Connor Manning was followed along the street by the 6-month-old kitten and eventually stopped to grab a selfie with it. The wretched thing was skinny and covered in fleas, but played pretty by rolling over for a petting.
Cute on the outside
When Manning tried to walk away, the cat followed him all the way home and through the door and began to take advantage of the comforts of domesticity.
Having laid this honey trap of cuteness, the cat then tried to leave – enticing young Manning, who suffers significant allergies to cat dander, to prepare a bed for it on the porch. But next time he returned home, there was no sign of the cat.
Cynical on the inside
In a textbook move, the creature reappeared one hour later and meowed at the door. Manning let it in, and it fell asleep on his lap, purring and clawing him, even as his immune system groaned in protest. He named the ball of cuteness and antigens ‘Socks.’
“I'm allergic to cats,” he wrote as he continued his blow-by-blow commentary on Twitter, “but this is truly an odd couple sitcom moment.”
Later he wrote: “I don't think I can keep her. I had/am having scary allergic reactions to her after being around her for about 24 hours.”
He offered her up for adoption, but later recanted. He spent money on food and treatment for her fleas. And then he began an ongoing course of allergy medicine. His body began to adjust to the irritants – while remaining immune to the knowledge that he had been well and truly played.
Two years on, Socks is still in Manning’s house – and has been joined by a second cat, named Sneakers.
A small viral following on Instagram continues to monitor Manning’s well-being in the company of his allergenic guests.