Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Life...in general => Topic started by: NutellaNut on January 10, 2013, 10:19:43 AM

Title: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: NutellaNut on January 10, 2013, 10:19:43 AM
BG 1: I am a Crazy Cat Lady in training.  We only have three cats, but I am very attached to them.  This is very obvious to all of my friends.  Our cats are part of our family.  Even my DH mourns tremendously when we lose one of our loved pets.

BG 2: One of our cats, Tristy, was thrown out of her house by neighbors and left to fend for herself for months, despite being declawed.  As she got skinnier and skinnier we began feeding her and adopted her.  We've had her for 3 years now; she is a snuggle-bunny and very attached to me in particular. 

Unfortunately, she also gets stressed when we go away for several days, which we do a couple times a year.  She took to peeing on the bed when we were away.  I coped by making a waterproof cover for the bed for when we were away (didn't want to shut her out of her territory and have her end up peeing somewhere else anyway).  She always stopped the peeing inappropriately within a couple days of our return.  But this last time, after August, she didn't stop.  She also started peeing on our living room couch.  My DH was extremely unhappy about her peeing on the bed, and I certainly didn't like having to wash all of the blankets, sheets, mattress pad, every couple of days.  The couch is not quite so bad because I got some waterproof pads and put them under an upholstery throw in the spot where she goes, which makes cleanup easier. 

Over the past few months, we've done some behaviour modification (ours and hers) - having active play time every day, changing the litter box configuration and cleaning them thoroughly more frequently (my DH's job, actually), and I'm relieved to say that things have improved a lot.  She's stopped peeing on the bed altogether, and tapered off eliminating on the sofa.  In fact <whispers> it's been almost two weeks since the last time.  Hopefully the situation will continue to improve.  I'm committed to helping her overcome this problem, and though my DH had some bad moments when she was still eliminating on the bed, now that he's seen improvement he also is happy that we're working on it.

My question is this:  several times now, when talking about the situation with friends or relatives, people have said things like, "If that was my cat, she'd be out on her butt in a heartbeat!" or "I'd kick her <ruder word for butt> across the room and she'd never do it again!" or even, "Time to put that cat to sleep!"  These statements really bother me.  I'm not diminishing how annoying this behavior is, and I do know that sometimes, drastic measures have to be taken.  I'm definitely OK with people making serious suggestions about how to handle this difficult situation.  But people were saying this flippantly and callously when I was talking about the research I was doing or the animal behaviorist I was trying to contact, to improve the situation, and making it clear that we were trying less awful options first.  And they certainly know how I feel about my pets.

So far, I've managed to mildly reply, "I guess that's easy to say when it isn't a beloved member of your family," and leave it at that.  I'm hoping things are so much improved that this won't be a matter of conversation any more, but if someone says something similar again, is there anything better I can say or do to make it clear I don't find such talk helpful or kind?
Title: Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: TootsNYC on January 10, 2013, 10:26:11 AM
I think part of what those people are saying is that they don't really want to hear that much about it.

So the best solution is to not go into such detail about your cats' lives.

Think about this: If they WERE your actual children, would you talk in such detail about the fact that they wet the bed? I wouldn't; I'd respect their privacy more.

So if your cats are your kids, maybe you shouldn't reveal quite so much about this.


(and you *have* had her checked out by the vet, yes?)
Title: Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: CL32 on January 10, 2013, 10:37:09 AM
Hi,

First, congratulations on the results of the behavior modification. I know that it takes a lot of patience and hard work. :)

I'm also a cat lady, and I love my cats as members of the family. I would rather sacrifice my carpet and furniture than get rid of a cat.

Anyway....I'd say that it's just not worth trying to reason with these people. What they say is rude and hurtful, but they just don't get it. Some people don't feel compassion for animals the way we do, and will never understand people who do. I think the best approach is to repeat, beandip, repeat, etc. Come up with a stock phrase, like "This is how we've chosen to handle it" or "Well, we feel differently", then change the subject. It's probably a waste of energy to keep explaining yourself over and over.

Good luck. : :D
Title: Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: magicdomino on January 10, 2013, 10:39:39 AM
My sympathies, NutellaNut.  I also have a cat with Issues. 

Fortunately, there are enough pet lovers among my acquaintances that they don't say anything really obnoxious -- that and I don't talk about Domino's problems to people who wouldn't understand.  If someone does say something, my first answer will be flippant:  "Eh, I keep him for his good looks."  "I enjoy the challenge."

More hostile comments get a cold stare and a dry, "Good thing he isn't yours, isn't it?"  Then I walk away.  I don't like that kind of people.
Title: Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: NyaChan on January 10, 2013, 10:45:40 AM
I agree with Toots - it is very possible that you are over-sharing on this subject.  I really like that analogy too.   

We had a similar problem with my cat - we did not talk about it with others because we figured that it would hold no interest for them and quite possibly would gross them out.  Cleanliness in the house is a HUGE deal to us for religious reasons as well as my parents' way of living, so eventually they did give my cat away.  Didn't mean we didn't love the cat, it just meant we couldn't give her a good home anymore as we couldn't risk having her in certain key areas of the house. 
Title: Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: pearls n purls on January 10, 2013, 10:49:44 AM
I have a cat that often pees on the carpet.  My mother is driving me nuts because she keeps saying we should put him down.  (He did have some medical issues last year and about a dozen trips to the vet, and while his life span is likely going to be shorter, he's not in pain and appears to be a very happy kitty.)

I generally bean dip, but the comments upset me.  My mom has gotten worse lately as my dh and I will have a baby soon.  She send me emails complaining about the cats in my home and telling me what we should do about it.  Putting the cats down or kicking them out of the house are not options.
Title: Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: SiotehCat on January 10, 2013, 10:55:48 AM
I think part of what those people are saying is that they don't really want to hear that much about it.

So the best solution is to not go into such detail about your cats' lives.

Think about this: If they WERE your actual children, would you talk in such detail about the fact that they wet the bed? I wouldn't; I'd respect their privacy more.

So if your cats are your kids, maybe you shouldn't reveal quite so much about this.


(and you *have* had her checked out by the vet, yes?)

I agree with this and I am a crazy cat lady.

I don't talk about my cats or my child unless I am with people that are genuinely interested. I guess that's true with everything. Movies, hobbies, family, etc...

I just dont think these people are interested.
Title: Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: Ambrosia Hino on January 10, 2013, 10:59:25 AM
I have one cat with some issues as well. And I have firm beliefs that when taking on a pet, its a lifelong commitment.

Kali used to pee everywhere. She prefered plastic-y things on the floor, but occasionally would pee on my bed. Finally, one day she did that while I was still sleeping in the bed, and I took her to the vet, because that just wasn't normal. Yes, it took me awhile, I was pretty broke at the time. Turns out, she had a rather nasty UTI that took several rounds of meds to knock out. Now, we have an agreement - I keep puppy training pads around the litter box, and when she doesn't like the look of it, she pees there (that started because of an elderly kitty who missed...now we just have one that unleashed chemical warfare in there). If its "too terrible" for whatever reason, she pees in my bathtub instead. The litterbox is changed regularly - sometimes she's doing this even just a few hours later due to StinkyKitty.

I've only had a few people make negative comments about her or any of my pets. There were a few during her "pee on everything" stage, which I just kept responding that I was trying to come up with money for a visit to the vet. The ones that used to be the least understanding, now have pets of their own (dogs, but still) and are "get it" now. I just started having long-term pets very early on (thank you Mom!)
Title: Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: NutellaNut on January 10, 2013, 11:00:03 AM
OP here!

I didn't mean to make it sound like I talk about this a lot - usually, the topic came up because a guest was about to sit on the couch, and I wanted to warn them to check that the couch was OK.  There was a time when things would be fine at the start of a visit, we'd leave the room, and the cat might go on the couch (not always possible to shut the cat away during a visit).  I was terribly self-conscious about the chance that someone could have their clothes soiled.  So I'd warn them to check, and I'd talk about how we were trying to solve the problem.   Should I have said nothing and let them sit down and chance them sitting on piddle?  It was a conundrum.   Now that it isn't happening so much, I don't feel the need to warn everyone the same way.

But the point is taken about not talking about it to people (which really has tapered off already, anyway).

And Nyachan, I apologize, I did not mean to imply that giving away the cat means you don't love them.  I know (better than some, I bet!) how difficult the situation is, and I really do recognize that sometimes really hard decisions have to be made.  My upset isn't about people who've had to make such a difficult choice, it's about people who heard about the problem and think it's OK to say very flippantly that I should boot my cat out of the house (letting her starve to death as a cat who can't hunt for herself) or just outright put her to sleep, when they know very well that such options would be really painful (if not impossible) for me to consider.

--  Oh, and we have taken her to the vet, who couldn't find anything wrong medically and said it certainly seemed behavioral.  I really think it starts because the litterbox isn't cleaned well while we're away.  Every time she's peed on the couch the last two months, the litter hadn't been cleaned in three days or so.  So we'll have to clean more frequently, and have the cat-watchers clean the litter when we're away.

(two replies while posting)
Title: Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: Bexx27 on January 10, 2013, 11:06:34 AM
This is a sore spot for me. I probably wouldn't be able to help myself from launching into a spiel about how pets are not accessories, they're members of the family and a lifetime commitment, etc. Maybe not ehell approved, but I doubt I'd hear anymore about it from that person.

