Every Thursday, Dear Prudence on Twitter @jdesmondharris asks readers for their thoughts on a question that baffles them. She will post her final thoughts on this on Friday. Here is this week’s dilemma and answer:
I really hate my friend’s cat very much. We’ve been together for about eight months now and he’s a great guy overall. But about three months ago he decided to adopt a cat and even asked me, although I admit I was more hesitant. Although I don’t live with him, we spend most of the nights together.
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Cut to three months later and I can’t stand what I got myself into. The cat howls continuously 24 hours a day, always for food, and my friend again obeys. Even the vet was concerned that the cat was too heavy at the last check-in, but my friend refused to acknowledge it. In the meantime, I sleep very little (my friend wears earplugs at night when I’m around because he’s the easier sleeper, but insists someone can hear the cat). The cat is also extremely aggressive and often draws blood when “playing” and I just don’t want to be around. My boyfriend has also said things like, “This is the first time he’s had true love” and if I don’t love the cat, I just don’t love her. That’s not true, but I don’t have much patience left for a creature that wants to hurt me and that I can’t live with in the long run.
– Not cool with the cat
Dear not cool
I asked for help with this question because my gut reaction was that you were living in hell with a man who is not sensible and doesn’t care about your feelings. The thought of being attacked occasionally … sorry, being played with … being smeared with blood and being sleep deprived at the same time was just too much for me. I saw no hope for the relationship.
But a little voice in my head said, “You’re not a cat person.” It is true, I am not. And I’m aware, based on things I’ve read on the internet, that cat people have a different level of tolerance for being scratched up (and waking up at night, peeing on their belongings, etc.). ) than I would ever imagine. To be fair to you, your friend and this innocent animal, I asked you about other perspectives.
There were actually a few people who thought you were an unreasonable cat hater who didn’t deserve to be with this pet and said your friend should break up with you. I just can’t handle it. I think if you started a relationship without fear of having blood drawn from an animal’s claws, it is reasonable to expect that you will continue to live this lifestyle.
But the answers opened my eyes to the fact that there was hope for the cat. It sounds like his behavior isn’t entirely unusual, and with a combination of a consultation with a veterinarian, exercise, and various feeding techniques (and possibly the keto diet?), There is a real chance it could improve:
“Try feeding the cat raw meat or shrimp. Maybe he’s eating a dry mix that doesn’t nourish him. There is a lot of bad cat food for sale including the expensive ones. #KetoCat “- @ DinahMillerTX
“I think there are a lot of bigger problems here, but I agree with the suggestion for an automatic feeder. You can program it for lots of * small * feedings and it really helps with a cat in need. – @Kat_Maybird
“My cat was overweight and always in need of food. The first thing I did was make sure she gained confidence that there would always be something for her, but didn’t get up every time she asks.
Get a feeder and set it up for small amounts several times a day and night. ”- @ BerrakBiz
Of course, none of this will work unless your friend joins in:
“My cat was aggressive and loud when I first got it because it came from an abusive situation. Does the cat have toys? Are his nails cut off? But honestly, if the friend doesn’t acknowledge there’s a problem, behavior won’t change. ”- @ BerrakBiz
“The cat and the friend clearly need behavioral adjustments. Maybe check out a workout for both of them. The friend who deals with his empowering habits and stops. The cat must not be aggressive or demanding food. ”- @ Tangledcopse
So it’s definitely worth sharing these tips with your friend and hoping that they make an effort to be a good cat parent, but I have to say I don’t have high hopes for their ability to take care of the animal well treat, or – and this is the key part – to treat you well. It was widely agreed that this situation revealed some things about him that a feeder cannot fix – he is irresponsible, insensitive, and selfish. The way he treats a pet doesn’t bode well for his ability to be a dedicated parent, if that is something in your future. And the fact that he expects you to be the one to lose sleep while wearing earplugs is especially unforgivable.
“If the BF is not actively discussing the cat situation with the GF and is also working WITH her to help the cat adapt, IMAGINE HOW SHE COULD BE AS A PARENT.” – @ nerdette
“She should thank the cat for showing her what a terrible parent this guy would be.” – @ sarahmanyzz
“The cat is a distraction. You have learned that your friend avoids difficult decisions, does not draw any consequences, and cares more about their feelings than their needs. Whatever your outcome with the cat, find out if that type of person deserves to be in your life. ”- @ CleverWhatever
“He decided he needed sleep, but you didn’t? And that his cat should remain unhappy? This man does not care about the health and well-being of you or the cat; Please dispose of it immediately. ”- @ ChandrasPlate
“She has to run away as soon as possible. First, it sounds like he likes the cat because she can’t call him like his girlfriend. Second, I bet this isn’t the only problem he’s dismissing their humanity (and reality) in order to maintain his entertainment or worldview. ”- @ Ngongang
“Look, I’m Team Cat in all situations, but I wear earplugs and force my friend to deal with the howling cat in the middle of the night? Do you want to purposely sacrifice their sleep instead of bothering your own? That’s pretty bullshit right there. “- @babsvan
“Honestly, wearing earplugs when it’s over because he’s a light sleeper but insisting someone can hear the cat” is not a good sign if they ever plan to procreate. The friend seems to be a bigger problem here than the cat. ”- @ Cmgreen86
As always, I have to acknowledge that it is easier for us to tell you to break up with someone we don’t know than it is for you, someone you love. I am sure he has some good qualities that were not mentioned in the letter. So if you want to stay together for the time being, take @AlyssaFranke’s advice and get rid of cat care completely: “It’s time to put the burden of dealing with the cat’s behavior problems back on the friend. Put in your earplugs and practice saying, “I’m sorry, this sounds like something to take care of.” And answer any guilty feelings with ‘I love you, but I can’t take care of your cat.’ “
Hopefully, once you’ve got some sleep and some mental space, you can focus on the real problem: you deserve a better friend.
I live in a close-knit neighborhood. In October, my neighbor’s 16-year-old daughter ran over my family’s beloved cat. She drove irresponsibly and texted and was appalled by what she’d done. I’ve tried not to hate her, and I’ve tried to convince myself that there is always a danger that a car will hit a cat that is allowed outside. But I’m angry and the best thing for me now is to keep my distance from the girl and her family. However, the parents will not withdraw. Your daughter is traumatized and they want me to comfort them. I don’t have that in me. I think this girl is lucky that she didn’t hit and kill anyone. Is it terrible of me not to want to alleviate her emotional turmoil by speaking kindly to her?