Bringing my cat with me?

(35 Posts)
CajaDeLaMemoria Wed 05-Dec-12 11:13:39

Okay, so I'm just writing this for perspective - I doubt I can change anything. Please be gentle!

Right, so we will spend Christmas with my OH's family. They have a very old dog. It's OH's birthday v.close to Christmas, so we will be expected to go to their house forever I expect - but saying that, we were invited last, after everyone else rejected the invitation.

Anyway, OH wants to go down on the 19th, and come back after New Year. He is v. close to his parents so I can understand why. I don't drive, for medical reasons, incase this becomes important.

I have no family. Without making this pages long, my parents were very violent and abusive, and my sisters and I were sent around various foster homes (some good, some terrible). Christmas is an awkward time for me. I have severe depression and anxiety that gets a lot worse then. I am currently seeing a psych about bipolar, as my mum and sisters have this, and I am showing symptoms.

So, we have to go down on 21st as I have an important psych meeting on the 20th. We are taking various small animals, I think, because I'd worry about leaving them here. We are also taking down the mice we have looked after for his parents for a few weeks as they are doing something to the house.

I want to take the cat. He is, apart from OH, my only pet. He isn't technically mine...he was in the house when we moved in, and has moved himself in. I believe his owner has moved out. He's here all day everyday, with me, and he has been an amazing help to my mental health. He can be a bit of a pain...he's slightly feral, and will forget to put his claws in, and he did bite me last weekend. But I love him, and I'm dreading leaving him.

OH's parents hate cats. Hate them. No real reason why. OH did too until he met this cat, and he now loves him. He won't tell his parents that the cat is here. The cat was in a fight last week and OH rushed him to the vets...he's ours, for all intents and purposes.

OH originally said he'd ask for the cat to come, and that I wasn't BU for wanting him there. Now he says they will say no. I don't know if he's asked. He gets very stressed and says I can stay with the cat if that makes me happy, but he will be going there. He doesn't want to choose, and says it is me that needs to choose, if it comes to that: going with him or staying with the cat.

So AIBU for asking them to let me bring him? He'd be happy in his little fabric cat house. I'll spend a lot of time upstairs alone anyway because I'm an outsider, so I'll be with him for cuddles etc, and I'm tempted just to sneak him down. I'll be a wreck of nerves if I have to leave him outside for that long without knowing he is okay. No catflap so can't leave him inside

Can you not just put him in a cattery?

Of course, YANBU for asking but it does sound like they are going to say no so you do need a plan B

But yes, you should at least ask

but you can't sneak him there...if they say no you have to respect that and either put him in a cattery or not go. You can't just leave him outside, that isnt fair unless he has someone going in to feed him and somewhere he can go for shelter.

D0oinMeCleanin Wed 05-Dec-12 11:20:33

YABU it is not fair for the cat. He will not be happy being locked in his little fabric cat house or to be in a strange house with strange people.

Y also ABU to even consider leaving locked outside all that time.

Buy him a litter tray and promise a neighbour a nice bottle of something if they call round and feed him twice a day and let him in/out if he has a routine.

Unhappy and unsettled tom cats wee everywhere and it bloody stinks. It's not fair to expect your PIL to put up with that in their house.

FlaminNoraImPregnantPanda Wed 05-Dec-12 11:20:49

I don't think YABU for asking (my daughter will bring her cat when she comes here for Christmas) but they won't be unreasonable if they refuse. So think about what you will do for plan B.

Personally I would be more upset about my partner saying he's going no matter what I need to do, even if that means leaving me behind. sad

ScarlettsPlantHasTinselHoHoHo Wed 05-Dec-12 11:24:13

I wouldn't take either of my cats to someone else's house unless they were poorly and needed care.

I think you either have to keep him in & ask someone to call in and fill up the food/empty the litter every day [and being honest I'd leave the heating on low too] or look into a cattery.

CajaDeLaMemoria Wed 05-Dec-12 11:24:29

He does have somewhere to go. His old house is empty and he's found a way in through the hole in the wall.

OH says he survived for this long when we weren't here, which is true. And the neighbours used to throw him scraps, so might do that again.

But I want him with me...If he was a cute puppy, they'd have no objection, and probably demand we took him.

