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Woman on bus told me to move seats because she was allergic to my cats. Who was BU?

(135 Posts)
EweHaveGoatToBeKiddin Tue 30-Jul-13 17:38:19

Just in from the vets and rushing to get dinner sorted so shall make this quick-ish.

My kittens had a check up today at the vets. I don't drive, so me and dd took the bus with them in their pet carrier.

A woman was blocking the aisle with her legs out and shopping trolley so i asked if she could please move to let us by. She made a face as she looked at my pet carrier but finally moved and let us sit in the two seats behind her.

Then she starts coughing. After a minute of it, she turned round and informed me she's highly allergic of cats and they cause her breathing difficulties. I apologised and said I'd put them on the floor by my feet instead of on my lap, but she said that would't make any difference. She suggested i find somewhere else to sit.

The bus was unusually busy. There were only two seats left, but they weren't together. One had a dripping wet carrier bag on it (looked like a tub of spilled curry sauce inside) and the other was at the back of the bus between a group of loud (seemed very drunk to me) people playing music and talking about not so nice things...

I told her that dd won't sit on my lap and I needed two seats together so would be staying put.

Next time the bus stopped, she got up to speak to the driver! She didn't even try being quiet. I was mortified. She said that she was struggling to breathe because of my manky cats and that they shouldn't be allowed on public transport. And that her shopping is covered in fur now.

The driver asked her repeatedly to sit down, there's nothing he could do. Then he asked me how much further i was going. I told him still a fair bit, as the vets is in a different town. After another few minutes of arguing, the driver firmly told her to sit down or she'd need to get off.

Everyone was laughing at this point. The people up the back were calling crude things down to me thinking they were hilarious. ("I don't mind your pussy being on board etc etc") blush

Anyway, she sat back down and we set off again. She sat there swearing under her breath and coughing. Three stops later, she got up again and demanded a refund as she had to get off now or else she'd get seriously ill.

I'm not undermining allergies in any way, but what was i supposed to do? The driver said he doesn't do refunds as he doesn't handle the money and she'd have to write to head office. Ten minutes of arguing later, she got off.

I was 20 minutes late for my appointment because of her! Luckily i had a double appointment booked, but it meant the vet had to rush and do two cats in the space of one.

So, dare i ask? Who was BU? Please say it wasn't me. I feel rotten about it already. But i don't know what i could have done differently.

MrsDeVere Sun 04-Aug-13 17:03:33

I don't think she was allergic.
Just a hunch.
Coughing?

hmmmm

If someone told me they were highly allergic and asked me to move, I would. I wouldn't want someone suffering a horrible reaction because of my actions.

But if they came and sat next to me and then moaned I would be a bit surprised if they asked me to move.

Slightly OT but I had an official visitor a few weeks ago. I always ask if people are ok with dogs because mine are yappy but friendly. They would frighten someone who is nervous of dogs.

This visitor said she was very allergic to dogs so could I put them somewhere. I said yes but what about the hair etc (they get on the sofas etc). She said that was fine, it wouldn't affect her.
Really? Could this be true? Surely my dogs hair and saliva would be all over everything and if you were highly allergic you would react?

I wondered if she was scared but didn't want to say.

MadeOfStarDust Sun 04-Aug-13 16:57:15

I think the other woman was over the top in her reactions - but to be honest she did have a bit of a point....

If I am sitting comfortably on a bus for god knows how long and someone gets on with something I am allergic to and sits down right next to me, I am going to be a bit peed off if I have to gather my stuff and move..

treaclesoda Sun 04-Aug-13 16:54:09

I'm no cat lover but even I think that the other woman sounds like she was a bit overly dramatic and unreasonable. Having said that, afaik I don't think you're allowed to take animals on buses in my area (except guide dogs) and I think its a very sensible rule, and it means that things like this just can't happen.

Sirzy Sun 04-Aug-13 15:56:38

But the op has nowhere to move too because she needed 2 seats. Other woman was alone so could move and could have stopped the problem she just wanted to cause a scene.

FreudiansSlipper Sun 04-Aug-13 15:50:15

regardless of medication who knows maybe she left it at home if I got on the bus and sat next to/behind a passangers that reacted to whatever becaue of my getting on the bus and they informed me I would move

Theatre is a little different a lot of money is beng spent, misding part of the performance also as you said they may have been oblivious to it

so paying passangers have to be considerate to cats that they may have an allergy to being on the bus. The only time I would say you have to be considerate towards an animal and it would be right thing to do should it cause you discomfort is for a guide dog

Sirzy Sun 04-Aug-13 15:38:36

But people should carry medication with them.

DS is severely asthmatic with lots of triggers but I wouldn't expect other people to stop doing things which are perfectly legal becuse of it. It is up to me to medicate and keep him safe if that means moving then so be it.

My sister went to the theatre once and started a reaction because of someone eating peanuts - she asked to be moved somewhere else rather than expecting the other person (who was probably oblivious!) to move.

YouTheCat Sun 04-Aug-13 15:36:34

If her allergy was that bad (and I seriously doubt it from how she was able to carry on ranting), then just someone with cat fur on their clothing could set it off and in that case, if it was me with the allergy, I'd make sure I had medication or would move. That is also being considerate.

FreudiansSlipper Sun 04-Aug-13 15:33:09

was the woman aware of her daughters asd I doubt it and if other passangers were they could have given a seat up (I am sure not all were travelling in pairs)

I am astounded so many are saying her allergy her problem. If I got on a bus eating peanuts/with a cat and someone reacted because of an allergy by coughing I would not be saying well your problem not mine you should move. it is not hard you know it is called being considarate

and how often do you get on a bus with cats on, should people drug themselves up just in case no of course not

YouTheCat Sun 04-Aug-13 15:14:20

So, FS, where should the OP's autistic dd sit when her mum has moved to the one other available seat at the back of the bus with the drunks?