I do like the phrase you've been using and I see nothing wrong with adding, "I don't find such talk helpful or kind."
Title: Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: Jeremy on January 10, 2013, 11:10:14 AM
My question is this:  several times now, when talking about the situation with friends or relatives, people have said things like, "If that was my cat, she'd be out on her butt in a heartbeat!" or "I'd kick her <ruder word for butt> across the room and she'd never do it again!" or even, "Time to put that cat to sleep!"  These statements really bother me.  I'm not diminishing how annoying this behavior is, and I do know that sometimes, drastic measures have to be taken.  I'm definitely OK with people making serious suggestions about how to handle this difficult situation.  But people were saying this flippantly and callously when I was talking about the research I was doing or the animal behaviorist I was trying to contact, to improve the situation, and making it clear that we were trying less awful options first.  And they certainly know how I feel about my pets.

I'm not a cat person, but if anybody said those things about my dog who, bless him, has a few issues of his own, I'd be rather annoyed, and I'd tell them so.  It isn't rude to let them know that you don't like comments like about your pets, and could they please not say things like that again to you.
Title: Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on January 10, 2013, 11:14:16 AM
I gave a cat away once not because I didn't love her, cause I did and still miss her as she was my first cat.  It was in college, and as I was moving cross country and had been told that cats got stressed out on flights so I gave her to a friend who was staying local since she knew the cat and the kitty was comfortable with her.  Well really my kitty liked everyone. I often said she was a confused cat who thought she was a dog.

I wouldn't even think of kicking a cat out of the house though, claws or no claws! 

And I think I'd be letting a friendship cool with those who said they'd kick the cat across the room.  >:( >:(

I know there are people who don't think as much about animals and they have the right to feel that way, but when they make the comments about harming animals, that upsets me.   Even if they're talking about snakes, which make me nervous but I still wouldn't want one hurt.
Title: Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: Eden on January 10, 2013, 11:15:16 AM
OP, I understand the hurt feelings and frustration. I'd probably be very judicious about how much I shared and with whom. Beyond that I'd probably respond along the lines of, "Good thing it's not your cat, then!" and change the subject.
Title: Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: Zilla on January 10, 2013, 11:22:20 AM
I would react a little and say, "Wow, well yeah I wouldn't do that with my cats.  Bean dip?"


And change the subject.  No matter what others would tolerate or not tolerate, that isn't a pleasant thing to say about someone's pet.
Title: Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: WillyNilly on January 10, 2013, 11:24:51 AM
OP here!

I didn't mean to make it sound like I talk about this a lot - usually, the topic came up because a guest was about to sit on the couch, and I wanted to warn them to check that the couch was OK.  There was a time when things would be fine at the start of a visit, we'd leave the room, and the cat might go on the couch (not always possible to shut the cat away during a visit).  I was terribly self-conscious about the chance that someone could have their clothes soiled.  So I'd warn them to check, and I'd talk about how we were trying to solve the problem.   Should I have said nothing and let them sit down and chance them sitting on piddle?  It was a conundrum.   Now that it isn't happening so much, I don't feel the need to warn everyone the same way.

To be honest?  I'd want to leave your house right then.  Simply checking is not enough for me, I would not want to sit on an sofa in your home if you live in a home where sofas = pet toilets.  I would be really uncomfortable and honestly a bit insulted/resentful you had me over to begin with knowing you were going to offer me a sofa to sit on that your cat routinely urinates on.  Not everyone has a home appropriate for entertaining guests, and thats ok, but it not ok to not recognize you are one of them.

I am a cat person, and for 2 years I had a bag of lactated ringers solution hanging from a hook in my living room to give my now passed cat subcutanious fluids.  I get loving your cat and making your home appropriate for the cats medical needs.  But that doesn't make foisting your cat-urine home on others acceptable. 

So I really think people are reacting to that.  Its disgusting to even hear about the problem, but you are directly involving people in the problem - of course they are going to have strong immediate reactions!
Title: Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: CluelessBride on January 10, 2013, 11:27:26 AM
I think part of what those people are saying is that they don't really want to hear that much about it.

So the best solution is to not go into such detail about your cats' lives.

Think about this: If they WERE your actual children, would you talk in such detail about the fact that they wet the bed? I wouldn't; I'd respect their privacy more.

So if your cats are your kids, maybe you shouldn't reveal quite so much about this.


(and you *have* had her checked out by the vet, yes?)

While it may be true OP is oversharing (although given her update, I don't think that's the issue), it doesn't excuse the inappropriateness of the friends remarks. If a friend was oversharing about their kids bedwetting, it would not be okay to suggest beating, euthanizing or adopting out the child.

Honestly, someone telling me they'd have an animal put down for peeing in their house instead of even attempting behavioral modification would tell me a lot about that person. Not the type of person I would want to be friends with anyway.
Title: Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: Girlie on January 10, 2013, 11:29:37 AM
Argh. I understand your frustration, OP.

Where I work, I have some people who like to (and ask to) see pictures of my cats. These include co-workers and cutomers. I am proud of my beautiful babies and am always happy to oblige.

Then I have some people who would rather not spend a great deal of time talking about cats, or animals at all, and I try not to bring up my babies as much as possible (although I add in here that for some reason, these exact same people seem to have the impression that I DO want to hear all about their children and grandchildren).

Then I have a few co-workers (one in particular) who, upon overhearing me talking about cats to a fellow employee, made a point of telling me that she hates cats, once had a cat who took up hanging around her house, and that "the best day of her life was the day that cat was run over!"
Evil. Pure evil, IMHO.

All that to say that some people, for whatever reason, just don't "get it." And some people need to be heartily shunned for saying things that shouldn't be said. 
Title: Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: TootsNYC on January 10, 2013, 11:30:14 AM
yeah, i kind of agree with WillyNilly, after hearing the info in your update.

Even if she peed on the sofa cushion yesterday, I don't want to sit on it.
Title: Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: bansidhe on January 10, 2013, 11:45:46 AM
This is a sore spot for me. I probably wouldn't be able to help myself from launching into a spiel about how pets are not accessories, they're members of the family and a lifetime commitment, etc. Maybe not ehell approved, but I doubt I'd hear anymore about it from that person.

I do like the phrase you've been using and I see nothing wrong with adding, "I don't find such talk helpful or kind."

I totally agree with all of this and I have - on more than one occasion - given such a spiel. One particularly nasty person got the spiel plus a question that I'm fairly certain would not be ehell approved, followed by the cut direct.

I like Bexx27's "I don't find such talk helpful or kind" but if you encounter someone who persistently makes obnoxious comments even after this, you may need to take stronger measures, such as flat-out telling the person that you will no longer tolerate such comments.
Title: Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: BeagleMommy on January 10, 2013, 11:48:05 AM
Nutella, it sounds like Kitty has seperation anxiety/fear of abandonment.  She probably remembers her previous owners leaving her to her own devices and feeling scared and hungry.  She's stressed.  It takes time, but you can train her with gentle behavior modification.

For those who make comments, "Glad she's not your cat then" works fine.
Title: Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: triciadi on January 10, 2013, 12:03:22 PM
It seems people are often quick to make comments about our beloved pets that they would never make about our children.  I have a cat who is very much a "one-person-cat" and likes to be left alone.  The cat and I have a very good understanding of each other and co-habit quite nicely. 

I have a friend (who does have cats herself) who often visits with her daughter (who isn't a kid - the daughter is 31) who won't leave the cat alone.  She pokes at her and teases her and then often gets clawed or bitten.

I finally had to yell at the mother who yelled at the cat for biting her daughter.  Any reasonable adult understands that if you poke and tease an animal, there will be consequences so don't yell at the animal!

Would you yell at one of my kids if they were being poked and then defended themselves?

I've been told many times that I should just get rid of the cat.  My response - "Really?  Why?"

I think you could use a similar response. 
Title: Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: Moray on January 10, 2013, 12:10:10 PM
I also like Bexx27's "I don't find such talk helpful or kind" for dealing with these comments.

On another note, I can tell you that if any of my cats had to deal with 3 days of their own waste they'd refuse to use the litter box, too. Cats are very clean and fastidious creatures and what you describe (messing elsewhere if the box is dirty) is actually pretty common behavior. It might be a good idea to have a friend or relative stop by next time you're gone to scoop the box, or at least set out another litter box so she has more clean litter to go through.
Title: Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: Bexx27 on January 10, 2013, 12:15:05 PM
I also like Bexx27's "I don't find such talk helpful or kind" for dealing with these comments.

On another note, I can tell you that if any of my cats had to deal with 3 days of their own waste they'd refuse to use the litter box, too. Cats are very clean and fastidious creatures and what you describe (messing elsewhere if the box is dirty) is actually pretty common behavior. It might be a good idea to have a friend or relative stop by next time you're gone to scoop the box, or at least set out another litter box so she has more clean litter to go through.

Just want to point out that I took the phrase "I don't find such talk helpful or kind" directly from the OP. It seems several of us agree that it's perfectly fine to say.
Title: Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: Moray on January 10, 2013, 12:17:49 PM
I also like Bexx27's "I don't find such talk helpful or kind" for dealing with these comments.

