Etiquette can be challenging.
Etiquette, after all, is just a set of rules of politeness that have been agreed upon by society at large.
The trouble is, how do you form coherent etiquette about a topic which is, by its nature, anathema to polite discourse?
Today, we’re talking about bathroom etiquette.
But what sort of etiquette is possible when we’re talking about bodily fluids and whatnot?
What happens when, in a moment of desperation, you break one of those cardinal unspoken rules and are summarily judged for it?
That was the problem facing Redittor and Original Poster (OP) throwcatpee when she came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for an outside opinion.
“AITA for peeing in the cat tray?”
She began with the background.
“Okay, this is weird and I’m using a throwaway because this is so embarrassing.”
“Me (29 Female) and my Partner (25 Male) have been dating for 3 years and have lived together for one of those.”
“We live in a small 1 bedroom flat that has one bathroom with our 2 cats.”
“I am a diabetic and I’m on a number of medications, one of them basically flushes sugar straight through my system and can make me pee a lot.”
“I can go from not feeling like I need to pee to if I don’t pee in the next 20 minutes I’ll pee myself.”
“It comes on suddenly sometimes.”
“My bf has IBS and he can spend 40 minutes in the bathroom easily sometimes.”
“This hasn’t been a problem thus far.”
OP then explained the perfect storm that caused the problem
“Today though he had a bad IBS moment and after 40 minutes locked in the bathroom I felt that I needed to pee.”
“I figured he wouldn’t be very long since he’d already been in there 40 minutes.”
“I knocked on the door and let him know I needed to pee and ask how long he’d be. He said he’d be a few minutes.”
The pressure mounted.
“20 minutes later (so he’s been in there an hour at this point) I am kinda doing the potty dance a little and knock on the door again.”
“He’s gonna be a few more minutes.”
“I tell him I’m not gonna be able to hold it much longer and if he could just unlock the door and I’ll just hop in the shower. He says he can’t get off the toilet right now.”
“Another 15 minutes and my bladder is starting to hurt.”
“And he hasn’t flushed or anything yet.”
In desperation, OP reached a breaking point.
“I figure f*ck it, my bladder hurts and I’m bursting and I figured the cats would forgive me.”
“We have 2 litter trays, one in the bathroom and one in a nook in the corridor. I pop a squat over the litter tray in the corridor and have a tinkle and use a kitchen towel to wipe.”
“I then bag up the litter tray and completely refresh it.”
“He comes out another 10 minutes later and says the bathrooms free and I tell him it’s fine.”
“He gives me a funny look and I tell him what I did.”
“He looks at me absolutely disgusted and says that is revolting.”
She tried to explain her logic.
“I tell him I’d rather just refresh the litter tray which takes seconds than piss myself and have to do a tonne of washing.”
“He hasn’t spoken to me all evening and he says he can’t believe I would do something so gross.”
“I tried to tell him a number of times I really needed to go and he said I should learn to hold it better.”
OP also explained why they didn’t utilize other plumbing options.
“My thinking is Cat box = designed for pee, Kitchen sink = designed for dishes.”
“I dunno, was just a hygiene thing for me. Also, I’m only 5’1 I don’t think I could get on the counter if I tried :’D”
In the end, OP questioned if she’d done the right thing.
“This has kinda left me feeling like I’m the a**hole?”
Having explained the situation, OP turned to Reddit for outside thoughts.
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors decided: NTA
Some pointed out that OP’s boyfriend was being a little hypocritical.
“Please, has this man never peed in a bottle before?”
“On the side of a road? Against a public wall? Written his name in the snow? In the shower?”
“It’s not like your peeing in the litter box is a habit that you need to overcome.”
“It was an emergency. No doubt he has stories of his own” ~Tis-but-a-scratch-yo
“Takes violent one-hour sh*t, comes out the bathroom, looks you in the eyes.”
“‘You disgust me’.”
“NTA this is hilarious “~ DunxDigsIt
“NTA: as someone with an IBD [inflammatory bowel disease] I will say (from a place of privilege I recognize) that after living in an apartment with only 1 bathroom with a roommate while trying to colonoscopy prep, never again. 2 bathrooms is now a hard requirement for me if I’m ever moving again.”
“I definitely get he couldn’t move in the moment and unlock the door, but I think this sparks a new conversation that he needs to leave the door unlocked as long as you respect that vulnerability and only go into the bathroom if you 100% don’t have another choice while he’s in there.”
“You definitely handled that far better than I would’ve in the moment. I guess I would’ve sat on the kitchen sink or maybe gone outside…. I’m not sure. I have puppy pads but those aren’t absorbent enough for full human bladder…..” ~ kokoroutasan
Others were less forgiving of boyfriend’s attitude.
“NTA and I have a VERY hard time believing that after 1 hour in the bathroom his rectal sphincter was so destroyed he couldn’t make the room for you to use the bathroom for 2 minutes.”
“Even if I’m wrong and it was an untenable situation, the cat litter situation is unfortunate at worst, and highly amusing at best. Not the type of thing to get angry over.”
