Who Wants Brush Brush?

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Not Allergic!

The first time that I brought the baby (about a month and a half then) into the cats' room, the cats quickly gathered around. They were happy to see mommy again of course, but were also interested to check out this thing that has been making so much noise in the house. The baby waved his little arms and legs in excitement with all the mewing and movements, and looked at the cats with great curiosity. Mikan reached forward to sniff the baby's face, but we were quickly stopped by a disapproving dad. Well, it was good that the dad stopped us. I was not sure about how the baby's immature immune system would have reacted, and more importantly, I do not want him to develop anything post-contact just in case the cats get the blame.

The baby is now over 4 months old, but he still hasn't had much contact with the animals. He has seen the cats and dog a few times, but there have not been actual touching between them. Doesn't help that the baby gets rashes easily. It could be the warm weather, or the baby really has a sensitive system, I am not sure.

Two weekends ago, the three of us made a visit to a friend's home. Mrs W has numerous free roaming cats in her house and I was naturally anxious. We spent the entire afternoon there and I was very pleased to see that the baby did not react adversely to the environment at all. Moreover, Mrs W's doctor husband explained that the air in their home is surely filled with dander from the cats' coat and proteins from their saliva, such that an allergic person would get reactions (sneezing, itching) the moment they stepped into the house. Hence, it is safe to declare that the baby is not allergic to cats!

We spent yet another afternoon last weekend with fivecatsmom and her lovely family, just talking and hanging out. It is always nice to spend time with like-minded people who can empathise because we share so much in common. The baby lay on the sofa that Tuxie was on, put his hands into his mouth after touching many things, and he was still fine. Watching fivecatskids Bear and Kitten growing up healthy reassured me further.

Now I remember something Dr W said when I asked him when I can start exposing the baby to the cats. He replied, smiling, that the baby is already exposed so I do not have to worry about allergies. (
I couldn't quite understand what he meant then, but now I realise that the protein in the cats' saliva are so small that it is easily airborne.) He added that only a very small minority of people are actually allergic to cats, and that most allergies are caused by dust instead. However, most doctors, to be on the safe side, would simply put a blanket ban on all animals (especially cats somehow) when advising on what an allergic patient should do.

In short, there is no need to get rid of the animals when
  • you get pregnant. For hygiene and a peace of mind, delegate the cleaning of the litter boxes to the husband. (Thank you, Papa!) You will become too big and it will be too uncomfortable for you to bend over the kitty litter bin soon anyway.
  • the baby is here. You will have less time for them, yes, but if you have a husband like mine who can be trusted to take over the cleaning and feeding, you will have some time to groom the cats and spend quality time together.
  • your baby has a histamine reaction. The reaction is more likely to be caused by dust. Get an allergy test done before making a rash decision that you will regret later.
We can have children and our animals too.

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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

It's Been a Long Time!

Many things have happened since the last post. Mostly happy things (marriage, pregnancy - the works), I am glad to say.

While the thought of writing something comes to my mind each time something life-changing happens, something else will crop up, I will get distracted and the posts I have in mind never quite made it here.

Now that the baby is here, I have more time to stay at home but sadly, dramatically less time for the cats.

Anyhow, some of the cat kids' stories are not so happy though. Keeping the long story short for now:
  1. Shiro escaped through a hole in the window mesh in February last year and gave us all a major heart attack. I was a wreck but thank heavens we found her after a few days.
  2. Mikan's perennial affliction with UTI took a turn for the worse earlier this year, when he developed a urinary blockage and was hospitalised for nearly 2 weeks.
  3. Maggie is such a thin cat right now (despite a hearty appetite), the stress of having 3 cats (Mikan, Becksie and Cutie - sigh) who do not like him must be getting to him.

The other cats are nicely plump, and we have recently done some renovations in the cats' room; installing more shelves along a wall to provide more elevated surfaces, and covering the parquet with rubber tiles so that it is easier to clean.

Shall attempt to elaborate at a later time. I just hope that won't take another few years.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Life with the Cats, Their Dad and Patch

Halfway through dinner today, a neighbour's kid came over asking for help in her homework. With thoughts of "I should be charging you for this" zipping in and out of my mind, I solved the problems for her and she left happy.

(Happy because she understood or happy because she got the solutions?)

As I was locking the gates, their dad delivered news that the fish he left for me was stolen by QQ, whom I bet was showing off her fishy breath to cats elsewhere in the house. Q has developed the habit of sitting across the table, on a chair (she still has manners, mind you), to peer at us during mealtimes. Something their dad is trying to stop but feline stubborness, an indulgent mommy plus the plain cuteness of it all means that she still sits with us thoughout dinner and occasionally, like tonight, gets away with a few bites of fried fish or boiled chicken breast from the soup.

Trying to finish up my rice with the vege dish left (not surprisingly) untouched, their dad hit me with yet another disturbing cat news: Shy, timid Maggie is exerting his dominance over my big boy Mikan. The night before, Mikan was filmed cowering and retreating from Maggie, where all Mag had to do was to stare and inch forward. There was no hearing of such nonsense, Maggie was deliberately allowed to eat last tonight.

Little did I expect one more bad news. Besides the two boys, their mom was also infamously caught on tape, snoozing in front of the TV and breathing rather audibly.

Tired mah. :P

I can hear Patch tossing and grunting somewhere in her sleep. Our sweet old girl is allowed to go everywhere in the house (bedrooms are off limits to all animals though) but we usually find her fast asleep in the kitchen. More on her next time.