On another note, I can tell you that if any of my cats had to deal with 3 days of their own waste they'd refuse to use the litter box, too. Cats are very clean and fastidious creatures and what you describe (messing elsewhere if the box is dirty) is actually pretty common behavior. It might be a good idea to have a friend or relative stop by next time you're gone to scoop the box, or at least set out another litter box so she has more clean litter to go through.

Just want to point out that I took the phrase "I don't find such talk helpful or kind" directly from the OP. It seems several of us agree that it's perfectly fine to say.

LOL! Good job for picking it out, then :D
Title: Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: spookycatlady on January 10, 2013, 12:27:40 PM
This is something that I very recently went through. 

I opted for the following stock phrase:

"Please tread lightly.  I take my responsibility to my pets very seriously."  If the person was family, they would get an added phrase, "This is as close as I will ever get to having children." 

I noticed that many people backed off considerably when I said that, often getting a little defensive, "I was just kidding..."  I would not allow them to get away with it.  I would just repeat, "I take responsibility for a living being in my care seriously."  I think it's good they get defensive.  It's good that they feel uncomfortable.  If the person was someone I'm unfamiliar with, they would the 'tread lightly', combined with eyebrows raised/lips pressed together tightly/awkward silence treatment.

The reason the topic came up so much... my husband like to complain... a lot.

Title: Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: TootsNYC on January 10, 2013, 12:44:47 PM
It seems people are often quick to make comments about our beloved pets that they would never make about our children.  I have a cat who is very much a "one-person-cat" and likes to be left alone.  The cat and I have a very good understanding of each other and co-habit quite nicely. 

I have a friend (who does have cats herself) who often visits with her daughter (who isn't a kid - the daughter is 31) who won't leave the cat alone.  She pokes at her and teases her and then often gets clawed or bitten.

I finally had to yell at the mother who yelled at the cat for biting her daughter.  Any reasonable adult understands that if you poke and tease an animal, there will be consequences so don't yell at the animal!

Would you yell at one of my kids if they were being poked and then defended themselves?

I've been told many times that I should just get rid of the cat.  My response - "Really?  Why?"

I think you could use a similar response.

Why didn't you speak to the 31-year-old daughter, presumably a reasonable adult (since you didn't say anything different), and tell her, "Leave me cat alone!"

And before it got to that point, why didn't you pick up the cat and take him to the bedroom and close the door so he could be in peace?
Title: Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: MamaMootz on January 10, 2013, 12:46:16 PM
Have to say I'm with WillyNilly and Toots on this one - I would not be too jazzed about sitting on a cat peed on sofa either, and I am one of the crazy cat ladies on the board as well.

I will say that people who usually make those kinds of comments to me really dislike cats. Some people are just not cat people, and they consider them as less, somehow. I don't know if I'm making sense or articulating what I'm trying to say.

But I would not take kindly to anyone telling me to euthanize or adopt kitty out, either. I like what spookycatlady said or Bexx. Both are good replies.
Title: Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: NutellaNut on January 10, 2013, 01:11:23 PM
To clarify - the last time the actual couch upholstery was peed on was the beginning of September, and it's been thoroughly cleaned since then.  What she pees on now are disposable or washable incontinence pads and a cotton cover which is sanitized each time.  In warning people I also offer other seats to them (some of which aren't even upholstery, so clearly not peed upon) and no one has ever taken me up on it - they've just checked that the spot they were about to use wasn't wet and sat down.  They've also come back to enjoy my hospitality since then.    We are actually the ones in our circle who host the most, and I'm pretty sure my friends don't consider my house so disgusting that I shouldn't have people over.

It sounds like I need to keep on the track I'm on - keep working on correcting the problem, don't bring it up to people any more, and speak politely the phrases mentioned here when someone says something untoward.  Thank you all for the feedback!
Title: Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: Lynn2000 on January 10, 2013, 01:19:59 PM
My reactions are along the lines of TootsNYC and WillyNilly. If you are talking about bodily fluids in more detail than someone wants to hear, and especially if you tell them they might be about to sit in some--I can see how the first thing that comes to mind might be something flippant and negative. I'm not saying they're right to do that; I do get angry at people who don't seem to understand the commitment that having a pet takes--that's why I don't have any myself, because I'm not ready to make that commitment to a living creature. But, they may feel extremely uncomfortable with the situation and not know what else to say in the moment.

I remember a thread on here about someone who had a pet snake, and people were always saying to her how much they hated snakes and wanted to kill them--AFTER she'd said one was her pet. Although I don't think I would have said anything that violent (I'd run from a snake before I'd try to kill it), I'd honestly never thought that much about it before and probably would've been one of the people who said, "Ew. A snake?" So I learned from that to be more respectful of the choices people were telling me about.

Maybe a response like, "You know, I don't think that's very nice. How would you feel if I said that about your dog/child/aging parent when you talked about their problems?" I think if you were able to say this in a calm tone, it might help them to better understand how you hear what they say.
Title: Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: Sharnita on January 10, 2013, 01:25:17 PM
I might treat it as if it weren't a flippant comment. Maybe reply "Yes it is a difficult decision and everyne has to make it for themselves" That way you aren't criticizing their values but you are making it clear that the issue is not one that you handle dismissively.
Title: Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: ettiquit on January 10, 2013, 01:26:57 PM
I know people who have put down cats for this very reason.  I find the practice abhorrent. 

I also have a 16 year old cat who has had bathroom problems pretty much since I got him (floor only).  It's frustrating, embarrassing, and yes, disgusting.  Probably anyone who made comments like the ones said to the OP would be told that they should never be pet owners. 

OP - I'm glad your kitty is getting better, and I'm sure you are thoroughly cleaning the spots on the couch so that they're safe to sit on.
Title: Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: TurtleDove on January 10, 2013, 01:31:53 PM
I am allergic to cats and don't really care to be around animals in general.  I would never say anything like what the people said in the OP.  That is out of line, and the OP has gotten plenty of good advice on what to say to them.

I just wanted to add my POD to the posters who are a bit disturbed by the situation in general.  I would not want to hear about the cat peeing, and I most definitely would not want to walk through, sit, or eat anything in a house where I now know a cat pees outside its litter box (litter boxes gross me out in general, but I grasp that what cats use).  It's not a judgment on the OP, it's a fact of life.   I don't ever want to touch cat pee in any shape or form.

I think it's a know your audience kind of thing.  OP, don't invite people who have said rude things about your cats to your house.  Also, for me, being told, "My cat peed where you are sitting, but don't worry - I cleaned it," would have the same effect as "my cat peed where you are sitting." :)
Title: Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: edgypeanuts on January 10, 2013, 01:38:27 PM
I am a cat vet and I hear these comments somewhat regularly.  From clients, I try to explain the problem from the cat's point of view and how we can fix it, but socially, I have little tolarance, esp if the people know what I do for a living.

I have been known to thank people for their input and tell them that I hope their children will give them the same consideration when picking out their nursing homes.  I do not hide my disgust. 
Title: Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: TootsNYC on January 10, 2013, 01:43:56 PM
To clarify - the last time the actual couch upholstery was peed on was the beginning of September, and it's been thoroughly cleaned since then.  What she pees on now are disposable or washable incontinence pads and a cotton cover which is sanitized each time.  In warning people I also offer other seats to them (some of which aren't even upholstery, so clearly not peed upon) and no one has ever taken me up on it - they've just checked that the spot they were about to use wasn't wet and sat down.  They've also come back to enjoy my hospitality since then.    We are actually the ones in our circle who host the most, and I'm pretty sure my friends don't consider my house so disgusting that I shouldn't have people over.

It sounds like I need to keep on the track I'm on - keep working on correcting the problem, don't bring it up to people any more, and speak politely the phrases mentioned here when someone says something untoward.  Thank you all for the feedback!

Don't you remove the pee pads before people sit down?

I can see that if this is your coping mechanism, you do have to mention why they're there, etc.

When people say those things, I think almost any comeback you can think of is fine. Or, a mild, "well, it's not like it's permanent or dangerous--hate to give up years of fuzzy company because of three months of annoyance."

And if they persist, then maybe say, "Perhaps we should cut this visit short."
Title: Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: NutellaNut on January 10, 2013, 01:54:56 PM

Don't you remove the pee pads before people sit down?

I can see that if this is your coping mechanism, you do have to mention why they're there, etc.


Back in August/September, when it was frequent, the cat would sometimes go when we had just left the room to go to the sewing room, or the back deck, or wherever.  So the pads, and the nice-looking cotton cover, were left on so the urine wouldn't get to the actual sofa cushions (which I obviously would prefer to keep pee-free since they are harder to clean).  Now that it hasn't happened in a bit, I think I can just check that everything's clear (which I do several times a day anyway) right before the people arrive, and not worry about it anymore.  I'm really hoping we've figured out why she started doing it, and can keep her on track for the future.
Title: Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: Ginger G on January 10, 2013, 02:02:07 PM
I've had people say some really abhorent things about cats when I just happened to mention in passing that I have cats.  Once at a department lunch, something about cats came up and the head of the department (someone in my opinion who should know better), announced loudly that he hated cats and "would shoot a cat".  He said this in front of me and another coworker who loves her cat.  I didn't say a word, just quietly left the room.  I have never felt the same way about him again, and I'm careful never to mention my cats in front of him. However, if her wasn't my boss, believe me I would have responded, probably not in an e-hell approved manner either. 
Title: Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: Hmmmmm on January 10, 2013, 02:09:14 PM
It seems people are often quick to make comments about our beloved pets that they would never make about our children.  I have a cat who is very much a "one-person-cat" and likes to be left alone.  The cat and I have a very good understanding of each other and co-habit quite nicely. 

