That being said, I know it will never happen, because my roommate loves her stupid cat so much. Sooooooo much. Girls love cats man, I don't know why, it seems like a bum deal.
So no, you can't ask your girlfriend to get rid of her cat. For one, pet ownership is a responsibility that should not be taken lightly. You're only a year in, are you willing to make an equally serious commitment? Maybe not marriage, but are you two even talking about moving in together? Second, she loves it. A fact I'm deducing from the fact that she is a girl and it is a cat. Don't make her choose, because you may not like the answer. The cat is a guaranteed 10 to 15 year commitment, sometimes even longer because cats are horrible and feed on sadness. If you ask her to get rid of it and she does, there could be resentment that poisons the relationship.
I think your best course of action is for you to try and find a new place. If that's not an option for you right now financially, start saving for it; make it a priority. That gives you another year or two to figure out the cat thing. You're right that it's hard to see a sharing a life with someone whose lifestyle you're allergic to. And yes, owning a cat is a lifestyle. I refuse to let this cat be the demise of an otherwise healthy relationship, because it will only make its species stronger, so let's brainstorm a few more ideas.
You said that you have tried Zyrtec, which is an antihistamine, with limited success. Have you tried getting prescription steroid? Your doctor might have some other ideas as well. I know there is an allergy shot you can get, which is terrible, but might be worth a try. Your girlfriend should also try to keep the cat hair and dander to minimum, which I know can be a struggle because as stated above, cats are horrible animals that leave their disgusting fur on everything just for the sheer joy of ruining your life little by little. It might take a little extra work, but I think you two can keep the cat from winning.
I have this friend who is always very flirty with me. He isn't seeing anyone, and neither am I. We have stayed up all night talking several times and I feel like there is real chemistry there but whenever I talk about taking it to another level, he sort of mutters something about ruining the friendship and disappears for a week or two. Then he comes back and in no time, we're right back in same close, almost romantic friendship. What should I do? I know that he likes me and I like him, so why isn't it happening?
Sound like it's not happening because he doesn't want it to. He's comfortable with the semi-relationship he's found, where he can be close to someone emotionally without having to be overly involved. And you know what? That should be fine. On paper, it's the first half of a rom-com where two best buds are just going about their lives, being buddies and then WHAM one day, they love each other, starring Ashton Kutcher and a blonde girl.