It is Spring in Nebraska. That time of year when “…a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of…” well, Claritin, Zyrtec and Nasacort at my house, with apologies to Alfred, Lord Tennyson.

Oh sure. A few of us are thinking of Harley-Davidsons, or Miatas or Mustangs, or road bicycles and so on. But with the kind of regularity a calendar cannot even afford, we find ourselves waking up with yucky eyes and cloggy noses and hacky coughs. Tiny little headaches and a host of other maladies.

It’s allergy season in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

It may be worse for me this year because this year I have a cat. I am allergic to cats. I have, for some months been taking all kinds of anti-cat-allergy dope and wondering at both the efficacy and the payoff for an animal that wanted nothing to do with me but about a month ago, I became a Cat Daddy. Kitty now walks toward me and appears to enjoy rather than tolerate my ear scratches, chin rubs and rib strokes. She will let me rest my hand upon her now when only a month ago she would have nothing to do with me.

We play a curious game, now. I hold my finger out in front of her and she places her paw on it. I then move my finger atop her paw and she replaces it on top of my finger. We can do this for half an hour, somehow. Endless fun, I guess. I’m just surprised because five or six weeks ago she wanted almost nothing to do with me. Now she’ll even snuggle with me for a while as the evening begins.

If that isn’t worth a dose or two of Coricidin I don’t know what is.

I never used to have much time for cats. Maybe Kitty sensed this on some level. We took her in because she was Mom’s Cat and that was good enough for me. There is nothing I would not have done for that woman when she was alive, and there is little I won’t do for her now that she’s gone, either. Making a safe and comfortable home for her cat seems like the least I can do, really. That Kitty is now becoming more familiar and feels safe enough to share a little Kitty Lovin’ is terrific. Cats aren’t known for that, and this one in particular had a hard life and wasn’t known for making friends or socializing early on.

There are fires burning in Kansas that have nothing to do with their awful politics of the last thirty years. The smoke from these fires has drifted up here for the last week or so and the local public schools have kept their kids inside several days, recently. Every growie within a hundred mile circle seems to be putting on a stack of Frank Sinatra records and enjoying some fine plant based lovin’ and most of that residue seems to find its way into my eyes every morning. Some days I can’t even open my eyes under their own power—I have to pull the eyelids apart with my fingers!

But thanks to modern pharmaceuticals, I have a dog and a cat and a life for most of the day. I can function. I’m good-ish, if not actually good.

And the bulk of this only lasts about a month or so in the spring… six weeks or so in the fall. And as long as I know there’s an end to it, I can handle it.


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