Meet one of the world’s most cat allergic people  – me, Cindy. In meetings, I had to sit across the room from my ex-boss George, because I couldn’t take the cat hairs on his clothing. Come to think of it, there were many things I couldn’t take about him, but that’s a different story. Even just seeing cats on TV would reduce me to teary eyes, sneezing, hives and asthma. (OK, slight exaggeration here, but the point is I am hyperallergic).

When lovely little tabby Bijou snuck into our lives three years ago, I never thought for a moment that we could keep her. I knew she had a tough life as an outdoor cat. I was ready to put food out for her. I was ready to give her shelter from the rain in a cute little outdoor cat tent. But Bijou was definitely ready for more…

Whenever she spotted an opening, she would creep into the house. Although they were both allergic, my son (Justin) and husband (Mike) were overjoyed to have Bijou in the house. At first, I held my ground and insisted she stay outside. But, like Mike always says, it’s not hard to wear me down.

-Mom, do you think Bijou could stay in just for a few hours while it’s raining?  -OK, just this once.

-Mom, do you think Bijou could spend the night in the house because it is sooo cold out tonight?  -OK, just this once.

-Mom, do you think Bijou could spend the night in the house because of this heat wave?     – OK, just this once.

Well, you get the picture. Bijou went from occasional visitor, to live-in house guest, to a full- fledged member of the family.

Mike, Justin and I all live with mild congestion these days, but our allergies are tolerable. We went from Allegra to I love you. Don’t ask me how it happened. Maybe our immune systems developed a tolerance to Bijou with gradual exposure over time, kind of like allergy shots. Maybe it’s a miracle. Whatever it is, it changed the lives of three people – and one cat – forever.

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Bijou lounging around

Bijou lounging around

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