Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Life...in general => Topic started by: TealDragon on October 02, 2012, 12:35:23 PM

Title: Should I tell her that her cat died? (some sad animal stuff)
Post by: TealDragon on October 02, 2012, 12:35:23 PM
I was friends with this girl Terry in college. After college, we remained friends, but she developed a severe drinking problem and would attempt to start physical fights with me and would try to pressure me to drink and drive and would also drive drunk all the time herself and she would come to my apartment and help herself to all of my food...there was no friendship at that point. After a particularly bad fight where she actually slapped me because she was drunk, I decided we were not friends, and we did not speak again after that. However, I never did get around to deleting her on Facebook.

About two years ago, she posted that she needed to rehome her cat because it had lost a leg and it was too much to take care of. No one took her up on it and she reacted in her typical fashion and threw a fit and said that if no one took the cat by a certain day, she was just going to let him go outside. I am the world's biggest sucker for animals and no matter how much I can't stand Terry, I did not feel right knowing that this poor animal was likely going to meet a bad end for no reason. I also had another friend who happened to want to adopt a cat and had no problems with a disabled cat. I sent her a message saying that she could drop the cat off with me and I'd give it to my other friend. She responded very gratefully and tried to ask if I wanted to get coffee sometime and catch up. When she dropped the cat off, she seemed like she'd really changed over the couple of years, so I said sure, we could catch up sometime, and figured if she still sucked, I just wouldn't see her again. Well, not a huge surprise, she flaked out and we haven't seen each other since she dropped off the cat two years ago.

Sadly, about a month ago, the cat died. He came down with some rare genetic disease that is unrelated to the leg, she has no idea that the cat ever had anything else wrong with him, so it's not like this would be expected, as he was healthy aside from the missing leg when she gave him up. Last week, she sent me a message asking me to catch up again. I really have no interest in that whatsoever and don't believe that she would show up even if I did agree to meet up with her. But since she did contact me, should I let her know about the cat? She hasn't asked about him at all since she gave him up, and she didn't really seem to care much about him when she had him. However, I cannot imagine not wanting to know and if I had to rehome my pet and it died and someone didn't tell me, I think I'd be upset. But I'm not sure if that's just me? Also, if I do tell her, I'm not sure how to phrase it, especially since the message would be in response to her wanting to get together again and I don't want to.
Title: Re: Should I tell her that her cat died? (some sad animal stuff)
Post by: Sharnita on October 02, 2012, 12:40:58 PM
I don't think I would.  I think that the fact that she really hasn't been in contact, never asked about the cat, etc all contribute to that.  Also, it really isn't her cat. It was but it stopped being her cat when she gave it up.  Perhaps she cut her ties and grieved it then.
Title: Re: Should I tell her that her cat died? (some sad animal stuff)
Post by: JenJay on October 02, 2012, 12:41:16 PM
I wouldn't. She didn't give a crud about the cat when he was hers and, unfortunately, I doubt she'd care any more now. If she ever asks you can tell her (if you're still friended with her and want to respond).
Title: Re: Should I tell her that her cat died? (some sad animal stuff)
Post by: ettiquit on October 02, 2012, 12:42:44 PM
Nope.  She was too lazy to care for a disabled cat (I had a tripod kitty for awhile - not that big a deal!), and she lost all rights to information about him when she gave him up.

Ignore her.
Title: Re: Should I tell her that her cat died? (some sad animal stuff)
Post by: Jones on October 02, 2012, 12:45:00 PM
I think that, if she brings it up, you can say something. If she does not, don't bring it up yourself. Frankly, since she was going to set the cat free to the wild, I don't think she'll ask because she doesn't care about Cat's well being.

I have "second hand" dogs. Surprise, but their previous owners don't ask me how any of them are doing. Well, one has, she'll send me a message every so often asking how Max is doing, if she's grown at all, can she visit, etc. When Max dies I'll let her know, but the other previous owners don't care and I have no reason to tell them anything.
Title: Re: Should I tell her that her cat died? (some sad animal stuff)
Post by: LeveeWoman on October 02, 2012, 12:45:33 PM
It wasn't her cat so she has no right to know.
Title: Re: Should I tell her that her cat died? (some sad animal stuff)
Post by: Queen of Clubs on October 02, 2012, 01:03:02 PM
Nope.  She was too lazy to care for a disabled cat (I had a tripod kitty for awhile - not that big a deal!), and she lost all rights to information about him when she gave him up.

Ignore her.

Heh, I love that phrase "tripod kitty".  I can't imagine that a 3-legged cat would be that difficult to care for, unless the loss of the leg was due to other (continuing) health conditions.