Right now, I am on the couch sandwiched between two cats sleeping and purring like the thunder. (Helluva noisy family, I know.) I wish they know that hot, humid weather, human skin and shedding cats are a bad combination. But I'm a bit paiseh to wake them. At least tonight they did not insist on sleeping on the keyboard.

Think I'll tahan for another 5 minutes. Then it's off to their room for these pampered cats.


Tuesday, January 01, 2008

We Grew Up Here

There are so much to remember about our old place.

Mom was the first thing we saw when we opened our eyes. We dropped our milk teeth here, got weaned off our incessant need of milk, learned to use the kitty litter, wrestled and chased each other like crazy one moment, hated it when the play was too rough the next but loved every minute of being together.

All of us made to our first month and to our first birthday, then the second, third and the fourth. It's really lucky because Princess and Shiro got so sick that we thought they would die. Mom almost killed Princess in another incident but that's another story for another day.

Food time is the best. But mom always has a headache when she decides to cook because Shishi only likes chicken, Cutie only likes fish and Mikan is the only one who would eat pork. One thing that all of us like unanimously though, is Mikan's prescribed food, something our dad grumbles because we finish it so fast and it is extra trouble to get.

We love it when mom plays with us but it happens so rarely. Mom says she is busy but we think she is lazy.

QQ thinks she is queen because she hangs out with mom all the time. No wayyy. Mom calls all of us her number one, she loves us all the same.

Mom talks about moving, she said that we will have to stay in our own room when she is out working but we will be let out once she is home. Sounds like a cool idea. We are not too sure about the dog though.

Will we love our new home? Will we get along with Patch?

Stay tuned.

Sunday, December 30, 2007


Their dad commented that admist all the action and excitement that is happening at our place, I had to blog about boring things like vaccination and trapping.

Not boring things what. I just needed to keep track of the things I've done in December.

Truth be told, the things that have happened are starting to look rather foggy in my mind. Procrastination is my vice but all hail the mighty digicam! Dates, action, everything's in there! (It's embarassing to be gushing over digital cameras, I know I know). Anyhow, I've some interesting pictures in my new camera (Christmas present from their dad :D) of the cats moving in, their new room and them getting to know Patch.

I just need to, uhm, find time to upload to the computer first.


Sunday, December 23, 2007

Second Trapping for the Month of December

Auntie L and I were down for the second round of trapping and we managed to get another 4 cats for sterilisation. Sadly, the 2 naughty males that we had wanted to get so desperately still managed to outlast our endurance and patience, even with the help of 2 other kindly neighbours whom we've never met, but seem to know the cats well. The boys have grown savvy of our tricks, choosing to stay away though their tums were growling. After 2 hours of baiting and waiting to no avail, we fed them and left.

Determined not to go back empty handed, we spotted and trapped 2 cats from the rubbish collection center, and found 2 more from around Auntie L's place. Though it's good to be able to "clear" 8 strays within 2 weeks, but to have so many unsterilised ones from just 4 blocks of flats just goes to show that our previous sterilisation efforts are not controlling the population. That, or our resident cats are just too plain nice (or rather, lazy) to chase intruders away. Funnily and frustratingly, the ones fighting for territory are the new ones; the residents cats do not give two hoots about the new kids on the block moving in. Compound that with people who dump cats (!@#$%^&*!), there's just no end to this constant sterilisation that drains energy and, well, our finances.

Auntie L refused to let me help her out with the bill this time, I feel so paiseh about it. She doesn't make much each month and has to feed 30 cats every night. I hear her worrying about not being able to cope with the growing number of mouths, the reason I'm all the more determined to help her keep the population in our area low.

More in the next post.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Painless Vaccination Day & Patch's Eye Condition

The doctor called to say that she would arrive in 10 minutes and I quickly zipped over to our place to bring Patch over. By the time I walked Patch over from our place to my mom's where the cats were waiting, the round of jabs was finished. Well, Patch did spend some precious minutes sniffing around and eliminating along the new route, but we couldn't have taken more than 15 minutes. Cats cooped up in a small room with nowhere to hide must have made jabbing a breeze. I had wanted to be there for the cats but I was sure their auntie Angela would have offered comfort to a similar extent. Perhaps even more for QQ, who simply adores her auntie A. :)

My only gripe for the fuss free morning was that the doc did not do a health check on the kids. Guess one can't ask for too much when one is being charged a concessionary rate. At the end, it was a painless day for me (no aching arms and incessantly meowing nervous cats); can't speak so for the cats though. :P

Anyhow, the doc attended to Patch once we got there, jabbed her and went on to check her eyes. It was disheartening to learn that on top of her diagnosed dry eyes condition, Patch's current discomfort is further exacerbated by entropion of her lower lids. The rolling in of the lids irritates her eyes even more, resulting in more active production of the eye gunk that not only obscures her vision, but also prevents oxygen from reaching her eyes. Therefore, it was even more disheartening, but to no surprise, to find blood vessels webbing across her cornea, a sure sign that her eyes are oxygen-starved.

Her dad cleans and drips her eyes religiously every day but to tell the truth, she can do with more than the twice daily frequency. However, it doesn't really help to drip more when we are at home, as the intervals are too close.

Poor poor Patch.


I'm cheating a bit on the dates on the posts to follow. Today is the 25th Dec but I really want to put things down in chronology order. Just want to note down in writing how much (or little) that I have done in these few weeks.