Poison Ivy

I just had to look at poison ivy as a kid, and I would get a rash, or so it seemed.  one summer, I think I had it 5 times.  What made it worse was my family had a place at the Jersey shore, and I just couldn't stay out of the water, which made the itch worse ( like throwing salt on an open wound).  One of the times that summer, I got it from our cat, a beautiful white angora.  He was generally a house cat, but once in a while got the call of the wild, and would disappear for a few hours, until the dinner bell rang in his stomach, his hunting skill having gone "soft."  I was pointedly staying away from any vegetation, should those "three leaves on a vine" be among them.  Around dinner time, the cat makes his way back to the house, and as was my custom, I picked him up, tossed him over my right shoulder, and petted him into an instant purr.  He rubbed his whiskers across the side of my neck, and swooshed his tail under my armpit and around my back.

The next day, everywhere the cat's fur touched me, I had an itching rash.  The right side of my face, my underarm, back, and particularly my inside elbow, were on fire.  Mom took me to the Doc for a steroid shot, and some kind of ointment that did the trick.

Not that I loved the cat any less, but I stopped picking him up in the summertime after that episode.