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Old 01-03-2013, 06:37 PM   #11 (permalink)
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"I know I'm going to visit my family in 3 months and I'm dreading it. I'm actually very close to not going there (different city) just because I am revolted by having to see him. sigh* I just can't understand how people can be so cruel "

See how you feel a week or so before the planned visit. Don't feel bad about bowing out. Explain that it is still too raw an issue for you to visit now. Perhaps if you explain that it is affecting you like this your parents and this guy will reflect on the action. IF he is TRULY sorry ask him to make amends by visiting a shelter with you (not to adopt but to see just how lovely these pets can be if given a chance). A feral cat is not far removed form a thrown away domestic pet. I truly believe people are redeemable (think Saul/Paul of the New Testament) if they truly repent. If you are a spiritual person, pray for his eyes to be opened and wisdom for you in explaining it to him. VERY best wishes!!
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Old 01-03-2013, 07:04 PM   #12 (permalink)
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RIGHT ON for jumping your brother in laws case. Even if he wont change I'm sure it made everyone think twice about why you feel do deeply and if it is wrong or not. If you do see him and he tries to make amends then I would say to him to show you he is truly sorry by making a donation to a place like Kindness Ranch or Tabby Place or local rescue.

There are great books out you'd enjoy reading. One is
The Emotional Lives of Animals: A leading Scientist explores Animal Joy, Sorrow, and Empathy-Why It Matter by Marc Bekoff Ph.D and Jane Goodall. This would give you more ammunition when talking to people in your family. Plus its scientifically back by studies they cant discount in their discussions with you.

I think the hardest thing for any animal lover to deal with is abuse on any level. In rescue some times Ive gone home and been so distraught. Im not a crier but I do get tears when it comes to animals. Just not people! I feel people can make their own decisions but animals depend on us for help and love. Im sure your words to your nephew, he will always remember. Good can come out of this.


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Old 01-03-2013, 07:58 PM   #13 (permalink)
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i would be polite but avoid as much contact with him as possible. chilly but cordial works, you don't have to get into a fist fight with your brother but i'm sure you feel much differently toward him now.

unfortunately, there are cruel, thoughtless people in the world.
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Old 01-03-2013, 10:46 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I think I might whack him across the jaw. Really hard, too. Wouldn't feel one bit of guilt about it either.
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Old 01-04-2013, 01:16 AM   #15 (permalink)
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@Kitty-The-Cat..you have no idea how close i was to throwing a cup at him followed by flinging myself across the table. I don't know if you've ever been so mad that all you see is red and you get tunnel vision. There was 20 other adults and kids at the dinner, but all I saw was him and I was so angry I was shaking and slurring my words. I'm pretty sure everyone understood how I truly felt about this.

@cinderflower - I think that's what I'll have to do. Chilly but moderately cordial. I might say Hi to him but I'll avoid him like the plague. it's just that it's easier to repress the memory of his actions when he's not around, it'll make me feel terrible again when I see him.

@Mitts&Tess - I think I'll check that book out from the library. Thanks for the info. I'm like you in that I have more empathy for animals because they depend on us and are helpless when we decide to hurt them. A human can always do something to change his situation, an animal can't.

@Marcia - He is a religious person, which drives me nuts. How can he be so cruel to animals, yet believe in God. I don't understand the double standards. I do hope that he understands what he did and asks God for forgivness and most importantly that he LEARNED from this and won't do it again.

When I was 12 or 13 I was outside with my older brother and we were playing around with a new BB gun we had. There was a pigeon on a wire 60 feet away and for the **** of it we tried to shoot it down. We expected to graze it and it would fly away. However, I somehow managed to shoot it in such a way that it actually fell down behind a wall!!! I'll never forget how absolutely mortified I was at having actually hurt the pigeon. It was hurt and wedged in a wall and my older brother killed it with a brick. Anyway, I learned my lesson and was never again so callous with an animal. ****, when my cat runs away from me I get insulted because how could he think I'd ever hurt him?! Anyway, Hopefully he learned his lesson, and if not, hopefully my nephew and the other kids who were there - did.
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:47 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by MyBabiesDaddy View Post
Ultimately I think it's something I'll have to internalize and learn to live with since I'm helpless and powerless to make him change.
This. You can't make him care, no matter how much you want to.

I scan my local craigslist to keep an eye out for cats in desperate need and I see the same disappointing stories over and over again. People dumping cats because they have a new puppy or baby. Because they move and can't be bothered to look for a place that accepts pets, or won't pay a deposit. People dumping cats because the cats are pregnant. People dumping kittens because they don't want them but won't spay their females or keep them indoors. People dumping cats because they're "too old." Because they don't get along with the new kitten. On and on....

I also volunteer/foster for the local shelter. I see a lot of kitties in sorry shape and/or who were betrayed by their people.

It's really hard for me to fathom and sometimes the despair is overwhelming. I will never be able to help them all. I probably won't even make a dent. All the neglect and cruelty in the world...how can I stand up to that?

By doing the absolute best that I can for the ones that I can. Whatever happened with that cat your brother in law abused happened long ago. Whatever the outcome was, you can't change it now. What you can do is your best to help the ones you can.

Take excellent care of your kitties. Make sure they never want for anything, never give someone the chance to abuse them, and make sure they are well loved and know it.

Lead by example. You've already educated your family. You've started the conversation. Maybe in future they will come to you with a cat or pet question. You've already changed the way they think about cats. Giving good advice, and being credible enough that people take that advice, is a way to help even more cats. I think that's why a lot of people are on this board.

Have a little bit of faith. I foster, and I can't keep every cat I foster, much as I'd like to. I do my best to screen and adopt them into great, forever homes. There's only so much I can do though. At some point, you have to have faith that there are good homes and good people out there who love cats too, and will take good care of them. Talking with other cat people is reassuring. It's nice to know you're not the only one fighting this battle.

Good luck with your family! And go love on your kitties!
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Old 01-05-2013, 05:43 AM   #17 (permalink)
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If this is an otherwise caring and compassionate person, he'll probably never harm a cat again now that he's gained awareness. But often people who behave like this to animals are uncaring of humans too. I'd be polite and distant. Chances are he would've disappointed me anyway as a human at some point soon.
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Old 01-05-2013, 07:46 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Well, friend, I think you are coping with it the right way. You cannot change a monster. He is what he is - trash.

I became an animal lover after someone I knew was horribly cruel to animals years ago, Ever since then, I've done everything I can to try and help them. It is an experience that changes you profoundly, and worse when it is someone you know.

My sister in law got peevish a few years ago and reported her elderly neighbor to animal control for not having licenses for two of her dogs - one of the elderly dogs ended up getting euthanized. I still loathe her for that, and honestly, it affects my feelings towards my brother because I know he is just fine with her behavior.

All you can do is grit your teeth, and avoid all contact with the miserable *******. And if you catch him doing anything in the future, by all means call the police.

Last edited by Tomcats; 01-05-2013 at 07:49 AM.
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Old 01-05-2013, 10:42 AM   #19 (permalink)
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"My sister in law got peevish a few years ago and reported her elderly neighbor to animal control for not having licenses for two of her dogs - one of the elderly dogs ended up getting euthanized. I still loathe her for that, and honestly, it affects my feelings towards my brother because I know he is just fine with her behavior."

Tomcat, that is so sad. What a hateful thing to do to that old neighbor. Those pets may have been all she/he had in the world. It's a shame when family members do hateful things - life is hard enough without that added stress.
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Old 01-05-2013, 02:28 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I've never had a family member like that but I know what would happen if someone in my family married a creep of that sort...... I probably shouldn't say this but the police would be the least of their worries.
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