I have a friend (who does have cats herself) who often visits with her daughter (who isn't a kid - the daughter is 31) who won't leave the cat alone.  She pokes at her and teases her and then often gets clawed or bitten.

I finally had to yell at the mother who yelled at the cat for biting her daughter.  Any reasonable adult understands that if you poke and tease an animal, there will be consequences so don't yell at the animal!

Would you yell at one of my kids if they were being poked and then defended themselves?

I've been told many times that I should just get rid of the cat.  My response - "Really?  Why?"

I think you could use a similar response.

That's not necessarily true.  I've heard sentences started with "If that was my SON/DAUGHTER, I'd...."  with the sentiment being anywhere from kick them out of the house to skin them alive. 

And I must agree that I would be very uncomfortable with being offered a seat but being told to check for urine (human or other) first.

I'm a cat person, have one lounging on my desk right now.  But if a one of my beloved cats had decided to use a piece of furniture to urinate upon, that cat would not be allowed back into that room. If if it meant we would be missing out of our normal interactions.  If you know that there is a chance the cat could act up while a guest is there, can't you restrict them to other spaces? 
Title: Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: DavidH on January 10, 2013, 02:15:12 PM
I'm not particularly a cat person, but I get that you feel very strongly.

I'd separate out two different type of comments. Comments around I'd do XYZ aren't about your cat, they are about how the other person would react to the situation.  You might not take that course of action.  It's fine to say, something along the lines of then we obviously don't agree on how to handle it, since that's clearly true.  If you find their viewpoint so extreme that you don't want to associate with them anymore, then that's fine as well.

Comments along the lines of what they think you should do are different.  There you can say that you weren't really asking for advice, don't agree with the advice or anything along those lines.

If you don't want any comment, then the solution is not the bring the subject up.  If you have to mention it, then rather than go into all the detail, you can just suggest a guest be careful where they sit since sometimes the cat has accidents.  It is much less likely to invite a comment than a long discussion of how often it happens, why it happens, and all that. 
Title: Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: AnnaJ on January 10, 2013, 02:16:45 PM
I am a cat vet and I hear these comments somewhat regularly.  From clients, I try to explain the problem from the cat's point of view and how we can fix it, but socially, I have little tolarance, esp if the people know what I do for a living.

I have been known to thank people for their input and tell them that I hope their children will give them the same consideration when picking out their nursing homes.  I do not hide my disgust.

Thank you, I agree completely - I am appalled at the idea that animals are disposable bits of entertainment.  I am dealing with an elderly cat with health problems at the moment, and I will need to take him in soon to have him put down.

I have tried to address some of the opinions stated here politely, but there is no way so I have not posted.  I did, however, want to thank you for your post.
Title: Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: Oh Joy on January 10, 2013, 02:41:06 PM
NutellaNut, I have all sorts of sympathy for your problems (fifteen years of dogs with health/behavior/housebreaking issues), but I suggest that you might be a bit close to the problem.  Here's a brief rewrite of your post to help you step back:

I have a pet with housebreaking issues.  Some people say it's cause for more extreme reactions than I'm comfortable with, either by saying it's what they'd do or what I should do.  How do I respond?

What would you suggest this person say?  My answer is the same stock phrase I use for lots of situations, including parenting.  A shrug along with 'Different things work for different people.'

Truly, best wishes to you.
Title: Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: sweetonsno on January 10, 2013, 07:49:37 PM
NutellaNut, I have all sorts of sympathy for your problems (fifteen years of dogs with health/behavior/housebreaking issues), but I suggest that you might be a bit close to the problem.  Here's a brief rewrite of your post to help you step back:

I have a pet with housebreaking issues.  Some people say it's cause for more extreme reactions than I'm comfortable with, either by saying it's what they'd do or what I should do.  How do I respond?

What would you suggest this person say?  My answer is the same stock phrase I use for lots of situations, including parenting.  A shrug along with 'Different things work for different people.'

Truly, best wishes to you.

I'm not sure I agree with this. Kicking an animal across the room crosses the line from "more extreme than I am comfortable with" to "abusive and possibly warranting criminal charges." In situations like that, I would not want to tacitly approve of such behavior (or "joking" about it) by suggesting that while it isn't for me, it may work in other situations.

I can see doing that if someone suggested something milder, like spraying the cat with water or trying to scare the cat by yelling, but I do think abuse merits a stronger response.
Title: Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: Lynn2000 on January 10, 2013, 08:14:25 PM
What about something like...  >:( "Look, if you don't want to hear any more about it, that's fine, but there's no need to talk about harming my pet." Or, "Look, I was just letting you know, so you could sit somewhere else if you wanted. There's no need to talk about hurting my cat."

They address what might be their underlying motivation, even if they don't realize it themselves, and hopefully point out how extreme their responses are in comparison. Like, "Assuming your goal was X minor thing, do you realize what a horrible thing you just said to achieve it?"

Probably if you sound too defensive, though, they might miss the message, so maybe just kind of... serious. And then if they go the "only joking" route you can respond, "Well, I don't think that kind of thing is very funny." Get them to think about what they're saying and how you're hearing it.
Title: Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: ladyknight1 on January 10, 2013, 08:31:16 PM
When I hear people say horrible things about animals, specifically what people said to the OP, it makes me distance myself from them. Even if someone feels that way, wouldn't they have enough self-control to not say something so horrible?

OP, I am glad you are working through this situation and I can certainly sympathize as my younger cat has some behavioral issues. I do think you should continue to limit your discussion of the issue, but when people are in your home and ask about something, there is only so much bean dip to go around.
Title: Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: TootsNYC on January 10, 2013, 09:24:33 PM
When I hear people say horrible things about animals, specifically what people said to the OP, it makes me distance myself from them. Even if someone feels that way, wouldn't they have enough self-control to not say something so horrible?

yeah, that's an important point!
Title: Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: sevenday on January 10, 2013, 09:38:28 PM
I have a cat who, since we got her (12+  years ago) refuses to use the litter box for #2.  She does, however, limit such activities to the area AROUND the box.  We've dealt with it by putting down plastic and cleaning up after her.  Recently SOMEONE (of our three) took to peeing on clothes left on the floor.  We responded by washing the items - and throwing away things that were just too far gone.  We don't have a couch - just 2 recliners and 2 beds.  None of those appear to have been peed on, just clothing items left on the floor.  No way to tell which of the 3 it was, and too expensive to take them all in to test for UTIs - no other signs like blood in the litter box, etc.  I think it was a protest against a recent litter change to pine pellets, because when I switched back to one-pine and one-clay box, the peeing seems to have stopped. 

As a cat owner I realize that sometimes things just happen.  In the case of the couch, I would have put a plastic cover over that, then a cotton/easily washable over that so it could be presentable for guests and quickly washable in case the cat peed or coughed up a hairball or whatever.  When we HAD a couch, we had a cover on it, not due to pee, but because of the random hairball or shed fur; it was easy to strip and wash then put it back on.  I would have warned a guest that the couch in question was a bit questionable due to cat behavior (I wouldn't have said WHAT behavior) and after I assured them the couch had been cleaned, offer alternate seating instead. 

And yes, I have been told to put down the cat in paragraph one.  I ignored that comment.  When the person kept repeating it, I replied, "I realize that's your opinion, but I'm not going to do that.  Please don't say it again."  The person did get huffy, but they didn't repeat it.  I was fully prepared to walk away if they did though.
Title: Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: lisat on January 10, 2013, 10:42:35 PM
I don't know where you live but back in one of your posts you mentioned that the cat only seemed to have issues using the litter box when you were away. I believe that there is on the market now an automated litter box that cleans itself after every use. Maybe something like that would help for when you go away on your trips. 
Title: Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: delabela on January 11, 2013, 12:00:24 AM
You know, I'm a cat lady like many of you.  My pets are my buds, and I take very seriously my commitment to them.  Just this week I spoon fed my old guy because he's been sick and it's the only way he would eat.  We've also dealt with the inappropriate urination (and spent more money washing a large comforter than I care to admit).  I could see saying something stupid about tossing the cat outside or something like that as a bad joke.  In fact, I know I've threatened to toss one of them out on her furry behind - but she's curled up next to me right now.  So, I guess I would make the assumption that people saying those things were kidding, or just didn't know what to say.  Even if they are serious, it doesn't matter to me because it's not like I'd ever do that. 
Title: Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: ettiquit on January 11, 2013, 08:05:37 AM
You know, I'm a cat lady like many of you.  My pets are my buds, and I take very seriously my commitment to them.  Just this week I spoon fed my old guy because he's been sick and it's the only way he would eat.  We've also dealt with the inappropriate urination (and spent more money washing a large comforter than I care to admit).  I could see saying something stupid about tossing the cat outside or something like that as a bad joke.  In fact, I know I've threatened to toss one of them out on her furry behind - but she's curled up next to me right now.  So, I guess I would make the assumption that people saying those things were kidding, or just didn't know what to say.  Even if they are serious, it doesn't matter to me because it's not like I'd ever do that.

