My Son Tried to Give Away the Cat on Facebook!

Robert’s asthma and allergy aBaby Oliveppointment–on his first day home from college for his four-week Christmas break–didn’t go well. The doctor said we could get rid of the cat or put Robert up in a hotel for four weeks.

We’ve only had baby Olive for a year. We’re not too attached, but still. She’s a member of our family. We rescued her from a local pet shelter and committed to be her loving family. And she’s Robert’s little sister’s cat. Not mine. I felt before we agreed to give Olive away, we needed to discuss this with little sis. Or, let Olive be an outdoor cat.

I heard that Robert had posted on FB for a new home for Olive. Of course, as his loving mother, I’m filtered from seeing his posts. Grandpa, on the other hand, has full access to Robert’s FB account. He told me about the long and lengthy post about how I love the cat more than my own son. Short and shorter: we needed to get rid of the cat. Several people had said yes to adopt the furry feline.

Am I a terrible mother for not wanting to give away our pretty little kitty, Olive Bear?

Robert said I’m infectedwith Toxoplasma gondii and I’m in danger of turning into a crazy cat lady. I “googled” the toxo thing. It’s different than cat scratch fever, which can cause chills and a fever. T. gondii is a protein that invades your bloodstream and makes women crazy about cats. Or, it makes men crazy in a wild way. And there’s a link to schizophrenia. It’s why my OB GYN told me not to change the litter box while I was pregnant. However, he said that if I’d been around cats my entire life, most likely I was already infected. Great.

 I know about crazy cat ladies.We had one in my home town. She lived in a house filled with felines and feces. Hundreds of cats. My parents drove me to her house out in the country a few miles from town. The home badly needed paint and had broken floorboards with cats leaping in and out of the foundation. We picked an adorable calico kitten named Pansy to bring home. Pansy died a few weeks later from feline pneumonitis

I never had good luck with cats. I can name the ones we owned when I was young: “Ting, Tack, Tenni-runner, No Name, Thomasina I, Thomasina II, Little Leticia, Bianco, Streshia, OJ Simpson. We lost these cats (in addition to the aforementioned Pansy) by the time I reached first grade, due to an overzealous cat-hater neighbor. He caught them in a wooden trap, dropped them in a gunnysack, then tossed them in the river.

When we moved out into the country I had Soute´from second grade through high school. Coyotes and bears were kinder animals to our kitty than our former neighbor in town.

babyolive2 I was pregnant with Robert when we adopted Sherman. That allergy doctor told me for years to get rid of Sherman. I didn’t. Robert was allergic to lots more things than cats. Things I couldn’t control, like rye grass and oak trees. Sherman lived from 1992 for 17 years — when the neighbor’s dog jumped a wall and killed him. 

I know it’s terrible not to want to get rid of the cat. I never believed that a cat could be harmful to my child. Now, my son is living in beautiful Santa Barbara, going to college.
He’s only home for visits. Or maybe it is the toxoplasmosis that let’s me rationalize all this.

If you have suggestions on how to keep a cat when you have family members with allergies, I’d love to hear what you have to say.

olivetp

10 thoughts on “My Son Tried to Give Away the Cat on Facebook!

  1. My friend Jeff got the “toxo” thing and it made him temporarily blind in one eye. He doesn’t even own a cat.

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  3. I totally empathize with you. I am allergic to cats as are a couple of my children. I have 6 cats and have made it work for my family. I take allergy shots and for a while one of my sons took them too. Although it takes a little while for them to click in they are amazingly effective. It’s a great compromise that your son should be willing to try since he is not home all the time and the others who are in the household benefit from the cats company (and that is no small thing especially during covid). When my children lived at home full time I replaced my carpets which hold on to dander and also dust mites which some are much more allergic to than dander. Removal of carpet was a big help. These new floors were much easier to vacuum or sweep dust and hair from. There are also a few products on the market that reduce dander. While any allergic child is home I limit where my cats can go. And I always put all bedrooms off limits even when any allergic child or guest is not home, so there is always a comfortable sleeping area. There are many things you can do to help make someone with allergic reactions to cat or dog more comfortable. But they have to be willing to work with you and not just jump to giving away the pet. BUT WHATEVER YOU DECIDE NEVER EVER OFFER AN ANIMAL FOR SALE OR FREE ON LINE/Craig’s list/Facebook. it puts the safety of the animal at great risk. And you are most likely breaching your agreement with the rescue you got the cat from if you don’t return it to them if you decide to give it up. Further there are many reputable rescues to give the cat to if you decide to give it up and can’t return it to the rescue for some reason. Lastly I just want to say that there are times when young adults should work on a compromise rather than turning to giving up a pet immediately. Put your heads together and reach out to animal shelters many of which have educational resources on their website to advise on these same issues you are dealing with. Allergy medication can also be a short term fix. if taken a while before any allergic reaction starts some can be very effective. Another option: I learned that gently and properly getting your kitten used to being bathed in lukewarm water, and briefly bathing it once a week and gently and completely drying it, is a fantastic way to reduce allergens and if done right your cat will enjoy this bit of time with you and your daughter who is attached to the kitten. There are so many options to try so that all can be safe comfortable and happy including the family pet.

    • Thank you for all your ideas and taking time to comment. We did keep Olive. We also got an air filter that we put in our son’s room when he visits. He went through years of allergy shots and between the air filter and Allegra, it’s working out!

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