It’s true that once a person has a child, their priorities and their ability to go for a fun night out are going to change. Because of this, some parents become incredibly protective of their social life plans.
But some get so protective, it’s more so a case of entitlement, agreed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor Cheap_Cut_8492 had a cat named Cheese who was their entire world, so when Cheese became ill, they knew they needed to take him to the emergency vet, even though they had already agreed to babysit their sister’s son, so she could go out to dinner.
When the Original Poster (OP) explained to their sister what was going on, they were shocked when she accused them of ‘ruining her night’ and for loving their cat more than they loved their nephew.
They asked the sub:
“AITA for saying that my cat’s health is more important to me than my four-year-old nephew?”
The OP had to step back on their promise when their cat became ill.
“I promised my sister to look after my four-year-old nephew, Alex, while she went out for dinner.”
“Anyway, I woke up that morning and noticed that my cat, Cheese, wasn’t feeling well.”
“He was refusing to eat or drink, and he was being overall very lethargic.”
“After a few hours of him not getting better, I decided to take him to the emergency vet, so I immediately called my sister and told her that Cheese wasn’t doing well and I was gonna be taking him to the vet.”
“I also said that I was very sorry but I wouldn’t be able to look after Alex.”
The OP’s sister lashed out against her sibling.
“She lost her marbles. She didn’t even ask what was wrong with Cheese; she just instantly started blaming me for ruining her night.”
“She claimed that it was probably nothing serious and said that it was ridiculous that I cared more about a cat than my nephew.”
“I told her that that wasn’t true, but I wasn’t gonna leave Cheese to suffer all day, all night, and into the next morning.”
“After going back and forth, I gave up and told her that, yes, I do care about my cat’s health more than my nephew.”
“My cat was in a life-or-death situation. My sister could’ve called a babysitter or asked someone else to take over, but my cat could’ve potentially died.”
The OP thought they did what needed to be done.
“I love Cheese. It’s just me and him at my apartment, so he’s a huge part of my life and not just a pet that can be replaced. I truly don’t think I did anything wrong.”
“My mum called a few days later and told me that I should apologize for saying I care more about Cheese than my nephew, but I refuse to do so unless I get an apology about how she talked about my cat.”
“Am I the a**hole?”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some reassured the OP that they did the right thing, as cats not eating is a serious symptom.
“Never wait on taking a cat to the vet when they stop eating! That’s immediately an emergency! You did the right thing for Cheese! And for yourself!”
“And you weren’t even saying that Cheese was more important than your nephew. You were saying that taking Cheese to the vet was for important than YOU babysitting your nephew that night so that your sister could go out to a dinner.”
“Your cat had an emergency. Your sister had a dinner. She was being unreasonable and selfish as h**l. She could simply have found another babysitter. She escalated this. You did not.” – JessR467
“I lost a cat to fatty liver syndrome years ago because I didn’t know how serious it is when a cat quits eating. It can literally be fatal in just a few days.”
“Don’t make the mistake I did. If your kitty stops eating, get them to the vet right away.” – christikayann
“I had a similar experience to another Redditor; I lost one of my cats to cancer of the stomach, and I hadn’t realized how little she’d been eating for a bit. She was definitely jaundiced when I got her into the vet. I hadn’t known before that about fatty liver syndrome. I know now!”
“When her surviving sister got sick this past January, was lethargic, and missed a breakfast, that was it, straight to the vet that day. Then appetite stimulants and fever reducers until her fever finally broke on its own.”
“(That was a hairy two-and-a-half weeks before she got over whatever the problem was. We ran all the tests they could think of *except* a the virus test. I’m convinced it was the virus. Mostly because I had the virus for the first time just before that, no other problems showed up in tests, and I had barely been out of the house in weeks, so there were few or no ways for anything else to get brought in.)”
“Anyway. Yeah. I’m VERY aware of their eating now, and watch to make sure she eats. (She’d always been a cat who ate relatively little, was tiny and weighed very little, to begin with.) Oof.” – eregyrn
“One of the first things you learn in vet med, cats can only go maybe two days without eating, after that, their systems will start to crazy. The OP absolutely did the right thing.” – NoodleBear23
“If you need to take your cat to the emergency vet then that takes priority over pretty much everything else especially going out for dinner. Never hesitate: if in doubt, GO!”
