Yesterday I was having a conversation with someone about how I am scared to let Layla do some things because her allergic reaction to cats keeps getting worse and worse. To which the person gave me the ever popular " not that many people have cats" reply. It's really a thorn in my side when people tell me this.
I know lots of people who have cats. In fact Jon and I have found about half of the people we know have cats. Some groups have more cats than others. For instance in our personal circle, single people and grandparents are statistically more likely to have a hive inducing, can't breath causing and yet more important then your child in our opinion-pet.
So I asked the person to think of their five best friends and how many of those people have cats. She said 1. So I have a 1 in 5 chance with her friends. Lucky. Would you take a 1 in 5 chance of getting full body hives today if someone asked you to take it? Like right now, if I said eat this there is a 20% chance you'll be itchy for 4 days and you won't be able to breath tonight...does that sound nice?
So I decided to do a little internet research and here is what I found. In a USA Today news article it was reported that at the end of 2007 32.4% of households in America have a cat. That's a 3 in 10 chance my kid will be hive covered and snot filled if I take her randomly some place to visit or leave her in unknown child care. According the the census report which I found online (the one used in this article) most of those people are adults age 27-55.
So if the church nursery has 5 works and 20 kids... the odds are there is cat hair on at least 1 worker (maybe 2) and a couple kids. Odds are higher really though because people at our church volunteer by family. So if the Johnson's have a cat and Mr & Mrs Johnson have a kid in the toddler room, on their turn to "volunteer" we have a 2/3 chance of cat interaction with a helper (not counting the kid or kids).
That's like knowing your kid is allergic to shellfish and taking them to pet the shrimp at the aquarium before lunch. She's 2, her hands are always in her mouth or her eyes and she doesn't know that just because the 30 year old woman trying to calm her has cat hair all over her that she should get up and move.
Mostly, it pisses me off because people put an animal above my kid and act like I am totally over-reacting. (Not the random nursery workers-but family type people) If it was your kid would you still have a cat. And I feel bad. I have all these memories of visiting my grandparents and spending the night and playing games on the floor and hearing silly stories. My kid isn't going to get that. Well, she is, but only from one Nannie.
We can't go visit for more than 5 minutes and in order to that there has to be medications before and after.
For a cat.
I used to have a cat, so I understand that you can get attached. It just disappoints me that you're more attached to a cat than a kid you now hardly ever get to see.
Maybe you had to be there the day mom and I took her to the Dr's because her skin was cracked and bleeding. Or maybe you just didn't want to interact with her.
Maybe I'm just a different person. I don't make the vegetarians eat meat when they come over, I don't hide peanuts in my mom's food, and for you I'd get rid of a pet to see you.
I just feel so judged for pointing out that you're going to miss out on EVERYTHING because of something so retarded. Oh sure, maybe this is the last cat you'll ever own. But if it's a new cat...life expectancy for an indoor cat is 20 to 25 years according to Wikipedia so I guess you'll be all set if she wants to start having slumber parties and hanging out when she's in college and looking for a nice man to marry... unlikely...bet the odds are about the same as the odds of cat dander in the church nursery.