Guest Story: My Son Tried to Give Away the Cat on Facebook!

Hi everyone,

Please find below a guest story by Elizabeth from bleuwater:

Robert’s asthma and allergy appointment–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.

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.

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7 thoughts on “Guest Story: My Son Tried to Give Away the Cat on Facebook!

  1. Brandon Ellrich says:

    I don’t think you were wrong for wanting to at least discuss giving away the cat with little sis. I think it was terrible for your son to go on Facebook (which I detest anyway) and accuse you of loving the cat more than him. He doesn’t even live there anymore, as you said, except for visits. If it’s possible, the cat could be a partly outdoor cat and just stay outside during your son’s visits. He doesn’t allow you to see his FB and secretly tries to give away the cat…. Sounds like HE is the one with the problem.

  2. catladymac says:

    Yeh, as Brandon says – maybe there’s a reason the cat is loved more than your son is.. And G–damn your former neighbor and the other one’s little dog too. What did Little Sis have to say since it was HER cat ?

  3. Rohvannyn says:

    Just keeping the cat outside while he visits isn’t a good solution because dander and other allergens will still be there even if the cat is outside. She looks like a sweet girl and I can see why you want to keep her! How about a temporary allergy medication for when he visits? If he still lived there I could see giving the cat up, but at the same time he’s going to spend less and less time around anyway. I’ve had great luck with some of the modern non drowsy allergy meds, most of which are over the counter. And how about a more helpful doctor, for that matter?

    (I’m with Brandon, I detest Facebook also – for a number of reasons.)

  4. lifeANZ says:

    I am slightly allergic to cats and have one. Long story as to why I own her but living with her has made me surprisingly un-allergic to her but still allergic to others. Even though she is a short hair cat brushing her fur and even wiping her down with a damp cloth has helped reduce shedding and dander deposits which helped me coexist with her the first year. My sister in law and nephew are very allergic to dogs and cats. We have two dogs and a cat. Every time they come to visit us (which pre covid was quite often) I always deep clean my house two days before their arrival to give dander a chance to settle back down. Our cat who we love but does not love other people we keep in one specific room of the house and that seems to help. The dogs mostly stay outside normally and its already pretty impossible to get them inside unless its dinner time or raining. We keep allergy medicine on hand as well as peppermint oil. Peppermint oil temporarily clears sinuses and is great for throwing a few drops in brownies. Most of our solutions are coping solutions. I will say our new house has all hard surface floors which has also helped a lot.

  5. Willow Croft says:

    But, you know, if you have a good home lined up…maybe that could be a good option. And not adopt any more cats in the future.

  6. CatLadyRules says:

    Toxoplasma gondii is a parasite and the condition is treatable.

    As far as the cat goes… Keep her!!! No more questions asked!

    Cats are adopted members of our families and belong just as much as the ones to which we give birth. Shame on Robert for thinking otherwise. He is being very selfish, especially since he no longer lives at home.

    When your son comes home to visit, move Olive into a bedroom where Robert will not be going (your bedroom or Lil’ Sis’s room). Keep a supply of Benadryl, Claritin, Zyrtec, etc. on hand to help him cope with being around Olive.

    My sister is highly allergic to cats. She should own stock in allergy meds by now because of the amount she takes as she continually rescues and fosters the precious little fur-babies.

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