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Am I being a crazy hormonal pregnant lady by suddenly plotting against our cat?
November 26, 2012 6:36 PM   Subscribe

We have an annoying cat. Now we're also having a baby. Suddenly things feel complicated. Please help me sort out what's just my hormones, what are real concerns, and what's fair to the cat.

My husband and I own a cat. She was a stray that sort of adopted us, or rather, my husband who kept putting out food for her; she's likely 5 years old now and totally indoor-only. The cat is also crazy. She's not aggressive at all, but extremely sensitive, loud and jumpy. Every ten minutes she goes tearing through our house because something frightened her. And as a half-Siamese, she's LOUD. Though she can sit quietly on occasion, it's not uncommon for her to spend hours traipsing throughout house rrrrrrowling for no reason. It's like she can't stop, and the more agitated I'd get with her, the louder her noises would become. It sets my teeth on edge, but I've learned to ignore her as best I can. She's also maddened by doors that are shut, and she needs a lot of attention and positive reinforcement to feel secure in her environment. Any time she's been stressed (when we moved, when we got our bathroom retiled, when we switched cat litter) she'll go through monthlong spells of pooping on the table or the carpet. 

I worry that the cat will stand at the baby's closed bedroom door and meow all night, and that the baby's crying will make her nuts and there will be more cat tantrums and general cat weirdness. I worry that the cat will poop on household surfaces and make us or the baby sick. 

But even just typing this out, I realize that I'm mainly just not tolerating this cat any longer. I've never enjoyed her, but since I'm a grown up who can make compromises, she hasn't been a deal breaker. Now that our baby is coming, I look at this cat and just resent all the trouble I see her causing. She's a high maintenance animal who will soon be competing with a higher maintenance baby. 

I haven't talked about this with my husband, but I don't see this dilemma ending well. He's extremely devoted to the cat and looks down on people who give their animals away*. I'm scared that he'll think I'm a horrible person and an unfit mother if I tell him how much I resent this stupid animal and how badly I want her out of my house, away from our kid. 

I don't want to bring up this conversation unless I have a good reason, because it will break his heart if he knows I want to get rid of his beloved pet. As much as i worry over and resent the animal, I couldn't bear for my husband to think I'm one of those awful people who gives up a pet when the going gets tough. However, I'm also thinking about the general well-being of our little family and think maybe there's a kernel of truth in my sentiments.

If you had a tough pet and then discovered you were going to have a baby, what did you do?


*I used to be this person too! 
posted by anonymous to Pets & Animals (37 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
So...talk about this with your husband since this has to be a joint decision, just like the baby was a joint decision, and unless you're asking for advice from his (possible) side of the fence as well then this question is unfair. You might do well to look into behavioural training for the cat, which is time and expense and effort, but then so is a baby. Look at it as practise!
posted by turgid dahlia 2 at 6:41 PM on November 26, 2012


Has the cat been tested for hyperthyroidism? Look into that. Good luck!
posted by jgirl at 6:49 PM on November 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


Do you know anybody who could potentially take care of the cat, even temporarily, if these issues were to arise? It can be next-to-impossible to 'give away' a five-year-old cat (or any cat older than five months or so), and depending on your location, no-kill shelters can be hard to find.
posted by littlegreen at 6:55 PM on November 26, 2012


Siamese cats are notorious, but some people love them and I know that there are excellent and specific rescues just for them. I do not know if such people would be interested in a half-Siamese, but it's worth a shot.
posted by gentian at 6:57 PM on November 26, 2012


Baby > kitty. Don't feel bad, bring it up to your husband and ask him to think about it for a few days.
posted by Strass at 7:01 PM on November 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Have you discussed these issues with the vet? It seems like you can clearly relate the episodes of having accidents to stressful events, and you know a stressful event is coming when the baby arrives - perhaps a psychiatric medication might be appropriate, and it might help with the random yowling too. Cats do sometimes get prescribed anti-anxiety/antidepressant meds that can help them with symptoms like these, and it sounds like the sort of thing that definitely would be worth a shot before giving up on a cat that your husband loves. There's also Feliway.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 7:09 PM on November 26, 2012 [12 favorites]


How is the cat around other cats? It sounds like a lot of the cat's issues have to do with anxiety and wanting attention. Maybe you could get another adult or young adult cat to keep it company. I know "get another cat" does not sound like a solution but you'd be surprised what a difference it makes.
posted by schroedinger at 7:15 PM on November 26, 2012 [6 favorites]


