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post #1 of 44 (permalink) Old 01-03-2013, 02:24 PM Thread Starter
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I need some emotional advice

Hi all,

I'm a cat daddy to two cats, a 5 month old and 1.5 year old. I got "into" cats a few years ago when my girlfriend and I started feeding two ferals behind my apt. I've always loved animals, but I thought I was a dog person. My first cat was a feral who waltzed into our open door one day, and I'm now his daddy. My 2nd little boy was adopted from a shelter a few months ago. I am now a die hard cat lover, and I love my two boys so much I sometimes I get Teary eyed when I look at them sleeping so peacefully. I watch shows like animal hoarders and I'm kind of jealous of people who have more cats. I don't like it when they live in bad situations, but I personally would love to adopt more unwanted cats. Ok, so now that you know where I'm coming from, let me tell you what's bothering and hurting me so much.

A few months ago at a family event my brother in law was talking bout some feral cats around his work place. He said, very flippantly , that he trapped one of them, then drove far away and threw the cage out of the car. Cat still in it I was mortified. I asked him no clarify that he didn't open the cage and he kind of laughed and said he didn't. I can't remember the last time I wanted to physically hurt someone as much as I I wanted to hurt him. Instead, I yelled at him for being so inhumane and cruel and then left the room. I imagined how I would feel if someone locked up my babies and threw them away to die a slow and painful death and I cried over the poor cat he killed so cruely. I went outside and found an outdoor cat a few blocks away and pet him for a couple of hours (I was in a different city from where my babies are) and it helped calm me down.

So here's my question to all my fellow cat lovers. Every time I think of my brother in law I am revolted and angry. How do I "move on" and interact with him? What should I do? Luckily I only see him twice a year, but I'd like some feed back from people who either have been exposed to similar situations/people or just have a general opinion of how in the world I'm supposed to be friendly to a monster.

Thanks for your time !
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post #2 of 44 (permalink) Old 01-03-2013, 02:48 PM
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That is terrible. I've never dealt with something like this... but how does your wife feel about all of this? I assume she grew up with him. Does she have any insight to his personality that might make him ever so slightly redeeming? How does she manage to talk to someone that is so cold towards animals? Frankly, if I ever ran into someone like that they'd be out of my life as fast as I could make them. I view that as a serious reflection on how they would treat other people, too, so even if you aren't an animal lover I'd see big flashing warning signs to avoid a person like this.

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post #3 of 44 (permalink) Old 01-03-2013, 02:58 PM
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I agree with Carmel that my brother in law would no longer be considered a part of my life, and echoing Carmel, how DOES your wife feel??? At best this jerk is ignorant about what wonderful creatures these animals are, even feral and he acted out of stupidity. At worst, he is a sadistic evil man that I would not trust near my family, especially my children or animals. YOU do not need to "move on", you are not the one with the problem, only time away from him will help. You also do not need to interact with him. Tell him that you seem to have nothing tangible in common with him if he treats ANY animal so cruelly and callously. Does he know you are a cat lover? If so, his admission is all the more perplexing and disturbing. I would not have done that to a captured rat, let alone a cat. I really hope you can put this cruel action out of your head soon.

Last edited by Marcia; 01-03-2013 at 02:59 PM. Reason: omitted word
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post #4 of 44 (permalink) Old 01-03-2013, 03:14 PM
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That would drive me a bit insane also. My only advice I can give is to avoid that tool bag buttock as much as possible. I can not imagine how confroting him would do much help.

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post #5 of 44 (permalink) Old 01-03-2013, 03:37 PM
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i am so sorry for you and for that poor kitty :'( my only hope it that somebody noticed/heard him and let him free.

What a monster your brother in law is. I completely do not understand why some people act like that. what does it give them..? behavior like that must be coming from complexes or personality problems...

anyway, as others said, I do not think you have any obligation to spend time with that person. and sadly, I do not think you could do anything to make yourself accept him or forget... what's done is done, he cannot reverse the horrible thing he did. i do not forgive cruel murderers. It's not the matter i dont want to, i just cant.

hopefully time will help you deal with your feelings... again, i am so sorry...
I am tearing just thinking about that poor helpless cat :'(

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post #6 of 44 (permalink) Old 01-03-2013, 03:44 PM
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Well his act was one of extreme cruelty and likely against the law. Don't know what kind of "proof" you need that indeed did what he said he did. Your wife did witness his telling you this, right? Don't know if he could be charged with "animal cruelty", but you could inquire. Whether it is possible he could be charged, you and your wife would have to discuss if you really wanted to go ahead with it, and it's possible he could retaliate in a nasty way.

