling propensity, also under people's chins.
He curls up on my head, goes into full purr mode, then slithers around, sticks his head under my chin, begins nuzzling...
And the itching, burning feeling commences.
Cat drool. I am convinced that it is one of the more toxic substances known to man. Stronger than sulfuric acid. Itchier than a wooded glen filled with poison ivy. And, oh-so-often, a gift of love.
Update: Miss C. says that her allergist says it is, indeed, cat saliva that is the culprit. So I did what I should have done in the first place, googled the question, and lo and behold: Cat allergies says that the dander that was always blamed is actually dried cat saliva. Voila. And, of course, the reason that Charlie's drool was so toxic was that it was highly concentrated, "live" cat dander. Hah. The things you learn on the Internet.
At 2/08/2007 10:14:00 PM, said…
At 2/25/2007 04:52:00 PM, said…