what if you were dating someone allergic to cats?

vacuumfreakFebruary 1, 2007

HI there. I have been dating a guy who is allergic to cats for a little while now. Things are going well... he's sweet and attractive and single and of course the most important... gay! He has a girl Chihuahua, and I have my male tabby Jasper. Well, I've had Jasper a lot longer than I've known this guy, and I love him very much. The only problem is that he is allergic to cats! He said he can take a pill if he is only going to be around the cat for a short while, but could never share the same dwelling with one. So, I meet a nice guy and I want to settle down with him (meaning date exclusively for possible LTR which may include living together one day)... but he can't visit me at my place and if we ever do live together I can't bring Jasper. When I got Jasper, it was forever... how do you choose between human and feline companionship? What do/would you do? And, how in heaven's name could ANYONE ever give this sweet, purring, loving thing of beauty up (not me, that's for sure... just look at that face!).

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For me, that would be a deal breaker. I couldn't give up the pet. I feel badly since it isn't as if your new guy just doesn't care for cats, he's allergic, not his fault.

Would he be able to get some kind of medicine for that? Does your SO take allergy meds now? Some people are deadly allergic, others are just somewhat bothered by the cat dander.

I have some cat-allergic friends who only visit in the summer when we can be outside. They leave when it gets dark if the mosquitos come out. It sucks.

I hope you can figure something out.

p.s. Jasper is adorable.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2007 at 5:03PM
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Wow, this is quite the dilemma and also remember if you do choose to be with the person and give up the cat, that also will mean that as long as you are with this man you will NEVER be able to have a cat. I'm not a cat lover so for me it would be a simple choice but I'm a dog lover and I've gone though many sacrifices to be able to keep my dog...going to many many realtors before finally finding a landlord that was OK with me have a huge dog with putting down a huge deposit to be able to keep him. Is this a new relationship? I'd say to date at least a year before making any rash decision because it takes at least a year or more to know if you are even compatable with this person. Is he for sure allergic to YOUR cat because I was talking to woman that has allergies to cats but not to all cats just some cats make her allergies flare up so maybe he should experiment and not take his pills if his allergies aren't real severe. Obviously if his throat swells closed you can't experiment.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2007 at 5:24PM
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I married a man allergic to cats and bunnies, but I didn't have either at the time we were just going out, so I didn't have to make that decision. You could take the route I chose- become a veterinarian and get your kitty fix at work!

If he's committed to the relationship as you seem to be, maybe he'd investigate starting immunotherapy aka "allergy shots." People rarely are allergic to just one thing, and he could get a mix of allergens that may help him with other allergies too. Only about 50% of people respond to immunotherapy though, so it's still a crapshoot. Other thing like arkansas girl mentioned, maybe he could try different allergy drugs. I'm VERY allergic to horses, and can't always avoid them in vet school. So after some experimenting, I've discovered that a combo of diphenhydramine and phenylephrine works best for me. Unfortunately the diphenhydramine causes me to be totally wired for about 24 hours, but at least my bronchi don't slam shut. Some of the vets at school are also very allergic to certain species they cannot avoid. Many love their singulair. So that may be worth a try too, but it's requires a prescription, and since I found my drug combo, I haven't bothered with seeing a doctor about my allergies. Only 1 more year and I can choose to never see another horse again anyway!

Good luck with the relationship. Obviously there's no way you're going to give up Jasper, so you and your guy are going to have to work things out somehow.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2007 at 6:13PM
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I love your posts about Jasper and orange tabbies are special. I have lived with the same man for 37 years, he is allergic to all animals. I couldn't give up my animal friends, after a while he got less allergic, first to the dogs then to the horses and then the cats. This could have gone the other way but I was fortunate he got better. It is a hard one, I wish you and Jasper and guy friend the best.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2007 at 7:58PM
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For me, that would be a deal breaker. I couldn't give up the pet.

Same here. Don't take this the wrong way, but if you think about it, this is kind of on you (vacuumfreak). Even after you knew your friend was allergic, you still allowed yourself to get involved with him. I know it's tough to back away from a relationship, but it certainly would have alleviated the problem you have now, and make no mistake-- this IS a tough problem.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2007 at 8:20PM
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There are some products that you can buy at petstore to help control the amount of dander an animal produces. The dander is what actually causes the reaction and for a lot of people this stuff works very well. You just wipe it on about once a week. Find out if he would be willing to give that a try. One product name that comes to mind is Allerpet-C but I'm sure there are probably others.


    Bookmark   February 1, 2007 at 8:21PM
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The cat came first so the cat gets priority.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2007 at 9:24AM
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A friend of mine has a daughter who is allergic to cats but they really wanted one - so they got a kitten and started from the beginning giving it a weekly bath. It seems to really help with the girl's allergies.

Would Jasper like a bath? I know none of my cats would!

    Bookmark   February 2, 2007 at 12:50PM
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This is a fairly new relationship for you, right? Unless he's dangerously allergic-like his throat closing up-he should try allergy shots or other interventions. If your relationship is important to him, he'll at least try.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2007 at 1:50PM
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The Allerpet-C does help, altho' it's not a cure-all.

You might try to start him off slowly, (the boyrfirend I mean!) Wash Jasper with the Allerpet, vaccum well, and have the boyfriend come over for a little while. (He might want to take one of those day-time antihistamines, if he's had a lot of problems with pet allergies.) Do remind him to wash his hands after petting the cat and before touching his face; as I've gotten older I am more allergic to animals, and I often forget that step. I don't realize it until my eyes start watering and my nose starts dripping and my skin itching -- then I realize I've pet the cat, touched my nose, pet the cat, rubbed my eye, pet the cat....

Gradually increase the guys exposure to Jasper, and it may not be as much of a problem as you think!