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post #7 of 44 (permalink) Old 01-03-2013, 03:46 PM
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He sounds like a horribly cruel person. I don't blame you at all for how you feel about him. Hearing something like that would utterly change my opinion of someone forever. What he did wasn't done out of ignorance or by mistake - it was clearly malicious, same with him deciding to tell you about it.

I really can't help you with 'moving on' from this situation. Two years ago I cut all contact with who I thought was a great friend, after going to her house and witnessing her do some appalling things to her cat (she held the cat down on an office chair and spun the chair round and round till the cat fell off and she laughed while the poor thing stumbled around hissing, she also held the cat forcefully on her lap and smacked it on the head every time it asked to be let down - by the end of my visit I just felt so sick for that poor sweet cat, I wanted her to turn around and rip a chunk out of my 'friend's' face).

In my opinion people show you a lot about their true nature with how they interact with those weaker than themselves, especially children and animals. I don't want anything to do with someone who can be cruel to either.
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post #8 of 44 (permalink) Old 01-03-2013, 03:47 PM
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Well, he knows how you feel now. I hope your reaction makes him feel guilty about what he did. I don't think you need to act friendly toward him though when you are at family gatherings.

I worked with a woman who told me once that her father threw a cat off their front porch once by picking it up by the tail. She was laughing about it when she told me. I was also horrified and told her so. I told her that the cat could have broken or fractured its tail; it was animal abuse & wasn't in the least funny. But she wasn't the one who did this; we actually had a pretty good working relationship.

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post #9 of 44 (permalink) Old 01-03-2013, 03:52 PM
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Related by marriage or not, I'd have reported him to the authorities so fast he'd have been caught up in the dust storm. If they didn't act, he'd have been named and shamed in every way I could come up with. And that would have only been the start.
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post #10 of 44 (permalink) Old 01-03-2013, 05:20 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you all for taking the time to read my post. He is my brother in law because he's married to my sister. He actually didn't even understand what he did "wrong" until my sister had to EXPLAIN to him that he did something bad. He actually told me that its no different then throwing away a mouse In a trap. Firstly, I told him, I wouldn't allow a trapped mouse to die slowly, as much as it would hurt me, I'd end it's suffering quickly. I explained to him that a cat has feelings and emotions and People keep them as pets, so they're not "vermin". After I left the house my parents tried to calm me down and told me I shouldn't get so upset at him just because he feels he way he does about cats. I didn't even bother to respond to them because the fact that they said that to me shows that they are just clueless. They tried to tell me that he understood what he did was wrong end he regrets it now, but based in the way he was laughing about it, I just don't buy it. My sisters isn't an animal "lover", so although she understood what he did was wrong, it doesn't affect her like it did me, since I can relate to the poor soul because of my cats.

@catinthemirror: if I saw someone mistreating their cat like that I'd never speak to them again and offer to take their cat away from them since they obviously don't care. It's a little different in this case because he's family and as much as i don't want to ever see him again, I will.

@anie: you make a good point in that as much as I'd perhaps "want" to forgive him, I can't. I can't erase the thought of the suffering cat. When I left the house and went to get some solace from the outdoor cat I felt a lot better. I took it as a "sign from god" that god had taken care of his creature and sent someone to free him. The next night I went looking for that outdoor cat again and she wasn't there. I hope that someone let the cat out, it doesn't deserve to die so horribly. But the point is even if I "wanted" to forgive him, I don't think it's me he needs forgiveness from, it's from God and the poor cat. So I don't have any way of moving on. I just have to deal with it somehow, and I'm having a hard time. Every time I think about it I get so angry and sad and depressed.

@Nan: he, and my whole family, know how I feel NOW. I was VERY angry, and I was close to jumping over the table and attacking him. I purposely completely ignored him the rest of my stay with my family. At the time they didn't know I love cats, so I know he didn't say it to hurt me. He wasn't even talking to me, I had overheard him talking to his brother.

@those who want me to report him, I agree that I thought about it. But I don't think it would make any difference except to make him hate the cats more. I hope that he learned his lesson and doesn't do anything horrible to the rest of the cats near his work.

The one good thing that came of this is that as I was brooding and fuming in the living room, his 10 year old son, my nephew, came to me and said "for what it's worth, I agree with you, not my father". I made sure to explain to him what was so horrible about what his father did. I hope that he learns to grow up and love animals, or at least, be compassionate towards other living things.

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

Im hoping that somewhere along the discussions in this thread, someone will help me figure out a way to make my point clear to him, have him understand what he did wrong, admit what he did was beyond awful and have him make amends, not to me, but to the cats. In a purrfect world I'd love it if he donated some time or at least money to a cat shelter , or even leave food out for the ferals near his office. But I doubt that'll happen since I doubt he gives those cats a second thought. How does one convince a person who doesn't care about animals to care? 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.

Thanks for hearing me rant. If I had a shrink I'd definitely be trying to figure it out with them.
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