This might be one of those things where it's ok if you joke about throwing your cat outside, but it's not ok if other people do.  I might make a joke about locking DS in a closet when he's driving me nuts, but I'd be taken aback if anyone else suggested it.
Title: Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: Seraphia on January 11, 2013, 08:27:49 AM
When I hear people say horrible things about animals, specifically what people said to the OP, it makes me distance myself from them. Even if someone feels that way, wouldn't they have enough self-control to not say something so horrible?

yeah, that's an important point!

I have one particular co-worker who seems to have a trigger on the word 'cat' that makes him launch into awful descriptions of how he hates cats, wants to kick/hurt them, likes using them as target practice etc. I stopped talking to him almost entirely, since it certainly changed my perception of him, and I don't really feel like discovering other things that he hates and wants to rant about.
Title: Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: ladyknight1 on January 11, 2013, 08:38:52 AM
--  Oh, and we have taken her to the vet, who couldn't find anything wrong medically and said it certainly seemed behavioral.  I really think it starts because the litterbox isn't cleaned well while we're away.  Every time she's peed on the couch the last two months, the litter hadn't been cleaned in three days or so.  So we'll have to clean more frequently, and have the cat-watchers clean the litter when we're away.

I had a cat who was like that - very fastidious and required daily cleaning of The Box.  However, he was quite the gentleman about it - he peed in the bathroom sink, but only when I was sitting there watching, or he pooped in the bathtub(easy to clean up).  But that was enough to remind me of my duties.

He was also a tossed cat, thrown out when he was no longer a cute kitten, and he got very distressed when I went away the first time, but after I came back, he realized that I'd always be back for him, and he was okay. 
He ruled my life for a wonderful 10 years.

Have you thought about a pet sitter?  I have a wonderful one who will drop in and keep my kitty company for an hour anytime I want her to.  Once or twice a day, depending on how much I want to pay for.

I also use a pet sitter. He keeps all of our pets happy and fed, and cleans the boxes every day.
Title: Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: TurtleDove on January 11, 2013, 08:59:03 AM
Unless these people are actually psychopaths, I firmly believe they are just talking and have no actual desire or intent to harm any animals.  I think it's best to approach any situation from that perspective.  Of course they should not say the things they say, but responding as though you believe them to be actual animal abusers is likely to get their hackles up.  Make it clear you know they are joking -- because they surely could not be serious -- and move on.

WHOA!  Just fixed a typo - should NOT say what they say!
Title: Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: peach2play on January 11, 2013, 09:30:43 AM
I get a very shocked, hurt expression on my face and I say, "Why would you even think that would be an appropriate thing to say to me?  Obviously my cats are members of my family, and I can't even imagine why you would think that would be ok?"  Then I wait for the response.  It helps if I know what pet they have, but I listen and if they continue or say they aren't cat people, I say I'm not a <insert pet/favorite thing/child/etc here> but I would never in a million years say something like that to them and if they meant it as a joke it's not funny.  Most normal sane people apologize and won't bring it up again.  The ones that don't I either tell to leave or I leave and give the cut direct or if at work, I return to cool professional. 
Title: Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: TootsNYC on January 11, 2013, 09:51:56 AM
When I hear people say horrible things about animals, specifically what people said to the OP, it makes me distance myself from them. Even if someone feels that way, wouldn't they have enough self-control to not say something so horrible?

yeah, that's an important point!

I have one particular co-worker who seems to have a trigger on the word 'cat' that makes him launch into awful descriptions of how he hates cats, wants to kick/hurt them, likes using them as target practice etc. I stopped talking to him almost entirely, since it certainly changed my perception of him, and I don't really feel like discovering other things that he hates and wants to rant about.

I wonder if a person could say, "I'm glad to know that about you. It shapes my opinion of you quite a bit. I like to be accurate in my impressions of other people's capability for cruelty."
Title: Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: ettiquit on January 11, 2013, 09:54:14 AM
Unless these people are actually psychopaths, I firmly believe they are just talking and have no actual desire or intent to harm any animals.  I think it's best to approach any situation from that perspective.  Of course they should say the things they say, but responding as though you believe them to be actual animal abusers is likely to get their hackles up.  Make it clear you know they are joking -- because they surely could not be serious -- and move on.

The people I know who put their cats down because of bathroom issues are not psychopaths, but they clearly don't take pet ownership very seriously.  Because of that, I honestly can't assume anyone is joking about that.
Title: Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: magicdomino on January 11, 2013, 09:59:24 AM
There are a couple of brands of automated litter box, the most popular is the Littermate.  Worked great for a previous cat who refused to use a box if any other cat had used it.  Domino's Issues run deeper than that, unfortunately.

I second the pet sitter, and daily box cleaning.
Title: Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: CatFanatic on January 11, 2013, 10:37:53 AM
I think this is rude and it is something that needs to be addressed with: 'What a strange thing to say! I love my cat very much.' As to the 'eeeew' factor, if people are honestly grossed out, that's no excuse. The polite thing would be to ask if they could sit elsewhere.

It has been my experience that people make casual remarks about cruelty to cats often enough that it becomes 'normalised'. I volunteer at a shelter and I can tell you that these so-called 'jokes' are interpreted as truth by more than a few people. I have never, not once, experienced someone making equivalent remarks about children or dogs - it is only a 'cat thing', and may be part of the reason why cats are often victims of abuse and neglect.

Yes, my name is a giveaway.
Title: Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: audrey1962 on January 11, 2013, 10:52:54 AM
When my elderly kitty had incontinence problems, we confined her to a very large crate when we could not watch her. The crate was lined with puppy pads and as many comforts as possible. I woke up at 5 am every morning to clean her crate and it was the first thing I did after work. I also bleached it once a week. When we went on vacation we took her to the vet for boarding. It was hard, but we loved her very much and it was worth it.

IMO, and having gone through a similar experience, it is not right to ask guests or family members to risk their health by exposing them to soiled furniture. I love my friends and family as much as my cat, so I did everything I could to make them all as comfortable as possible.

Please try to explore options other than allowing the cat to soil the furniture.
Title: Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: Bexx27 on January 11, 2013, 11:22:37 AM
Having volunteered at an animal shelter, it's not so easy for me to dismiss these types of comments as jokes. I know first-hand that many people see pets as disposable. I have seen people surrender cats -- including elderly or sick cats who are unlikely to get adopted (and it wasn't a no-kill shelter) -- for such reasons as "my new girlfriend/boyfriend doesn't like cats" and "I got new furniture and the cat's fur doesn't match." Really. Eliminating outside the litter box is probably the most common reason people give for surrendering their cats, and they know full well that the cat will most likely be put to sleep since a cat that doesn't use the litter box is not considered adoptable. So I would not be inclined to think people who say those things are joking.

I would also not want to respond with something like, "different things work for different people." As an animal lover, it's similar in my mind to someone making racist or sexist comments, in that it should not be tolerated or ignored in the name of politeness. If my DH complained to a friend that I never did the dishes, for example, and that friend responded that he would give his wife a black eye for not doing the dishes, I would be horrified if DH's response was to shrug and say, "whatever works for you." I realize that not everyone sees animals the same way, but for those of us who do, I actually think it's wrong to let such comments pass unchallenged. It's one thing to give a mild answer, such as "I disagree," rather than engaging, but tacit acceptance is different IMO.
Title: Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: WillyNilly on January 11, 2013, 12:03:10 PM
My mother, on more occasions I can even try to to count, has made comments like "I'd skin my children alive if they ever did that!" or "I'd murder the brats!" She most certainly is simply using hyperbole!  She has made comments like that directly about myself and my brother (from infant-hood, straight through to now where my brother and I are pushing 40) and in reference to other people's kids.  I would assume 99.99999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999% of people who say they'd "throw" or "kick" or "kill" a cat are really not actually psychopaths, they are simple people who utilize colorful language to make a point - the point being not violent or mean, but simply "I'd do something radical and strong".  Heck I joke at least 4 times a week to my DH that we shouldn't feed the cat today because its too fat and she ate yesterday.  Geez I don't actually mean we should not feed the fatso, I'm just joking around, and if anyone took me seriously they wouldn't have to distance themselves from me, because I would already be distancing myself from them for not understanding how jokes work and having little patience in their 'jumps to nasty conclusions' mindsets.

I think if the comments bother you, its better to truly identify if they are jokes - these are your friends in your home, right? - and if they are jokes simply say "yeah I get it, its a hassle and gross, but honestly its kinda stressing me out and jokes don't help."
Title: Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: gen xer on January 11, 2013, 09:39:53 PM

I think it is a "know your audience" kind of thing.  I agree with Willy-Nilly that a lot of hyperbole is not meant to hurt and I engage in that too - with certain people.  I know who I can say stuff like "I'll wring so and so's ( insert cat or child's name ) neck if that happens again....but I would never in a million years say that to someone who I thought would be hurt by that....and I would never tell someone they should put their pet down.  It is not only insensitive but it is nobody else's business.

Here is where I will risk a tarring and feathering from the pet lovers.  I too love cats and own two....but I have also been put in the position of having to get rid of a pet and I think it would just as rude for anyone to tell me I was a "psychopath" or a horrible person because they disagreed with my decision.  Of course I hate when people discard animals like yesterdays trash but the decision to get rid of an animal is not always callous "I got bored with having to take care of it" reasoning.

