to not want to speak to this person again despite him being my hisband's best friend?

(222 Posts)
catlady123 Wed 11-Sep-13 10:41:23

Have namechanged for this, I usually post in a different part of MN. I wanted people’s views on something that has upset me terribly and whether I am being unreasonable, as my husband thinks.

My husband has a best friend who is/was also a good friend of mine. He was over for dinner last night. I mentioned to him in the course of conversation that I am struggling emotionally with the fact that my fragile, old cat has become quite incontinent and I am wondering whether she should be put down at some point as she is soiling the house several times a day and I have a toddler. I have had this cat for over 17 years, through thick and thin in my life and this would be huge thing for me. I mentioned that I had thought of possible asking the vet to come to the house to do the deed without distressing her in any way, but also that I am far from coming to a decision on this yet.

His comment was that I should not do that but should take her a few hours drive away from home and then just let her out into the wild and “let nature take its course”. I was so shocked by this that I could not speak for a while, I then became very upset and refused to have dinner with him, going upstairs to bed instead. I later told my husband that I do not want anything to do with this friend again and that animal cruelty is something I cannot tolerate. I was absolutely shocked that the friend could think that I would take my beloved old cat and do this to her.

My husband’s view was that I was very rude to his friend, that I am being ridiculous, and that “everyone is entitled to their opinion”, although he himself would not actually do this to the cat. This caused a huge fight which has gone on much of the night. I don’t know what to say now. My husband tells me his friend will apologise for what he said. I can’t see that an apology would make any difference, he still thought that such cruelty was OK and that I would do something like this, how can apology for having expressed the opinion change that?

MrsRajeshKoothrappali Wed 11-Sep-13 10:45:34

He's cunt.

A very cruel cunt.

Madamecastafiore Wed 11-Sep-13 10:48:31

I don't have a cat but think maybe you are overreacting a little.

In my opinion a cat would naturally go and lie under a bush and die and so what he is saying is not cruel but more of a natural way to handle the situation than euthanizing your cat.

Accept his apology and move on.

absentmindeddooooodles Wed 11-Sep-13 10:49:44

Ok, I would be horrified at the thought of anyone doing that to a cat. But I think you are over reacting a bit. It was probably a thoughtless comment, and maybe he thought nature taking its course was the best way. I know quite a few people who think like that, but dont consider all the details of how cruel and distressing things could be.

Let him say sorry, and I think you should apaologise too for making such a huge deal out of it. Im sure he wouldnt really take a sick cat and leave it in the woods. Agree to disagree. It was a silly rhing for him to say, and a silly way to react.

I am in no way condoning animal cruelty by saying this.I have my own cats and dogs and always do whats best by them, but not everyone sees things in the same way.

It's a horrible thing to say or even think but I think you're massively overreacting!

Sorry about your cat. sad

Hullygully Wed 11-Sep-13 10:52:32

Oh dear

I think that your extreme distress for your cat (understandable), has coloured your reaction.

Lots of people think mad things about animals, they don't know any better and believe dogs are wolves and all sorts of nonsense.

I doubt he was being evil. Perhaps just explain to him another time, or ask dh to.

I would view the comment more as ignorant and ill thought out with no empathy for your feelings than cruel, if he considered what could happen to your beloved cat if left in those circumstances I am sure he would think again. If you had the same discussion as a hypothetical when you cat was young and well, I am sure you would have given him what for, rather than being so upset.

LessMissAbs Wed 11-Sep-13 10:53:35

YANBU and not overreacting, and I hate the way your "DH" thinks he should be able to moderate your behaviour over something you feel so strongly about.

Its his fault for having such an irresponsible friend. Throwing away animals when they grow old like rubbish is not an acceptable trait in an adult human who should know better. Its also not acceptable comments on his part at the dinner table when he is a guest, and if he insists on making them, then he should expect to be treated in the way you have done.

I would refuse to have anything to do with him again, but then my DH would be with me on this one, he loves my animals and wouldn't dream of listening to such utter drivel.

bundaberg Wed 11-Sep-13 10:54:01

i also think you're over-reacting a bit.
if he said he had actually done that to a cat I'd think differently, or if he'd been pressuring you to do it or making you feel bad for wanting a vet to euthanise, but as your husband said, he is entitled to his opinion! you don't have to agree with it.

maybe he just said it as a "joke" which just went really, badly wrong. we all make bad judgements sometimes.

having said that, i realise that you feel really sad and crappy right now because of your cat and I can sympathise (i have a cat and other pets myself), so i know that you're maybe feeling it more because of that.

diddl Wed 11-Sep-13 10:54:23

I think maybe a thoughtless comment?

