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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-21-2009, 03:58 PM Thread Starter
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Venting...

...about my Mother.

How is it that a good conversation can turn south so quickly over the subject of kitties?!

I was telling her about rearranging the office and she asked about having a daybed, and I replied we had no room though we could toss a matress on the floor for the occasional visitor. She questioned some more with ideas and I told her the litterchest had to stay where it was because it is vented outside. She asked if I still needed one that size and I said: "With eight cats, yes." She seemed surprised it was eight. I mean, come on! Last year I had a DOZEN! Eight is a pittance after having that many. So, she asked me to name them. *now, I KNOW she asked this so she could see if I had ADDED any new cats* ...and she seemed disappointed that the eight I named are all names she has known about for quite some time.
Somehow, I mentioned the two tomcats that have been hanging around. (The black one's front leg looks like hamburger from the bites/swelling. I had been giving him antibiotics and he is healing, it just doesn't look pretty at all.) Mom told me to NOT encourage them to stay. Well, I've been feeding them. She almost had hysterics; told me if that cat was injured I should just have him put to sleep. She sounded angry when she told me this. It got my hackles up, because it reminded me of her saying the same thing about our Reilly. I told her I could not do that to a cat who was not suffering. I didn't get a chance to tell her I wanted to trap the two toms and get them neutered.
She brought up my health problems and how she feels they were brought on by my pets; injuries being treated or viruses/bacteria they carried, blah-blah-blah. I asked her to stop bringing up the cats/horses, they were not the cause or exacerbating my medical problems. She argued 'how could I know?' and I asked if she had done any research on this disease at all, and she quietly said no. I then advised that between the two or us, I felt like more of an expert in the field than she was and she needed to drop that line of attack.
So, she switched gears and implied that my husband complains to her about the cats and if I don't do something about lessening the numbers he will leave me. I told her I would ask him about that this evening when he returned from helping our friend and I also pointed out that it has been HE who has brought home HALF of these cats of ours. She back-pedaled away from that, too.
She then brought up how stressful it must be for me to care for them...I countered that I enjoy caring for them, I know I don't want to add to them, but I am who I am and I can't change ME to suit her ideals.
She got a little huffy at that and said maybe she should just not mention the kitties at all and I told her I would appreciate that. I further explained that I did not like listening to her tell me how to care for my cats, I am capable and clear-headed. She did not like the direction this was going in, so I apologized that our happy phone call had turned bad and I would call this evening.

Why can't she understand who I am and accept me and my love for my pets?
Further compounding my misery...I just went to the kitchen to put a bowl in the dishwasher and saw a young-ish (7-10mo) tortoiseshell on the back patio with the black tomcat.
Great. Kittens.
Why do I always have to take care of everyone else being irresponsible with their pets?



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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-21-2009, 06:21 PM
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Re: Venting...

First of all, your Mother should be proud that she had a hand in making you become the extraordinary person that you are, not berate you for being yourself.

Your cats and horses give you many health benefits, the most important is having a sense of purpose. It would be so easy to focus entirely on your illness and wallow in the bad things. Instead you have a reason to get up and care for the animals, to focus on their needs. She should be grateful that you have them all. And I can not imagine doubting your care of any furry- you are so knowledgeable and caring. The black cat that comes to your house is darned lucky that he found you!

I'm not sure why you wind up with other people's mistakes, but I am sure the kitties do talk among themselves and tell each other about how wonderful you are.

My last comment is that if your Mother had done some research on your illness she would know that her actions are more likely to cause you distress than caring for the friends that give you unconditional love.


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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-21-2009, 07:04 PM
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Re: Venting...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leazie

My last comment is that if your Mother had done some research on your illness she would know that her actions are more likely to cause you distress than caring for the friends that give you unconditional love.
Ditto! I know the joy that I get from my animals, and would never be without them! What she's doing is definately causing more stress in your life, than needs to be there right now. I hope she can soon come to understand that, and see the big heart that her daughter has. It takes someone very special to do what you do, and love your animals the way you do!
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-21-2009, 07:52 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Venting...

Thank you both. My husband sees it, recognizes it and doesn't try to squash it... I just wish she could see it. I sometimes wonder if she would be happiest if I were her puppet that she could control every move and then I would live the life she thought she should live?
I am happy being me.
I do not understand why this issue with the cats (and occasionally the expense of the horse comes up) is our hot-button ticket. It is stressful to have to try to turn her comments away from hurting my heart, and I am afraid it will end up with me calling her less and less. I usually call her every day and we talk and chit/chat about anything and everything, unlike other in-laws who would only call if they needed *cough*money*cough* something.



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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-21-2009, 09:04 PM
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Re: Venting...

Yikes! Sounds like your mom wasn't in a good mood that day to be talking to you like that. I could probably shrug off the comments about the cats. Afterall, you are totally the expert on that subject compared to your mom! You probably also know a lot more about your health than she does. But the comment about your husband leaving you if you don't get rid of the cats? That's harsh!! Hopefully she cools down and can apologize to you about that!

Good luck with the tom kitties and your new calico visitor. I think the strays do spread the word...my mom swears her house is the underground railroad for cats!!
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-21-2009, 09:44 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Venting...

I don't know about the tomcats, but I suspect this young tortie may have come from an elderly neighbor a few houses up. I know she would feed them, but probably cannot afford to s/n. I may go visit her and let her know I'll be trapping cats for s/n if I can find free programs. Maybe she'll let me trap everything that is up at her place so I don't get them flowing down to my place.

Mom was in a great mood when I called today. It wasn't until the subject turned to the cats, and she questioned me about my eight. Perhaps that was the turning point, I knew why she was asking me to list them and I know I didn't like the implication at all. Maybe it was me, getting defensive, that turned the tide of our conversation?

Bah! I just don't know. I can't please her, so I'll just please myself and do what I can for/with these cats.



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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-21-2009, 11:03 PM
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Re: Venting...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Heidi n Q

Bah! I just don't know. I can't please her, so I'll just please myself and do what I can for/with these cats.
That's the spirit. I learned the hard way long ago that I wasn't going to please most of my family. I'm the black sheep, and I'm ok with that.


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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-22-2009, 12:45 AM
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Re: Venting...

You are happy being who you are and where you are, Heidi, and that is what really counts.(((HUGS)))


Lea-Ann, I am the black sheep of my family, too, but I've outlived most of the "white sheep". It's hard to kill a weed!

cats leave paw-prints on your heart
It takes a cat to turn a house from a cold building into a warm home.
Cats teach us it's the simplest things that really matter
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