I usually write about music and teaching music, but this is one for the “running the business” side of having a music studio.
Like many private studio teachers, my students come to the house. I love this arrangement. There is no commute. I can grab a cup of coffee between students or throw in a load of laundry. I get to keep all the money rather than pay a percentage or rent to a commercial studio or music store.
But there are downsides. My teaching hours are restricted to those times that don’t disrupt the rest of the household, which for me means no evening or weekend lessons. I have to keep the house clean and neat and the lawn mowed. Morning students sometimes get a whiff of breakfast bacon and coffee or dinner in the crockpot. And we have cats.
My husband happens to be allergic to cats. But before you conclude that he is being a hero and a martyr to my desire for cats, let me point out that I am a dog person. He is the cat lover, so we have cats because he wants them. And in order to make this work, we discovered Ace Allergy Drops, which also happens to benefit my students and their family members who are also allergic to cats.
Here is how it works. People are generally not allergic to the actual fur or dander on cats, they are allergic to the protein in the cat’s saliva which gets all over their fur when they clean themselves. And someone very clever discovered that if you give cats a very low dose of acepromazine (a pet tranquilizer) they stop producing that protein in their saliva.
The formula: one 5 mg acepromazine tablet crushed up and dissolved in 30 ml (one ounce) of distilled water. Store it in the refrigerator and shake it up before adding about 5-6 drops to the cat’s food once a day. It should take effect within 2-4 weeks.
You’ll need a prescription from your vet. Ours was skeptical, but was willing to make up the solution for $30 a bottle, which lasts us about 3 months. We have not noticed any behavioral effects on the cats – no lethargy (well, aside from the fact that they are cats), no tendency to get sick more easily, no dullness in their emotional connection to us. They still hate each other. They are utterly themselves, even with the drops.
About a month ago we were really busy with back-to-back trips and visits from family when we ran out of the drops. My husband said he didn’t think they were working anyway, so I didn’t get the prescription refilled. Then the mother of one of my students asked me at the end of a lesson if we were still giving the drops to our cats. Her nose was runny…. Yay! They do work.
Quodlibet: A piece employing several well-known tunes from various sources, performed either simultaneously or in succession. (Schirmer Pocket Manual of Musical Terms)