Will You Be My Neighbor?

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Your thoughts and empathy have been hugely helpful. Can you all just move here and live in my neighborhood? The San Francisco Bay area has got just about everything you could ask for. I know we’d have a blast. Whad’ya say?

Okay, so as not to leave you hanging with the image of me sitting in the dark. Here’s what came next. Yesterday morning the sun was shining and I decided that an endorphin release would be a great step in the right direction. I donned my iPod, laced up my shoes and went for a jog. It helped clear my head. I then had a positively odd drive to work. Even though one of my favorite upbeat tunes was playing on the radio, tears were mysteriously leaking from my eyes.  I tried to override them by singing along but the tears kept fighting back.  I dried my eyes when I arrived in the parking lot, squared my shoulders and marched into the office.  I tapped into my energy reserves and ran two productive meetings and wrapped up a few projects. I was definitely feeling better.

Then a situation only you can fully appreciate presented itself. It keys off of a comment from Miss E about getting a pet.  It’s always been a dream of mine to get a cat. I adore them. I’m also horribly allergic — the asthma allergic — to anything with hair or fur. Fish, iguanas they’re about the only things I can co-habitate with in the pet category. I learned this the hard way. In my 20s new to a small town for a job where I knew just a handful of fellow newbies to the company, I moseyed down to the Humane Society and picked up Barney (he was born in a barn — hence the name). On my meager salary, I had filled my apartment with cat toys, cat food, cat litter, cat paraphenalia of all kinds. I wanted Barney to live in the lap of cat luxury. We lasted together less than 10 hours. In the middle of our first night I had such a severe asthma attack I had to drive myself to the emergency room. The doctors mandated that I return Barney to the Humane Society. Fortunately a kind neighbor and fellow young colleague who lived downstairs offered to return him for me. I couldn’t be in his company without risking another attack.

Fast forward to 2003 when I read about a company in Southern California that claimed to have discovered a breakthrough to breed cats that would alleviate traditional cat allergy responses.  Needless to say I was euphoric. The company began taking deposits in 2004 (pricey ones, I might add) to hold a spot for the first few litters of hypoallergenic cats. With all of the unfortunate, disappointing results from our infertility treatments thoughts of our pre-ordered hypoallergenic cat brought me a ray of sunshine.  The company sent regular updates in 2006 showing cute cuddly pictures of its test litters and hyping the great results with their clinical tests.  We got so excited we named our kitten to be: Scout. In January 2007 a notice came informing us a pre-screening test would come our way in April and with the right results we’d get our kitten delivered in June. Woohoo! Finally, a new addition to the family (so to speak).

The blood test kit arrived on time just a few weeks ago. Yeah, a blood test. Can you imagine? How many gallons have I given over the years? But I digress. I submitted vials of blood two weeks ago — yep back to the 2ww, too — and I’ve been waiting with baited breath each day for the results. My husband even went to the pet supply store to investigate pet doors and map out where the litter box might go. Are you ready? Here’s the email I received last night:

“After careful review of the results, we regret to advise that we are unable to provide you with an ALLERCA GD kitten as your results fall outside of our thresholds.”

A BFN (Big F@#^ing Negative)!! Can you even believe it? I thought I was done with BFNs! The irony is not lost on me here.  I don’t know exactly what I may have done in this life (or a previous one), but I’ve clearly pissed of the universe somewhere along the line.

What did I do? I cried, of course. I had a glass (okay more than a glass) of wine and proceeded to open and consume more than I normally would of Girl Scout cookies and potato chips.

Now I’m taking a page out of Bumble and Aunt Sassy‘s books (you go, girls!). I’m done feeling sorry for myself. I have a $3,500 refund check coming from the cat company and I’m trying to imagine how many massages and other goodies it will buy. You see, the kitten was a birthday present from a few years back. I’m going to indulge. I’ve earned it. Now if we all lived in the Bay area you could join me! Come on over…

12 comments

  • DD

    Wow. That’s just…yuck. I’m not a cat/dog lover, but they are definitely more cuddly than a lizard.

    If you really would like the chance to raise a pet, have you considered a rabbit? My neighbor has two (and a dog), and she says they are great pets and show the same kind of curiosity and independance cats do, and they can be house-broken easily. Not trying to find a “replacement” pet for you, but just a thought.

    And I always feel better after a silent and private cry.

  • I can’t believe that cat story…it’s just wayyyy too ironic! (A BFN, agggghh) I’m sorry the pet isn’t working out.

    Ummm, but $3,500 could buy a really kick ass electronic pet? We bought a very cuddly electronic dog, with fake fur? (Okay so batteries are required, but no poop and scooping is good right?)

    Nevermind, you’ll probably end up with the hypoallergenic dog my husband wants. (One of our kids is allergic to furry animals.) A Portugese Water Dog, aka a large sloppy herding dog, that I just can’t picture in my tiny little house.

  • Deathstar

    Ohmigosh, Pamela,

    If I was living in your city, heck even your country, I would definitely come by and take you out for a drink. You poor thing, you can’t even have your cat! The universe can be a Class A bitch sometimes!

    Hey, I have an idea – how about a tattoo?

  • I’m glad you are able to get your refund back but it sucks you don’t have the cat you were so looking forward to.

    I hope you don’t take it personally, though. There is a lot of controversy about whether these cats really are hypoallergenic like the company claims. I wouldn’t be surprised if all of their customers got a notice like yours!

  • I was reading your post and getting all excited for you about a pet. I’m an animal lover and have two dogs. But as I got to the end, I was just as sad for you. I’m so sorry it didn’t work out. Big hugs. I would love to come join you in the Bay area.. 🙂 I love SF (been there many times as have tons of friends in the area). Sometimes I wish we all lived nearby as well. Glad you are feeling better and have fun spoiling yourself.. 🙂 Some retail therapy has always helped me.. 🙂

  • DARN. That really is too bad about your intense allergies. I’m sorry you can’t have your cat!

  • How incredibly disappointing, I am sorry. But $3500 sounds like a great starting point for self-indulgence, I’m looking forward to hearing what you decide to spend it on.

  • I didn’t know what to say when I first read this post, and I still don’t. It’s just too unbelievably cruel that you got a BFN on adopting a cat! Are you sure the date on that letter wasn’t 1 April? I so wish I could go to the person who decided that you couldn’t get the cat and slap him or her silly. Ok, I’m sorry if that was too aggressive. Uhm no I’m not really sorry. I can’t take it when one of my neighbours, especially one I like, gets short-changed, and this just stinks. So yes, I’ll be your neighbor, come over for some coffee and hot apple-pie! 🙂

  • pluto

    Great story. Horrible story.

    > I’ve clearly pissed off the universe somewhere along the line.

    That bit made me laugh It’s the only laugh I got though!

  • Aww- I am so sorry about the cat! I think you deserve a little pampering with your refund check 🙂

  • Bea

    I’m so sorry about your cat. That’s just too unfair.

    Bea

  • I am toasting my glass to you from across the Atlantic! I love San Franciso. My daughter’s grandparents lived there for years. We spent many happy summers in Alameda, on the Bay and the river.