To me, discussing an incontinent cat over dinner doesn't seem in great taste!

HattyJack Wed 11-Sep-13 10:55:15

Pets are an ethical nightmare.

If one had an elderly and frail relative and someone suggested putting them down, one would perhaps be upset.

If one had an elderly and frail pet and someone suggested putting it down, one would perhaps bee more likely to see this as the most humane thing to do.

If an animal that isn't a pet gets old and frail, it finds a quiet place to die, and that is thought of as totally natural and perhaps rather dignified.

If an animal is domesticated and gets old and frail and someone suggests letting it find a quiet place to die, that may be seen as cruel.

If I have a choice between going out into the woods, finding a comfortable place and sleepily letting my life slip from me, or being in an operating theatre with bright lights, odd noises and a stranger dressed in whites with a syringe, I know what I'll choose.

I don't think your friend was being cruel, and I think you are over-reacting.

sandyballs Wed 11-Sep-13 10:56:20

If you're not a cat or a dog sort of person then this attitude is sadly quite common. They dont realise how loved they are. I think you are over reacting as you are understandably very emotional at the moment. Try and forget and forgive and let it go.

You must have known him for years and know he isn't usually a callous sort?

Yes I think it is thoughtlessness / naivety rather than nastiness. I have one acquaintance who let her rabbit out into the wild and then wondered why she found it dead a few days later. I know someone else who routinely moves all their cockerels to the woods when they're big enough to crow / fight / get on hen's nerves. Both think they did the right thing. I think it's cruel .... when they're used to one environment, and trust you to look after them and do the right thing by them, it's a huge betrayal.
They're generally nice people though, so I do put it down to naivety rather than pure nastiness.

neolara Wed 11-Sep-13 10:57:25

I'm very sorry about your cat, but I think you are completely over-reacting. I would be surprised if your dh's friend had spent more than 5 seconds thinking about his comment and hasn't thought the issues through in the same way that you have. He probably has absolutely no appreciation of how upset his comment would make you. I doubt he thinks his suggestion is "cruel" and may even have thought your his suggestion was less "cruel" than yours.

Nancy66 Wed 11-Sep-13 10:58:38

You have massively overreacted. He just aired a view you didn't share.

Presumably you brought the topic up and he offered an opinion. You could have just said 'no, that's cruel I'd never do that.' You don't need to stomp off to bed like a teenager.

Writerwannabe83 Wed 11-Sep-13 10:58:54

Firstly, I am a huge cat lover. The two I have mean everything to me and I have been in situations where they have been ill and needed treatment and I have always been in huge floods of tears. I'm really sorry to hear about your cat, it sounds like a really horrible situation for you and what a difficult situation to be in. If you do decide to put her to sleep then I completely understand why you'd want the Vet to you, it would hopefully make it that little bit easier on all of you x x flowers

What your husband's friends said was awful but I don't know if refusing to have anything more to do with him ever again is the answer. Yes he said something that upset you but he just has a different opinion and people who don't have cats can never understand why we love them so much and see them as part of the family. If he is your husband's best friend it isn't very practical to shut him out of your life and 10 years down the line are you going to feel comfortable saying, "We'll he said something horrible about my cat" when people ask why you refuse to have him in your life?

If one of my husband's friend said the same kind of comment to me I wouldsay a little piece about how cruel I though he was being but I wouldn't take it to heart and I certainly wouldn't banish him.

Understandably you are very very upset about your cat and what he said was cruel but he was just being thoughtless. I doubt he said what he did with the intention to hurt you? People men say stupid things sometimes and make stupid suggestions but no harm is usually behind them. Men typically have practical brains not emotional ones and this is why they may see different somewhat stupid solutions to problems that are causing emotional upset.

Please don't let his silly comment come between you, your husband and their friendship.

I would let him apologise, which I'm sure iwill be a genuine one and then just move on x x

LessMissAbs Wed 11-Sep-13 10:59:10

Theres also been a few cases recently of people being sought for animal cruelty after dumping pets on roadsides, at bus shelters, etc.. More so if in poor condition.

