Dumb Cat Owners

By: Loolwa Khazzoom, Founder, Dancing with Pain

February 1st, 2013 • Random RamblesPrint Print

My letter to a neighbor tonight. It’s amazing how people shirk their responsibilities. I did not even touch upon the dander dance with my clothing and purse. Dude, it’s a major fucking hassle to have any interface with cats.

Dear Neighbor,

I live across the street from you. We have chatted a few times, including this morning, and I always have experienced you as a very friendly and sweet man. (I still remember when you went out of your way to bring me my flying red umbrella.)

Tonight when I came to talk with you about the incident of your cat climbing into my car, I shared with you my distress over the situation, revealing that I have a severe allergy to cats. Rather than telling me that I “should not have left my sunroof open,” I would have appreciated your taking responsibility for your cat and demonstrating concern for the consequences of your cat climbing into my car.

Anytime I am near cat dander, even if it’s on the sweater of someone sitting next to me, I get a severe response — including extreme difficulty breathing, nonstop sneezing, and an itchiness so unbearable that I am left wanting to claw at my eyes and skin. Suffice it to say, I avoid cats like the plague. The fact that a cat had been rolling around in my car meant that everything in my car had been contaminated – which in turn meant that getting into my car risked getting very sick, very fast. I felt especially upset, because I urgently had to drive somewhere tonight, and I knew that meant risking an asthma attack. I did in fact end up having one while driving, and I am still recovering from that episode, as I write this.

In addition, tomorrow I am scheduled to go on a trip. I needed the morning to get some work done before leaving, but now I will have to spend it removing everything from my car, putting it in plastic bags (until I can hire someone to thoroughly clean it all for me), and getting my car professionally cleaned. Not only do these consequences cost me time and money, but they also cause me anxiety. Dander is tough to remove completely, and I am apprehensive about the possibility of suffering another asthma attack while on a long drive. If that does happen, I will need to turn around and cancel my trip altogether – which has its own chain reaction of consequences, financial and otherwise.

Please consider this: If you accidentally left a window open in your house, and a neighbor’s dog climbed in and caused damage in your home, how might you feel if the neighbor’s only response was telling you that you should not have left your window open?


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