Ask Brian: Must Love Cats

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“Dear Brian… my boyfriend hates my cats. We’ve been together a while but I don’t see how it can go anywhere else because he refuses to live with them. He says we can move in together when they’re “gone.” What do I do?”

This reminds me of something I saw a while ago. You know those stick figure decals that suburban families have on the backs of their cars? The ones that show crude representations of Mom and Dad and all the kids, dogs and cats they have? Because everyone else on the road cares? Okay, well once I saw a car with just one stick figure lady and SIX STICK FIGURE CATS. No other humans. No kids, no husband, no wife, no boyfriend, no girlfriend, no etc. Just SIX. STICK FIGURE. CATS.

Arist rendition of the saddest thing he's ever seen.

So I guess my first question for you is: how many cats are we talking here? I think there’s a not-so-fine line between a man hating your two cats just because he hates all cats in the world and a man hating the fact that you have 15 of them. At the risk of being mean, I think our stick figure cat friend proves that the latter might be a problem you’re going to face regardless of who you date so I’ll assume that we’re talking about less than three and go from there.

And where we go from there is… well, I’m not sure actually. This one is really tough. Full disclosure: I don’t own any pets. Cats are okay, I guess, but I have no desire to own one. And I’ve been afraid of dogs most of my life. I guess dogs and I fail to have an understanding of each other, mostly because I’m convinced that the bigger ones want to rip apart my skin and eat me alive for sport.

So of course I wind up dating a girl who owns a pit bull, the most man-hungry of all man-eating dogs, right? And to my surprise, I still have all my skin. In fact, he’s sitting right here, giving me this adorable “will you please stop writing and hang out with me so I can love you?” look. I mean, I think that’s the look he’s giving me. I’m still new to this so I guess this could be his “I’m plotting the best way to murder you and not get caught” look, but so far so good.

My point is this: I had a generalized fear of all dogs which I realized was both inappropriate and unfair once I cared enough about someone to have to deal with it. And of course my opinion changed. I’m all about compromise but really, what could I have done other than completely dropping my bias? Ask her to give up her dog because I refused to accept them as a package? And what’s your end of the bargain here? Do you give up just seven of your cats instead of all 23? To be blunt, I think your love for your pets definitely trumps your boyfriend’s sweeping dislike for all cats and he needs to reevaluate his stance on this if the relationship is something he wants to move forward with.

But it may not be so cut and dry. Subconsciously, your boyfriend could be placing the blame on your cats when he’s actually just not ready to move in together. And that’s totally cool. People should never make that leap until they’re totally ready. But your boyfriend really needs to take a step back and be sure that he understands his real reasons for hesitating. If it’s only the cats, then he needs to shape up because they won’t be “gone” any time soon and great relationships, the kind that you’d move in together for, are hard to find. If it’s something else, then you need to be patient and supportive because it’ll be worth the wait.

Or you can just dump him and see if that cat whisperer guy is available. If you hate terrible facial hair, though, you’re in for some major compromising.

Sorry ladies. Not all men can be as sensitive as the Cat Daddy.

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Comments

Rogue -May 27, 2012, 8:25AM

I once dated a guy who hated dogs. I only had one at the time, but she was my Kaligirl and we were a package deal just like that guy had a son… and this guy liked me so much I even got some great pics of him playing with her. Sadly, I ended up not liking him that much (but we are still friends) so we went our separate ways. But if someone really likes you, they will like your kids (no matter that they are adopted, or covered in fur).
On another note, I’m deathly allergic to cats & always choose not to seriously date anyone with cats. I can’t even walk into the same room that a cat has lived in, so how could I expect a future with a cat person? Maybe one day when a miraculous cure for this allergy that almost kills me comes about I will get a kitty of my own, but until then I have my two dogs that are the sweetest and best ever (and they do love my boyfriend so much…).
I think the guy this girl is talking about just doesn’t dig her as much as he should. Maybe he really does hate cats, but if he liked her enough to live with her he could at least give it a try. And if he was so allergic, she would know (reactions from people’s clothing is always the most “fun” :/ ).

jan mcillwain -June 2, 2012, 11:27AM

If he does not love your cat, he is not for you> Your pet is a large part of you and you of your pet. if your cat was a child, which it is, would you be asking this? You need to move on. He is not worthy of who you are.

Kara -June 15, 2012, 10:19AM

I agree 100% with Jan. If pets are a big part of your life and your boyfriend is unaccepting then he doesn’t fully accept you and you need to move on. Easier said then done but don’t move in with someone jsut because it is “the next step” because your “supposed” to. I respectfully disagree with Brian’s response. Just because you have a few pets does not mean you be alone. It also does not mean your alone because your a “cat lady”. Some people CHOOSE to be alone. Animals are loving and won’t give you crazy ultimatums like “Give up your pets or else”. The fact your boyfriend worded it in such a way is also a bad sign. I have 5 cats that are here because my BOYFRIEND wanted to keep the strays he found. He did not have the heart to toss them back out on the street like the shelters told us. This is why I love my man. He has a heart of gold…….

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