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Bee-stung by love

"Love," says Andreas Capellanus, "is a certain inborn suffering derived from the sight of and excessive meditation upon the beauty of the opposite sex." A somewhat limited view, but applicable here. He goes on to say that love (amor) gets its name from the word for hook (amus), which means "to capture" or "to be captured." Also regrettably literally applicable.

Oh, slight detail. I'm allergic to cats. It happened too late to be of any use to me; I'd already had cats in my life for 20 years when I acquired this allergy. I finally went to the allergist after the abrupt onset of allergy symptoms so severe it was difficult to work. He did skin testing for all the usual suspects: dust, dogs, cats, and an assortment of pollens and molds.

My cat spot swelled up twice as fast and twice as big as the histamine control.

"Well, there's no mystery here," Dr. Minotti announced.
I nodded solemnly.
"So tell me. Where does your cat sleep?"
"On my pillow!"
"Oh! I didn't want to hear that!"

The allergist told me it would quite possibly "evolve away" by my mid-30s, but that hasn't happened yet.

As I am quite itchily aware today. All day long, my kitten has been in the throes of what can only be termed irrational exuberance, which has involved clawing his way up my legs more than once. He means it in a nice way. Nevertheless, the results of those 30 or so impromptu scratch tests came back instantly: still allergic to cats.

July 8, 2002