I guess it feels like they should be happy that we go to theirs every year, because I don't have parents or any family at all that we would need to see. If I did, we'd have to alternate, and therefore they'd see him less. So why can't I bring my only real family member?

I'll look into catteries again. OH did suggest that, and even rang the nearest one, but it wsa £350 from the 21st the the 2nd Jan, and I don't think we can afford that. He cost us £300 in vets fees last week, unexpectedly.

Thanks for replying. I feel a bit torn up this week, and have another psych appt that I'm dreading, so I wasn't sure if I was being completely irrational.

OH won't see it, because he says he's my family and I'll have him, and that's true. But I could have both, and then at least there are two people that like me, to counter the many that don't. I feel a bit less crazy now.

ScarlettsPlantHasTinselHoHoHo Wed 05-Dec-12 11:25:32

Or fit a catflap!

ChestnutsRoastingonaWitchesTit Wed 05-Dec-12 11:26:05

You should definitely ask.
Then you'll know where you stand and it might make the rest of the decisions you have to make (whether to go or stay, whether to take him and hide him etc) easier.
Do it one step at a time, in small chunks instead of worrying about the whole situation. If they say yes, you won't have to worry about any of the rest of it.

Fingers crossed for you

ScarlettsPlantHasTinselHoHoHo Wed 05-Dec-12 11:26:44

X post, deffo ring a few catteries - £350 for 12 nights is taking the piss...

CajaDeLaMemoria Wed 05-Dec-12 11:27:16

Ah, x-posted.

If he has to stay, I'll put him in a cattery. It'll be difficult to afford but I won't just leave him. I'll worry about him enough being in a cattery, I'd have constant panic attacks just leaving him outside.

He doesn't spray. Never has. Not here, not in his old house. He is neutured though, and he did come with us to a holiday cottage a few weekends ago, and was as good as gold. He gets much more upset being left on his own than going somewhere new.

Oh's mum texts me constantly for pictures of him...

Okay, so I am being a bit U. I thought I might be. It's hard to be reasonable when your head feels destroyed. I shall find him a cattery and get on with things.

Thanks again.

You can't leave him and just hope the neighbours will throw him snacks...what if they don't?

You either make firm arrangements for the neighbours to feed him every day or you book the cattery.

I know you want him with you but at the end of the day it is their home and if they don't want you to bring him then that is their right.

Could you not call them up yourself and speak openly and honestly to them...tell them exactly how you are feeling and try and appeal to their compassionate side.

KenLeeeeeee Wed 05-Dec-12 11:29:01

I understand why you feel so torn. My mum has a real affinity with animals (rabbits rather than cats) and she would have absolutely refused to go anywhere for any length of time without her last rabbit before she died. Like you, my mum has struggled with depression and anxiety among other health problems and I think it's quite understandable that you develop this sort of connection with an animal rather than people, although it is nigh on impossible to get many others to understand that you're not just being awkward and overly attached to a pet.

You are not crazy.

I don't have the answer or any other helpful suggestion but wanted you to know that I think YANBU for being so torn.

D0oinMeCleanin Wed 05-Dec-12 11:31:22

My dog survived on the streets as a stray before we adopted him, it doesn't mean it is okay for me to chuck him out again because I don't want to pay for kenneling.

Paying for pet care is part of the responsibility of pet ownership, either by way of a cattery or by paying a neighbour to call in and feed him. If you are not able to do this you need to find your cat a home with someone who will.

You cannot just throw him outside in the middle of winter and go on holiday. I can't believe you are even considering that shock

Keeping him hidden your room in a cat bed is cruel. Locking him out and leaving him is even more cruel.

Either be a grown up and ask your PIL or make care arrangements for your pet.

CajaDeLaMemoria Wed 05-Dec-12 11:34:18

Thanks KenLeeee.

I would phone them, but I think that'd make things worse, rather than better. If OH wanted to bring the cat it would be allowed, it's because it's me.

I won't leave him. I really won't. I'll either pay next door to look after him again, or I'll put him in a cattery. He will be somewhere that rationally I will know he is okay, I just know that I would be much calmer, and mentally sane, with him with me. Or even nearby. I offered to pay for a hotel that we could take him too, and then visit OH's parents, but they were horrified by that suggestion.

