Situation: I have a friend (casual, not close) I've been her neighbor for over a year, and my husband has been friends with her husband for a long time. She knows enough about me to know what things are important to me in life and assume she knows my sensitive areas. I am very attached to my pets and have decided to start a new life in a new country, but can't take them with. My husband convinces me that the people (whom we know a little) who are taking over your apartment lease will also be a "good family" for our cats. My friend knows this is not what I really want and when I left she offered to keep me updated since the cats often visit her (duplex).
We leave, constantly worrying about the people we left and the future well-being of our cats that we entrusted their care onto aquaintences. She gives me updates, but seems to be focusing more on letting me know how miserable they seem and that they are always searching for us, they hate their new family and that she feels sooo bad for them...poor kitties. She also makes claims that the new family wants them to forget us. What are you going to do? The natural instinct is to worry and ask your husband to check with his friend if in fact any of this seems true, or at least to get a second opinion. This ends up with her husband getting mad at her and accusing her of trying to cause trouble, so she gets mad at me for talking about it...I'm not sure exactly what she was expecting after all this.
After this, she sends even meaner updates, saying that yeah these cats don't even miss you or care that you're gone, they're not yours anymore (then talks about other stuff as if she's said nothing wrong). Confused and dumbfounded by her words, in order to avoid a true conflict I just strayed away from conversing with her, being that my feelings were a bit hurt and that there's been no apology or realization of what she has said to me. Later on our husbands have a conversation, find out that the cats aren't in the healthiest of shape. My husband asked for some pictures (casually...not necessarily as proof) and her husband has her send them to me...and she does, along with statements like "their new owners want them to be super fat...I feel like they are going to have a heart attack" "he slithers down the stairs when he comes to see me". I acted like I never got the emails, I just cant believe a "friend" would say things like that, its like she wants to hit you where it hurts, which is knowing that you made a mistake.
A while has passed, didn't talk to her and then you get an email...why haven't I heard from you? I'm worried that your mad, let me know how you are. So I emailed her, was pleasant to her and all. I opened up a fb account and realize she's been posting pics of our cats making fun of how fat they are, even calling one of them "devil cat" since the camera made his eyes glow. Conversations between us that aren't involving the cats are usually normal. One thing I have noticed about her is that her problems seems to be so much more important than anyone elses, as if she's the only one allowed to have problems and she wants pitty from me. Don't get me wrong..I give her plenty of advice and try to console her, I guess I don't deserve to talk about my own issues or the same treatment?? IDK.
Would anyone consider this person a friend? Not sure if I should tell her off or just stop talking to her...or both. I'm not sure if her husband rightfully got mad at her in the beginning for "starting trouble"...I'm sure he knows her better than I...maybe she deserved it or maybe he was too harsh, either way we were only asking about them and their issues shouldn't have been taken out on me. Please offer advice, I don't know why this bothers me so much, I feel like I've been a pushover for too long to start speaking up, part of it was because my husband didn't want me to fight with her, even though he didn't like her, I guess he thought she was weird enough that she could attempt to hurt them, I guess he can get a bit paranoid sometimes.
It is easy enough to gradually ease yourself out of this "friendship". Keep all your contacts light and social and let them gradually trickle away to birthdays and holiday wishes, etc. There is no need to have any confrontation. She sounds like a troublemaker, and nasty as well; you do not need people like this in your life. Cheers, Sera.
I think you are being overly sensitive about this. You are the one asking for updates. She tells you how they are doing, you don't like it. She's telling you they are getting fat, there are pics of them getting fat, but you still have an issue because your neighbor is calling them fat. They really aren't your cats anymore. It is unhealthy to keep tabs on that. Your husband not wanting you to fight with her has nothing to do with you being a push over. There is just no reason to fight about this.
Seems like your neighbor likes to gossip. And as a gossiper, she probably exagerrates everything because that's what gossipers do. So it's up to you if you want to remain friends or not. But if you REALLY wanted to know how the cats were, you should be contacting the new owners of the cat. Not just some passer by who doesn't see the big picture and may only see the negative moments.
