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to not want my mil's cat for christmas

(15 Posts)
hargwyne1 Tue 05-Jul-11 11:34:03

Just want to get some perspective on this.

My dp has a dog and cat hair allergy. When we visit his mother, who has a cat, he is able to keep it under control by taking anti-hystamines (sp?). However, they do leave him drousy and still sneezy.

His mother is on her own and has no real family other than dp. Her cat is an important part of her life eg cards are signed from her and cat.

The problem is that she wants to bring the cat to our house for christmas (we have it at our house as my family come too). The last two years dp has said no. This has resulted in serious rows, in which the mil has said she will not come if cat can't (though she has gone back on this). This year she also said she thought it best if we severed contact- not carried out. Recently discussion came up again as at dinner table mil said she wouldn't be able to have any more cats because of christmas. She also denied dp's allergy. Dp is now sying we should have cat this christmas, and that it is his problem as he is the one with allergy. Aibu to be furious about this and to think dp should not give in? Part of me feels sorry for mother in law as quite lonely, but thought of cat hairs in house of person with allergy seems crazy.

I know this sounds trivial but it has caused blazing rows, and would like another perspective. Thanks

5inthebed Tue 05-Jul-11 11:37:10

YANBU, I'd rather eat turkey wink

How long is she staying for? I'd have cat over if DH said he was ok with it. It's only a few days (hopefully) and will save a few arguements.

Strange wanting to bring a cat though.

PorkChopSter Tue 05-Jul-11 11:37:56

It'd be the gift that keeps on giving hmm

when are you seeing her next ... could your DP not take his anti-histamines? Not that he needs them since his allergy is imaginary. Perhaps seeing his imaginary allergic reaction might convince her. Although I'd put money on her just being awkward and it not being about the cat at all. Does she get on with your family?

meravigliosa Tue 05-Jul-11 11:39:07

I don't think YABU, but you may have to concede on this one.

How long does she stay with you? We have a lovely pet-sitter who will come in and deal with the cats if we are away for a long weekend, and cats are certainly none the worse for it. It may be hard for you in fact to resist if your DP (who is the one with the allergy) is ok with it, and you may have to swallow it for the sake of peace, but to me it sounds like she is a manipulative bully. But is sticking to guns worth the pain that more rows with MIL would cause DP?

takethisonehereforastart Tue 05-Jul-11 11:40:05

YANBU, and she's trying to bully you with threats and tantrums.

It's different when you choose to go to her house but when she comes to yours she should accept that she can't bring the cat. Pet hair is difficult to shift from carpets and furniture even after a good clean, so even when she has left your house your DH still might be suffering for awhile.

I do feel sorry for her, if she is alone and her cat obviously means a lot to her. But the cat won't know or care that it is Christmas and a few days at a friends house or a cattery won't do it any harm.

buzzsore Tue 05-Jul-11 11:40:07

The cat won't even like coming, it'd be scared out of its own territory, poor thing. Try appealing to that aspect with your MIL.

The cat would be happier with a neighbour or pet-sitter coming in to feed it than it would travelling to someone's house or a cattery.

And yanbu. The man has an allergy.

tabulahrasa Tue 05-Jul-11 11:41:07


nevermind the fact that it's completely reasonable to ask visitors not to bring things which you are allergic to into your house - I can't imagine how much it would freak my cats out to go to another house for christmas

DogsBestFriend Tue 05-Jul-11 11:43:17

What tabula said.

Insomnia11 Tue 05-Jul-11 11:43:51

We used to take our cat to relis for Christmas, but they loved her, well my great aunt did, my great uncle tolerated the cat for a few days but wouldn't allow my great aunt to actually get a cat.

Does she have anyone to feed the cat while she's away? I guess if she is coming for a few days I can understand it if the above is the case, but if she has been before and made arrangements for the cat then I think she is being unreasonable, especially for your son to have to take anti-histamines while the cat is there.

purplepidjin Tue 05-Jul-11 11:46:50

My cat gets freaked going outside our house, let alone the few times she's been to my parents house (de fleaing the house, stuff like that). How cruel to uproot the cat from it's safe and secure environment to a place that will be noisy and busy and full of children wanting to pull it's tail and ears. If she loves it surely she won't subject her poor poor baby to that kind of hell??


tabulahrasa Tue 05-Jul-11 11:48:08

Mine get worried if I move furniture, or buy a new cat scratcherhmm - I can only imagine what they'd be like in a different house, especially over christmas

hargwyne1 Tue 05-Jul-11 11:51:50

She gets on with family fine, but finds it difficult as I have three siblings and prob sees size of family as a threat. We have suggested cattery(she used to work in one on her street which is nice) and she also has friends who will take it. Dp thinks cat is security blanket and that she wants him to have the 'experience' of christmas. Just feel she is so manipulative as dp feels guilty being only child.

meravigliosa Tue 05-Jul-11 12:01:29

I am just a bit worried that she will succeed in driving a wedge between you and DP over this. My mother who like my father is an only child has felt threatened by the families of both my husbands (I did get divorced in between, not a bigamist!) She cannot cope with the idea of an extended or larger family or the fact that the people involved might actually be quite nice. She has said really horrible and unjustified things about people she hardly knows and their motives over the years as a result. Wonder if your MIL has a similar problem; your DP is probably right in a way about the security blanket aspect, but the threatening and bullying is not OK.

I agree wholeheartedly with everyone who says YANBU, but feel that the important thing is that you and DP present a united to her over the result, whether that is cat coming or cat not coming.

meravigliosa Tue 05-Jul-11 12:01:50

sorry, "united front".

clairefromsteps Tue 05-Jul-11 12:08:39

Your DH is the one with the allergy and if he's said yes, it may be difficult for you to then say no without looking like the evil, Christmas-wrecking, cat-hating DiL. Does your DH realise that his (imaginary, apparently) allergies won't magically disappear the moment the cat goes home? The fur and dander will stick around for ages after the cat has left.

Is your MiL this emotionally-blackmaily in other areas too? Or is it just that she has a blind spot where her cat is concerned? Does she often take her cat to stay at people's houses?

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