Friday, January 21, 2011


We're having a problem here at Multi-Generational Housing Solution Central, and it's really getting to me.  A couple weeks ago Mom bought a package of hot dog buns and left them sitting on the kitchen table instead of putting them away in the pantry or refrigerator.  Later that evening, while everyone was watching TV, Trouble jumped up on the kitchen table and chewed a big hole in the package, eating a good part of four of the eight buns in the pack.

Mom lost her shit.  She cleaned up the mess, and then she came into my room, where I was sitting watching TV and Troub was sleeping on the bed, and started yelling at him.  Mom is loud anyway, because she's losing her hearing, but this was right up in his face, shaking her finger at him, loud.  He tried to back up a bit, she just kept coming.  So he hissed at her.  She gave him a little tap on the rump and kept yelling.  He hissed again, she hit him a little harder and kept yelling.  He hissed louder, and she really started whaling on him.  At this point I started yelling, and Mom backed off enough for Troub to get under the bed and hide.  Then she tried to come around the bed and go after him again.  Can we say out of proportion response for a $2.50 pack of buns?  I had to chase her out of my room to get her to leave him alone.  And he'd been sleeping on my bed for at least 45 minutes before she came in screaming, so he probably had no idea why she was suddenly attacking him.

Now it's weeks later, and Troub still hisses and runs away every time she comes into my room.  It doesn't help that she insists on making eye contact and pushing his personal space boundaries.  She seems to be taking a nasty pleasure in tormenting him, and when I pointed out today that he's still upset about what she did (after she came in and chased him off AGAIN), she said she's still upset about what HE did.  Dude.  He wrecked a package of hot dog buns.  Get a grip.  If it's such a big fucking deal I will buy you another pack of fucking buns.  When I pointed out that Troub has a right to not be hassled in his own space, she said something to the effect of "It's not his space, it's my space."  So much for the whole "it's your home, too," speech I keep getting.

I never thought I'd have this kind of problem when we all moved in together.  It's bad enough that I feel like I can't get a moment's peace, with her constantly poking her nose in my room and sometimes just opening the door and walking in.  (What does a closed door say to you?)  But I can't tolerate her hassling my cat anymore.  I don't know how I'm going to handle this.  She's proven to be completely impervious to hints and subtle suggestions.  I'm going to have to get forceful about it, and probably about her leaving me the hell alone while I'm at it.  We both have a right to be left in peace when we've retreated to our room-- the only place in the house that is supposed to be just for us.  (I can't even get her to leave me alone in the bathroom!)  The only outcome I can see of this conversation is for her to get all cranky and butthurt and even worse.  And if I don't find a good way of doing this soon I'm going to end up snapping and saying it in the rudest way possible.  But I'm sorry, the way she's behaving is not OK.

ETA: Mom walked into my room a few minutes ago and asked, "are you mad at me?"  I told her I wasn't happy about how she was acting with Troub.  First she starts on, "well, he's just a cat," and then she changed the subject and walked out.  Now she's crashing around in the kitchen.  If she doesn't take it easy she's going to break something.


  1. Grrr. Troub does NOT deserve to be yelled at and smacked! Grrr.

    When my grandma had her health drama, I spent a lot of time taking care of her and so my dog was around her. She has opinions about my dog's behavior. My dog has opinions about her behavior (e.g. rattling the newspaper loudly, smacking her hand down on the table for emphasis, trying to rub his head hard).

    She smacked my dog. I went batshit on her and said unless she wanted to be ALONE she would be respectful of my boundaries and that WAS one.

    She cried and got upset and I felt like a bitch but I was right, dammit. Ya know, if you don't want the pet to be scared of you, maybe try *not being scary* to the pet!

    Love and FGBV's to you AND Troub. Give him a belly rub from me.

  2. PS Troub is NOT "just a cat". He is your baby just like my dogs are mine. I hiss in protest lol.

  3. Anonymous11:22 PM

    Oh Sweetie, I am so sorry you have to go through this. But uh yeah, Mom is wrong, all over the place.
    First of all, as far as animal behaviour goes, Trouble had NO freaking idea why he was being yelled at (and smacked? come on). Unless an animal has an issue like this addressed AS IT IS HAPPENING s/he will be clueless. (Also, those hot dog buns were fair game as far as he was concerned. Again, Mom's fault.)
    As far as you dealing with Mom, a sit-down is way past due. Confrontation is not fun, but open discussion MUST be a part of living with others. Even if those "others" are our parents/children.
    Good luck, and stay calm. You are in the right here.


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