Anyone who owns a pet will tell you they’re far more than just a ‘pet’ – they’re a member of a family, so of course anyone who comes into your life or your home should treat them as such.
We’ve all heard the phrase, “it’s me or the dog,” but one woman has found herself in an incredibly difficult situation, after moving in with her cat-hating boyfriend. You can probably guess where this one is going.
The woman owns a cat called Millie, who she describes as her “baby girl,” as she’s had her since she was a kitten, but while the 24-year-old knew her boyfriend preferred dogs, she had no idea her four-legged friend would cause such an issue for him.
“Back when my boyfriend and I first started dating, he made the joke that if we were ever going to live together, he’d have to ‘get rid of that cat,’ which I dismissed at the time,” she explained on Reddit’s Am I The A**hole forum.
The woman said that when her partner came over to her house, he would make jokes about how “cats are stuck up” and he’s much more of a dog person, but because he was never hostile towards Millie and just ignored her instead, she dismissed his comments.
“When we started to get serious about moving in, he asked if I would consider giving her away, because he didn’t like the idea of living with a cat. I almost laughed before realising he was serious,” she continued.
“I told him that under no circumstances would I get rid of my cat. I felt guilty about being unwilling to compromise, but he actually took it well, and reassured me that if she was this important to me, he’d get over it.”
The boyfriend, 30, did end up moving in with the woman and her feline, and everything was going well until this weekend, when he came into the house without realising his partner was in the kitchen and within earshot.
She recalled: “Millie was on the couch and I heard him go into the room and give this sigh. Before I could call out, I heard him say ‘You’re so fucking worthless.’ It terrified me, because I’ve never ever heard him speak with such malice. He sounded like a different person. It was just so cold and hostile that I panicked, and rushed out there to see him looking at Millie.”
Completely freaked out by what she had just heard, the woman rushed into the living room and scooped up the cat, while yelling at her boyfriend and telling him to leave the apartment right now.
“He looked so stunned and started to argue, asking where was he supposed to go? I told him that I don’t care, he just needs to leave,” she wrote.
“He was p****d and said he was going for a drive and slammed the door behind him. I immediately started sobbing and holding Millie. I was shaking and she could tell I was upset and kept cuddling me. She calmed me down, and later when he text asking if he could come back, I said yes.”
When the boyfriend returned, she put Millie in the bedroom so they could talk about what happened after they’d both calmed down and the woman was left feeling “awful” after hearing her boyfriend’s explanation.
“I’ll often call Millie little names and he said he was just trying to be playfully mean too and misjudged his tone. But he said it felt awful that I chose a cat over him, and that I called it ‘my’ apartment when it’s supposed to be our place. He told me he was constantly feeling second best to Millie, who I wouldn’t even consider rehoming, and I had thrown him out over an animal when he’s a person.”
In response, the woman explained just how much her boyfriend means to her, and apologised for making him feel like the apartment wasn’t his home, but she still wasn’t convinced that his comments towards Millie were the result of a misjudged tone.
She turned to Reddit to question whether they thought she was out of order for kicking him out, and was met with a myriad of comments from people concerned for the cat’s wellbeing living under the same roof as her boyfriend.
“He’s lying. Don’t let him gaslight you. Your cat is going to ‘go missing’ some day,” one concerned Reddit user commented, while another agreed, adding: “If for some reason you do continue this make sure you have plenty of photographs of her and you as proof that she’s yours and that she’s microchipped because she will end up on the streets or dropped off at a shelter.”
Elsewhere, a woman who works in a cat shelter responded to say she had seen multiple incidents where partners have handed in cats without their original owner’s knowledge.
“Please, please, do not feel like a bad person for valuing your cat’s safety over your boyfriend. He’s a whole adult, capable of taking care of himself. You are her whole world, and she needs you in her corner,” she added.
“I won’t say rehoming a cat is always bad, often it can be for the cat’s own good. But in this case, I would worry that this whole situation is him testing your boundaries, and nothing good ever comes from giving in to boundary pushers.”