OP, I wouldn't bother telling her unless she actually asks.  It doesn't sound as if she's that bothered (what with saying she'd put the cat out to fend for itself).
Title: Re: Should I tell her that her cat died? (some sad animal stuff)
Post by: TealDragon on October 02, 2012, 01:21:05 PM
I think the leg issue was that he had recently lost the leg and she wasn't very keen on keeping up with the vet bills and wound care. He was still bandaged when she dropped him off with me and I know the friend who took him in took him to the vet right away and there was a small infection problem that had to be cleared up. He was mostly healed though.
Title: Re: Should I tell her that her cat died? (some sad animal stuff)
Post by: Hmmmmm on October 02, 2012, 01:28:50 PM
I see no reason to contact her about a cat she willingly gave up and has shown no interest in since then.
Title: Re: Should I tell her that her cat died? (some sad animal stuff)
Post by: Lynnv on October 02, 2012, 01:46:00 PM
If it was her cat, then yes-you should tell her.  But it wasn't her cat

She chose to give up the cat.  And did so in such a way as to show that she had no compassion or caring for the creature she had taken on as a lifetime responsibility.  According to your update, the cat was still in bandages AND had an infection-and this girl was going to turn it loose to fend for itself.  That isn't acceptable to do to a cat in perfect health, let alone one that had been recently disabled and was sick.   She hasn't cared about the cat or checked up on it since then.

The cat belonged to your friend-the person who cared for it and loved it.  This girl-she was merely a (bad) custodian to the cat for a while until it found where it really belonged.  She is not owed anything, except a disdainful look, if she even bothers to bring up Tripod Kitty.
Title: Re: Should I tell her that her cat died? (some sad animal stuff)
Post by: doodlemor on October 02, 2012, 02:01:20 PM
This person is *trouble.*  Don't let her back into your life. 

She didn't care about the poor cat, and won't care that it died.  In fact, you don't want to remind her that she ever had a cat, in case she might decide to get another cat that she would likely not care for very well.

If she ever asks about the cat you should tell her the truth, otherwise don't bring the subject to her attention.

You are a kind person, and project your kindly thoughts onto others.  From reading this board I've learned that many people have very callous thought patterns, and don't have any empathy/sympathy for others, whether the others have 4 legs or 2.
Title: Re: Should I tell her that her cat died? (some sad animal stuff)
Post by: YummyMummy66 on October 02, 2012, 02:04:18 PM
I would not say anything and I would have no further contact with her.

She gave up ownership of said cat when she gave him to your friend.

(And especially after reading that she was just going to put him outside if no one took him, there is no way I would tell her anything about that cat). 
Title: Re: Should I tell her that her cat died? (some sad animal stuff)
Post by: Calypso on October 02, 2012, 02:05:30 PM
I'm having a weird reaction to your question.
I've had a lot of cats over the years and loved them all dearly. I adopted two cats a couple of years ago from my uber-flaky brother because his new girlfriend was allergic to them  :o (don't ask me my opinion about his choosing the new girlfriend over the long-owned cats  >:( ). Anyway, I had to re-home one of them because the 5 other resident cats wouldn't stop picking on her. Luckily, the lady who DH used to go to for physical therapy had a little girl who loved cats, and Lily has been very happy there.

The thing is, as much as I loved that little kitty, I would be ok with not being notified when she passes. Hmmmm. I don't know if that makes me weird or what.


Long story short (too late) I think you're ok with  not telling her.
Title: Re: Should I tell her that her cat died? (some sad animal stuff)
Post by: gramma dishes on October 02, 2012, 02:18:14 PM
I wouldn't bother to tell her even IF she asks!  You can truthfully say that you gave the kitty away to a wonderful human parent who loves it and that you don't consider it any of your business to ask about the cat at this point in time.  You know it is being well cared for.  (And it is.  First by the lady who took him in; now by whatever feline deity is in charge of Cat Heaven.)
Title: Re: Should I tell her that her cat died? (some sad animal stuff)
Post by: Winterlight on October 02, 2012, 02:25:00 PM
I wouldn't tell her. She's opted out of being concerned all this time- there's really no point now.
Title: Re: Should I tell her that her cat died? (some sad animal stuff)
Post by: LeveeWoman on October 02, 2012, 02:33:54 PM
It's not your place to tell her because you didn't have the cat. What if you told her and she blind-sided your friend with a load of nastiness?
Title: Re: Should I tell her that her cat died? (some sad animal stuff)
Post by: bansidhe on October 02, 2012, 03:16:55 PM
Nope. Don't bother. She obviously didn't/doesn't care about the cat and thus doesn't deserve to know. I have to wonder if he lost the leg in the first place because she wasn't looking out for him.