One of the first questions asked by shelters before they allow a pet adoption is, "If you move, are you going to take the animal with you or abandon it?" I personally can't imagine taking on the responsibility of pet ownership and not bringing them with when I move. I'm trying really hard not to be harsh here, but it really upsets me when people treat their pets like objects, like the furniture or dishes that can just be left behind in a move. Why did you take them in, in the first place if you had no intention of keeping them for the duration of their lifespan?
Maybe it's true your neighbor is a troublemaker. Regardless, I agree that you should be asking updates from the new owners, not from a third party who has nothing to do with them.
Thanks for the replies. Like I said in the beginning, she offered...I didn't ask for them from her. This email wasn't about the fact that they were gaining too much weight, its regarding the picture she's trying to paint about them and her manner of giving them these updates. My point is that its one thing to update me and tell me they've gained weight, vs saying yeah they don't care about them...want them to be super fat and that they she feels like they're so bad they'll have a heart attack...I'd say thats a pretty harsh method of going by it, especially if its coming from a friend. I guess I thought since she was my friend and all that she'd give me updates that I could rely on them more...its not like the new owners are going to go outright and tell me yeah were not taking very well of your pets even though we promised we'd take good care of them.
People can only imagine what they would "want" to do in a life changing situation, but sometimes when changes actually happen there are things that are not possible to have them go as you like. Some things are easier said than done and you can't have your life planned out perfectly to know exactly what's going to happen with every decision you made in the past.
First, let's talk about the neighbor. People aren't perfect. They just aren't. The neighbor is a hater and a gossiper. If you have never encountered a personal like this before, CONGRATS!!! I meet one of these per every 10 people I meet. You have to take their comments with a grain of salt. No need to work yourself up over this. This doesn't mean she is not your friend. She just has a character flaw. A really ugly one. Just call her out on her BS- "you always exagerrate everything" "don't you ever have anything good to say about the cats/ owner?" "I don't think I asked you about the cats". Eventually, she may get the hint that it bothers you and stop.
And I'm all about sh*t happens, so I'm not even going to touch upon your life changing situation. The truth is that sh*t happens!!!!
I still feel you are being overly sensitive about all of this. But I can't change how you feel. If this person's actions are upsetting you, you may benefit from just not talking to them anymore. BC trust me, this person is the type of person to have a comment about anything you tell them for example- You: hey, I'm thinking of getting a dog. Them: Ugh, don't. They stink and you have to walk them all the time. You: I was thinking of going to Cancun this summer. Them: You shouldn't because I heard _________.
So its totally up to you what you do. Shrug it off, or shrug her off.
How many cats are we talking about here? 2? 10? 30? Why couldn't you take them with you when you moved? A co-worker of mine was transferred to Belgium from the US just 3 months after adopting a dog fom the shelter. She of course brought him with because she was going to be there 18 months and had committed to raisong and caring for the animal.
I can see that you feel bad about leaving them behind and I'm glad you understand that, but I'm just really upset that you didn't consider this before taking on the responsibility for their care in the first place. Don't ever make a commitment like that again if you don't intend to honor your responsibility.
And as for the neighbor, she is clearly not your friend. If she is going to respond like this to you when you're trying to get the truth then who needs her! My concern is that you don't seem to trust these new owners to take care of them first of all and secondly to be honest if you ask how they're doing. What kind of people did you leave them with anyway and why wouldn't you have made better arrangements for them knowing you couldn't take them when you moved? Why would you allow people you don't trust to be responsible for them?
My wife and I keep a simple rule. We don't do drama. We don't buy into it, we don't fuel it, we don't partake in it in any way. You're doing exactly what this "friend" wants you to do--you're getting irritated enough about these comments that you're here on website posting about it. Why?
If there's a situation regarding the cats that needs to be fixed, fix it.
I know I am being sensitive about it, I know that I do sometimes tend to take situations or comments and make them more negative that what they really were, I hate it. But at least now I know that what I've felt about her words in the situation weren't completely my bad cognitions were fooling me about. Everyone wants a second opinion sometimes. Just wanted to make it clear that I was not intending gripe to you guys about the well being of the cats, it was about her approach to me regarding the subject. It is my problem to feel bad about what happened with them, and whether I can peacefully accept it or not. I simply wanted an opinion about her approach towards me in the situation.