We spent  a good deal of time and money ( vet checks, medication etc ) trying to break kitty of her bad habit of peeing AND pooping on furniture....but having moved into a new home with a new baby proved to be too much for her and nothing was working.  Sorry....but I can't afford to be constantly replacing my reeking, utterly destroyed furniture and I did not want my toddler and my infant to be subjected to a filthy, feces and urine fouled house!  It was sad but kitty had to go.
Title: Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: AngelBarchild on January 12, 2013, 11:02:20 AM

I think it is a "know your audience" kind of thing.  I agree with Willy-Nilly that a lot of hyperbole is not meant to hurt and I engage in that too - with certain people.  I know who I can say stuff like "I'll wring so and so's ( insert cat or child's name ) neck if that happens again....but I would never in a million years say that to someone who I thought would be hurt by that....and I would never tell someone they should put their pet down.  It is not only insensitive but it is nobody else's business.

Here is where I will risk a tarring and feathering from the pet lovers.  I too love cats and own two....but I have also been put in the position of having to get rid of a pet and I think it would just as rude for anyone to tell me I was a "psychopath" or a horrible person because they disagreed with my decision.  Of course I hate when people discard animals like yesterdays trash but the decision to get rid of an animal is not always callous "I got bored with having to take care of it" reasoning.

We spent  a good deal of time and money ( vet checks, medication etc ) trying to break kitty of her bad habit of peeing AND pooping on furniture....but having moved into a new home with a new baby proved to be too much for her and nothing was working.  Sorry....but I can't afford to be constantly replacing my reeking, utterly destroyed furniture and I did not want my toddler and my infant to be subjected to a filthy, feces and urine fouled house!  It was sad but kitty had to go.

My husband and I had to get rid of a cat for the same reasons. He went to live on a farm, where I hear he kills mice like crazy, and lives in the barn. No matter what we did he could not be socialized and would not stop peeing on the carpet. We were very lucky to find a place for him, because no one wants a mean cat that can't be litter box trained. If we hadn't known someone who needed a barn cat, he would have gone to the shelter, where he would have probably have been put down, as un-adoptable.

It's fine to be offended by someone's use of hyperbole, but that's what it is, hyperbole. I will often say I'm so mad I'm could kick babies/puppies. I in fact, have no desire to hurt anyone's babies and or puppies, it's just exaggeration.
Title: Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: TootsNYC on January 12, 2013, 11:30:13 AM
except, you know what? I think that sort of hyperbole is rude.

it puts the listener in a very uncomfortable place.

That's why I like so much the point that you learn something about people who says those things, and one of those things you learn is that they haven't learned to NOT SAY those things.

It's like swearing. I don't think it's ever polite. I do it--but I won't ever tell you that I think I'm being polite when I do it. I might think I can get away with it, and I might not thing it's an amazingling phenomenally rude thing to do. But it's not polite.
Title: Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: AngelBarchild on January 12, 2013, 11:35:29 AM
except, you know what? I think that sort of hyperbole is rude.

it puts the listener in a very uncomfortable place.

That's why I like so much the point that you learn something about people who says those things, and one of those things you learn is that they haven't learned to NOT SAY those things.

It's like swearing. I don't think it's ever polite. I do it--but I won't ever tell you that I think I'm being polite when I do it. I might think I can get away with it, and I might not thing it's an amazingling phenomenally rude thing to do. But it's not polite.

Oh no, I agree that sometimes hyperbole is rude. My comment was for the people upset because they took the comments seriously. It's definitely a know your audience sort of thing.
Title: Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: gen xer on January 12, 2013, 12:06:14 PM
Some people take things VERY literally.....and since being polite requires that we are sensitive to them as well as the people who are not as offended by hyperbole...well it's back to "know your audience".

Still.....I have to say that those literal, easily offended types can get very tedious after a while with everyone walking on eggshells.

As far as pets are concerned....if you are a hardcore pet owner who will keep your animal at any cost...so be it.  That's your preogative....but be careful of judging those who maybe can't afford a pet's newly acquired bad habit.  It is also their prerogative to decide whether their situation warrants getting rid of an animal.  Some people will keep a biting dog no matter what.  Fine....as long as they are prepared to deal with the consequences.  If I owned a dog it would be put down the instant it bit someone ( I am not talking play-nipping ).  I wouldn't even take it to a shelter because I don't think I could live with myself  if some unsuspecting family adopted it and it hurt someone.

That is one of the myriad reasons I DON'T own a dog....because I have almost no tolerance for unpredictable or aggressive behaviour that could have catastrophic consequences.
Title: Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: gen xer on January 12, 2013, 12:09:24 PM
except, you know what? I think that sort of hyperbole is rude.

it puts the listener in a very uncomfortable place.

That's why I like so much the point that you learn something about people who says those things, and one of those things you learn is that they haven't learned to NOT SAY those things.

It's like swearing. I don't think it's ever polite. I do it--but I won't ever tell you that I think I'm being polite when I do it. I might think I can get away with it, and I might not thing it's an amazingling phenomenally rude thing to do. But it's not polite.

I am a swearer too....a bad habit I am having a hard time breaking.  I should probably be put down  :P
Title: Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: TootsNYC on January 12, 2013, 12:41:02 PM
except, you know what? I think that sort of hyperbole is rude.

it puts the listener in a very uncomfortable place.

That's why I like so much the point that you learn something about people who says those things, and one of those things you learn is that they haven't learned to NOT SAY those things.

It's like swearing. I don't think it's ever polite. I do it--but I won't ever tell you that I think I'm being polite when I do it. I might think I can get away with it, and I might not thing it's an amazingling phenomenally rude thing to do. But it's not polite.

I am a swearer too....a bad habit I am having a hard time breaking.  I should probably be put down  :P

LOL! (I get the joke)

And on another note--is it really "walking on eggshells" to refrain from saying, "I'd kick him into next week?"

I know that I think that's not a polite comment, I think it's inappropriate, but I don't take it literally (for one thing, time travel isn't a simple matter of velocity or force). So it's not a matter of "literal-minded" people. It's a matter of thinking that some animosity is not funny, and we don't want to be around it, even if you don't mean it.

And in the OP's situation (and in many of the rudest hyperbole situations), the threat *is* possible--and that makes it all the ruder.
Title: Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: perpetua on January 12, 2013, 04:38:07 PM
  I would assume 99.99999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999% of people who say they'd "throw" or "kick" or "kill" a cat are really not actually psychopaths, they are simple people who utilize colorful language to make a point - the point being not violent or mean, but simply "I'd do something radical and strong".  Heck I joke at least 4 times a week to my DH that we shouldn't feed the cat today because its too fat and she ate yesterday.  Geez I don't actually mean we should not feed the fatso, I'm just joking around, and if anyone took me seriously they wouldn't have to distance themselves from me, because I would already be distancing myself from them for not understanding how jokes work and having little patience in their 'jumps to nasty conclusions' mindsets.

Yeah, this. I regularly threaten to turn my cats into rugs if they don't stop doing whatever. Doesn't mean I'd *actually* do it.
Title: Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: bansidhe on January 12, 2013, 05:46:39 PM
My question is this:  several times now, when talking about the situation with friends or relatives, people have said things like, "If that was my cat, she'd be out on her butt in a heartbeat!" or "I'd kick her <ruder word for butt> across the room and she'd never do it again!" or even, "Time to put that cat to sleep!"  These statements really bother me.  I'm not diminishing how annoying this behavior is, and I do know that sometimes, drastic measures have to be taken.  I'm definitely OK with people making serious suggestions about how to handle this difficult situation.  But people were saying this flippantly and callously when I was talking about the research I was doing or the animal behaviorist I was trying to contact, to improve the situation, and making it clear that we were trying less awful options first.  And they certainly know how I feel about my pets.

Folks, this is not generalized hyperbole on the order of "It makes me so mad I could kick puppies." These are nasty comments directed at the family pet of someone standing right in front of the person making the comment - and the people making these comments know full well how the OP feels about her cat.

If the OP had complained that her (hypothetical) kid had scrawled all over the wallpaper with crayons would it be harmless hyperbole for her friends to suggest that she beat him?

The "It's just hyperbole" argument doesn't wash in the OP's situation. I also completely don't buy the theory that people who say stuff like this wouldn't actually do what they're suggesting. Loads and loads of abandoned and abused cats, dogs, children, etc. testify to the opposite.
Title: Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: TurtleDove on January 12, 2013, 05:58:05 PM
If the OP had complained that her (hypothetical) kid had scrawled all over the wallpaper with crayons would it be harmless hyperbole for her friends to suggest that she beat him?

Never in a million years would I take such a suggestion seriously, and certainly I would not waste energy getting upset about it. I would not personally say such a thing, but if someone in my presence said this about my child I would laugh it off and move on, perhaps make a sarcastic comment back like "I'd get covered in pink crayon if I tried!" knowing people in my life would know that by this statement I do not actually mean that the reason I would not beat my child is because I do not wish to be covered in pink crayon. 

In my opinion, based on what the OP posted, no one is actually seriously suggesting any violence or animosity in any realistic way toward her pets.
Title: Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: Hmmmmm on January 12, 2013, 06:11:12 PM
If the OP had complained that her (hypothetical) kid had scrawled all over the wallpaper with crayons would it be harmless hyperbole for her friends to suggest that she beat him?

