New Castle News

July 13, 2012

Gary Church: Do I love cats? My eyes are watering and I’m sniffling

Gary Church
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — When I drop off a prescription at the drug store, they always ask me if I'm allergic to anything.

I proudly respond, "Cats!"

I guess that is not the answer they are looking for. The lady finally told me the question means, "Are there any drugs you are allergic to?"

Why didn't they ask that in the first place?

I don't have any other allergies than cats.

Back in my younger days, I used to own one. I called him "Carl the cat."

That was when I lived on the West Side.

When we moved to Neshannock, I proudly drove him to his new home.

I remember opening the car door, and letting Carl out. He made a bee line into the woods in the back of my house.

I haven't seen Carl since.

That was in 1968. I hope he's still doing well.

He obviously didn't care for his new home in Neshannock.

Carl was an outside cat. I noticed that when I would pet him, I'd break out in welts.

After Carl's abrupt departure, I never owned another cat nor did I pay much attention to my allergy.

One evening, my wife and I were invited to a party at the home of one of her co-workers.

Everything was going well until we all went to the family room for snacks.

What's the chances that they had a cat, and I sat in its favorite chair.

My eyes started to water, I coughed and sneezed, and I had a hard time breathing.

We had to leave the party (after I had some snacks, of course). Once outside I was fine.

I learned not to sit in a chair that has been inhabited by a cat.

My former neighbor Mike had a white cat with no ears named Tom.

He came over every day to hang out on the back porch with my dog and me.

I never would let him on my lap.

I tried to explain to him why he couldn't sit there. I hope he understood.

It was a sad moment when he moved to Texas.

I can't say everyone felt bad that he moved. The chipmunks have been partying day and night since he left.

If you noticed a lot of fireworks last week, they were set off by all the chipmunks in my yard.

You should see them spell "Tommy's gone to Texas" with their sparklers.

I just wish they would pick up the burnt wires when they're done.