    Bookmark   February 2, 2007 at 2:04PM
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Thanks everyone for your responses and encouragement. After a few days of thinking on the subject... The guy says that he is allergic to horses and cats... almost anything EXCEPT dogs! I don't know what that means, but if things get more serious I would think he would be willing to work with me. Jasper is MY family and was a part of my life before this guy. It's not the same as switching brands of hairspray... I am not a dog person... I NEED a cat. I wouldn't mind living with a dog as long as it wasn't mine, but having a cat is a must... if not Jasper then it would be another. I am just happy that I got a good one... Jasper is always there for me... will never cheat on or abandon me... just give pure love (I know that's how all pets are... but mine is so affectionate and intuitive that at times I think he is mended to the fibers of my soul) ... I've never met a guy who was like that, so I think my decision would be easy... just not fun! Gotta lose SOMETHING either way. Maybe not, we will see! Yes I know I did this to myself because I continued getting to know him even though I know about the allergy, BUT it is hard to find decent people AND I didn't even know if we would hit it off!

    Bookmark   February 2, 2007 at 4:50PM
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Is there any reason he can't take something like Allegra or Zyrtec or Flonase (i.e. a daily anti-allergy medication), if he were to move in with you? It's what I do, and while it doesn't reduce all my allergy symptoms, it at least makes them tolerable. I would think that, combined with some effort on your part (bathing the cat, perhaps, or using the anti-allergy wipes already mentioned) would probably do the trick.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2007 at 9:37PM
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Cat would come first.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2007 at 1:13AM
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Yep - cat comes first. I'm very allergic to cats and went through 5 years of shots just to be able to have them. I needed a cat in my life - and now have three. I still have to take Allegra and pseudophedrine every single day but as long as I take those I am 100 % fine. My husband also has allergies and knows that if he gets to the point that his meds don't work anymore, he will also have to pursue shots.

I made a life long committment to my cats. They have been the best of friends to me. I am always angered when I go to the local Mounds or PetSmart and see cats that were turned in only because their humans were allergic to them. I've known others that have turned them in and have known that they have not done much to deal with their allergies. It's one thing if all avenues have been exhausted but most of the time that is not the case.

You had the cat first, so the cat stays. Personally for me, if I were single again, I wouldn't date a person that didn't like cats or was allergic to them. It would be one of the first questions I would ask. In your situation, I would tell him that the cat is a deal breaker and deal with it up front.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2007 at 3:50PM
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I would not give up hope. Many people with cat allergies -- myself included -- get used to specific cats. From the age of 5 to 17, I planned on being a vet. My pediatrician told me "no." My allergies are too severe. I think he was right. I walk into our vet's office and I begin to wheeze. However, I am the proud parent of 3 cats and a dog. I am also allergic to horses and dogs.

I am careful. I pet alot. I wash my hands alot. We have a special air filter. And . . . I seem to get used to a specific animal after a period of misery.

No one other than my immediate family believes me when I tell them I am allegic to animals. I believe a lot of allergic folks stay away from pets out of a fear of the symptoms because they have not been allowed to fall in love.

Allergies are real. But so is love of animals (and people), tolerance may develop.

That being said, I'm a pretty allergic person. Love my babies though! Adele

    Bookmark   February 4, 2007 at 12:03AM
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catlover makes a good point on the air filter. Our furnace has a built in air cleaner, but we also have one in our family room where the cats spend a large amount of time. We do not allow the cats in our bedroom either.

As far as getting over allergies, that may work or not. I am so allargic to dogs that I can't be around them for more than about 5-6 hours - even with my medications. I make a habit of not petting dogs because of my allergies - so it is just being in a room with them. It starts as a caugh and will turn into wheezing. I once tried staying for a weekend with someone that had dogs and was so miserable.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2007 at 2:56PM
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DH found out he was allergic to cats after we got our two cats. Of course, I refused to get rid of them so for the next 10 years he lived with them, bless him.

So we vacuumed daily, now with the hepa filter vacs, it would have made it even better I am sure.

Made sure we had no heavy curtain like window treatments that could harbor dander. Light sheers we could take down and throw in the wash easily.

Gave the kitties baths once a month(not easy!). Keep them brushed. Kept the kitties out of the bedroom absolutely, totally off limits always. Wipe down everything alot, including baseboards, walls, etc. No wall to wall carpet. Good air filters, clean them alot. We would dust, mop, and sweep really often. No knick-knacks, unless they are in a glass cabinet.

DH took meds also. His allergies were not severe or life threatening then. Although they seem to be getting worse as he gets older.

I am also concerned about his chihuahua getting along with your pet if it becomes a live-together situation. That is another concern. Maybe a live-in relationship is just not in the cards for some years to come. doesn't mean you can't be together.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2007 at 10:05AM
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First of all, Jasper was there first.

Second, IF boyfriend REALLY REALLY REALLY wanted to see you, HE WOULD NO MATTER WHAT.

Third. Relationships take lots of give and take. It's time for boyfriend to give, since Jasper is yours forever. At some point after he gives, you can give back in a way that will make your relationship grow, just as it will when boyfriend gave.

Fourth. If you are finding this issue difficult, then perhaps you should move on. I didn't say it would be easy, it just might need to be done.

Fifth (& final bit of advice but you asked). I've been in a relationship for 29 years last month. We both have done plenty of hard work keeping it together. YES IT'S LOTS OF WORK ON A DAILY BASIS. And, we both have done plenty of give and take.


    Bookmark   February 6, 2007 at 11:44AM
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My husband is allergic to cats as well. We had been dating for awhile when he first walked into my apartment and saw the cat, so he told me of his allergy. I looked at him and said "Gee...that's a shame, I'm going to miss you", that was nearly 30 years ago. He's gotten used to them! I woke up this morning and glanced over at him, he was sleeping with our little Bob cuddled in his arms! LOL!

    Bookmark   February 8, 2007 at 11:58AM
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Well,it depends if the guy is cuter then the cat...I'm so kidding!!! Your cat is absolutely the cutest thing I ever saw,and the cutest guy in the world couldnt make me leave that adorable little face.
I agree with other posters who say there is no reason he cant try meds. Many people do it and it works out good for them.I hope you can all work it put and all be very happy together!