We fostered a neurotic cat for several years before we had our first baby. The cat managed with two adults but we knew she'd be stressed with a baby in the house. So I found her a lovely home with an older stable, single person. So much better for the cat and so much better for us. I've never regretted it for a second.
posted by Cuke at 7:18 PM on November 26, 2012 [16 favorites]


When I was born, my parents had a cat (it was actually my dad's ex-wife's, but she'd left it when they divorced). My mom was worried about the cat, so she kept her in the downstairs room (they didn't have a basement) / outside. I'm not sure if she was an indoor cat before that point, but my parents live in a quiet suburb and she lived until she was 18 as an indoor/outdoor cat. She was maybe 8 years old when I was born, and always enjoyed being an indoor/outdoor cat. I don't know if that's practical where you live, and I wouldn't recommend it if it isn't of course, but that's what worked for them.
posted by DoubleLune at 7:22 PM on November 26, 2012


I gave my cat away (to my aunt, so he's still in the family) when it became clear that I was too depressed to care for him properly. (He was fed, watered, and had a clean litterbox, but I was a lump on the bed and I could see that he was lonely and under-stimulated.) There's nothing wrong with giving a pet away if they no longer fit into your life so long as you make sure to find the best situation possible for the pet.

When I was born my parents had two dogs--a lovely female black lab and an insane male redtick coonhound. Redticks are known for being loving and sociable and good with kids. He was a crazy thing who bit my mom, tortured the black lab, and was generally an asshole. My dad gave him to a friend who lived alone and he turned him into a champion hunting dog who also won beauty contests. It was the best of worlds for everyone--my parents still had a sweet dog who was totally devoted to me, the coonhound was much happier in his new situation, and I was no longer in danger of being mauled.

Maybe you could compromise a bit--your husband could get a new, non-formerly-feral cat without behavior problems and the old cat could be placed in a new home.
posted by xyzzy at 7:22 PM on November 26, 2012 [9 favorites]


I agree you need to have this conversation with your husband - and you can absolutely frame it as 'I also don't agree with giving pets away as a general rule, but this cat, in this situation, is becoming a dealbreaker.'

I am not sure how many of the things you list would genuinely be harmful to the baby, but if the cat poops all over the house during stressful periods (especially on the table!), then you are at real risk for contracting toxoplasmosis, which can be really dangerous. That one aspect, for me, puts the whole thing into dealbreaker territory.
posted by Mchelly at 7:24 PM on November 26, 2012 [5 favorites]


I suspect that your cat needs more exercise and play. Does your husband play with it? Tire it out with toys? I would recommend watching a few episodes of "My Cat from Hell" and figuring out if you can address any of the behavioral issues first, before giving it away. If your husband loves the cat, it's really not going to go well if you decide unilaterally to get rid of her.

(I say that as a cat lover who is very bonded to her hyper, loud, obnoxious cat. I would be Really Upset if my husband told me he'd decided we needed to get rid of Sammy Katz.)
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:34 PM on November 26, 2012 [8 favorites]


I can see this two ways: pregnancy irrationality or using pregnancy to get rid of cat you hate. There's really no reason to believe that any of the problems you're making up are going to happen. I sort of doubt even YOU think it's going to be a problem since you admit that you just don't like the cat.

You asked and yes, it sounds irrational. Your husband is going to be pissed if you ask him to get rid of his cat before there's a problem. If there are actual problems in the future, then you can discuss it.
posted by 26.2 at 7:48 PM on November 26, 2012 [16 favorites]


A lot depends on your living situation. How much room do you have? Can you silo the cat from areas where the baby will be playing/sleeping? Is outdoor access an option?

Re the hormone thing, the only thing I can see that might be a little over the top is the feeling that you Must Decide Now. You don't! The baby will not be crawling on the floor for months. If you can keep the cat away from wherever the baby is sleeping (or if your husband can distract it/pet it to keep it quiet), then you can see whether the cat freaks out or (as they sometimes do) decides it likes babies. Cats can be weird about this. I would definitely look into what could be done to allow the cat to stay, for your husband's sake, to avoid unnecessary tension between you, because what with the sleep deprivation you're going to have that anyway.