I'll ruin OH's birthday and Christmas if I stay here. It'll ruin mine if I go without the cat. I want them both.

It might be worth mentioning that we did invite them here, but they wouldn't come. They won't visit us even if they drive right past our front door.

I'll ask OH again tonight, and then book him into somewhere if the answer is no. At least then maybe I can process it as what is happening, rather than desperately thinking of ways to change it.

LaCiccolina Wed 05-Dec-12 11:37:32

It's not crazy to love a cat. Ask but be prepared for a no. If he won't u do it. Explain the cost of cattery for duration too. That way if u cannot afford it it is clear to everyone. Plan ur plan b. I'd stay home myself, there's doesn't sound much fun either! Get lots of treats in and radio times and I reckon u might have a better one.

There will b loads of us on here escaping to so u definately won't be alone if u wSnt a chat

Good luck xxxx

CajaDeLaMemoria Wed 05-Dec-12 11:38:18

I won't chuck him out again.

I didn't mean to give that impression.

We have spoken to the neighbour, briefly, who said if we were going away not to pay for care because she'd feed him and give him a fuss on her doorstep. He will sleep either on our terrace or in his house. She was quite offended that we had taken him on our weekend away, because she does like him, she just can't let him inside as she has three dogs. She couldn't commit to looking after him until she knew what dates they were free, though.

So OH wants us to ask her. We can't fit a catflap because it's a rental house, but he'll be able to get onto the terrace, into the shed and into the covered gazebo bit behind the back door. Just not actually into the house.

I couldn't leave him outside anyway, so it'd have to be a cattery, or a different neighbour who could let him in. I need to know he is fed and warm, at the very least.

I'm a bit flustered and crying my eyes out, so apologies if this makes no sense. I am too sensitive for AIBU today, I think.

If OH wanted to bring the cat it would be allowed, it's because it's me.

Why cant/wont he ask then?? If he knows that it is worrying you and is really important to you and they will say yes if he asks....why doesn't he unless he is a complete selfish arse!

sashh Wed 05-Dec-12 11:41:19

OP

Your cat will be much happier in his own surroundings, cats can get stressed easily.

Where are you? Are you sure you can't get someone to come in once or twice a day?

Proudnscaryvirginmary Wed 05-Dec-12 11:42:53

I'm sorry you are struggling so much at the moment OP - do you want to start a thread on Relationships or somewhere gentler where you will get TONS of support and hand holding? xxx

WelshMaenad Wed 05-Dec-12 11:44:35

Is your cat vaccinated? The chattery may not take him unless he has up to date certificates.

Ask. They can only say no. But gave a back up plan with the neighbour. We leave out cars with the neighbours when we go away, they are quite happy as my neighbour lives cats and sits and fusses them.

mycatlikestwiglets Wed 05-Dec-12 11:47:59

Your cat is likely to be happier left at home OP, they take a while to settle into new surroundings so even if your OH's family were prepared to accept him it might not be the best thing for him. If your neighbour is prepared to look after him, can't you leave a key so they can let him in and out a couple of times a day? Or find a local catsitter as an alternative to a cattery.

I don't think your OH is unreasonable asking you to choose between him and the cat tbh - look at it from his point of view and he probably doesn't understand why you're making a fuss. You've obviously bonded closely to the cat and are drawing support from it that he doesn't need. It sounds as though that isn't really the issue though, more that you need the assurance of someone who's on your side. Perhaps you need to sit down with your OH and make sure he is properly aware of your feelings?

sufferingfromcraft Wed 05-Dec-12 11:48:13

i agree re:cattery etc, but no-one else seems to have mentioned that "you'll be spending alot of time upstairs alone because you're an outsider". Is that how you want to spend time at Christmas?

Viviennemary Wed 05-Dec-12 11:53:03

I don't think it's a very good idea to take the cat away to someone else's house. Even if they agree. It would be far more secure in a cattery. Have you not got a garden shed you could leave open or similar so the cat could get some shelter if the weather was very cold and a neighbour could feed it. Catteries normally charge around £7 per day. But London prices might be a lot higher or over Christmas the prices might be higher. And I'd think about making the visit a bit shorter if it was me.

