Yesterday, I noticed pain in my jaws. I worried it could be dental pain. I've been too long without a cleaning and those wisdom teeth never have been removed. I flipped my head upside down to blow dry my hair with the diffuser and I felt the distinct pain of sinus pressure. Nope, not the teeth. Definitely pressure behind my eyes and nose. Not cool.
Today, I developed a headache. I felt crummy. My face hurt. I took a few ibuprofen tablets but as the day lingered I just felt worse. "I must be getting a head cold" I told my husband. My eyes felt scratchy and I was foggy. It didn't feel quite like the onset of a cold, but what else could it be?
Enter the teen-aged girl, Tuna. We attend a group meeting every Tuesday evening and this particular evening she had convinced the group that everyone should arrive in costume. The temps were hovering near 100 degrees and I was going to wear a giant felt costume and I already felt like poo. Woo hoo.
As I was finishing up my makeup, head threatening to implode, Tuna asked me to come up to her room so she could show me something. She had a secret to share. All sorts of things ran through my mind, but she had a decision to make. We could arrive at the meeting, she and I dressed as an M&M and peanut M&M package and the Big Guy looking like Jack Sparrow, or we could go share her secret. One or the other- there is only so much time in the day and the clock was ticking. She opted for the meeting.
It was there, in this meeting...people dressed as cats and Pokemon characters, wearing fake mustaches and M&M costumes, that Tuna decided to drop her bomb.
"I've been hiding a kitten in my room for three days."
Suddenly everything fell into place. The swollen nasal passages, the rash spreading around my neck, the facial PAIN. Uh huh. There was a CAT in my house. I was slowly dying. Betrayed by my own child.
Apparently the kitty had been rescued from the creek bank and even spent the first day after her rescue in Tuna's backpack at the high school. She had spent the next three days in a small animal carrier in Tuna's closet and probably spent nights in Tuna's bed. I imagine she spent an abundance of time shaking her precious kitty dander into the cold air duct where I could inhale it and embed the allergen straight into my sinus cavities.
After a desperate flurry of visits and phone calls (and some allergy medicine) the kitty was safely settled with a friend's mother who will bottle feed her and get her to a vet. After she is healthy and weaned she will be adopted by another friend who does not have a highly allergic mother.
Her name was Taco- Taco the