Kitty was lucky she vanished from his life and it sounds like you would be too.
Title: Re: Should I tell her that her cat died? (some sad animal stuff)
Post by: bah12 on October 02, 2012, 03:29:54 PM
You're not obligated to volunteer any information about a former pet to her and I wouldn't suggest doing so in this case.

However, if she specifically asks you if you know how her former cat is doing, I wouldn't lie.  "She transitioned into her new home very well and was very happy and well cared for.  Unfortunately, her owner discovered she had a rare genetic and she passed away a few months ago. Just know that she was loved, well taken care of and happy."
Title: Re: Should I tell her that her cat died? (some sad animal stuff)
Post by: TootsNYC on October 02, 2012, 03:47:45 PM
I can see myself having to give a cat up because I couldn't care for it. (Wouldn't threaten to just shove it out of the door, of course.)

And even in the scenario I envision, in which I cared about the cat, I wouldn't feel you were obligated to tell me. Of course, I would probably ask, but if I forgot, I wouldn't expect you to volunteer it.

In the case of this girl, I'd just not respond at all. She was bad news twice, and I wouldn't bother anymore.
Title: Re: Should I tell her that her cat died? (some sad animal stuff)
Post by: zyrs on October 02, 2012, 04:52:10 PM
No, don't tell her unless she asks you.

Title: Re: Should I tell her that her cat died? (some sad animal stuff)
Post by: jpcher on October 02, 2012, 05:43:54 PM
I completely agree with the PPers . . . no need to contact her to volunteer the information especially since you don't want to talk to her anymore any way.

if she does ask, I think this is a perfect response:

You're not obligated to volunteer any information about a former pet to her and I wouldn't suggest doing so in this case.

However, if she specifically asks you if you know how her former cat is doing, I wouldn't lie.  "She transitioned into her new home very well and was very happy and well cared for.  Unfortunately, her owner discovered she had a rare genetic and she passed away a few months ago. Just know that she was loved, well taken care of and happy."

But, for some strange reason ::) I don't think she'll ask.
Title: Re: Should I tell her that her cat died? (some sad animal stuff)
Post by: TealDragon on October 02, 2012, 08:03:41 PM
I completely agree with the PPers . . . no need to contact her to volunteer the information especially since you don't want to talk to her anymore any way.

if she does ask, I think this is a perfect response:

You're not obligated to volunteer any information about a former pet to her and I wouldn't suggest doing so in this case.

However, if she specifically asks you if you know how her former cat is doing, I wouldn't lie.  "She transitioned into her new home very well and was very happy and well cared for.  Unfortunately, her owner discovered she had a rare genetic and she passed away a few months ago. Just know that she was loved, well taken care of and happy."

But, for some strange reason ::) I don't think she'll ask.

Ok, I guess I'm just over thinking things...that's what I do.  :P I do like this wording though, I will use it if it ever comes up.

From what I understand of the cat's history, he lost his leg because he got out and got hit by a car. I have no idea if the getting out was just because he was a sneaky kitty or because she was negligent...she has a dog that she does seem to love and take really good care of and she likes animals in general. She was an animal science major for a semester, which was how we actually met. Her whole dramatic thing about giving the cat away was disturbing and seemed out of character for her when it happened, which is partially why I took the cat.
Title: Re: Should I tell her that her cat died? (some sad animal stuff)
Post by: KenveeB on October 02, 2012, 11:11:39 PM
Etiquette-wise, once the person has given up the animal, there's no obligation to inform the previous owner of anything. If the previous owner had given up the cat due to extenuating circumstances and made an effort to keep informed on it, then I would feel a moral obligation to let them know if Kitty got sick or died. In these circumstances, where she essentially dumped the cat and hasn't made any effort to keep a tie, then there's no duty whatsoever.
Title: Re: Should I tell her that her cat died? (some sad animal stuff)
Post by: bopper on October 03, 2012, 09:47:20 AM
Don't ask, don't tell.
Title: Re: Should I tell her that her cat died? (some sad animal stuff)
Post by: Lauren on October 03, 2012, 10:15:14 AM
Well I'm going to come at it from a similar situation to the friend. I was given a cat in Year 7. Loved her and cared for her, but she will be the only cat I will ever have. (I'm not a cat person) When I moved across the country at 24, my parents and I decided that she would stay with them because she was old (at that point 13 years old) and I would be renting. Five years after that my parents were moving and the area they were moving into doesn't allow cats (issues with cats in general killing local wildlife, so no cats are alive) At that point she was 18 years old and there was no possibilty of moving her across the country) We tried everything to rehome her, and it was looking like we were going to have no option than taking her to the pound. Thankfully a friend stepped up and took her for us. We were lucky enough that I was able to be there when she took her, and it was horrible. My poor cat cried and cried, and I bawled my eyes out. I asked how she was at first but it honestly hurt too much to keep asking, and I didn't want to bother my friend too much. She died about six months ago and my friend messaged me on Facebook to tell me.