Never in a million years would I take such a suggestion seriously, and certainly I would not waste energy getting upset about it. I would not personally say such a thing, but if someone in my presence said this about my child I would laugh it off and move on, perhaps make a sarcastic comment back like "I'd get covered in pink crayon if I tried!" knowing people in my life would know that by this statement I do not actually mean that the reason I would not beat my child is because I do not wish to be covered in pink crayon. 

In my opinion, based on what the OP posted, no one is actually seriously suggesting any violence or animosity in any realistic way toward her pets.

I agree with TurtleDove.  It would not be surprising if a friend said a child would be scrubbing toilets with their toothbrush for the next 9 years for doing something really bad.  None of my friends used corporal punishment with our kids when they were little but I know I heard "I'd tan their hide if my kids did ...". None of us ever really thought that would occur or that they were endorsing corporal punishment.  It was more a sentiment of I understand how frustrated you are dealing with this. 
Title: Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: AngelBarchild on January 12, 2013, 07:21:07 PM
My question is this:  several times now, when talking about the situation with friends or relatives, people have said things like, "If that was my cat, she'd be out on her butt in a heartbeat!" or "I'd kick her <ruder word for butt> across the room and she'd never do it again!" or even, "Time to put that cat to sleep!"  These statements really bother me.  I'm not diminishing how annoying this behavior is, and I do know that sometimes, drastic measures have to be taken.  I'm definitely OK with people making serious suggestions about how to handle this difficult situation.  But people were saying this flippantly and callously when I was talking about the research I was doing or the animal behaviorist I was trying to contact, to improve the situation, and making it clear that we were trying less awful options first.  And they certainly know how I feel about my pets.

Folks, this is not generalized hyperbole on the order of "It makes me so mad I could kick puppies." These are nasty comments directed at the family pet of someone standing right in front of the person making the comment - and the people making these comments know full well how the OP feels about her cat.

If the OP had complained that her (hypothetical) kid had scrawled all over the wallpaper with crayons would it be harmless hyperbole for her friends to suggest that she beat him?

The "It's just hyperbole" argument doesn't wash in the OP's situation. I also completely don't buy the theory that people who say stuff like this wouldn't actually do what they're suggesting. Loads and loads of abandoned and abused cats, dogs, children, etc. testify to the opposite.

You might be a little more careful making comments like this. I have said I was going to skin my cat and that I was going to throttle my child. The cat gave me an indignant look, and the kid did basically the same thing. Do not make accusations, that people who use humor/hyperbole you find offensive, are in fact child/animal abusers, Because there is no other way to take what you said, you were pretty direct. I am one of those "People who say stuff like this".

Your accusation is incredibly offensive.
Title: Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: bansidhe on January 12, 2013, 10:00:07 PM
The "It's just hyperbole" argument doesn't wash in the OP's situation. I also completely don't buy the theory that people who say stuff like this wouldn't actually do what they're suggesting. Loads and loads of abandoned and abused cats, dogs, children, etc. testify to the opposite.

You might be a little more careful making comments like this. I have said I was going to skin my cat and that I was going to throttle my child. The cat gave me an indignant look, and the kid did basically the same thing. Do not make accusations, that people who use humor/hyperbole you find offensive, are in fact child/animal abusers, Because there is no other way to take what you said, you were pretty direct. I am one of those "People who say stuff like this".

Your accusation is incredibly offensive.

Your cat and your child. Have you ever made comments like that about someone else's cat or someone else's child in that person's presence? That's a huge difference to me in the level of hostility intended by the speaker.

And whether anyone wants to believe it or not, abuse and murder occur on a daily basis. Not everyone who acts like the people in the OP commit acts like that, obviously, but I think much less of them regardless and people who make comments like that about my animals do not go unchallenged.
Title: Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: AngelBarchild on January 13, 2013, 04:49:09 AM
The "It's just hyperbole" argument doesn't wash in the OP's situation. I also completely don't buy the theory that people who say stuff like this wouldn't actually do what they're suggesting. Loads and loads of abandoned and abused cats, dogs, children, etc. testify to the opposite.

You might be a little more careful making comments like this. I have said I was going to skin my cat and that I was going to throttle my child. The cat gave me an indignant look, and the kid did basically the same thing. Do not make accusations, that people who use humor/hyperbole you find offensive, are in fact child/animal abusers, Because there is no other way to take what you said, you were pretty direct. I am one of those "People who say stuff like this".

Your accusation is incredibly offensive.

Your cat and your child. Have you ever made comments like that about someone else's cat or someone else's child in that person's presence? That's a huge difference to me in the level of hostility intended by the speaker.

And whether anyone wants to believe it or not, abuse and murder occur on a daily basis. Not everyone who acts like the people in the OP commit acts like that, obviously, but I think much less of them regardless and people who make comments like that about my animals do not go unchallenged.

Yes I make those comments in front of my friends, and then the kids run screaming and laughing out of the room. The cat just gives me a look, my friends laugh. Like I said it's a know your audience situation. You flat out said "I also completely don't buy the theory that people who say stuff like this wouldn't actually do what they're suggesting." I make those jokes (to people who share my sense of humor) and you are flat out calling me a child/animal abuser.

That's one hell of an interesting assumption.
Title: Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: MariaE on January 13, 2013, 05:55:35 AM
You're still making those comments about your kid and your cat. Some comments are perfectly acceptable for the owner/parent to make, and completely out of line for anybody else.

Besides, bansidhe didn't say that everybody who made such comments were serious - just that it couldn't be assumed that nobody were serious either.

I think you're seeing offence where none was intended. She in no way called you an abuser.
Title: Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: RingTailedLemur on January 13, 2013, 06:09:16 AM
MariaE put my thoughts into words better than I could.
Title: Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: Bexx27 on January 13, 2013, 08:47:11 AM
You're still making those comments about your kid and your cat. Some comments are perfectly acceptable for the owner/parent to make, and completely out of line for anybody else.

Besides, bansidhe didn't say that everybody who made such comments were serious - just that it couldn't be assumed that nobody were serious either.

I think you're seeing offence where none was intended. She in no way called you an abuser.

This. I said earlier that I wouldn't necessarily take these comments as a joke, mostly because it's fairly commonplace for people to give away or euthanize cats for litter box problems. If someone states that they would do something it's not unusual to do, why would I assume they don't mean it? I would only think it was a joke if they indicated they were joking in some way, such as tone or expression. But, I also wouldn't appreciate a violent "joke" directed at a member of my family. How is "you should have your cat put down" supposed to be funny?

I also want to clarify that I don't think giving up a cat for this behavior makes someone a horrible person. (Giving up a cat because it no longer matches your decor probably does, though.) It is a serious problem and I have a lot of sympathy for those dealing with it. My previous post was just pointing out that lots of people give up cats for this reason, so I wouldn't assume someone was joking if they suggested doing that.
Title: Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: ettiquit on January 13, 2013, 10:14:10 AM
Since I know two people who have euthanized cats for litter box issues, and zero people who have skinned their children alive for drawing on the walls, I can't assume that someone is kidding when they suggest I put down my cat. 


I'm glad one of the posters here found a farm to take her cat - that's a great idea!  I'll keep that in mind the next time I know someone who wants to get rid of their cat for this problem.
Title: Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: gen xer on January 13, 2013, 11:13:44 AM
Since I know two people who have euthanized cats for litter box issues, and zero people who have skinned their children alive for drawing on the walls, I can't assume that someone is kidding when they suggest I put down my cat. 


I'm glad one of the posters here found a farm to take her cat - that's a great idea!  I'll keep that in mind the next time I know someone who wants to get rid of their cat for this problem.

You're right....lots of people wouldn't be kidding about putting down a cat for that reason and I agree that it is rude and insensitive to tell someone to do so.  It's their decision on how to handle their pet issues.

I can see how someone could take such a suggestion seriously but I would hope that people understand that most people who make a regretful decision to put down an animal are not in the same category as an abuser.  I have made such exaggerated statements about my cats ( and my kids - the kids know I'm joking ) but although I have been in the position of putting a pet down I would never abuse or hurt an animal.

The type that say things like "I could shoot all cats" or "I would kick it across the room" are insensitive and rude to their audience but not everyone takes pets quite as seriously.  Some think of them as their children.  Some don't - I don't in fact....but that comes from growing up on a farm.  I learned quickly not to get too attached to something I might be eating for supper one day!!!
Title: Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: ettiquit on January 13, 2013, 11:55:24 AM
Since I know two people who have euthanized cats for litter box issues, and zero people who have skinned their children alive for drawing on the walls, I can't assume that someone is kidding when they suggest I put down my cat. 


I'm glad one of the posters here found a farm to take her cat - that's a great idea!  I'll keep that in mind the next time I know someone who wants to get rid of their cat for this problem.

You're right....lots of people wouldn't be kidding about putting down a cat for that reason and I agree that it is rude and insensitive to tell someone to do so.  It's their decision on how to handle their pet issues.

I can see how someone could take such a suggestion seriously but I would hope that people understand that most people who make a regretful decision to put down an animal are not in the same category as an abuser.  I have made such exaggerated statements about my cats ( and my kids - the kids know I'm joking ) but although I have been in the position of putting a pet down I would never abuse or hurt an animal.

