Friday, January 28, 2022

Ask Simba

Simba's season greetings...

Simba’s season greetings…

This column is the opinion of a 3 year old African Grey Parrot named “Simba” who has an extremely high intelligence level. While he does not possess a degree from any college or university, he does have a strong opinion of himself and feels that he is the best candidate to answer the complex questions of today’s discerning pets…and the humans they own…

Dear Simba,

I must say I thoroughly enjoy your column. With Thanksgiving around the corner, I see more and more people coming to our beautiful island due to the onset of season. There is a lot more traffic, the grocery stores are more crowded, the restaurants are getting into full swing and everything is getting that holiday feel to it. In the past, my husband’s mother has come to visit for the holidays and is (in her opinion) highly allergic to my cat. We have a routine for this…she comes to visit…my cat gets locked up in our bedroom for a week. I feel awful about this because “Max” the cat doesn’t get to enjoy the holidays with us. He’s used to having the run of the house and alot of human contact. Is there anything I can do to make it more pleasant of an experience for both sides? We have a fairly large home and I really don’t see an issue with this as I never hear my mother-in-law sneeze or anything. I am somewhat of a “clean freak” so there is minimal fur in my house as well. “Max” is a long-haired domestic cat and believe it or not, he doesn’t shed that much. I would just like him to be able to go about his daily business, without any stress and without upsetting my mother-in-law. What to do…what to do…?

Stressed Out Over The Holidays

Dear Stressed,

I would like to address two things here. First your mother-in-law…then the infamous “Max”. Being that most people that are supposedly allergic to cats are from the dander on the animal…not the fur. So, with that said, you can have a houseful of fur or the most pristine home and it wouldn’t be anything but the dander that would produce an allergic reaction. Now, let’s see…there’s a plethora of allergy meds on the market that are over the counter. For instance, Claritin seems to be the #1 selling allergy med right now. Just make sure you read the labels for dosage. Personally if it is a “supposed” allergy, the chances are, mother-in-law just doesn’t like “Max” the cat (I’m a bird…I can actually relate to this). The other alternative is to keep kitty in the bedroom until Thanksgiving dinner, feed mother-in-law a few pounds of turkey dinner and when she passes out in the recliner while watching the football game, let “Max” out of confinement…she’ll never know!

Keep “Max” brushed up. Brush his fur to relieve the dander. This helps with long-haired cats as they do not have as much dander as short-haired cats. So, if a person was going to be allergic to cats, the possibility would be a reaction to short-haired cats, not long-haired ones. The third possibility is to put mother-in-law up at a resort or spa for the week (I would personally prefer this…but then again I’m used to the royal treatment). Then “Max” can have the run of the house and you would only have to confine him for a short time…until mother-in-law passes out from the turkey dinner.

As far as “Max” is concerned…he’s a cat. One of the most independent domesticated animals walking the planet. My guess is that he lies around on comfy things and relaxes in the sunshine that beams through a window in the house. He probably enjoys the peace and quiet serenity of the bedroom so I wouldn’t feel too bad for him. But I do understand how you feel about your companion. Personally I cannot wait until Thanksgiving Day dinner…I always sit at the head of the table and I am always served first. Enjoy the holidays with family and friends. It’s a joyous time of year and the best part is…we get to eat! Try to compromise with dear ole mother-in-law. If that doesn’t work…the turkey feeding method is sure to get you a great result!

Happy Holidays,

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