Cat sitting was wonderful, but what I thought was simply a return of my cough is allergies. To cats. Probably to other critters as well, but I do not have the funds to do all the testing and then whatever, if any, treatments are available.
The diagnosis of allergy was made by my doctor and myself. No testing. No extra money, no testing. My symptoms meet all of the criteria, and since I have always had varying degrees of allergy to animal dander, and most especially to the proteins in cat saliva, it seems clear that being without a cat for nearly three and a half years has allowed my body to lose whatever tolerance I had to my own cats. If you are exposed to your own cat, in your own environment, the allergic response lessens until you stop noticing the whole mess. Decades of living with cats kept my symptoms subdued.
It just seems so unfair. I know that I have been waffling about adopting another cat, and all my fussing about the hair shedding, but I felt that I would eventually get a cat.
With the allergy issue, well, that pretty much eliminates birds, bunnies and rodents. Testing would reveal is that is true or not, but no testing. A tank of fish would be fine, and I like fish and would enjoy watching them, but I am sure that I would quickly resent the dedication needed to maintain healthy fish and fish environment.
So, whining and wishing officially over. No pets for me.
I started volunteering at a nursing facility this past week. I met the volunteer coordinator when she and her assistant were having lunch last week. It is a place I go on my thrift shop volunteer days; lunch and then work. The short story is that there were the two of them to wrangle and provide food for elderly people, many of them my age, and since I go to this restaurant every week, they know me well and allowed me to help the nursing home staff.
We talked a bit and I called their facility right after my own lunchtime and left a message for K, that I was interested in doing something there. I met with her on Monday, right before my doctor appointment and she had a need for someone to teach cribbage, a card game. I played it a lifetime ago, and said that I would try to teach myself to play it again. K told me that I did not have to be great at playing, that what she really needed was someone to mediate all the fighting the cribbage group had every week. Sort of rule-focal person.
I watched some videos on the game and knew before the evening was over that there was not any way that I could be fluent enough to resolve any of the bickering, which apparently became quite rowdy at times.
So, I am going to call bingo during happy hour. The residents get to have pizza or some other snack of their choosing, soft and hard drinks and play bingo for fake money that they get to spend on some kind of thing, I think they called it an auction.
I have two days where I have to leave the house, and once I stop being all cranky about having to actually leave the house, I am planning, with the help of nicer weather, to find at least two more reasons to get outside every week. Four days out of seven is fine with me.