    Bookmark   February 9, 2007 at 3:52AM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

There's more fish in the sea...time to move on.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2007 at 6:27PM
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As a person who is allergic to cats and rabbits, I can tell you that it is not fun to be around them. The eyes start itching first, then the throat and the coughing, then the skin and it can get worse with throat swelling and breathing trouble for some. Even when you leave the house where the animal is, you come away with cat dander/hair on you and so the misery doesn't stop immediately. Allergy shots don't always work as far as cats go and it takes quite some time for one to build up immunity. The cost for a vial of serum is over $300 and copays for each doctor visit, going twice a week for 3 or 4 months, then every 21 days after that for several years really adds up. Plus, it isn't fun to have to get the shots. There are also side effects from taking stuff like Allegra, Zyrtec, etc such as dry eyes, dry mouth and such. So you aren't just asking him to take something once in a while or for a short time. It is a big deal.

My DIL loves cats and works for a vet. My son is somewhat allergic to cats but guess what - they have 2! He stays stuffed up nasal wise and has sneezing fits and red eyes at times. I think it will get worse over time, not better.
But what can one say, ... its LOVE!

    Bookmark   February 10, 2007 at 9:22PM
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I have a great idea...lose the guy and get two more cats...I know exactly where you can get two very loving kitties that need a new loving home...HAAHAA!!!!

    Bookmark   February 11, 2007 at 8:21AM
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I am extremely allergic to cats, and mildly allergic to dogs. If I slack on my housework, I notice it big time. Aside from a stuffy nose more often than not, itchy eyes and hives if I forget to wash my hands before I touch my face, I barely notice them anymore. (except when the cat decides mom didnt wash her hair well enough and slobers all over my head)

However, when I got to my sisters house, I can only stay a night. By the next morning I cant stop sneezing, I can't breathe, Im wheezy, its AWFUL. And I used to live with both of the cats she has.

My cousins boyfriend is pretty allergic to cats. When they first met, he couldnt spend a full night at her house (with two cats) He'd end up having to leave because he couldnt breath. They moved in with us and we had 2 dogs, and 4 cats (albeit in a MUCH larger space) and he eventually got used to it in our house and it didn't bother him at all. They moved back to the same apartment building as before (where he couldnt breath) with two cats again, and he's fine. A lot of the times people allergies WILL adjust to your animal (like others have said) it just takes time. And the cleaning is a bit of an extra effort and it will be some give and take. IF you like to sleep with jasper, chances are that will have to change. If you let him on the furniture, you might have to try and get him to lay only on a blanket so there isnt hair every where, etc etc.

If it does go long term with this guy and you do move intogether, don't forget since he gave you a lot by sticking around even though he's allergic, you need to give back by minimizing the dander and making it as comfortable for him as possible. Whatever it takes to keep jasper.

I think the only time it would come down to having to get rid of the cat is once he's already moved in. Assuming you'll wait to move in with him until you love him and see a future with him, it would be kind of rediculous to kick someone out, or move out over a cat. I know pets are forever, but I just dont think its reasonable to possibly end a very long term relationship for a an animal.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2007 at 3:12PM
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By the way, regarding the shots....coverage depends on the insurance. Around here they are administered by nurses so is not a Dr visit - no copay. My insurance covered them 100 % as an injection. The annual recheck with the Dr is the only think requiring a copay. Mine were actually once every 7-10 days for about a year. After that maintenance level took about another 4 years - I think it was every three weeks.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2007 at 6:01PM
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I don't think I have ever heard of any one being allergic to horses before, and I hear about two right here! I don't know what I would do if I was allergic to horses, probably be around them anyway regardless.
Jasper is not a long hair so that will help some, something I just thought about, how does your guy do when he is around you? Surely you have some dander on your clothes.
I have to say I would choose the kitty, he was there first, basically it is like choosing your child over a person you are dating, you wouldn't be able to do that either:) No need to rush into anything is there? But the longer you do date this guy the worse it is going to be on you when push comes to shove, I would think long and hard about where you want this to go and if he is willing to try also:)
You are right, it is extremly hard to find decent people, but they are out there.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2007 at 1:00AM
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Silvergold - yes I agree, the copay depends on the insurance. Due to retiring and DH's insurance program changes, I have had to change insurance a couple of times over the last few years. I have had to pay as little as $5.00 and now as much as $15.00 plus an additional 20% of the remainder. And that is with an LPN giving the shots.

But I think the main issue is that when people say "Oh you can just take shots for it or you can take some type of medicine", it is not them having to do it. Now, it is doubtful that cats are his only allergy and if the shots would help for other allergies, then the reason for doing so would be different and worth it.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2007 at 9:04AM
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Wow...what a dilemma, vacuumfreak! You know, I have known a few people for whom the allergy shots worked quite well, so that may be an option, as others have suggested. You're right...Jasper was there first and he deserves your devotion. There have been a couple of occasions in my life when I thought I met my "forever" love and was wrong...you'd feel terrible if you gave Jasper away for this guy and then ended up dumped and disillusioned in a few months. This may serve as a barometer of sorts for your relationship...how far will your sweetie go to make this work? Is he willing to take a med or try the shots? I bet that if the tables were turned and it was you who had an allergy to chihuahuas, you'd go all out to make the situation workable. The only other thing I can think of is maybe renting a duplex and you and Jasper dwell on one side and your guy and his pup on the other...not the most cost effective solution, but workable, maybe?

    Bookmark   February 19, 2007 at 10:11AM
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Vacuum Freak, A number of months ago someone posted a thread about being allergic to cats, It wasn't on this forum but it was on "that home site". The poster said they had great luck with misting the cat with distilled water, something about the water neutralized the pet dander. I could kick myself for not keeping the post. It sounded like a great drug-free solution to a tough problem. Possibly a holistic vet or doctor could help. Don't give up on either of them yet!

    Bookmark   February 19, 2007 at 1:22PM
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I FOUND IT! Here you go. The allergy is not an allergy to dander, it's an allergy to the saliva. Cats groom themselves leaving the saliva on the fur. It then drys on the fur and flakes off when you pet or brush the cat.

So.... Sponge bath the cat daily with Distilled Water (sponge is damp not sopping wet). If your cat likes to be petted then this shouldn't be a horrible task.