Allergy sufferers are responsible for their own medication and managing their condition, even if that means moving away from a trigger.

Plus the woman who was complaining wasn't too breathless to rant at the driver for 20 minutes.

PresidentServalan Sun 04-Aug-13 14:39:48

YADNBU!! I have allergies and would move if I was near something which could set them off. Plus you had kittens - that trumps everything grin

snotfunny Sun 04-Aug-13 11:33:46

YANBU. This would not have been an issue at all if she had handled it entirely differently. What would have happened if she had turned to you and calmly said: 'I'm very sorry. I know the bus is really busy, but I am beginning to have an allergic reaction to your cats. There's no where else Zi can sit because of...(insert reason here). Is there any way your cats could be moved further away from me, please?'

I suspect that in this case, the OP and possibly the other passengers would have found a solution. I know that had I heard such an exchange I would have offered to swap seats.

The over dramatic complaining and telling tales to the driver and exaggerating the extent of fur coverage would have marked her out as a loon and the other passengers would automatically be less inclined to help out.

You couldn't move even if you had wanted to, OP, without the co-operation of other passengers. It was an unfortunate situation, but I don't think it was your fault, OP.

FreudiansSlipper Sun 04-Aug-13 11:28:58

if someone is coughing their allergy is bad

your cats are the cause you do the nice thing and move

should she have moved to the back of the bus because cute likkle puddy cats have got on hmm

When I have taken my cat to the vet his fur does escape all over the car from his cat box, they shed fur when they are nervous

Itsaburrdiee Sun 04-Aug-13 11:27:38

I'm very allergic to cats but it's my problem and I wouldn't inconvenience others because of it. I don't think cats in a carrier a few seats away would bother me to be honest and if they did I would move.

YouTheCat Sun 04-Aug-13 11:24:12

But surely if you have an allergy that bad (and the fact is you may well end up sitting next to a crazy cat lady who is covered in cat hair on public transport) you'd take some antihistamines as a precaution?

FS, the OP had nowhere to move to with her child and pet carrier as she needed to sit with her kid because she is young and is on the spectrum. Much easier for the deranged moaner to move imo.

DizzyZebra Sun 04-Aug-13 11:24:12

It's called public transport for a reason though, and ost companies allow animals on board, provided they are properly restrained and under control.

I am allergic to certain body sprays but i couldn't ask someone wearing one of them to get off the bus.

It's one of the risks you take by using public services. OP was not doing anything wrong by having her pet there.

FreudiansSlipper Sun 04-Aug-13 11:19:25

YABU

when cats are nervous they shed a lot of fur

I would have moved her allergy sounds quite bad yes she was stroppy but those who have cat allergies can avoid them most of the time she couldn't in this instance so it would have been fair for you to be more considerate

mrsruffallo Sun 04-Aug-13 11:08:14

YABU
I have a severe cat allergy and it probably would have made me cough. I sense that you weren't as reasonable as you appear in your OP either. Just a feeling.

DizzyZebra Sun 04-Aug-13 11:03:11

YANBU.
I had a woman complain about my dog once. She tried to claim she was allergic to it, Which was highly unlikely due to the breed.

Bus driver basically told her to do one and everyone had a good laugh at her being a dick.

BurnThisDiscoDown Sun 04-Aug-13 10:34:33

I have asthma and strong perfume can set off an attack. When I was catching the train to work and back I would quite frequently end up near someone wearing strong perfume. I would use my inhaler then move if that didn't work. I wouldn't have dreamed of asking the perfume wearer to move, apart from being precious on my part, why does my right not to move trump theirs? We've both paid for tickets, but my health issue is my responsibility.

Op, ywnbu, if she was able to march up and down the bus complaining she was able to move seats.

sameoldIggi Sun 04-Aug-13 09:28:43

Our busdrivers wouldn't allow a shopping trolley (or buggy, suitcase etc) to block the aisle at all. Tis a health n safety issue.

Emilythornesbff Sun 04-Aug-13 08:40:24

No it's not sadistic. You are overreacting and your comment sounds a little ridiculous tbh. Sorry if that sounds rude.
The OP did nothing wrong by bringing her cats on to the bus.
The allergic woman could have moved. It was not reasonable for the OP to move in the given situation.
Accepting the OP's OP (which I do on aibu unless it has glaring holes) the allergic woman was being difficult. IMHO.

alreadytaken Sun 04-Aug-13 08:31:44

The presence of the cats was making someone ill. The OPs actions were therefore causing pain to another person. She could have avoided that but chose not to. That is sadistic. However I have better things to do than continue a debate with those who think such behaviour is reasonable.

Emilythornesbff Sun 04-Aug-13 08:14:40

Sorry alreadytaken nice try but OP WNBU. Even with your eloquent reverse aibu. The "allergic" woman was being difficult.
That is all.
grin

Sirzy Sun 04-Aug-13 08:10:48

But the OP was allowed to take the cats on the bus. Plenty of things are allergens to people are we going to ban them all from public transport? The OP did nothing wrong, it was the other woman with the problem not her

alreadytaken Sun 04-Aug-13 08:08:47

sure I read the post - just didnt automatically assume either that it was the entire story or that it was all true.

As to why she should move - why not? There was no mention of ASD in the initial post. Her cats were causing someone such severe health problems that they had to leave the bus. The OP caused the problem by taking the cats on the bus and hence should try to mitigate the damage. She didnt. The other person should have moved but the OP was also behaving badly and her only concern was that she was late for her appointment.

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