Death before dishonor.

When I was a kid I had crazy allergies to cats. I actually had a cat when I was younger, but after that I developed a crazy next-level allergy to them… the whole thing was bullshit and I’m still kind of mad about it but whatever. The world isn’t fair.

That meant that for a while I was deathly allergic to cats, but also I was a tween girl and tween girls want nothing more than to snuggle fuzzy animals. That combination caused my parents a lot of grief.

So one Saturday we were with my dad and for some reason decided to stop by this small country antique store on the way to his house. We walked in and I could immediately tell they had a cat, I could feel it in my rapidly closing windpipe in the air. My dad knew that a tiny country antique store is basically the worst place for a cat to be because tiny country antique stores are just stacks and stacks of stuff that have never been dusted, so he preemptively gave me most of the bennadryl we had in the car, then made me swear that if I actually found the cat I would. not. under any circumstances. touch it. Being inside that ancient chest of dust and dander was one thing, but actually touching the animal on top of it would definitely send me over the edge.

My dad is a smart guy who knows his stuff, so I didn’t touch the cat.

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Just kidding. I touched the shit out of that cat. He was enormously obese, fluffy, grey, and every damn time my dad turned away I was all up on that fuzzy little bastard… and the cat LOVED it which really didn’t help.

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When we got out my dad said he thought my eyes were looking puffy, and asked if I’d touched the cat… I said no. Because fuck you dad, I’m 11 years old and I can take care of myself.

As we drove off I could already tell something was super wrong. The last thing I remember is trying REALLY REALLY hard not to breath too loudly even though breathing was getting really hard because then my dad would notice what was going on and I would literally rather die than admit that I shouldn’t have touched that damn cat.

My dad’s version of the rest of the story (because I don’t remember anything after that) was he heard something raspy in the backseat, flipped the rear view mirror down, and saw me covered from head to toe in enormous hives, eyes swollen completely shut, gasping for air.

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Luckily good ol’ Conrad is a medical professional so he says he immediately pulled the car over, crushed up all the remaining benadryl and forced it down my throat with some water, then hightailed it to the closest emergency room where I was brought back from full anaphalactic shock through the magic of modern medicine.

My roommate says this whole thing is just an example of why Aries can’t be trusted to make good life choices, because we’re all “death before dishonor” but I’m pretty sure it has more to do with the fact that 11 year old girls should not be trusted when fluffy mammals are involved. When I was a little older our insurance decided to let me get allergy shots… four shots a week for six entire years… so now I’m not NOT allergic to cats, I’m just regular person allergic, but I still keep about 12 times as much bennadryl on me at all times as a person could ever possibly need.

Because you never know when there’s going to be a dirty old antique store with a cat.

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