couple struggles with elderly cat’s declining health

Jeanne Phillips

DEAR ABBY: My wife and I have been together for 39 years and we generally get along very well. We’ve always had cats and dogs, currently we have two each. While my wife loves all animals, I am a dog person. I don’t like cats, but I don’t really like them either. The cats and I tend to ignore each other.
We have one who is 20 years old. Although he doesn’t seem to be in pain, I suspect he has dementia. He’s got a bad balance. He stumbles against walls and cupboards and fell down the stairs several times. He recently peed in my den and garage. I can’t ignore that.
I think it’s time to euthanize the cat. My wife calls me cold and heartless. I think when I’ve lost my mind enough to pee in my den or garage, I hope someone is compassionate enough to help me out. I’m starting to hate this cat. – FAVORITE DOGS IN EL PASO
DEAR FAVORS DOGS: This poor animal should be examined by a veterinarian to determine why it trips and falls and if the problem can be corrected. (A friend of mine’s older dog kept bumping into things and ended up having successful cataract surgery.) As for the inappropriate choice of a place to give the cat relief, the problem can be as simple as a curable cystitis – it be because, she made up her mind on the fact that you want to see him dead and are doing it to avenge you.
DEAR ABBY: My friend “Tom” and I have just spent the weekend with his older brother “George”. George spent most of the weekend mocking and mimicking me, and he even made fun of my chronic health. Tom kept telling me not to be so sensitive and ignore George’s “sense of humor”. After that, I told Tom I wouldn’t be silent in the future, and I wish he had said something like, “That’s enough, George” on my behalf.
Tom insists it’s not his place. He thinks I should accept George for who he is “since we all have our flaws”. While I want to maintain my relationship with Tom, I need to limit my exposure to George, whose behavior I consider abusive. Does this seem reasonable? – TIRED FROM TEASING
LOVE TIRED: Sensible, yes. Whether it is possible may be questionable. I agree that George’s behavior was abusive. It’s a shame Tom was afraid to stand up to his older brother, but because he wouldn’t intervene, you would have had the right to stand up for yourself, tell him his ridiculousness wasn’t funny, and leave .
DEAR ABBY: I’m 48 and married to a widower in my early 60s. We recently moved into a 55-plus ward. The problem is, every time we meet someone they ask my husband why he robbed the cradle. I’m sick of hearing My husband is a warm, caring, loving man who just laughs and says, “Yes!” How can I refute these comments when they come because my husband doesn’t seem able to? He wants everyone to like him so he never makes waves. – NOT FROM THE CRADLE
DO NOT LOVE FROM THE CRADLE: The comments are not intended as an attack on your marriage. Next time someone says so, get in touch and say, “We were BOTH old enough to know what we wanted!”
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Dear Abby was written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and founded by her mother Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or PO Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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Good advice for everyone, teenagers to seniors, can be found in The Anger Inside All Of Us And How To Deal With It. To order, send your name and mailing address plus a check or money order for $ 8 (US money) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, PO Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)
(EDITORIAL: For editorial questions, please contact Clint Hooker, [email protected])

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