Proudnscaryvirginmary Wed 05-Dec-12 11:56:18

Can everyone just see OP's last post. She is crying and very vulnerable. Don't really think this is about her cat to be honest! OP please get this moved to Relationships, it will be more valuable for you.

LadyClariceCannockMonty Wed 05-Dec-12 11:58:43

Talk to the neighbour properly. She sounds lovely and as if she will help if she can. It sounds as though you have at least one other neighbour you can ask, too, so I'd try that before trying more difficult/expensive options.

And it's not silly or wrong to love your cat and find him reassuring. It sounds as though the two of you have a great relationship!

VikingLady Wed 05-Dec-12 12:32:51

Regardless of whether it is about the cat, the cat is still an issue that needs sorting. Op can deal with her relationship after Christmas or whenever she wants!

Op, there are cat sitting/feeding services. I priced up our local ones and they would charge £15 per day to come and feed the cat twice a day, let him in or out and play with him for an hour each time. Is that an option?

Longdistance Wed 05-Dec-12 12:36:28

My step fil does house sitting, and looks after dogs, cats, horses and so on. Try looking into something like that.

AboutThyme Wed 05-Dec-12 12:36:53

I'd be more tempted to chuck the OH out and hope someone feeds him scraps to be honest angry

pictish Wed 05-Dec-12 12:43:33

I don't think your cat will enjoy going on holiday to your pils for Christmas. I don't think you should take him. Sorry.

D0oinMeCleanin Wed 05-Dec-12 12:55:33

Oh bless you.

I personally do not like catteries. Not for any reason. I just know my cat would hate one. I am fortunate enough to have family near me who feed my cat while I am away. But there are other options if your neighbours cannot help.

www.animalaunts.co.uk/cat-sitting

There are also some people who look after cats in their own home, perhaps if you found someone or a cattery close enough you could visit your cat.

If your PIL happen to live near me I'll take him, even if he does sound like he's gonna pee all over my house and eat my children grin

It does sound like your OH is being a bit harsh about this. Is he normally so dismissive of your feelings?

PippinWoo Wed 05-Dec-12 13:07:50

I've had many cats over the years and none of them would have liked to go away to strange houses. You can't really take them on holiday like you can with dogs. Going in the cat basket to the vet or cattery is bad enough! He would find the whole experience incredibly frightening even if he's with you so it's not very fair. If he got out of your in-law's house somehow, you may never see him again!

The best thing for you both would be to put him in a cattery or use a pet-sitting service. At least then you'll have peace of mind that he's safe, secure, warm and fed even if its not his favourite place. He'll be okay and you can always ring up and check with the cattery how he's doing. Yes, it's a strange place but it's geared towards cats and keeping them happy so not the same as a stranger's house.

My local cattery is about £6.50 per night including food. The price you've been quoted is madness! Have a look around.

I hope you sort it and can relax over Christmas whatever you end up doing.

KellyEllyChristmasBelly Wed 05-Dec-12 13:11:01

Get a pet sitter. They will come round every day/every other day and feed teh cat, change the water and litter. I never put my cats in a cattery as they get too stressed and it's too expensive. This is by far the better option as the cat can stay in its own environment.

PippinWoo Wed 05-Dec-12 13:15:43

How far are you travelling to get to your in-laws? Couple of hours in the car?

Would it be feasible to check your cat into a cattery near to your in-law's house so that he's safe and happy but you could perhaps visit him during your stay when you feel you need to see a friendly furry face?

It sounds like you need the comfort of seeing him during the difficult period of the visit and if no one else can help you, you should have him nearby somehow.

baublesandbaileys Wed 05-Dec-12 13:17:13

no harm at all in asking, they might surprize you!

but if you asked me, it would be a flat "no", I wouldn't judge you for asking though so long as you were gracious about the possiblity of it being a "no" IYKWIM

and if you snuck a cat into my house without asking I would of course find out (how can you not?) and you would be out on your ear with your cat immediately, even if it was 2am on christmas eve!

If your neighbour doesn't work out then I'm sure there's some thing more informal and cheaper than a cattery that you could use, like someone letting themselves into your house a couple of times a day?

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