The type that say things like "I could shoot all cats" or "I would kick it across the room" are insensitive and rude to their audience but not everyone takes pets quite as seriously.  Some think of them as their children.  Some don't - I don't in fact....but that comes from growing up on a farm.  I learned quickly not to get too attached to something I might be eating for supper one day!!!

Right - I wouldn't label people who put their pets down for reasons like this "abusers".  And really, I'd be more likely to take a "kick your cat across the room" comment as a joke than one about euthanization.  It's still not a funny joke though.

To the bolded - that's definitely a perspective to keep in mind!   :)
Title: Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: AngelBarchild on January 13, 2013, 04:15:15 PM
You're still making those comments about your kid and your cat. Some comments are perfectly acceptable for the owner/parent to make, and completely out of line for anybody else.

Besides, bansidhe didn't say that everybody who made such comments were serious - just that it couldn't be assumed that nobody were serious either.

I think you're seeing offence where none was intended. She in no way called you an abuser.

I do in fact threaten to throttle my nephews in front of their parents. The kids run laughing out of the room screaming "she's going to eat me!". I also tell a friend of mine I'm going to skin her cat for mittens if he won't stop attacking my pant leg every time I walk through a doorway. She just laughs and tells me he's to scraggly to make good mittens. He (the cat) gives me an indignant look. My friends and family enjoy this kind of gallows humor. That's why the whole thing is a know your audience situation.

"I also completely don't buy the theory that people who say stuff like this wouldn't actually do what they're suggesting"  There is no quantifier, no some people, no most people, just people. You can't make a blanket statement like that and not expect some people to get offended.
Title: Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: edgypeanuts on January 13, 2013, 06:01:24 PM
I HATE the phrase "get rid of" a cat or animal.  Why are they so often referred to as if you were trying to get rid of lice or fleas?  Many people make the mean comments toward cats NOT in jest.  As the OP was did not seem to think they were kidding, it was inappropriate. 

I see about 2 cats a week for urinating out of the box.  I cannot solve the problem for ~2 a YEAR.  Most of the time the cat is scared or unhappy with the accommodations and the owners are accidentally making mistakes that encourage out of box use.  Yet, I still hear very frequently- we HAD to get rid of her, she kept peeing on the floor- from people who will not even make simple accommodations (like my brother who would not put a litterbox on the floor for his 14yr old cat and was mad that she would jump up to the dryer to eat but not to use the box.  She had painful knees, what was her alternative, to starve to death?) 
There seems to be a assumption among many people that when a pet is inconvenient or doesn't do what you want you "get rid of" her/her.  I think people should be called out on these comments because it is not OK.

To pass along to those with kitties:
Most cats prefer unscented scoop-able litters. Using a strongly perfumed litter may discourage litter box use. Some cats have a strong preference for certain brands/types of litter, so you may need to find out what your cat wants to use.

Most standard litter boxes are not large enough for the average cat. A litter box should be 1 to 2 times as long as the cat. For most cats this means using a plastic Rubbermaid-type container as a litter box. The boxes made for under the bed storage work great, or you can choose one with higher sides if your cat tends to spill litter out of the box.

If the litterbox has a cover it is smaller to the cat as their head cannot be up and out over the side.

Many cats do not like plastic litter box liners.

If your cats are having litter box issues- add another box. The general rule is 1 more box than the number of cats and 1 on each level of the house. Some cats do not require this many, but if problems are occurring it may help. Some single cat will prefer to have 2 boxes as they don't always want to urinate and defecate in the same place.

In households with multiple animals, make sure there is easy access to resources (boxes and food) without having to 'cross' a family member they do not get along with.

For older cats- have nightlights around so they can see their way to the box at night.

Litter boxes should be scooped regularly (a few times a week to daily if needed) and the box should be emptied and washed at least once a month.

If any cat suddenly stops using the box- go see your vet and have a urinalysis checked to be sure they are not have issues with infection or crystals.
Title: Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: MariaE on January 14, 2013, 12:04:31 AM
"I also completely don't buy the theory that people who say stuff like this wouldn't actually do what they're suggesting"  There is no quantifier, no some people, no most people, just people. You can't make a blanket statement like that and not expect some people to get offended.

Granted, English isn't my first language, but I see the 'some' as being implied in this sentence. Otherwise it would have read 'all people' or 'everybody'.

And when there is an option to read a sentence in two ways, and one is insulting but the other isn't, why not go with the one that isn't?
Title: Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: gen xer on January 14, 2013, 05:13:42 PM
I HATE the phrase "get rid of" a cat or animal.  Why are they so often referred to as if you were trying to get rid of lice or fleas?  Many people make the mean comments toward cats NOT in jest.  As the OP was did not seem to think they were kidding, it was inappropriate. 

I see about 2 cats a week for urinating out of the box.  I cannot solve the problem for ~2 a YEAR.  Most of the time the cat is scared or unhappy with the accommodations and the owners are accidentally making mistakes that encourage out of box use.  Yet, I still hear very frequently- we HAD to get rid of her, she kept peeing on the floor- from people who will not even make simple accommodations (like my brother who would not put a litterbox on the floor for his 14yr old cat and was mad that she would jump up to the dryer to eat but not to use the box.  She had painful knees, what was her alternative, to starve to death?) 
There seems to be a assumption among many people that when a pet is inconvenient or doesn't do what you want you "get rid of" her/her.  I think people should be called out on these comments because it is not OK.

To pass along to those with kitties:
Most cats prefer unscented scoop-able litters. Using a strongly perfumed litter may discourage litter box use. Some cats have a strong preference for certain brands/types of litter, so you may need to find out what your cat wants to use.

Most standard litter boxes are not large enough for the average cat. A litter box should be 1 to 2 times as long as the cat. For most cats this means using a plastic Rubbermaid-type container as a litter box. The boxes made for under the bed storage work great, or you can choose one with higher sides if your cat tends to spill litter out of the box.

If the litterbox has a cover it is smaller to the cat as their head cannot be up and out over the side.

Many cats do not like plastic litter box liners.

If your cats are having litter box issues- add another box. The general rule is 1 more box than the number of cats and 1 on each level of the house. Some cats do not require this many, but if problems are occurring it may help. Some single cat will prefer to have 2 boxes as they don't always want to urinate and defecate in the same place.

In households with multiple animals, make sure there is easy access to resources (boxes and food) without having to 'cross' a family member they do not get along with.

For older cats- have nightlights around so they can see their way to the box at night.

Litter boxes should be scooped regularly (a few times a week to daily if needed) and the box should be emptied and washed at least once a month.

If any cat suddenly stops using the box- go see your vet and have a urinalysis checked to be sure they are not have issues with infection or crystals.

The suggestions are a great idea for someone going through this.  I really hope it helps someone who might otherwise have to make a painful suggestion.  I wish they had been offered to me....as it was we took the cat to the vet and they checked for UTI's etc and also prescribed some kind of sedative.  Unfortunately nothing seemed to work.

I have to say though....I would be hurt to hear someone say "You just don't care enough", "You're cruel and heartless" or my personal favourite "Would you get rid of your child for having accidents?"

To which I say "Of course I wouldn't get rid of my child!  It's a human being!!!  As such it is infinitely more important / priceless than a cat!" ( and I love cats )

I know some people abandon their pets at the first little  inconvenience and I don't agree with that.  They are not stuffed animals after all.  However a soiling problem can become extremely cost prohibitive if you have to be replacing furniture that has been ruined.  It is also a health concern if you have small children or you are pregnant.   Pets aren't the only thing people have a responsibility for....they also have a responsibility to the health and well-being of their family ( human family to be specific ) and to their financial situation.
Title: Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: bansidhe on January 14, 2013, 08:25:05 PM
You're still making those comments about your kid and your cat. Some comments are perfectly acceptable for the owner/parent to make, and completely out of line for anybody else.

Besides, bansidhe didn't say that everybody who made such comments were serious - just that it couldn't be assumed that nobody were serious either.

I think you're seeing offence where none was intended. She in no way called you an abuser.

Thanks, MariaE (and a few others)! I couldn't make it back to this thread until now because I'm dealing with my own unfortunate animal situation, but you perfectly described my intent. :)
Title: Re: Statements about my cat - rude?
Post by: Venus193 on January 14, 2013, 09:49:53 PM
"I don't find such talk helpful or kind."

When I hear people say horrible things about animals, specifically what people said to the OP, it makes me distance myself from them. Even if someone feels that way, wouldn't they have enough self-control to not say something so horrible?

yeah, that's an important point!

I have one particular co-worker who seems to have a trigger on the word 'cat' that makes him launch into awful descriptions of how he hates cats, wants to kick/hurt them, likes using them as target practice etc. I stopped talking to him almost entirely, since it certainly changed my perception of him, and I don't really feel like discovering other things that he hates and wants to rant about.

I wonder if a person could say, "I'm glad to know that about you. It shapes my opinion of you quite a bit. I like to be accurate in my impressions of other people's capability for cruelty."

I'm with both ladyknight and Toots on this one. 

While I'd love to be able to say "I don't find such talk helpful or kind." I feel as though this is inadequate.  People who make remarks like this aren't trying to be either.  While I don't normally assume that people are cruel by default rather than kind, I've been on the receiving end of enough cruel remarks in my life (and not just about my cats) that this is a natural conclusion for me.

When I hear things like this I don't cry; I get angry.