BG: I have a cat. He's a vibrant, active, one-and-a-half year old black cat named Petey.
I also have neighbors, one in particular. For all intents and purposes, we'll call her SIL. (She's Mr. Bottlecaps' brother's girlfriend. Even though Mr. Bottlecaps and I are not married, for simplicity's sake, I sometimes call his brother my BIL.)
We lived with them for a short period of time after moving to Alabama. BIL has cat allergies, so Petey was outside most of the time - pretty much from the time we got up until we went to bed. That way, BIL didn't have much exposure to the dander. He did seem to enjoy the outdoors, and I didn't mind him being outside per say, but I was always hyper-vigilant of him being outside because Mr. Bottlecaps' first chihuahua got hit by a car and killed right in front of our houses not long after moving down here. Once we moved into the place next door, where we are now, I decided Petey would be indoors-only once again. There was no reason he had to go outside anymore, and it didn't seem to bother him that he wasn't going outside anymore.
We have a gap between the floor and our front door. It's not a huge gap, but big enough to where Petey likes to sit by the door and look outside through it. He also enjoys looking outside through the windows. Basically, he enjoys looking outside period.
Every time SIL comes over, if he's looking out the door or out a window, she makes comments like, "He wants to go outside so bad," "He seems so sad since he can't go outside anymore," and "Why don't you let him outside? He really liked it out there."
I don't know how to respond to shut the comments down. It honestly makes me feel bad, I feel like I'm being accused of being cruel to him simply because I don't let him outside for his own safety and for my own peace of mind. I know it's really not cruel, as I'm just looking out for his safety and he still gets plenty of activity indoors, either by Mr. Bottlecaps and I playing with him or by him and the chihuahua we have now playing (or, as the case may be, Petey trying to play with her while she ignores him, LOL), but the constant comments still bother me. Any suggestions on how to shut her down? I'm especially worried because I'm going back to West Virginia in a little over a week, with Mr. Bottlecaps following after everything is in order up there, and he'll have Petey for that time down here. Mr. Bottlecaps is pretty blunt, and I want to try and shut the comments down before then so she doesn't say something to him that makes him snap at her about it.
Or am I just overreacting to all of this?