For pets, some people will put their needs practically before everything else in their lives.
It can hurt other developing relationships, admitted the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor hops4hopper was overwhelmed when his girlfriend started suggesting moving furniture around once she moved in with him.
But because he wanted to accommodate his blind cat, the Original Poster (OP) felt protective about the current apartment arrangements.
He asked the sub:
“AITA for refusing to rearrange my furniture?”
The OP tried to accommodate his blind cat.
“I (23 [Male]) have a blind cat, Hopper. Most of her movement is based on habit and smell. I try not to move things around too much for this reason.”
“My girlfriend Zoey (22 [female]) of 2 years wants to move into my apartment with me to 1) Save Money and 2) Move our relationship further.”
“I’m totally happy with this and we started planning her move in and she asked that I get rid of some furniture, and I said that was fine.”
“Zoey started talking about rearranging the living room and the bedroom and I told her we could absolutely get new furniture but we wouldn’t be moving anything around.”
“She asked why and I told her I wasn’t gonna risk Hopper getting hurt or disoriented – especially when there’s no need for it.”
The OP’s girlfriend tried to give him advice.
“She said I can’t live my life around Hopper and that I’d have to eventually move things around.”
“She asked what I planned to do when I wanted a house and I told her that was way different than rearranging the home she’d lived in since she was born.”
“She suggested we get a special collar and I’m wary about it.”
“She called me stubborn and doesn’t want to talk about anything to do with moving in anymore.”
“I feel like s**t about the whole thing and am questioning if I was being a bit too stubborn about this.”
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 said the OP needed to consider his girlfriend’s belongings.
“Once the girlfriend moves in the apartment is no longer his apartment, but theirs. Expecting absolutely no changes to the layout doesn’t seem at all reasonable unless the girlfriend has absolutely no belongings of her own, which seems unlikely.”
“At the very least, I would imagine the girlfriend would need a dresser of her own to store all her clothes, and possibly a desk if she’s working from home.”
“The girlfriend might have her own bed, couch, dining table. If some of her stuff is nicer, it would make sense to use hers.”
“Or they might want to get new furniture together, which OP has already said he was open to. Either way, unless that furniture is the same dimensions as his current furniture, that could also require some rearranging.” – PrincessConsuela52
“I’m usually team cat, but OP is literally declaring no piece of furniture be moved for the next 10-15 years (unless you 100% uproot the cat to a whole new house, and then it’s totally ok…?).”
“That’s just not reasonable, especially if in the next 10-15 years includes life changes, like new people moving in, suddenly working from home and needing to create a workspace, maybe having kids, ANY new needs that require a different kind of space than you already have.”
“I understand and appreciate that OP wants to consider the cat, but a cat is capable of adjusting.”
“They could discuss some guidelines like moving/adding one piece at a time, giving the cat X time to adjust between changes, working on one room at a time so kitty can always go back to a familiar room for comfort, etc.” – barbaramillicent
“You two are taking the next step into your relationship. From an emotional standpoint, rearranging a space into a shared space helps establish that this is your home as a couple rather than just your place that she moved into.”
“I imagine you want your girlfriend to feel as ‘at home’ as Hopper. From a logical standpoint, she’s bringing more stuff into the apartment than it currently has and some rearranging probably has to be done to accommodate that.”
“I’m going with the unpopular YTA though simply because your girlfriend has come up with multiple compromises and has shown that she wants to figure out a plan that works for all three of you, but you refuse to put in the same effort to come up with a solution.”
“A quick Google search has tons of helpful results on how to adjust a blind cat to changes in a home and the common denominator is that all of them say that cats are very good at using their other senses to adapt.”
“If I were you, I’d spend your time actually researching the topic and then come up with some compromises on your own. Don’t let your relationship fail because you are unwilling to help both your cat and your girlfriend adjust to a new living situation.” – heathahR
Others tried to comfort the OP and suggested exploring ways of helping his cat adjust.
“Sometimes when I want to move furniture around, I have to do it slowly, slowly, a bit at a time, because my SIGHTED cat, who can see it perfectly fine, just gets upset about dramatic changes. And don’t get me started about trying to move her litter.”
“As a person who’s had both a blind pet and a sighted pet in the past, can I just say that there are silly compromises you have to make all the time to keep your pet happy regardless of whether they can see but very few things are dealbreakers for those pets and a blind cat can adjust with a bit of work.”