“If you laid a giant brick in there and left it, that’s something to get mad over. A bit of wee that you immediately cleaned up is such a minor thing.” ~ MM-dot-AU
“You had NOTHING to be embarrassed about. He knows your problem and he dismissed it like it’s nothing while actively dealing with his…”
“And who locks a bathroom door knowing that other people may NEED to come in? My husband and I never lock ours because we only have one bathroom for 4 people and sometimes there’s problems.”
“He has diabetes as well and I have issues with dairy sometimes… We give each other grace and know that emergencies happen.”
“I’d reconsider the whole relationship if he can just blow off a serious medical condition when it inconveniences him… You could end up hurt, and that’s not good. Best of luck my darling.” ~ CookiesMelt84
“NTA. He has IBS, probably ran into a few near miss episodes still has some nerves to look down on you.
“What else you are going to do? Pee in the sink?”
“That is much easier clean up actually, but I see red flag waving here. If he thinks that was worst of you… I am not saying that you dump him but he should sit in a dog house for a while.” ~ mintchan
“NTA. I can’t believe his attitude, HE occupies the Bathroom For 90 minutes, an hour & a half, you waited nearly a hour then had to make do.”
“I’ve got no patience for this BS, the cat litter box was a perfect compromise, would he preferred you used the kitchen sink? A bucket? Or wet yourself?”
“Get one of those lady travel/camping pee bottles for future use & if he doesn’t want you to pee in the kitty litter he should stop playing video games on the toilet.” ~ Competitive_Tea2413
“NTA. He’s a jerk for having double standards and expecting you to understand his needs while ignoring your own needs.
“Major AH. You did what you had to do and that’s that.” ~ ForestOfHandsNTeeth
At least someone remembered the real victim.
“There’s only one individual who has a right to be deeply offended by this and they have four legs and fur.”
“Cats are pretty territorial about their bathroom facilities. Apologize to the cat and buy the kitty some treats.”
“Your boyfriend can faff off.” ~ LakotaGrl
“I’d get banned for how I’d describe the infantile nature of your toddler’s response to your indisputable action, but you did what you had to do.”
“I respect the solution to your problem.” ~ Pawsitive_Cattitude
Responders offered their own stories to commiserate.
“My ex and I got food poisoning once in a house with only one bathroom.”
“We started out taking turns, but eventually he was pooping in the tub and throwing up in the sink while I pooped it the toilet and used the garbage can to puke.”
“It was disgusting, but when you only have one bathroom sometimes you run out of good options.” ~ RemarkableMarker
“One time my boyfriend and our mutual friend ate Mexican food while I was at work. When they got back our friend took up the restroom sh*tting.”
“Well it hit boyfriend soon after and he could not hold it and after waiting for over thirty minutes he used the cat box to sh*t and then cleaned it all out.”
“This was like 4 years ago we still laugh about it and it was no big deal at all.”
“When you have to go you have to go. NTA.” ~ Brattystarchild
“I have an urgency problem thanks to Navy, teaching, and retail working.”
“My bladder will just suddenly tell me that if I move, I’ll pee myself.”
“Doctors were shocked I’ve never had kids and no, doing Kegels is not helping.”
“It’s been this way thanks to me holding it for a long period of time from not being allowed to go and now my bladder is super upset all the time.”
“It absolutely sucks and thank the gods our place has 2 toilets because the boyfriend also has IBS.”
“I’ve gone in the sink, in bushes…I’ve straight up wet myself a few times standing in our kitchen because I literally can’t hold it.”
“I have sneezed and peed.”
“I have legitimately rolled the thought of diapers around in my head but thankfully it is not an all the time issue.”
“I just have bad days if I don’t go to the bathroom a lot to manage it.”
“The boyfriend understands, draws me a bath and fetches a change of clothes, and I move on from the embarrassment.”
“I’m sorry your boyfriend sucks and I wish I could loan you mine so you can see what you’re missing.”
“If I can wash his oopsies from IBS, he can handle my oopsies.” ~ omgitsmoki
“Oh my heart..I am so sorry, that sucks.”
“You were in PAIN and he kept saying a few more minutes. If anything he should be apologizing to you for the situation.”
“He couldn’t of took his ass off the seat for a few seconds to unlock the door. What was he on his phone or something?”
“I have IBS but I would never do that. Just selfish leaving you like that.”
‘Don’t feel bad for peeing. When you gotta go you gotta go (especially when it comes to diabetics..I’m okay one minute and then absolutely bursting the next, I get it).”
“Also if it’s just you two there he doesn’t really need to be using the lock, I know some people do out of habit but you are in a relatively small home, so you could easily both tell if the other was in the bathroom.”
“He needs to get over this, you did what you had to and cleaned up straight away, in my opinion it’s much better than ending up in a puddle and having wet clothing.”
“I know it’s easier said than done but try not to feel bad or embarrassed, what you did was totally natural and necessary..and never know in the future this could be a story you look back on and laugh!” ~ Fa1thL3s5
Etiquette can be challenging.
However, compassion and humor should always be the rule.
But definitely get kitty some treats.