That's how socially unacceptable it is. There is a correlation between lack of empathy towards animals and sociopathic scale disorders. I am pretty certain that animals are not without thoughts or feelings, and that once domesticated and having provided years of affection as a pet, the majority do not relish being abandoned to die alone in a strange environment without protection from the elements.

I always wonder who those awful people are that you read about abandoning older pets at the roadside when they get a new toy puppy. Now I know.

HitTheNorth Wed 11-Sep-13 10:59:12

He may have thought that doing that was kinder than having the cat PTS for some reason. I don't think it's worth ending a friendship over if this is the only issue between you. Sorry to hear about your cat though, it must be very difficult for you. Hope you manage to come to a decision.

pudcat Wed 11-Sep-13 10:59:18

What a cruel thing to say. You are not over reacting. How can anyone think of leaving an old cat under a bush to die. Vets will come out and help them on their way with no distress. If your cat is in pain and unhappy I would have it done sooner rather than later. I wonder what all these folk saying that you are over reacting would say if the animal in question was a dog.

KoalaFace Wed 11-Sep-13 10:59:28

You seem extremely distressed about your cat which is totally understandable. I'm sending you a rare hug (I'm not very tactile...).

It sounds like your friend has a naive and idealised idea of "nature taking its course" and doesn't understand why this wouldn't be a good way of handling the upsetting situation. Silly thing to say and yes if he was to do it I think it would be cruel.

But if he has been a good friend on the whole I think it'd be a terrible shame to lose that friendship, especially as you're already having to face losing your cat.

If this is just the straw that broke the camel's back in regards to thoughtless and upsetting comments I would tell your DH to just meet him at the pub/out for food/coffee and you'll stay away.

Seaweedy Wed 11-Sep-13 10:59:44

I'm sorry you are so upset, but I think there are two kinds of people when it comes to pets, the ones for whom they remain animals, and the ones for whom they become honorary humans, beloved almost-children and friends. Your husband's friend is the first type, you are the second.

He would have had no real comprehension of what ending your cat's life means to you, and would have been thinking purely of how to minimise suffering for you, thinking you were upset at the idea of taking your cat to the vet. Obviously, his 'solution' seems stupid and cruel to you, and he was thoughtless to say it when you were obviously distraught.

To be honest, I wouldn't let it end a friendship. I'm sorry your cat is so unwell, and that the decision you have to make aren't too distressing.

echt Wed 11-Sep-13 11:00:25

Your DH's friend was a knob end.

Your DH was wrong to say you were rude to him.

You overreacted, I feel. I have cat, and had to have a beloved mog PTS last year - the pee probs, too.

Accept DH's friend's apology.

tasmaniandevilchaser Wed 11-Sep-13 11:02:14

Sorry about your cat sad

But he wasn't going to actually do it, it was just a thoughtless comment from someone who doesn't really get what your cat means to you and so doesn't realise that even the thought is very upsetting for you.

so yes YANBU, accept the apology and move on.

A friend of mine is going through a similar situation with her cat and has posted on FB about it. She posted a few days ago that a friend had texted her to ask if it wasn't better to have the cat put down. She was obviously upset about this (the cat is like a child to her) but put a very calm response on FB saying that she was doing the best for the cat and would follow the vet's advice and the vet thought they could still help him.

stemstitch Wed 11-Sep-13 11:02:50

Sorry, I also think you're overreacting, and I LOVE my cat hugely. Yes it was a crass thing to say, but he probably didn't think very hard before he said it and in a stupid way maybe the thought his solution was 'the kindest thing'. He sounds like a bit of a tit, and insensitive.

But really - you refused to eat dinner and then had a massive argument with your husband that went on 'most of the night'? What's that supposed to solve?

I'm sorry about your cat btw. Mine is getting on a bit, although he's still in good health at the moment, and I'm going to be in bits when he dies. They are more than 'just pets', we know that, but some people just don't get it. They don't understand how attached you can become to them.

Feminine Wed 11-Sep-13 11:04:28

There is no way he would have understood/known how you feel about your cat. It would be impossible (realistically) to never speak to his friend.

His comment (however) sounds alternative and peculiar.

Some people just don't understand how attached we become to our pets.

When we lived in the US our neighbor helped us get rid of our cat.

We could never prove it, but we had all the evidence.

You have been a lovely cat Mum for many years, its never easy having to let them go. I hope you are able to find peace with whatever you you choose to do.

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