Yes you should tell her. The number of people that are saying no horrifies me. You don't have to get involved back in her life if you don't want to, but it will not hurt you to take two minutes out of your day to message her and say 'I'm really sorry, but Cat has passed on' When you rehomed cat for her you were happy to let her back into your life and she flaked out. What's changed now?
Title: Re: Should I tell her that her cat died? (some sad animal stuff)
Post by: secretrebel on October 03, 2012, 10:56:57 AM
Yes, if she asks tell her.

Say "she had a lovely life with friend for x years but sadly passed away in [year]". Why wouldn't you tell her?
Title: Re: Should I tell her that her cat died? (some sad animal stuff)
Post by: ettiquit on October 03, 2012, 11:35:14 AM


Yes you should tell her. The number of people that are saying no horrifies me. You don't have to get involved back in her life if you don't want to, but it will not hurt you to take two minutes out of your day to message her and say 'I'm really sorry, but Cat has passed on' When you rehomed cat for her you were happy to let her back into your life and she flaked out. What's changed now?

Your story is vastly different than the OP's.  The OPs friend announced that she was going to throw her 3-legged cat out on the street if no one was willing to take her.  This person apparently wouldn't have been willing to find a no kill shelter to take her to.  The only reason your family had to rehome your cat was because it absolutely not possible for you (or your parents) to keep him.  This woman had a choice, and she chose to no longer care about this cat.  I see nothing horrific in any of the posts above. 

Title: Re: Should I tell her that her cat died? (some sad animal stuff)
Post by: bah12 on October 03, 2012, 11:42:49 AM
Well I'm going to come at it from a similar situation to the friend. I was given a cat in Year 7. Loved her and cared for her, but she will be the only cat I will ever have. (I'm not a cat person) When I moved across the country at 24, my parents and I decided that she would stay with them because she was old (at that point 13 years old) and I would be renting. Five years after that my parents were moving and the area they were moving into doesn't allow cats (issues with cats in general killing local wildlife, so no cats are alive) At that point she was 18 years old and there was no possibilty of moving her across the country) We tried everything to rehome her, and it was looking like we were going to have no option than taking her to the pound. Thankfully a friend stepped up and took her for us. We were lucky enough that I was able to be there when she took her, and it was horrible. My poor cat cried and cried, and I bawled my eyes out. I asked how she was at first but it honestly hurt too much to keep asking, and I didn't want to bother my friend too much. She died about six months ago and my friend messaged me on Facebook to tell me.

Yes you should tell her. The number of people that are saying no horrifies me. You don't have to get involved back in her life if you don't want to, but it will not hurt you to take two minutes out of your day to message her and say 'I'm really sorry, but Cat has passed on' When you rehomed cat for her you were happy to let her back into your life and she flaked out. What's changed now?

I don't think this situation is the same. The OP only acted as a catalyst to help rehome the cat.  She was not the new caretaker.  Her obligation to keep her old friend united with her former pet is over.

Also, you clearly still cared very much for your cat and had a relationship with it's new owner.  Not the case here.

It doesn't appear that the old friend and the new owner made any kind of arrangments to keep the prior informed of the status of her cat...and if they had, that would be the new owner's responsibility.  Not the OPs.

I stand by statement that the OP is not obligated to volunteer any information on the cat's well being to her old friend, but I would encourage her to absolutely be honest if her friend ever asks her directly.
Title: Re: Should I tell her that her cat died? (some sad animal stuff)
Post by: Raintree on October 03, 2012, 10:27:03 PM
Someone who would even think about, or threaten to, or joke about throwing their cat (or any other pet) out onto the street, doesn't deserve updates. She hasn't even asked for updates in all this time. I wouldn't feel obligated, although if she asks you can let her know. Doesn't sound as though she has made any inquiries to date.
Title: Re: Should I tell her that her cat died? (some sad animal stuff)
Post by: purpleperil on October 04, 2012, 06:17:35 PM
The only reason the people who rehomed my two kitties with me will ever find out about their death is if I still work with the daughter/step-daughter of the couple who no longer wanted them. Mine were given up because the new woman in their owners life didn't care for cats and they became shut away in one room and he decided they needed a better life than that. I don't think they deserve to know their fate.

Though saying that, I did give my co-worker a few pictures of them romping and being happy for them to see a few months after they came to live with me.

ETA(posted before I was done!) I don't think she needs to know. Much like my kitties this cat was rehomed because he became inconvenient, not due to circumstances beyond her control. So I think she doesn't need to know.