The cat and I

POWAY — There’s a lot of things I like about coming home. The family, the bright warm climate, home cooking, getting a morning newspaper, etc. There’s only one minor downside to this Norman Rockwell picture of SoCal living — the family’s new cat Nika.

Alright, it’s not a new cat — it’s been around the house for about three years, but the female feline took my room when I moved out. In a living accommodations sense, Nika replaced me.

The problem isn’t the cat. It’s trying to live with the cat when I’m allergic to some types of cat fur including hers. When I come home on vacations, I get along fine for a couple days then it starts. The running noses, the sneezing, irritated eyes, etc. For the first couple of times, I chalked it up to coming down with a cold — a cold whose symptoms disappeared when I left the house.

“But she’s very lovable,” Mom says. I can’t help but agree. Nika has a great attitude — for a cat. But the point remains that the cat invokes a bad physical reaction in me that is a slight downside to returning home.

In the end, I can live with it (as long as there’s plenty of tissue paper and some anti-histamine drugs around).