I, like you, am allergic to just about EVERYTHING! I took the skin test two years ago. This is how it works:
The nurse comes in and puts drops of liquid (looked oil based) onto your skin. Two rows of about eight drops. Then she takes a pin and pricks your skin under the drops (new pin for each drop). Some of the samples include mold, dust, pollen, dust mites, cat allergins, dog allergins, yeast, etc. The procedure takes about 30min. She then leaves the room for about 15min, at which time she comes back to check on you.
She then says "Holy Cow, you're whole arm is swollen! I can't even tell where the placebo was!". At that point, you're in tears agonizing over the pain in your arm and wanting really bad to just not be awake (remember, this is only halfway through). Then you just about faint when she tells you she has to give you actual injections of the next allergens (grass and tree pollen) on the other arm. That test goes more or less the same and you're now ready to get violent, only your major weapons (your arms) are pretty useless now. She gives you a very strong prescription for the next to days and the doc prescribes Allegra D which turns out to be just as useless as Zyrtec, Claritin, Flonase, etc. It takes about a week and a half for swelling to go away entirely and about two more weeks for scabs from punctures to completely heal.
OK, so it may not go EXACTLY like that for everyone, but you get my point.
Anyway, I've always been terribly allergic to cats. As soon as I enter a house with cats, I get congested, itchy and my chest gets tight. A friends cat scratched me (playfully) and my arm got inflamed.
Needless to say, I'm the last person to own a cat, right? Well, not really. My allergist said that shots might help and I'm too damn stubborn to listen to reason, so I went to a lady who had siamese kittens, with the full expectation that I would bring one home and begin getting allergy shots. Well, I went into her basement where she kept the kittens in a cage (she was a horrible BYB, but thats neither here nor there) The mama cat and big brother cat were free to roam the basement. My allergies kicked in immediately, but a cute little kitten climbed into my purse and demanded that I take him home. Duke (who still likes to sleep in my purse) has been with us for six months now and I have not had one single allergic reaction to him... Ever! I visit the pet department at Petsmart, and I'm still allergic to the cats there. It just goes to show that Duke and I were meant to be!
Now, this whole blathering of mine is not meant to encourage you to go and get a cat. Especially if you can't afford shots, given the possibility that you may be allergic to the cat. Its more to show that its NOT totally true that if you're allergic to one cat, you're allergic to them all.
But to be a little rational here, I should also add that cats like the siamese have shorter hair and lack a 'down' coat like most other cats. They don't have to groom themselves as much as other cats either, and so it may be that they produce less of the allergen that makes us react so badly. I'm getting a bengal cat soon as well. Same story with their coats.*crosses fingers*
Also, I should add that I don't take any allergy medications, we have carpet in our main room, I don't vacuum a lot, and we only change the sheets once a week. In fact, its not until I DO vacuum that I start sneezing and breaking out. I do believe that Duke and I got lucky