“Six months after getting our rescue cat, he started showing us that he could not pee. He literally started squatting in front of us to demonstrate. The anguish was obvious.”
“Straight to the vet who clarified that this was an emergency. He needed to be catheterized twice, had a weekend stay in the hospital, and then had check-ups (because my son and I panicked whenever it looked like he wasn’t peeing). Thank goodness for pet insurance!”
“This was two years ago and he is fine now, although on a special diet to prevent crystal build-up and to prevent too much weight gain. Male neutered cats are prone to putting on the pounds and all of this contributes to the likelihood of a blocked bladder. This is a life-or-death situation and can happen quickly.”
“The OP should never question if they did the right thing. They did. NTA.” – ShineAtom
“Cats can be very secretive about their illnesses by instinct. If they are openly displaying discomfort or pain it’s an emergency that needs to be taken care of ASAP.”
“You absolutely made the right call, your nephew was not in immediate danger. His mother is just being over dramatic in not respecting your cat, and also exaggerating her need for a night out.”
“I am very glad Cheese is on the road to recovery. He is a beautiful cat and you are lucky to have one another.”
“NTA. Pets can often be a cornerstone of an owner’s life. They deserve the respect and love that goes with that position. They can often be our confidants, friends, and entertainment.” – False-Importance-741
Others pointed out the OP valued their cat more than a night out, not their nephew.
“The correct comparison is, ‘my cat, a very important part of my life, is more important to me than you having a night out.'”
“It wasn’t Sophie’s choice and nephew could have been watched by parents at home or alternate sitters.” – Escritortoise
“NTA. Ask your mom why a stupid dinner is more important than a life and ask her if that is what she is saying.” – CelticDoll95
“Here’s the thing: their argument didn’t fit the situation. OP prioritized her seriously ill cat over the sister’s dinner out. It has nothing to do with how she feels about her nephew at all.”
“It drives me nuts when people try to make a situational priority into an absolute one. OP is so NTA.” – human060989
“If your mom tries sticking her nose in it again, tell her that your sister was out of line. You weren’t saying Cheese was more important than your nephew because your nephew was never in any danger.”
“However, Cheese is more important than your sister’s social life and she was out of line to suggest otherwise.” – VespertineStars
“NTA. The cat could had died, since you didn’t know what was wrong. You nephew was never in any danger. It just disrupted your sister’s plans. If your mom cares so much, she can watch your nephew from here on out. Problem solved.” – Vandreeson
“Your sister really is a piece of work! You could be like, ‘So yeah, I totally needed to drop $1,200 at the emergency vet instead of staying home and watching your child for free.'”
“Your sister needs to get over herself. Her dinner was not more important than someone else’s life. You were right to make sure your cat was okay.” – lissabeth777
“NTA. What she said is utterly disingenuous; it had nothing to do with not caring about your nephew. It’s caring more about Cheese than her dinner plans; your nephew was in no danger here, while Cheese was seriously ill.”
“By trying to make that intentionally false comparison, she shows herself to be a dishonest person (and also someone who would let your cat die for her evening plans, which is honestly shocking). Sounds like someone you want to avoid being around or talking to, and definitely don’t let her anywhere near the responsibility of pet-sitting if you ever need that.” – Reddoraptor
After receiving feedback, the OP shared a very brief update about Cheese.
“Thank you to everyone who asked about Cheese. He is doing good now. He has to be put on a special diet for a while, though, but other than that, he is good.”
The subReddit couldn’t help but shake their collective heads at the OP’s sister who seriously had the audacity to claim that her sibling taking their cat to the emergency vet meant that they loved their cat more than their nephew, when in reality, they saw going to the emergency vet as more important than her going out to dinner.
Grateful that the OP’s cat, Cheese, was doing better now, they also hoped that the OP’s sister and mom would eventually see the light and realize that the OP’s cat’s health and life were more important than a night out.