So, Friday I adopted a kitten. - Asthma Community ...

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So, Friday I adopted a kitten.

Willow7733 profile image

I have lived in my new home for around five years so far, and I always wanted to get a pet. I am a dog person, but with working at the hospital long hours, and living alone, I figured it would not be wise to get a dog. So Friday, after thinking about it for over a week, I went to the local shelter and adopted a 2 month old kitten.

She was so cute and very cuddly. She followed me around the house like a shadow. We played and chased each other around my kitchen island. It was really great! Until my asthma kicked in. It was so bad, Saturday morning I was thinking of going to emergency.

Getting out of the house Saturday morning, I took her to a pet store. I bought her a new toy. But….when I arrived home, I was still feeling so awful,, I had to call the shelter and bring her back.

I think I cried all day yesterday (Saturday). I miss her SO much and feel awful that I failed her in some way. She and I really bonded fast to each other. All the way back to the shelter she had her paw stretched outside of her carrier to rest on my arm as I drove. It was heartbreaking to bring her back. I had allergy testing around five years ago, at the time of my asthma diagnosis, and found I was allergic to feathers but not cats or dogs. Why am I now?? It really sucks. I miss her so much.

The woman at the shelter said she could hear me wheezing over the phone. I called my mother after I came back from bringing the kitten back, and she could tell I was having trouble breathing. The first thing she said to me was. “ Are you feeling ok? Your breathing sounds horrible.” When I started crying and told her I got a kitten and had to take it back she suggested I volunteer at the shelter. But, I thinking that would bather my asthma too wouldn’t it?

19 Replies

Oh Willow, that's so sad. I adore cats but I'm allergic to them so can't have cats (or any other pet). My family have cats and I'm very careful when visiting them, however, Montelukast has really helped me to a certain extent. I still wouldn't have any pets but I've noticed that my symptoms are more controlled around family animals now.

We had a cat when I was a kid and became resistant over time. Desensitisation I guess. But if you do volunteer at the shelter you could first discuss trying additional treatment with your asthma nurse. It would be one way to establish if that treatment helped and then you could go onto adopt if you found a good preventative medication.

I get my cat kicks from the Internet! Sad I know, but necessary.

Willow7733 profile image
Willow7733 in reply to Poobah

I have Ben taking Montelukast for around five years now. I am on two preventer inhalers Dulera and Qvar. And then Ventolin for rescue. I am so close to going back to the shelter if she is still there next week to take her back. I miss her that much. But, it was so hard on me while she was here. The house seems so empty now. Friday night she found her spot on the sofa and fell asleep watching a movie with me.

Muffin watching a movie
Poobah profile image
Poobah in reply to Willow7733

It's so difficult to make a reasoned decision when you feel emotional. But if you do try again, maybe increase your preventer meds (with agreement from your asthma nurse) as that may help with any exposure to kitten dander etc. Muffin looks adorable and I understand why you're missing her.

Weekly cat baths and daily hoovering the house with a high efficiency vacuum may help and, if you can afford it, a HEPA filter running in your sitting room and bedroom will help tackle allergens. And if you're fortunate, you may become desensitised to Muffin. Good luck! x

You need to really think carefully about what to do. It’s a shame you felt you had to take kitten back and be interesting how you feel now she isn’t there but her fur will still be around. I think I would have been tempted to try antihistamines to see if I could calm things down breathing wise. Of course it could be totally coincidental that you have become unwell and nothing to do with kitten, but getting a flare…..

The reason I suggest you think carefully about getting her back IF the shelter agrees to it. Most kittens are adopted with ease and she may already have found a new home, but consider how it will be on both of you if you take her again and returned her a second time…… ?? The shelter may well not agree to you taking her again so be prepared for that.

It could be worth discussing with asthma nurse ways forward. For example kitten fur is different to adult fur, could it be you would be fine with an adult cat as opposed to a kitten??

Have you any friends with cats that you could spend time with to see if affected?? Prior to getting my first cat I looked after a friends cat at my home whilst they went on holiday, so I was confident I would be ok.

Finally I find it a really strange suggestion you volunteer at the shelter. If you have developed an allergy (which can happen at any time) then working at shelter would not be a good idea. Whilst it can be possible to desensitise to a particular animal, to encounter a number of different furs is risky in my opinion.

I hope you feel much better soon, both physically and emotionally.

Willow7733 profile image
Willow7733 in reply to Bevvy

My mother called this morning to see how I was doing, and she agreed with me that the suggestion I volunteer at the shelter would not be good either. I am not going back to get the cat. I have to just accept I can’t do it, and move on from this. I am still having trouble getting my breathing under control. A cat isn’t good for me. I am currently having other lung problems that isn’t helping. In the past year, I have had over 9 pulmonary embolisms (they think there is something wrong with my blood), which I am getting tested for right now. My lung capacity is at 65%, so add the asthma and allergies….I just have to be realistic. 🤷‍♀️

aval2 profile image
aval2 in reply to Bevvy

What a very sensible reply Bevvy.