Invest in a good filter for the house. If you live in a house with hardwood floors.... great, less carpeting or rugs to vacuum. Oh wait.... from your name you may really like to vacuum.:0)

Good luck, jerri

    Bookmark   February 19, 2007 at 2:07PM
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I just invested in a good air purifier for our bedroom. It makes all the difference in the world. We usually don't let the animals in the bedroom for any amount of time, but our big guy has to walk through the bedroom to get to bed, and the cats sometimes sneak by. Plus with all the renovations in our ensuite, things have been being lugged in and out, carrying in the cat and dog hair, amongst dust and stuff. All things I try to keep on top of in the bedroom. Not to mention we have had two new dogs in and out in the last two weeks, kicking my allergies up even more.

My allergies are tolerable during the day, sure I sneeze and get stuffed up, but it really hits me at night and first thing in the morning. For the last two weeks, I would wake up unable to breath in the middle of the night, and spend a good hunk of my morning wheezing and coughing. Since getting the air purifier, I've slept through the night, and I feel 100% in the morning. It's really great investment.

I suggest even if his allergies are tolerable, that you still make a no-pet in the bedroom rule. And make an extra effort to keep the bedroom especially pet hair/dander free and dust free.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2007 at 4:36PM
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I was faced with the same decision. For me it was easy, we've been married 10 years.

When our dating became serious, I found the cat a good home with a casual friend who had just lost her fur friend and I was welcomed for visitation whenever I wanted. Cat is happy, healthy and very much loved and so is my husband.


    Bookmark   February 23, 2007 at 2:59PM
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I don't think I could ever be without a cat. I definitely could not live with a dog and not a cat. I'm lucky that my husband loves cats BUT, if I were single and dating there is no way I'd give up a cat I'd had for years and agree to never have another one. Unless this guy is George Clooney ;) and I'm sure he's not as he is straight ;) I say, keep the cat!

    Bookmark   February 26, 2007 at 10:47PM
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Thanks for all of your kind responses! I thought it would be nice for me to let you know how things are working out. In short, Jasper is here and man is gone. The problem worked itself out as they usually do... he and I started disagreeing about everything and then he decided to move back home to Delaware and leave Florida for good. Good riddens! We had a discussion one day and he finally confessed that not only was he allergic to cats, but he hated them. If he hadn't driven and paid for dinner that night, I'd have stormed out of there in an instant. Then he was talking about the decision I was going to have to make between him and the cat. He told me that he could make the decision easy. All I would have to do is leave my apartment unlocked and he would swing by one day and open the door and let the cat go. Can you guess what I said to that? GOOD-BYE. He kept calling my MALE (though neutered, he still daddy's little BOY) a SHE, and wanted me to lock him in the closet ever time he came over. Everyone's happy now and in the future when I meet a man, "Are you a cat person" will be in the screening process. They will meet Jasper and only after they get the feline seal of approval will things be allowed to continue! Thanks again for all the repsonses.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2007 at 6:38PM
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Sorry love was a bust. I agree Jasper is forever. He is such a beautiful kitty good for you.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2007 at 7:16PM
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Sorry it didn't work out with the man. But you made the right decision! Good luck!

    Bookmark   March 1, 2007 at 7:54PM
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Geez, Vacuumfreak...I can't believe he said that, about your leaving your door unlocked and he'd swing by and let Jasper out! You're right, good riddance! The right guy will come along for you...and in the meantime, you have your sweet Jasper. He's truly a beauty.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2007 at 8:06PM
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I'm sorry to hear that it didn't work out. I gave a cat up for a man once, and it took me four years to realize it should have been the other way around. Better you found out now.

Your Jasper looks so much like our Buddy, and he's a sweetie too. Best of luck!

    Bookmark   March 4, 2007 at 8:40PM
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So everyone says the cat comes first. So what would you do if you had a cat and then gave birth to a child that was severely allergic? Remember the cat came first.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2007 at 5:00PM
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No one is having a baby in this discussion so i guess your question is redundent.
Good for you for choosing your precious cat over this louse of a man. Sounds like he is a control freak anyhow.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2007 at 6:07PM
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Pamven - you are right on - we are not comparing cats and babies at all -

    Bookmark   March 26, 2007 at 10:17PM
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Pamven and Lilod: But you are comparing an animal to a human. Personally, this is a subject that I don't think anyone can advise her on. She has to make the choice and she has to live with it. Having been happily married for over 30 years I can't imagine life without my DH. I have lots of furbabies and I love them dearly (and my DH tolerates them)but they could never take the place of good human contact. I would have taken meghanes approach and gotten my kitty fix another way.
My neighbor has severe allergies to cats not dogs. She touches anything with dander and her skin is covered with a nasty burning rash. She has to get shots on a weekly basis just because dander can spread outside of a cat lover's house. She never comes in my house only outside. When I go to her house I have to wear freshly laundered clothes and wash wash wash my hands. Alot depends on the type of symptoms a person has and how severe it is. I am allergic to dogs. Some dogs are worse than others. I just sneeze. I have a small non-shedding dog and I take lots of claritan if I need it. My cats don't bother me.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2007 at 5:38PM
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Bluesbarby, I'm sure that no one in their right mind would choose a cat over a baby that was allergic! I've seen many people on Craig's List try to find a new home for their cats because of their baby. That's blood... dating a guy who may or may not work out for various other reasons is more of a controlled situation than having a baby would be. So, even though this debate wasn't about a baby I am sure that no one would get rid of their baby instead of the cat. What silly thing to even suggest. By the way I have a feeling the OP was a male (did you READ the post) so "she" isn't appropriate... until after the operation anyway (just kidding). I enjoyed the advice that I got from this post and while I did make my own decision it was nice to know that most people thought I did the right thing. Just so you know, a lot is two words!

    Bookmark   March 27, 2007 at 8:28PM
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LOL - I was wondering if bluesbarby read the post too. They are two very different things. You had the cat first. You have a free choice as to whether to welcome someone into your life knowing that the relationship may or may not work out. As I mentioned, if I were single again I wouldn't even start a relationship with a person that didn't like a cat or had allergies to them. My cats have been my best of friends and I owe them that. And I don't think I would have much in common with someone that didn't want to be around them.

On the other hand, a baby, as you say is blood and is a whole different discussion. I think you made the right choice!

    Bookmark   March 28, 2007 at 7:53PM
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You're own child as oppossed to dating someone? Know there's an odd comparison!

