Horrible Mother of the Year

I gave away my children’s beloved cats. I know. I have lost the sympathy vote.

I can’t believe it.

Turns out I’m allergic to cats. Swollen eyes, constant cough, head ache.

So this past weekend the two puddy tats went across the street to live with a woman and her two children. I hope they will be a happy.

“I think they’re going to take it better than you,” the woman said kindly as tears leaked from my eyes.

At home, my children sit bereft, emptiness where their Darwin and Snowflake should be.

I fear their loss will be their Rosebud.

I am particularly upset because they were great pets. They gave back. They snuggled and were amusing and entertaining. Yes, their poos stunk to high heaven but they didn’t need to be walked!

So every night for the past two months I have lain awake trying to figure out a way not to be allergic. I have vacuumed constantly, I have taken pills, I have shut doors to my bedroom and office. I have meditated. It’s mind over matter, I told myself. I even bought an air filter.  And still every morning for the past two months I have woken with golf balls for eyes.

Sometimes you just can’t think yourself out of a problem.

And then in a moment of cosmic weirdness, last night I rented the video of CATS. I don’t know why. I had been meaning to show it to my kids and I just did it. And we watched as each character metamorphosed into our departed pets. By the end I was a molten mixture of snot and tears, my children on each side of me patting me on the head.

People say they’ll get over it. Children do. But I have a feeling I won’t. Not so easily. Because I’m old enough to know that it won’t happen again like this, this mixture of two perfect cats, time and space to enjoy them, and mom taking care of business (ie. cleaning the litter box). It was perfect pet heaven and I blew it.

Now I can add to my long list of envies: parents who are not allergic to cats.

T’is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all, wrote Tennyson.

But when I look at my children’s sad faces I’m not so sure that’s true.

photo by fragmented (flickr)


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6 responses to “Horrible Mother of the Year

  1. David Bruskin

    I’m sure you tried everything… BUT what about allergy shots? Or benadryl (which goes great with wine….).

  2. ninakillham

    I did try benadryl but it put me to sleep! I even bought an air filter. Nothing. boo hoo.

  3. Miranda

    You poor old thing. You’ve just been through what we’ve managed to avoid. We were just about to re-house Millie (after poor Harry putting up with red swollen itchy eyes almost constantly – came on over the last couple of years.) To make sure, we went to GPs and got a blood test. Turns out he’s not allergic to cats or grass but house dust mites! So cat stays and but I spend the rest of my life hoovering and keeping his room spotless. He’s like John Travolta in The Boy in the Bubble! I am so sorry you’re all so sad….I can imagine only too well. Mx

  4. ninakillham

    Hi Miranda, thanks for writing. Yes, we are knee deep in dust mites. I think the combination was just too much!. I hope Harry feels better soon. x

  5. Your sister

    I assure you you are not the world’s worst mother. That distinction rests with me. No contest. If I knew how to do that stick out your tongue thing w/font characters I would.
    Maybe Lara could write a bestseller about cats that are allergic to people?

  6. a classmate years ago told me a raw diet enabled her husband to live with her beloved cat -not w/o some reaction but nothing completely intolerable; that’s what I’m doing with SARK and it’s made a HUGE difference for me and my step-mum whom we stayed w/ over our Xmas visit too!

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