Hi so very sorry you had to take your adorable kitten back, very heartbreaking she's beautiful. I dont know if you like walking or if you can walk far? Can you not advertise to walk a dog? I'm sure there are plenty of people who have a dog and are unable to get them out for a walk who would be so grateful and you'll be outdoors. Its so expensive for a dog walker. If you really want a kitten there are some who cause less allergies but Im unsure if any totally hypoallergenic. Animals are wonderful and help us in many ways. Good luck in finding your furry friend. I have a llhaso apso and previously a westie no issues.

Right now, going for walks is hard for me. I have been having trouble with blood clots in my lungs. And now they think there is something wrong with my blood. I was diagnosed with lupus and APS related to lupus a year ago, but now they think I may have leukaemia on top of things. I work full time at a busy hospital, so my energy these days is pretty much non existent. I thought a cat would be low enough maintenance that I could have some company in the house.

The allergies I had with her was bad enough. I took her back Saturday morning and I am still wheezing a lot today (Monday morning). So much so, I am debating on going to urgent care to get something for it (it is a holiday here today, so my GP’s office is closed). I have to work starting tomorrow and have some long days ahead. If I could just get this under control…I am finding it hard to function with the other problems I have going on. 🤷‍♀️

I still miss my kitten very very much. 😢😔 But, she will be with a family that is good for her. I know it. They promised me they would find her a loving home.

Dear me you've been through the mill. You really need to think twice about work. You sound too poorly to go and especially in a hospital. Goodness knows what you will pick up with an immune system like yours. Probably leukaemia?? They need to investigate that one shouldn't be at home you need urgent treatment with that. I worked in a hospital as a nurse for nearly 40 years I don't know where you live but in the UK they wouldn't let you through the doors. If you get well you might be able to have a pet but my advice is seek some help now.

I am in Canada. I got for my testing next week for the suspected cancer, and I see the hematologist/oncologist for the results at the end of the month. Which is pretty fast these days considering people are waiting four years to get an appointment. I am very lucky they are pushing me though so quickly. I am not going into work tomorrow. My asthma is still bad, and I dare not go to the ER as the system here is crashing. Wait time is around 32 hours. One man just died in the waiting room at a hospital not far from us. It is so bad, that same hospital had doctors going out into the waiting room to take vitals on people, because in the whole ER, they only had two nurses working. I have worked for n my hospitals ER, neonatal ICU, and OR, and so happy I am no longer in the emergency room because it is such a mess. This has been a long time coming - a result of poor management on our government’s behalf…and the. Covid happened and the scales just tipped.

That's appauling fast tracking to be seen. Leukaemia should be more or less instantlymFour years for what kind of appointment? You'd be dead!!!. Why is the system so broken are you privatised or do you have some form of health service you contribute to with your salary like the UK national insurance. Im not familiar with Canadian health care.

Here in Canada health care is free. It is not like this in other parts of the country. It is the result of bad government management for years and then Covid happened, and the stress on the health care workers just broke. Doctor and nurses are quitting or just leaving for other parts of the country. Leaving patients high and dry.

Its terrible to watch I had the best job in the world loved the NHS. I was general trained but then moved on by accident to help on paediatrics retrained and stayed but worked anywhere and helped where I could. Many of my friends still work in the NHS and whilst some worked their socks off during the pandemic many didn't. I have 2 neighbours who loved the pandemic didn't want to be "normal again" £45,000 plus pay as practitioners and up to £40 an hour to give vaccines on days off, they didn't know I heard. Poor paid they aren't and I wasn't too. Computers take lots of time away from patients in my opinion I never went into nursing to sit, left a well paid job much to everyones horror It was the best move ever. Goodness knows where we'll end up. I do hope you get sorted soon very worrying. Take care and please don't struggle even if it means waiting. x

I should call my GP tomorrow to see what he says. I have a hard time seeing doctors for myself - sort of a phobia. Trying to figure out what to tell him tomorrow. I don’t know how to put it that my asthma is bothering me a lot lately. I am following the second stage of my action plan and it says to contact my doctor if symptoms don’t improve , and it hasn’t.

Just explain like you have to me. Very simple.

I got an appointment for 2pm tomorrow! Yay.

Wonderful. Write a list incase you forget anything go fully armed. I do. Lol. Good luck let me know how you get on. x

It went fine! I was told no more cats. lol And I have a prescription for Prednisone to get the flare under control.

Thats good news. I dont know if your Gp does rescue packs which contain antibiotics and prednisone if your chest starts with an infection. My Gp doesn't but many do here. It might be worth asking and you might not have to wait as long for a flare up.

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