Generally, one does not turn their back on a child because they are afflicted with a serious illness or a trait they do not like. Take bipolar disorder for example. My father, a couple uncles and a close cousin of mine all have this disease. Knowing what I do of the disorder and how, in some, it can be very difficult to control I may have been (I am now married) leary of dating someone with this disorder. Perhaps opting not to involve myself seriously. Yet, if my child was afflicted with this disease I would never abandon them over it!

When dating you have prerequisites as to what you would like or not like in your potential mate. For example, I would not want someone who smokes or does drugs. If I found out someone I was dating smokes, I would stop dating them. On the same note, if I found out they could not tolerate (mentally or physically) any of my pets, I again would stop seeing them. You can control who you date and what you want in that person. You cannot control whether or not your child is allergic to cats.

You also commented that this is not a topic anyone can advise her on. They why did you post? In fact, the truth is she posted asking people for advise as to what they would do in this situation.

It also seems that you are comparing your marriage of 30 years to a recent boyfriend. If my husband mysteriously became allergic to any of our pets, obviously accomadations would be made and we would do what we have to. But again, this is the difference of choosing not to continue dating someone, not ending a marriage of 30 years!

Bluesbarby, truly what ridiculus conclusions & comparisions you have drawn!

    Bookmark   March 28, 2007 at 8:38PM
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Perfect response (as usual) the_adams. Especially love and agree with the third paragraph about dating smokers. The entire response gets a huge thumbs up from OP :o) (Who, still btw the way isn't a SHE until after the surgery) :P

    Bookmark   March 29, 2007 at 10:43AM
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Vacuumfreak: Thank You!! Sorry about the gender mistake, I got carried away in my ranting and was responding to Bluebarby (female) and... well anyways, sorry!!

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   March 29, 2007 at 1:32PM
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LOL, that's easy: I wouldn't date anyone who was allergic to cats in the first place.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2007 at 9:53AM
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the adams: stop ranting, this is supposed to be a debate. If you don't agree that's fine but stop getting so personal, I already know you have a thing against me.
I stated that this should not be something she should be asking us for advice. This guy might be the love of her life. We don't have enough info. From what my DD's have said, there aren't that many great guys out there. My youngest is trying to get into a med school close to home and if she can't she'll probably change career direction so she won't lose this guy. Sometimes people make sacrifices.
When I compare my 30 plus marriage: what I was saying was that a human companion is my first choice even though I love my furbabies. What a horrible life I would have had without my DH. Of course I would have had a nice life alone with my cats too. I'm like my dog I guess, I need human companionship. Obviously the people on this thread would rather live with an animal than a person. Which is fine.
And as far as the allergy prone child. This analogy was shown to show how people make sacrifices for people they love.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2007 at 6:35PM
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I think there's a difference between asking for advice, and blindly following it. Just because vacuumfreak asked for advice doesn't mean he's going to automatically do everything anonymous people on the internet tell him -- but it might give him perspectives he hadn't considered. At least, that's what I hope for when I ask for advice.

So -- I think we're safe giving him advice he's asked for -- altho' it sounds like it's no,longer needed!

    Bookmark   April 4, 2007 at 8:30PM
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Ugh, really bluesbarby, you want to try to drag it down this road? Taking my own words and attemtping to use them against me?

The first definition of "Debate" is "to argue with one another." I have taken many debate classes and writting classes at the University I attend. I partake in both formal and tournament debating locally. I really do understand the concept and general definition of debate.

For you to assume that actions such as ranting do not or cannot belong in debate is a gross misunderstanding! To rant is to express with strong emotion and/or to speak in a noisy/excited manner. Had you ever taken part in a live debate you would know that it is common and acceptable for one to become excited or to express their opinion with strong emotion!

I made valid points with emotion behind them! I spelled out exactly what I meant and offered examples. This is a PERFECTLY acceptable form of debate. The purpose of debating is to persuade or to reach an agreement, this alone will draw on ones emotions.

Also, please keep in mind that this is not a formalized debate forum. There are no rules and regulations and there are not time constraints on the debates. So, since the moderators have not formalized this forum, it is not within your power to tell me how or how not to act. If you think I have done something completly out of line you can always report me!

The people on this forum are not saying they would rather live with their animals then humans. To draw this conclusion one would have to assume that their are no other prospective mates that would be tolerant of their pets. Then knowing their are no other mates said person would have to then choice pet over human to come to your conclusion. Otherwise, they are just saying that their human companion would need to be tolerant of their pets. Whether mentally or physically. Since it is reasonable to assume that one would be able to find a mate that is tolerant of their pets they are not choosing pet over human, they are choosing human with similar interests. Which, I do believe, people look for in a mate in general.

No, bluesbarby, you did not say "that this should not be something she should be asking us for advice" previously. You said, "Personally, this is a subject that I don't think anyone can advise her on. She has to make the choice and she has to live with it."

Also, you did not make an "ananlogy" between the allergic child and the allergic BF. This post hadn't been responded to since March 4 when you posted on March 26. The issue had been resolved, the BF ended up acting like a jerk and Vacuumfreak has decided he can't live without a cat and will screen future dates for cat tolerance. Then you simply posed a question, "So everyone says the cat comes first. So what would you do if you had a cat and then gave birth to a child that was severely allergic? Remember the cat came first." If you want to draw an analogy, draw it. Yet, if you pose a question it is reasonable to expect people to answer it and draw their own conclusions. In no way here did you draw a comparison, you only listed one circumstance.

In addition, the response was overwhelming (not just from me) that this was a weak comparison that they were not buying. To compare someone (whom Vacuumfreak never said he loved) to your own child is ridiculus.

BTW, had you actually read the posts instead of skimming them you would have noted in the OP that Vacuumfreak had been dating his fellow for only a "short while now." By reasonable deduction it would be acceptable for one to assume that the BF is not the love of his life because (a) he has only been dating him for a short while & (b) he did not say the BF is the love of his life.

Bluesbarby, could you please answer me two questions:
1) Please explain how I am "getting so personal."
2) Why are you posting on this topic if you do not think Vacuumfreak should be asking us for advice?