If the cat loses its mind despite antidepressants/lots of attention/etc. and poops everywhere and hisses at the baby and wakes it up with yowling, then you can unleash the mama bear and let your husband know that the kid comes first and kitty needs a new home. You will have the high ground because you gave it a real effort.

And present it that way to your husband beforehand; get him to agree. Tell him you are willing to try up to a point, but if the cat will not or cannot behave acceptably around an infant, it will have to find a new home. Let him think about it and what he wants to do/where the cat could go if things don't work out. Make it a joint effort.

(I am Not a Cat Person, but married to someone who most definitely is. Those feelings can run deep!)
posted by emjaybee at 7:48 PM on November 26, 2012 [4 favorites]


This doesn't sound irrational at all.

What really worries me about this question is the amount of fear and anxiety you're experiencing before talking to your husband. As someone who has known you well enough to have a kid with you, he should not be so rigid or stern with you that you fear losing his love or respect based on a simple discussion. In fact, that worries me quite a bit. If he's really that black and white, make sure you get lots of support outside of the relationship and that you get help if you start to feel like you're uncomfortable or afraid around him on a regular basis.
posted by the young rope-rider at 7:53 PM on November 26, 2012 [6 favorites]


I just want to throw out there that it's entirely possible that this is at least partially hormonal. I felt that way about our cat and our much loved dog when I was pregnant with our first. After she was born, the cat actually calmed down for some reason; the dog was indifferent and, it turned out, really sick. About 5-6 weeks after our baby was born, I stopped being randomly irritated with the animals in ways I hadn't been before.

Which is a long way of saying 1) the cat might actually do better than you think; 2) you might feel better after you're through part of the hormonal stages/after the baby is born; and also 3) if you decide the cat is actually stressed out, or you just don't want to deal anymore because, hey, babies take a lot of time and energy and whatnot, then that is completely okay. (Plus what everyone else said about your husband).

never, ever discount the hormonal effect of pregnancy. that is some serious shit.
posted by dpx.mfx at 7:54 PM on November 26, 2012 [12 favorites]


You haven't even had the baby yet, and you've already worked yourself up about what might potentially happen with the cat? How about you actually have the baby and see what comes to pass. The cat is probably going to hide from the baby, because babies are loud and they smell weird.

If your husband is attached to the cat and you tell him that you resent the cat and want to get rid of it because you feel that it might be loud and weird near your baby, he's probably not going to take that well. I think that you would have a more rational arguing position when the baby is actually here and the cat is yowling constantly at the baby's door.

The cat poop is not going to make anyone sick. Your baby is not going to be chewing on cat turds. I have six cats, I'm sure everything in this house has had a cat ass wiped on it at some point or another, and despite my weak immune system, I remain unharmed.
posted by crankylex at 7:57 PM on November 26, 2012 [11 favorites]


I have a half Siamese male cat. He never shuts up. I also have two very small kids, and the cat was with us first. We even had this going on in a less than 800 sq foot apartment.

He may drive me nuts sometimes, but he certainly doesn't make the house more difficult. Choose to see the comedy of it all and I think you'll be fine.

No matter how you approach the situation with your husband it will come across as you making a case to get rid of the cat if you are pushing for it before the kid even gets here. I suggest that you give it a shot but be truthful with him that you're on your wits end with the cat.

Also, the cat's meowing won't keep your kid up. You're kid's gonna be awake all on their own :) or maybe you'll have a good sleeper and they're just zonked out all the time.

good luck!
posted by zombieApoc at 7:59 PM on November 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


It could be that the baby's cry communicates to the cat what the pecking order is. Human cries are 1000x more insistent than a cat's, such that even a neurotic cat might be STFU'd. Then again, they may placate each other thereby.
posted by rhizome at 7:59 PM on November 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


Regardless of what you and your husband decide to do, toxoplasmosis really truly is no joke, and if this cat poops wherever when stressed, that is something that needs to get addressed immediately. I'd talk to your husband and your vet in that order raising the health concern.

That said re: cat pooping, a good friend of mine is a cat behaviorist for the SPCA, and his first question to any crazy cat scat question is, "How many litter boxes do you have? Have you tried adding another one?" Even for stress-pooping, an extra litter box works wonders. Put it where the cat poops, but shouldn't, and slowly move it to a more appropriate place. Neurotic cats may indeed need 2+ litter boxes.
posted by smirkette at 8:04 PM on November 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


We found a new home for our half-Siamese cat when our first child was about four months old. He (the cat) needed a lot of attention and didn't take we'll to being displaced by the kid. He'd stalk us and attempt to jump in our laps even if they were already occupied by the baby.