Kszan I am not going to bother addressing your concerns for why we didn't take them with or whether or not I completely trusted them in the beginning. You don't know me or what my path in life has been. This is not a post regarding my story and why I couldnt take them in the first place, so don't make assumptions or think I need to be lectured on good decision making. It almost sounds as of you're more upset about the situation of the cats than what the post is about. I've already dealt with my grief of the decision we made. Just because some people have done it that everyone else can, there are things in the life called road blocks and you can't always foresee them coming. There is absolutely nothing wrong with having to have another family adopt your pets when you just don't have as much control over keeping them as you'd planned to.
Caberg, I hate drama too, but one of the things you said made me realize, all this time I haven't shown her directly how her words made me feel, but still she seems to like to continue with her comments if an opportunity comes.
The neighbor woman soounds thoughtless and tacktless in regards to her comments. She knows you are concerned, yet she says things to strike a nerve with you intentionally.
I would start to distance yourself from contact with her. She seems "toxic". Toxic people know where your weak spots are and keep pushing those buttons simply to get reactions. I know third graders who are more mature.
On a side note. Fat cats might not be the healthiest..but it's better than neglected, skinny ones. You sound like you care and there's no crime in that.
I think that if the neighbor (who again I will reiterate is not your friend) won't tell you the truth - and I can't imagine why she wouldn't I mean what's it to her anyway - and if you can't trust the new owners to tell you the truth about what's happening, and if there's no one else who can go over there and check it out for you to give you a real update, then you're going to have to resign yourself to not knowing for sure how they are doing. There's not much else you can do about it.
I have no idea why your neighbor is not just telling you the truth. It doesn't seem like the type of topic that would lead people to lie or make up stuff. It's not like you're asking her for updates on an ex bf or something, so what's her angle and what's the benefit to her if she makes up stuff? You're right it makes no sense and I suspect she is suffering from some kind of mental problem like maybe she is a narcissist or a sociopath. The fact is that you should stop talking to her because it's pretty clear you won't get any truth from her.
saphire, could you clarify something for me? The nasty neighbor is taking care of the cats or another neighbor is and the nasty one is just providing updates on the cats?
So what if the cats are fat. Personally, I love a fat cat! Ok, not the healthiest thing for an animal, but you can assume they are "fat and happy" and are being fed?
Ok.......after reading your post again, I see that the people who took over your lease are taking care of the cats. Why don't you just call them and get an email address from them? Ask them for some pics and updates? Don't deal with the nasty friend anymore.
Also, will you be returning to your old home and the cats or are you gone for good?
Last edited by Belly Kelly; 03-30-2010 at 12:21 PM.
I think she's telling the truth about them being fat, she just likes to make it sound as awful as can be. I have seen how fat they are, but I dont know if its just the fur since they're both medium haired and I used to shave them in the summer which made them look a lot skinnier, but the new owners havent so I don't know what's fur and whats fat in the pics. She said my bigger one weighed 22-25 lbs (not sure if that is exaggerated) and when I left he was 13. I know a little pudge isn't harmful, but they're 8 yrs old so too much weight is not good for them. I had them on a strict(ish) eating routine before, and I gave the new owners instructions on what kind they eat and how much they eat a day, and warned them how persistent and obnoxious they get when they want more (and its obvious the cats are winning). So..who knows. I did hear they were attempting to put them on a diet, but her last update to me was that she didn't think so anymore.
Its a mom and her son and daughter that have them now. My husband knows the son and talks to him every once in a while, and I'm acquaintances with the mom and daughter. We are planning on coming back next fall, and will surely go see them. If I do see that they still havent went down to a healthier weight I will talk to them and try to convince them that they have to be a little tougher with them. I think right now they just think spoiling them is the best treatment.
Depending on what type of cat it is, a little over 20lbs isn't that unusual. Maine Coons, Angoras and Norweigan Forest cats can all get pretty big just because of the breed. Medium and longhair cats tend to appear bigger when their winter coat grows in. If they aren't grooming them enough, they may not have shed their winter coats yet.