Also, for the record, I have nothing against you. I have never met you, nor do I know you! This is a debate forum and our opinions differ, therefore I debate your views. If you are taking this personally (I mean this with the utmost respect) perhaps debate isn't for you?

As for my personal opinion on giving up Med School to stay with a boyfriend, to me, is insane. Since she is at the point of applying I am assuming she has completed her Pre-Med work. Boy, that is alot of work without a doubt. I am assuming that your daughter is younger, in her early 20's perhaps? If I am wrong, please disregard. By statistical, social and psychological standards young relationships are meant to end, they are learning experiences. Statistics show that marriages began while the couple are in their early 20's (or younger) rarely survive. To give up all the hard work one has done in Pre-Med to keep their GPA high enough to even be granted an interview at a School of Medicine for "this guy" is surprising. (Since you called him "this guy" I am assuming they are not engaged.)

Yet, that is just my opinion.

Here is a link that might be useful: A free 200-page debating book written by a former winner of the World Schools Debating Championhip

    Bookmark   April 4, 2007 at 9:24PM
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As far as my DD. Statistically young marriages don't work over all. However, young marriages between well educated people statistically do work. My DD is 24. She has her masters. She has completed her premed. They have been together for 2 years. They have talked of marriage but neither is rushing things. He's finished school, she still has 4 years, plus internship,etc. I completely trust her judgement.
Rant: to rant is to speak in a violent, loud or vehement manner. I cannot hear you or see you on this forum therefore all I have to go on is your words. You used the word rant. Emotions are fine in a live debate but ranting is not acceptable behavior. Maybe rant wasn't the word to use. But try to remember that words are everything in a written medium.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2007 at 12:05PM
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Bluesbarby, perhap you should have looked up the definition of "Rant." Here it is from he Princeton.edu website dictionary:


a loud bombastic declamation expressed with strong emotion
pompous or pretentious talk or writing


talk in a noisy, excited, or declamatory manner

Apparantly, "rant" was the correct word to use! Violent and Vehement are not words that define rant.

Also, statistics have proven that 50% of all first marriages will end in divorce. I have never heard of a study referencing the divorce between "YOUNG" educated and non educated people, and certainly have not seen statistical information. The last statistical info published on the divorce rate between educated/non educated people was in the 1980's and had nothing to do with the "young" factor!

Please post your source, I am interested in reading.

With that said, their is a theory among researchers that educated WOMEN (with graduate degrees) are less likely to get a divorce. But to state a theory as a fact is to mislead your readers. Especially when you know the reasoning behind this theory and know that it has nothing to do with being "young." Actually, the opposite! Let me enlighten you:

Part of the reason for this theory is that people are marrying later on in life.

The National Vital Statistic System has stated that college educated women are marrying and having children later in life. 80% of these women are having children in their 30's. It is expected that this also will effect the rate of divorce. This same study shows that women are postponing marriage and entering the workforce. Again, marrying LATER in life.

A study from Penn State stated that the divorce rate is less in those couples where one is the primary income. Male or Female. The divorce rate is higher in those that contribute equally. I.E. A dually educated and working couple!

As you can see, for you to make a simple statement regarding the educated and divorce is to leave out many variables. It seems that your comment is not based in any type of fact. Again, please post your source!

But, on the same note, their have been studies to show that women who are educated are MORE likely to get divorced because they do not depend on their mate.

Also, recent studies have shown that professional women are more likely to get divorced. In a 2004 Survey of Income and Program Participation concluded that in marriages where women work more hours the divorce rate is higher as opposed to families where the men work more hours, the divorce rate doesn't change. In addition, it was found that when both partners are working divorce rates are higher.

A study published by the American Law and Economics Reviews states, "Evidence is given that among college-educated couples, the divorce filing rate by women approaches 90%."

As you can see, there are many theories and variables to the education/social status and divorce rates. Yet, it remains statisticly true that young marriages usually end in divorce. Psychologically speaking, the maturity needed for marriage is not reached until approx. 27 years old. Again, by pyschological standards, from the age of 15 - 20 you are preparing for adulthood and the ages 20-27 are when you actually learn how to be an adult. Marriages during this learning phase are generally disasterous. That is why relationships during this time are expected to end, they are all part of your learning experience and preparing you for marriage.

Also you did not answer my questions. Why not?

Hey, btw, if he has finished school, why not go wherever your DD is accepted to Med-School. Like I said, that is a ton of work to toss out the window.

Vacuumfreak - Sorry for hijacking! :-)

    Bookmark   April 5, 2007 at 2:13PM
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I got my definition of rant from the American Heritage Dictionary, word for word.
Hardly work tossed out the window, it's not like she's going to start digging ditches. Her education can be used in other fields. He's got a job, in a field where it would be difficult to procure another of it's type easily.
Statistics can often be misleading. You can throw studies at me, I can throw studies at you. If one out of 2 marriages fail then you must be divorced because I'm not, right? Wrong. That's a statistic based on certain controls. I may not fit into those same controls and you might not. Statistics only help to form "theories". I have found in my practice that well educated couples usually last longer. Your theory said the same at least regarding educated women. That theory was based on stats. Oh and I said nothing about double incomes.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2007 at 3:19PM
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Your daughter sounds like a wonderful, intelligent woman who has quite the level head on her shoulders and I'm sure she'll succeed at whatever she ultimately goes in for - including marriage.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2007 at 3:37PM
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Cnetter - I wasn't trying to imply her daughter would not suceed, I was simply stating statistics. Just what the odds are, for the sake of the debate.

"If one out of 2 marriages fail then you must be divorced because I'm not, right?"

That comment shows your complete musunderstanding of how statistics are derived. A statistic is no way, no how, not under any circumstance a "theory." A statistic is a mathematical calculation based on collected and analyzed data.

Now, with that said; yes, statistics can be manipulated for ones gain. This is generally and more frequently seen in business situations. Yet, it is not frequently seen on statistics that are based on psychological or sociological findings. One has nothing to gain in manipulating these statistics. Sociologist want to learn & study society and social behavior of humans. It is their intention to learn about these interactions, not to manipulate data for some grander purpose!