We couldn't deal, he wasn't happy, so we found a new happy home for him. All ended well.
posted by alms at 8:15 PM on November 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Of course toxo is no joke, but I doubt the pregnant woman is changing the cat litter and they probably wipe down the counters and other surfaces. OP, has the cat tested clean for toxoplasmosis? If the cat doesn't even have toxo, the poop thing is just gross, not dangerous.
posted by crankylex at 8:19 PM on November 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wow, I feel like MeFi has some pretty intense Cat People, because I have to be honest, I read this question and thought "These sound like extremely reasonable concerns. Why on earth is she worried about mentioning this to her husband? Is her husband really going to be like "IT'S ME OR THE POOPING SCREAMER!"???"

Anyway. I think these are very reasonable concerns. I think, if something like this were happening in my household, I would try to approach my spouse neutrally, with the specific problems I had spotted (instead of with "Also, this cat is a crazy jerk and I never liked her and I AM PREGNANT!"). Something like "Hey, I want to talk about the cat. So you know how changes in routine make her poop everywhere? And you know... the screaming? I've been thinking about what this will look like when the baby comes. And I'm worried about it. What are your thoughts?"

And then start the conversation. Honestly, I feel like the cat is a red herring that is making things seem complex, when really what's happening is just that you have a household issue that is troubling to you, and you (naturally) want your spouse's help coming up with a solution. That is not anti-cat or cruel. Don't let yourself get backed into the narrative of how you are a mean cat-hater. Anyway, I would definitely encourage you to bring it up. I would just try (I know this is really hard when you've been stewing about something) to not start from a place of being really emotional about how much you have secretly always disliked the cat or whatever, but just be really practical about it, and then open the floor to ideas.
posted by thehmsbeagle at 8:31 PM on November 26, 2012 [34 favorites]


I'm not sure I could tolerate that cat, baby or no baby. I agree that you and your husband probably should have some kind of talk about some possible outcomes of adding a baby into the mix, but I do want to say that compromises are usually made by both people, not one of the people agreeing to put up with something through gritted teeth. I don't think it's wrong to consider that the cat may have to be re-homed. I don't think that you are being unreasonably hormonally bonkers.
posted by thylacinthine at 8:31 PM on November 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


I suggest that the first order of business is to take this from being your personal pet peeve to a shared family problem. Even if your husband doesn't mind the cat's yowling and pooping, he should be able to see that if you can't live with it, the two of you as a family unit must find a solution.

"Honey, the cat has really been getting on my nerves lately, and I'm concerned about how she'll act when the baby arrives. We're going to be running on fumes for a while, and I just don't know if I can take her freaking out and yowling. I'm also really concerned about the health risks from her pooping randomly around the house. Can we work out a better family strategy than 'grit our teeth and put up with her'? I have a few ideas--can we talk about them?"

In other words, the first step would be to make it a joint problem, not to set up a situation in which you're each in opposing corners. Even if he doesn't mind her behavior and sensitivities, he can treat them as a problem because they're a problem for you. And, if the two of you can't solve the problem together, it'll be easier to make the case for finding her a new home.
posted by Meg_Murry at 8:32 PM on November 26, 2012 [7 favorites]


I don't want to bring up this conversation unless I have a good reason, because it will break his heart if he knows I want to get rid of his beloved pet. As much as i worry over and resent the animal, I couldn't bear for my husband to think I'm one of those awful people who gives up a pet when the going gets tough.

You shouldn't accept this kind of judgment from a partner. If you have a generally good relationship, he won't condemn you for asking.

However, you should be prepared for him to make the case for keeping the cat, perhaps via reasonable measures. You don't know until you ask.
posted by ignignokt at 9:00 PM on November 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


I totally agree with the young rope-rider-- it sounds like you're really worried about having what is a very practical discussion with your husband.

I couldn't bear for my husband to think I'm one of those awful people who gives up a pet when the going gets tough.

But... you kind of are this person. I mean, not in the really negative way you think he'll frame it, but you prioritize your baby and your family over a pet. That's really okay. Dumping pets on the street because they're not cute anymore, not so much. But you should be able to have a rational, practical discussion with your husband over this without fear of being shamed. To be honest, I think this is the kind of discussion you should master ("master") if you're going to parent a kid together.

