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#650588 - 12/20/10 03:46 AM Aunt hates our cat
kismet2 Offline
Jellyfish

Registered: 01/14/10
Posts: 144
We had to move in with my elderly aunt as she needs some living assistance. We used to live across the street but she wanted us to move in so we did before we thought about all the consequences.

She's always been controlling and a bit OCD (a hoarder, albeit a clean one) and now she is getting more and more senile...but the worst is that she kicked out cat outdoors because she hates cats. We are experiencing the worst rain system in ten years and our poor cat is outdoors. My daughter is so upset and will not forgive my aunt.

Can you offer some suggestions? I am sick over this. We've been sneaking her in at night but when she slips out of the room, my aunt has a fit. I am ready, willing and able to move out over this because I love our pets--and my daughter--so dearly but it will mean twice the work for me, running back and forth between two houses to care for everyone; and eventually we'd have to move back in when my aunt needs constant care.

Please help!

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#650597 - 12/20/10 04:52 AM Re: Aunt hates our cat [Re: kismet2]
Robin - Card Games Editor Offline
Gecko

Registered: 11/28/09
Posts: 656
Loc: Land O Lakes, FL USA
It may be hard for her, but she would need to accept your cat (unless there are allergies)if she really needs the assistance. Otherwise maybe having someone else live with her that doesn't have pets might be a good idea. That way you COULD move back home and just help out when needed.

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#650618 - 12/20/10 07:41 AM Re: Aunt hates our cat [Re: Robin - Card Games Editor]
Ninjahedgewych Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Chipmunk

Registered: 08/06/10
Posts: 1460
Loc: Portsmouth, England
Why, exactly, does she hate the cat?
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#651235 - 12/22/10 10:01 PM Re: Aunt hates our cat [Re: Ninjahedgewych]
kismet2 Offline
Jellyfish

Registered: 01/14/10
Posts: 144
The only reason why she hates our cat is because she hates ALL cats. It took her a while to warm up to our dog but no one can dislike him as he is the most gentle, intelligent, obedient, low-key dog there is. She doesn't touch him but at least she will talk nicely to him.

She doesn't like animals in general. She avoids people, too, except for family.

I've never met someone who has a such a disdain for animals though.

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#651239 - 12/22/10 10:24 PM Re: Aunt hates our cat [Re: kismet2]
Lisa - Fiction Writing Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Elephant

Registered: 06/11/09
Posts: 4108
Loc: Beattyville, KY
I agree with Robin - your aunt needs to accept that your cat is part of your family. If she wants you to live there and help her out, then the cat is part of the deal Otherwise, she needs to find someone else to stay with her.

When I was younger, my grandmother (who had Alzheimer's) moved in with us. She did not like the idea of my cat living indoors. I had babies at the time and she kept telling me that the cat would steal their breath. She would try and pick Atlas up anytime she saw him to attempt to throw him outside. He was a smart cat and learned to avoid being around her.
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#651256 - 12/23/10 12:13 AM Re: Aunt hates our cat [Re: Lisa - Fiction Writing]
Horror_Movies_Editor Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Parakeet

Registered: 05/06/05
Posts: 1130
Loc: U.K
If she threw my cat out, or even touched it - I'd throw her out. You're basically turning your life upside down for this woman, although she may not know it, and you should really tell her that she has to change her behaviour. There's no justifying it at all.
Maybe you could explain to her how great cats are - how clean they are, how independent, how intelligent. They've been worshipped for years, and sadly, feared (which I don't understand.)
I certainly wouldn't have my pet or daughter upset. Lay some ground rules - how can she like a dog and not a cat? I don't understand the logic there. If it was the other way around, dogs can be needy, but no - I certainly wouldn't have it. Not for a moment.
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#674199 - 03/31/11 04:14 PM Re: Aunt hates our cat [Re: Horror_Movies_Editor]
GoodMorningSunshine Offline
Jellyfish

Registered: 03/21/11
Posts: 173
I see it as a boundary issue. Yes it is her home but now you and your family are living there as well. If she is controlling, you and your daughter are going to experience the same control issues in different ways. But at least it is easier to deal with it in the beginning than having years to undo by habit and expectation. Set the boundaries very clearly. Let her know that your cat is not an outdoor cat and she needs to respect your wishes to keep the cat indoors. If she sets the boundary that she will not allow the cat in the house (which she has the right to do) you have to then make a decision as to whether this living situation will work out. It is not as much about the cat per say as it is with boundary problems. And if they continue it will get worse.


Edited by GoodMorningSunshine (03/31/11 04:15 PM)

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#701971 - 07/15/11 11:31 PM Re: Aunt hates our cat [Re: GoodMorningSunshine]
Lori - Marriage Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Koala

Registered: 11/26/09
Posts: 2686
Loc: Orange, CA USA
You're right. It's about control and authority. She has always had total control in every aspect of her life, including her marriage.

She hates cats. Because we made it clear that we're keeping my daughter's cat (it stays outdoors until evening when she carries it up to her bedroom), she has put up with that. But she now says that she can't stand the neighborhood cat that occasionally walks through the backyard.