Also, I am surprised that the Am Heritage Dictionary only lists one definition for the word "rant." Esoecially since it can be used as both a noun and a verb! I am assuming you just choose the definition that suited your purpose, hardly fair!

Ok, first I listed Princetons Dictionary. I can further substantiate my interpertation of this word with the definition found in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

1 a : a bombastic extravagant speech b : bombastic extravagant language
1 : to talk in a noisy, excited, or declamatory manner
2 : to scold vehemently
transitive verb : to utter in a bombastic declamatory fashion

Also, still, you refuse to answer my questions or post your own sources that I requested. What's up with that? You think that my "ranting" does not belong in this debate, yet you refuse to answer my questions. Hardly a good trait to possess in debate.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2007 at 4:34PM
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Oh, by the way, it is 50% of FIRST marriages! And these statistics are provided by the US Census Bureau.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2007 at 4:52PM
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Actually, your whole purpose of debate at this point seems to be to support your original statement:

"...giving up Med School to stay with a boyfriend, to me, is insane."

Which is an implication that you think her daughter will not succeed. And not just not succeed, but to be crazy to even think about trying.

I'm wondering why you felt a need to do such a personal attack in the first place, and why spend so much time trying to support this attack.

Statistics are completely irrelevant when applied to a situation this complex. This is not a controlled experiment and the "odds" mean nothing anyway.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2007 at 5:16PM
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I didn't mean it as a personal attack. Bluesbarby was trying to add to the analogy the situation her daughter is in. Bluesbarby has shown that she does not agree with choosing the pet over a human mate and then tried to introduce the idea of sacrifice for those we love. I was merly stating that I did not agree with her analogy because I do think giving up on Med School for a boyfriend is insane. Especially when, statisticaly & psychologically speaking, young relationships are stepping stones and not meant to last.

No, this is not a controlled experiment. But, in my opinion, the situation is not complex at all! To the contrary of what some believe, statistics and psychological standards play a great roll in the human makeup. The "odds" mean a great deal! Sociologists and psychologists alike, in general, would recommend a young person (pre approx. 27) not get married. It seems that you do not have an indepth understanding of psychology and/or statistics to assume they are irrelevant in this situation. (obviously, this is something I am studying :-)

Again, I was just trying to draw the conclusion (which, yes, went astray) that comparing her daughters giving up on Med School for a BF to Vacuumfreaks situation didn't help prove her point to ME.

I can see how one may have seen this as a personal attack and that is my error. I apologize. Again, I was only listing statistics, not trying to say her DD will not be sucessfull in whatever path she choices. I am amazed that her DD found time to cultivate a new relationship while in the midst of Pre-Med and still keep her GPA high enough to obtain an interview into a School of Medicine! That says something about her there (and not something bad).

    Bookmark   April 5, 2007 at 5:33PM
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"To the contrary of what some believe, statistics and psychological standards play a great roll in the human makeup."

They do when applied to a population large enough to be statistically significant. When applied to an individual, they mean nothing because there are too many uncontrolled variables. In a statistically large enough population, these variables tend to even out.
Or, did you think I meant the whole population? I meant just in this situation which involves just one person.

"It seems that you do not have an indepth understanding of psychology and/or statistics to assume they are irrelevant in this situation."

I'm beyond studying probability and statistics. It was part of my job. I just had the usual psychology required by those getting a scientific degree. But, I do understand quite well how to collect and use data.

I do have to wonder about the above statistics you quoted, since sooo many people I know were married in their early 20's (right out of college), dual income, well educated. And still married 25 or more years later (25 for me this year). Granted, this is just anecdotal data and totally statistically insignificant, but to encounter so very many anomalies? I know it's not be scientific to say this - but it just doesn't "feel" right.
If I had time, I'd look into it more.

p.s. I'd keep the cat.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2007 at 6:09PM
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When I got Jasper, it was forever... how do you choose between human and feline companionship?
That was the statement from the original OP. That was what I was responding to initially. Yes I get my animals for forever, however, if I gave birth to a child that was allergic I would pick the child first. That's why I used that example. So no, sometimes having a pet for forever isn't possible. Then everything kind of escalated from there.
I never said statistics were a theory - actually just the opposite, that statistics are used to form theories.
Here are the 3 definitions from the American Heritage:
1. to speak or declaim in a violent, loud, or vehement manner: rave.--tr. To utter with violence or extravagance: a dictator who ranted his vitriol onto a captive audience.
2. n. violent, loud, or extravagant speech. synonym bombastic.
You keep asking me to answer your questions. What question have I not answered?
And thanks everyone who commented positively about my daughter. She's a wonderful young woman, mature beyond her years and extremely smart.
And I find this next statement by you laughable: It seems that you do not have an indepth understanding of psychology and/or statistics to assume they are irrelevant in this situation. I do agree, it's been probably 35 years since I took Statistics and I truly hated every moment of it. However, I do have my PHD in psychology.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2007 at 6:43PM
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I think it would definetly depend upon the area you live in. For example, Neveda has the highest divorce rates so one who lives their would form a very different opinion then one who lives in Massachusetts, which has the lowest divorce rates. So your data may just be local. Whereas, I look down my street and see a handful of couples in their mid 20's divorcing.

Also, by psychological standards, we are all very, very alike. While, ofcourse, their are exceptions that is all they are. Humans as a whole, divided by gender tend to mature at the same rate and will respond similarly to similar situations depending upon a few variables in ones own situation. To assume psychological standards do not apply to individuals is inaccurate. It is this perdictability of the human makeup that makes psychology so sucessfull.

BTW, I am one of the exceptions. I met my husband at the ripe age of 20, married at 21. Still together & happy! Yet, I still believe in the statistics.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2007 at 6:55PM
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Sorry, I posted my last message while you were posting. Didn't realize you have your Ph.D in psychology, what field do you work in? Perhaps I should have been more specific and stated Psychometric (Quantitative) Psychology.

It is found in my psychology text books that statistacly 50% of first marriages fail and that those married in their early 20's usually end in divorce.

I listed two questions above:

) Please explain how I am "getting so personal." (keep in mind this you stated I was "getting so personal" BEFORE you brought up your daughter and I responded.
2) Why are you posting on this topic if you do not think Vacuumfreak should be asking us for advice?