If he does guilt and shame you and refuse to listen and make you feel like a bad person, don't accept that, tell him you're expressing your feelings and have practical concerns and that you deserve to be listened to with love in order for the two of you to find a mutually satisfactory solution.
posted by stoneandstar at 9:37 PM on November 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


Um, you haven't been cleaning up the cat poop or cleaning the litterbox while pregnant, have you?

Toxoplasmosis presents a real risk to your unborn child, and you should discuss this issue with your doctor and your husband if you were previously unaware.


I have 2 cats, but I absolutely stayed away from the litter box, etc., during my pregnancy.


Besides that, yes, it is perfectly fine for you to re-home.your pet. Priorities. And anyway, it really sounds like the cat might be happier in a different household where she or he can be the star of the show, so to speak.
posted by jbenben at 10:21 PM on November 26, 2012 [4 favorites]


When I was a teenager we had a bitey scratchy semiferal begal who would climb up onto you while you were trying to eat and steal food out of your hand. He was a total monster, attention demanding, noisy, doorhating, toe-gnawing mess of an animal. With three teenagers, this was a tolerable situation while we retrained him; however my mother fell pregnant with my youngest sister and we were a tad concerned he may treat the baby as a slighty larger than normal chewtoy.

Oddly enough upon her arrival, he decided she was his baby, and woe betide anyone who fucked with her. He never bit, scratched or otherwise harmed her, and would sit next to her quietly and watch her for hours when she was small, and then patiently let her dress him in doll's clothes and drive him round in a pram once she got a bit older. He's watch her with other kids too and was basically her little black ninja sidekick till the day he died.

All through this period he'd still leave me with playful rail lines and ragged fingers and would try to climb into my KFC box before me. But my sister, whatever kid. Have my kibble, it's totes cool.

Don't discount the fact that the cat may take an instant shine to your baby. People rail on cats for being disloyal, but I'm yet to see any solid evidence of this.
posted by Jilder at 12:02 AM on November 27, 2012 [16 favorites]


I think the meat of the problem is that you hold the club here. You're pregnant and soon you're going to be a new mother. You can hold that over him and demand he gets rid of his beloved pet and yeah, he'll probably do it and he'll also be horrified and shocked and resent you for it. Or you can approach this as his wife and lay out your reasonable concerns (only those) and what you think you won't be able to handle and be open to him trying some solutions and be reasonable in terms of annoying-things-in-the-house and generally not try to leverage him into doing something he doesn't want to do just because you're the Mom. I highly suggest the latter as I assume you plan to stay married to this man indefinitely and there will be numerous, numerous things you disagree on over the years. Wait till the kids cries all night, wait until toilet training, wait until the kids grows up and you want to spend the extra money on a sailboat and he wants a hot tub. Or you want to retire to the sea shore and he wants to ski. Don't get in the habit of rallying your military assets before you open negotiations this early in a marriage. You might not win.

If the cat drives you bonkers and you hate it and can't live with it and one more stressor is going to push you over the edge, OK. Tell him that. He needs to deal with the cat 100% or build it an outside pen or whatever. If you have always resented his annoying ass pet and now see an opportunity to get rid of it using your trump card, don't. For your own sake as much as anyone else.
posted by fshgrl at 1:34 AM on November 27, 2012 [8 favorites]


If you are the one who is going to be staying home with the baby, and if you are already driven to your last nerve by this frankly horrible sounding animal, then I think it is TOTALLY REASONABLE to get rid of it before the baby comes.

Your husband may love the hell out of this cat, but unless he is the one having to listen to its yowling and clean up its shit when he hasn't had two straight hours of sleep for six weeks running--and also his nipples feel chewed to hamburger, and the baby is crying, and he's passing clots the size of walnuts, and it's hard to get enough to eat what between having your hands full all the time and the idea of food prep more complex than spooning yogurt out of a tub is laughable....

What I'm trying to say is this: you are being awfully solicitous of your husband's feelings. Is he equally solicitous of yours? Because if you're about to get hit by the baby avalanche and even under the best of circumstances it's going to be hard. If this cat is an annoying handful and he knows it, and he thinks you should just suck it up and deal--that's a really big jerk move.