She is becoming obsessed about it. She told me that a long time ago, she had her now-deceased husband get a cage to catch a cat and they took it to the pound. I told her that it could have belonged to someone! She didn't care. She said she has a right to have a cat-free yard.

She is bringing it up again and again. Then, she told me that a former neighbor had set out poison and killed a cat and it came into her yard to die. I was appalled and said that if I knew he did that, I would have reported him to the police and animal cops.

For the past several days, she has been bringing up the catching of the cats and poisoning the cat. I told her that is against the law to poison animals. She then told me she just heard on the news how a man put poison in some meat and threw it over the fence to kill a dog. When I told her that he got arrested, she said, "Well, how would they know how the cat died?" I said that they can do autopsies on animals to find out.

This is so upsetting and disturbing to my entire family! I told her that it is a sign of that something is wrong with a person's mind that he would poison someone's pet just because he was bothered by the thought of it running along the fence. She said it poops in the yard and she doesn't want to step in it and I said cats bury their feces, and I go outdoors a lot and never see any. She rarely ever goes outside anyway!

She is old and set in her ways and one of those ways is to hate cats.

Oh, and to make things worse, her forgetfulness is horrid. She got upset when she saw the cat and said, "There it is! That da** cat!!! Get it away!!!" And guess what? It was my daughter's cat! When we told her that, she said she thought the other cat was my daughter's. I reminded her that she sees my daughter feed the cat every morning and bring it in every night. How could she confuse the two when one is gray and the other is calico?

My gosh. She was targeting the wrong cat.

Either way, it is wrong to target any cat. How do you live with a cat hater?

BTW, we're not living here for our own benefit. We are financially able to live on our own and have made considerable sacrifices to be here--for her. She cannot live on her own and requires overseeing for her medical care and financial aid. Of course, we pay all the household bills, including food and utilities, etc. Cook, clean, arrange for her medical/dental appointments and transport her. She cannot drive.
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#701980 - 07/16/11 12:27 AM Re: Aunt hates our cat [Re: Horror_Movies_Editor]
Phyllis Doyle Burns Offline
Highest Posting Power Known to Humanity

Registered: 11/17/07
Posts: 17643
Loc: Reno, NV
Originally Posted By: Horror_Movies_Editor
If she threw my cat out, or even touched it - I'd throw her out. You're basically turning your life upside down for this woman, although she may not know it, and you should really tell her that she has to change her behaviour. There's no justifying it at all.
Maybe you could explain to her how great cats are - how clean they are, how independent, how intelligent. They've been worshipped for years, and sadly, feared (which I don't understand.)
I certainly wouldn't have my pet or daughter upset. Lay some ground rules - how can she like a dog and not a cat? I don't understand the logic there. If it was the other way around, dogs can be needy, but no - I certainly wouldn't have it. Not for a moment.


Lori, I must admit I so agree with Steven's thoughts on this issue. I understand you cannot simply throw your aunt out, but it is a tempting thought. To have to live with constant griping and badgering from her about the cat must be a drain on everyone.

Our pets are part of the family. Like children they depend on us for love, care, nourishment and shelter.

I had a tom cat once that I so love. He was such a polite, gentleman type cat. His name was Mr. Thomkins and the kids and I got used to just calling him Tommy. He had such a strict routine. After his morning meal, he would want out on the front porch where he sat up on the railing watching the neighborhood. My son said that is how cats "read the newspaper".

Tommy was like our little baby, even though he thought he was a dignified gentleman who read the daily and never went hunting for mice - he must have though hunting for food was beneath him. He had all he wanted.

I could never understand how anyone can mistreat or shun a family pet.

It is too bad your aunt has this obsession about cats. She needs to understand that you and your family have a life and the right to live that life your way. She also needs to understand all that you gave up to help her out.

Growing old is not an easy thing. I am sure your aunt has issues that are hard for her to deal with and elderly people need to know they are loved and have someone to help them. It is admirable that you and your family stepped up to do this. I think it sad that some people grow old with bitterness so much on their minds.

Is there anything that could be of interest to your aunt to divert her attention from lingering so much on the cat issue? Does she have anything she used to love to do? Sometimes, ignoring the negative and providing options for a new positive thing in life is helpful to get the elderly to focus on other things beside their little quirks.


Edited by Phyllis-Folk/Myth (07/16/11 12:58 AM)
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#702467 - 07/19/11 03:49 AM Re: Aunt hates our cat [Re: Phyllis Doyle Burns]
Lori - Marriage Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Koala

Registered: 11/26/09
Posts: 2686
Loc: Orange, CA USA
Thank you all for responding. Don't think I haven't thought about what you would do, Steven! LOL.

Phyllis, you're absolutely right that she needs something to do. But she is notorious for having nothing to do except clip coupons which she no longer does and collect dollar store items which she no longer can do either. And she is so stubborn, she refuses to become interested anything, except for television.

This will sound horrible but she used to just follow our dog around to watch him poop. She does the same at my sister's house with her dog. This is just plain weird.

What a weird situation. There are other, more important issues than this regarding her care (not understanding finances or following medical advice) so I need to let this one go. But I so so love animals, and it pains me that she doesn't.
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