“I feel like many people saying the girlfriend is being unreasonable are really underestimating 1. How good cats are at adjusting and surviving especially when they’re young, even if they’re blind/deaf and 2. How long cats live – OP’s life will hopefully change and improve a lot over Hopper’s lifetime and OP will need to learn to teach Hopper to adjust to those changes.”
“OP, not gonna vote here but I really recommend googling ways to adjust a blind pet to a furniture rearrangement. I’ve done it before and I promise you Hopper will adjust quicker than you think.”
“And then one day in five years Hopper will get upset with you for changing laundry detergents and pee in your bed in the middle of the night or something and you’ll go through months of googling how to fix that… “
“The point is, while it is very noble and obviously coming from a loving place, you can’t expect to provide perfect conditions for your cat for her entire life (which could be the next 15 years) at the expense of the rest of your life, and you will need to teach her to adjust to changes in your life.”
“This should be a bonding/learning moment for you both which will hopefully increase her confidence and increase your confidence as a teacher and pet owner.” – fireworkslass
“I think this is an opportunity for opening up the room for a compromise, and negotiation, and trying new things, and listening to each other. I could see her suggestions is being helpful more than controlling.”
“I’m not getting the vibe that she doesn’t care about Hopper, just that learning to adjust can be hard, and ‘try new things and don’t be so afraid.'”
“I’m glad that when I met my husband he encouraged me to try things differently, kindly. And vice versa. Be mindful of staying ‘stuck in your ways’ and inflexible. You’re NTA.” – sweatpeasss
“NTA. Yes, you CAN live your life around your cat! I’m rather struck by the fact that you put her ‘wanting to save money’ as the first reason for the move.”
“That and her immediately wanting to make major changes and for you to adjust everything to the way she wants it instead of taking the time to find out how you like living…buying new furniture, rearranging everything, and dismissing your cat’s needs…tells me she may not be a good long term partner in your life.”
“Make sure whatever you decide really is what YOU want as opposed to what she insists on. Insisting someone change is not love.”
“Taking things more slowly sounds like a really smart plan.” – wwolffstarr
“NTA. I was thinking what if OP had a blind child, but then I realized that’s different because you can tell a child that you’re going to rearrange your furniture and then take their hand and walk with them through the new layout and they can count how many steps, and also they can use a cane until they get used to where everything is.”
“An animal doesn’t have those options and wouldn’t understand why they keep bumping into things and would probably take a lot longer to get used to a new layout.”
“Also, I don’t know how old Hopper is but most cats live about 20 years max, so it’s not like they’d be living like this for the rest of their lives.”
“I’d rather accommodate the cat because she lived there first and because of what I previously said, she won’t understand why she’s bumping into things that weren’t there before.” – Lanky-Temperature412
“He absolutely can live his life around his cat. Like, he is capable of doing so. It’s not illegal. He shouldn’t, though, which I think is what the girlfriend is getting at.”
“Pets are great, and we love them, but they really shouldn’t be the primary decision-maker in a house. Would OP turn down a job opportunity to avoid upsetting the cat?”
“Can OP not ever move houses for the duration of the cat’s lifetime? If OP has a child, will the child not be given furniture or a bedroom because OP doesn’t want to confuse the cat?”
“Moving in with a partner is a pretty big deal. Asking a partner to move in with you but not make any changes in design or layout for the next decade+ because you don’t want to temporarily confuse your cat is… a pretty big red flag.”
“OP is making a pretty clear statement that his cat is significantly more important to him than his girlfriend, and nobody should want to build a life with someone in that situation.” – Bananapanda123
After receiving feedback, the OP shared an update and a photo of his cat.
“I sent Zoey the link to this post and asked if we could talk. We all had a talk – Zoey, Hopper and I, and we’ve decided to take things slowly.”
“We’ll move things around gradually and look into the collar for Hopper. I love both of my girls so much and I’m anxious about the whole thing still but I have a bit of a clearer head about everything.”
“Thank you all so much and I told Hopper all the kind things you’ve all said and she’s very grateful.”
While the subReddit understood why the OP would want to accommodate his cat, the situation seemed to be more complicated than that. With two people living in the apartment, they would need to be able to compromise.