You can call that "wielding the club" if you want, but fuck, you are going to earn the right to wield it in the next several months, make no mistake. Don't be an asshole about it, but yeah, you totally have the right to decide that the cat is going.
posted by Sublimity at 4:04 AM on November 27, 2012 [5 favorites]


1. Talk to H about concerns
2. Take cat to vet
3. Ask vet and human doctor about toxop. transmission
4. See if there are any possible people you know who make a better pet home
5. Wait for the baby to come and see how it goes
6. If it's impossible, set the cat up with one of the pre-scouted homes.

Anyway, that's what I would do.
posted by angrycat at 4:27 AM on November 27, 2012 [5 favorites]


You never agreed to "get" this cat, so you're not giving your pet away. Perhaps compromise - tell hubby you aren't able to take on the cat stress any more, because you want to focus on the baby you decided to have together and quite frankly, that's 'nuff poop to sort out. Also also toxoplasmosis and whatnot. If the problems persist, or the cat does horrid things once baby is born, talk then and maybe think about her going a friend who would LOVE some kitty in their life. Perhaps your husband will agree that she needs more attention than you can both give with a new baby, or maybe you'll find that you are glad of the company of your sketchy kitty at 3am when you're feeding alone and the world is asleep.

My friend's cats sensed the baby anticipation in the air and reacted quite badly (lots of accidents, and deliberates, everywhere). Once she was born, they realised she was just an extra human (not something awful, like another cuter cat!) and relaxed again- normal service resumed. Although it does sound like your cat is usually a bit of a special case!
posted by f3l1x at 4:33 AM on November 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


People > cats. Always. Only.

If you're not comfortable having this cat stood your baby, then you are not a bad person in any way if you rehome the cat.

It's not a person.
posted by DWRoelands at 5:56 AM on November 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


Single data point study: my sister had a gorgeous Siamese cat. I coveted him. But never told her, because jealous sisters aren't fun. He was also very active and very loud. A few months after her baby was born, she decided that she really could not Handle both. And offered the cat to me.

dear God, he was impossible. Wandering the house, yowling constantly unless being played with, restless and miserable. In desperation, we finally decided try him outdoors for some exercise, and wow, what a happy cat. When allowed to go in and out at will he turned into a sweet darling.

So, that is what worked in my family. If my sister had had a yard for him and had tried that she might have kept him for all I know, but I got lucky.

Good luck with with your new baby, and your kitty.
posted by SLC Mom at 6:09 AM on November 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Just one data point: One couple I know had a rescue cat who for *years* was an absolute witchbag. Mean, aloof, scratchy, yowly, more or less just a total dick.

Then they had their first child, and practically overnight the thing transformed into a quiet, needy, docile thing who gives you big sad eyes and silently approaches for a little petting. Absolute personality transplant, 100%.

God knows what was behind this - pack dynamics, degree of attention given on a daily basis, what. But just to say it's not a foregone conclusion that Feline McAsspants will get *worse* when you have the kid.
posted by ominous_paws at 7:09 AM on November 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


First: I couldn't bear for my husband to think I'm one of those awful people who gives up a pet when the going gets tough.

You are this person. You're not (necessarily) awful, but you're this person. It's ok to be this person! Your husband may not be this person, especially since the baby's not even here yet to demonstrate that yes, things will get tough. Right now, you want to give away a pet because (1) you don't like it and (2) the going may, at some point in the future, get tough.

Make sure that things are going to get tough before you make any decisions. I've had crazy pregnancy hormones of my own a few times, and...well, they're crazy.

Also, when it comes time to make a decision, make sure that your husband is on board. Seriously. When I was small, my parents had a dog, and my dad loved that dog more than anything. They were buddies. It was ok with a dog and one kid. Dog and two kids, got less ok. Dog and two kids and an infant, and the dog, possibly not unfairly (there were extenuating circumstances), snapped at (but didn't bite) one of my siblings. My parents got rid of the dog. My father, thirty years later, is still angry and hurt and sad about this, and what I internalized about this, over the years, is that my mother and siblings and I took away my dad's best friend. Even now, I still feel like we did--and feel like it wasn't fair to my father or to the dog. Don't put your husband or your child in this position--don't blame the cat for being a cat.

I think it was suggested up thread, but if your cat seems to get on with other cats, consider getting a second cat. This sounds like a bored and lonely animal to me--having a friend could make a huge difference for it.
posted by MeghanC at 11:29 AM on November 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


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