My final question: You said "YOUNG marriages between well educated people statistically do work." I have never, in all my studying, heard of this statistic. What is your source? I am truly interested!

As I stated, through my studies & research, I have been taught that marriages between educated people have a statistacaly lower divorece rate because they are waiting longer to marry and have children. You are stating the oppisite is true. Please, where is your information from?

    Bookmark   April 5, 2007 at 7:18PM
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Oh, boy. Hadn't read this post for a while. I still think the comparisons between babies/existing husband and dating someone for a short time are not valid. I wasn't really sure why the post was made since the topic was pretty much dead.

As for dating and young marriages, that is off topic!! However, since you started it....My first reaction, of course knowing nothing about your DD, is I also thought it was odd to give up med school for marriage. I would only hope that some day she would not regret that, but there is obviously a lot of thought behind it. I also think adams has a valid point about more educated people generally waiting longer so they can finish their education.

But your comment 'From what my DD's have said, there aren't that many great guys out there' - she is only 24!! So, there shouldn't be any rush to find a guy and get married. I'm not sure how old your other daughters are. My DH likes to comment on how when he was in college all the woman he knew were in such a hurry to get married - that was all they cared about - as if being a decent person depended on finding a husband (and a rich, successful one at that). His comments always surprised me because the woman I knew were nothing like that.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2007 at 10:19AM
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First of all.... GOOD HEAVENS! Bluesbarby, I love your post on April 4th: "This guy might be the love of her life." Still referring to the OP as a girl. I have a hunch that Vacuumfreak would be flattered to be a woman... actually wishes he was born one, but doesn't have the anatomy to classify him as such. Had you read the posts you would know that. You keep proving the same thing over again with each post you make starting with the first. You are here for the entertainment value, thanks for the laugh!

    Bookmark   April 7, 2007 at 12:52AM
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LOL vacuumfreak

    Bookmark   April 7, 2007 at 1:42PM
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This post is cracking me up.

But to answer the OP's question - IMHO - everyone knows that a loyal pet is much better than any boy! (don't they?) :)

(Especially since Jasper came first... he knew what he was getting into. My s.o. (who is allergic to everything under the sun, at some point or another) and I have been together a year and a half. He knew from the get-go that I would have a big dog, and it would be just as soon as I had a fenced yard [so I could get a rescue]...
If he ever told me 'It's me or the dog,' I'd take my huge, expensive, klutzy, bed-hogging, messy, gorgeous, spoiled 'baby' and never look back.)

    Bookmark   April 9, 2007 at 7:03PM
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From your other post, Fooscub, your allergic guy and the new furry family member seem to be getting along famously! I doubt you shall ever have that for an issue!

    Bookmark   April 10, 2007 at 7:23PM
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After dating for a few months, my now-husband told me he'd started getting allergy shots. There's a lot you can to to minimize the impact of your cat on someone who's allergic, but some people are so allergic that it's impossible. My nephews start sneezing and get hives if a cat hangs out on their porch, even if they don't go outside. I still have my cat, and they don't have problems if they come over to my house for a few hours. Mom gives them Benedryl before they come, and most of our furnishing choices were made to minimize the cat's impact on my husband. No carpet, few curtains, washable slipcovers, whole house Hepa filter, etc. give it some time and see where the relationship takes you. Also, ask Mr. Wonderful if he's willing to even try to accommodate your cat down the road.

My kitty is 15, and I'm not planning to replace her when she goes. Unfortunately, my husband now loves cats and must be physically restrained from bringing home kittens.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2007 at 9:30AM
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I once read somewhere that cats with white/light coats produce less dander than those with darker coats? Myth? Something to consider.
Clean clean clean is the trick to reducing the allergens. Also bathing the cats if you can, (I never could) is supposed to help. My sis does this.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2007 at 11:54AM
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I'd also like to say that when my Mother in Laws husband moved in with her they discovered he was severly allergic to cats. He held out for awhile to see if he would adapt. He never did so they had to find a new home for the two cats.

A little while down the road we were trying to rehome our Sphynx (hairless) cat with a family member. They ended up taking her and the husband has had no allergy problems.

While the allergy probs are usually caused by dander, the dander is made worse because it is shed with the hair. The less hair to shed = less dander around. In addition, Sphynx cats need to be wipped down daily with a damp cloth because of the oils on their skin which also helps reduce dander without receiving the wounds you will undoubtly get if you try to bath a cat!!

Our Sphynx, although registered, we saved from a cat mill is by no means a perfect hairless. She has patches of hair throughout her body. The hair she has is short, much like that of a Cornish Rex. Cornish Rex is a very short haired breed that also works well for people with allergies.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2007 at 1:45PM
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My boyfriend moved in with me 3 years ago. His two youngest children visit every other weekend. His son is allergic to cats, dust..and more I guess. Now three years later it has become more of an issue. His son is 16 and I think he is using it as an excuse to not come as often and for messing up in school because he told his father he is sick for a week when he comes here. When he is here he is up all night on the computer, watching movies, not even going in the other bedroom where the cat hardly goes. We have broken up and my heart is breaking. I have had my cat for 13 years since he was weeks old. This is so heartbreaking and also making me angry because all of a sudden it is a bigger issue.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2007 at 10:51PM
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A cat shouldn't get to the shorter end of the stick, because a person were dating a someone allergic to cats. A cat owner made a life commitment to a life and welfare of a cat, when a person becomes a cat owner. A cat shouldn't get tossed aside due to a new relationship. It's tough situation, but a person shouldn't continue a relationship with another person who are allergic to cats. I own a cat, and I couldn't live without my cat. If I were to choose between a cat and a relationship, I would definitely choose a cat over a relationship, because I made a life commitment to my cat.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 7:42PM
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If you have animals you love, why would you date someone who either doesn't like animals or is allergic to them in the first place? Yes, maybe you date one time before finding out the information but why go out with the person again?????

Sounds a little desperate to me.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 4:29PM
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The problem was solved years ago. Gosh, I miss vacuumfreak!

    Bookmark   July 8, 2013 at 12:38PM
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