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Teen Runs Away From Home With Cat After Catching Her Stepdad Sneaking Out To Euthanize It

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For those of us who really love our pets, it’s hard for us to understand people who don’t.

But one stepdad went way too far in his dislike of his stepdaughter’s cat on the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

Redditor EndOfDaysCredit found herself having to make a tough decision in order to protect her cat.

But after being given an ultimatum, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she’d made the wrong decision.

She asked the sub:

“AITA for running away from home with my cat?”

The OP had a difficult relationship with her stepdad.

“I (17 [female]) am close with my mom, but not with her husband (my stepdad.) He kinda sucks.”

“We have a special needs cat Muffin and she’s quite financially demanding.”

“My mom, my stepdad, and I all work. Money is tight but I’ve saved up a pretty decent amount.”

“Well, recently my stepdad has gotten the brilliant idea of euthanizing our cat. She’s safe and happy with us, and the vet is expensive but nothing we can’t handle.”

“But according to my stepdad, if we were stranded on a desert island she’d be the first one to go. I told him that we’re not stranded on a desert island, we’re just struggling to pay the vet bill, and he got mad and told me not to talk back to him.”

“And my mom told me she doesn’t want Muffin euthanized either but she’s afraid to stand up to him.”

The OP recently had to make a hard and fast decision.

“Last night I caught my stepdad trying to sneak out of the front door with Muffin, and I only got him to stop by throwing myself in front of the door. I was worried he would sneak out again and have her euthanized.”

“Today I ran away with Muffin to my boyfriend’s house.”

“My mom is livid. She made it clear that if I don’t come back, she’s not going to support me financially through college, and I’m worried I won’t be able to have a relationship with her either.”

“I’ve spent the last few hours holding Muffin and bawling. I know I don’t need her financial support in college because I have a free ride, but she’s literally my mom.”

“My boyfriend’s family has been amazing and they say I can stay with them until I leave for college in September, which just made me cry more.”

“I can support Muffin with the money I have saved, I can pay for college once I’m there, I can take Muffin with me, but I don’t know how to fix things with my mom. I just feel like a wreck right now.”

“AITA for running away from home with my cat and jeopardizing my relationship with my mom?”

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 were disturbed the mother didn’t support the OP more.

“NTA. First and foremost, thank god you got Muffin out of that house. Secondly, and this is trickier, but the relationship between you and your mother is probably a lot more fragmented than you realize.”

“Right now the fight is about Muffin, but ultimately, it’s about you feeling rejected by a mother who by her own admission is afraid of standing up to a shitty husband, yet just chose him over you.”

“That’s a big thing to realize, and it is far from easy.”

“I don’t know enough about your mom to be able to articulate why she had the reaction she did, but I imagine seeing you escape a bad situation – and feeling guilt/shame she wasn’t able to protect you from it – has coalesced into a lot of immediate anger. That’s unfair to you, of course, but I imagine that after some time your mom will hopefully come around a bit.”

“In the meantime, take time to figure out how to set up boundaries with her. You can love her and want to be close to her, but you shouldn’t sacrifice your own emotional and mental well-being to do that when she’s chosen to defend her husband’s awful actions. It’s ok to want to still have a relationship with her, but it might be time to give yourself the autonomy to redefine what that relationship will look like from now on.”ParapaPalace

“Exactly! OP you didn’t do anything wrong. You aren’t choosing a cat over your mom. She chose him over her own kid. You’re just protecting yourself.”

“There’s no reason to put the cat down other to harm you or get your money or some other equally terrible motive. You deserve to be able to continue supporting your cat with your money. Especially since I’m sure Muffin has helped your mental health with everything going on.”Pokabrows

Others assured the OP her mother’s threat was hollow.

“I concur. My mom and I have a better relationship now, but when I left before graduating high school, it was tense. She – or her husband, rather – wouldn’t let me take some of my belongings, including my bed, thinking to use that to get me to come back home.”

“I didn’t cave when I finally called her to try and mend things, and she told me to come get my bed because she was horrified I was sleeping on the floor. It took years to get where we are, but she at least treats me like an adult now.”PrincessRegan

“Also, if you’re not living at home, your income may be low enough to qualify for more assistance, both for your schooling (‘full ride’ usually means ‘a few expenses you’re expected to pay’) and for Mitten’s care.”NobleExperiments

One Redditor gave sound, highly upvoted advice. 

“NTA – You caught your stepdad trying to sneak the cat out of the house at night.”

“There is no way in h**l his intentions were good.”

“And your mother has chosen to issue you an incredibly over-the-top ultimatum.”

“This is not a choice between your mother and your cat. Your mother has made it clear that she has chosen your stepfather.”

“She knows his intentions – and she claims it bothers her… But as soon as he gets caught trying to do something to the cat, instead of trying to calm things down and point out that the cat is now out of the house and no longer his financial problem – her reaction was to threaten you – as if this is somehow your fault.”

“Your mother is lying to you and she is complicit with his efforts to get the cat put down.”

“This is where you set boundaries. Ignore her threats – this is an attempt to control you. You are in a safe place, Muffin is in a safe place, you have a roof over your head and you know that you have a free ride for college.”

“When she calls hear her out don’t respond until she’s done and when she stops talking, politely sum up what she has said and asked her if you are understanding correctly. Then tell her that you understand and you appreciate her being clear with you, but you are choosing to stay where you are and protect the cat.”

“When people like this go over-the-top it’s all threats. She’s not going to cut off contact with you for very long – especially if she tries to cut off contact and you simply do not reach out to her. Once she realizes that cutting off contact is not going to be an effective way to manipulate you that’s when the love bombing will start and that’s what you have to be wary of.”

“She will start telling you how much she loves you and misses you and how it’s not really her fault and make all kinds of promises to you. That’s going to sound really awesome – and it’s a trap. Whatever you do – do not bring the cat back to her house.”

“She’s your mom and your relationship with her will work itself out over time, but don’t let yourself be manipulated.” – HowardProject

This teen is in an undeniably tough situation right now, but the subReddit was quick to assure her that she made the right decision, not just for her cat, but for herself. Not to mention the fact that she already has a job, somewhere to stay, and a full-ride scholarship to college, this teen seems to have a better handle on herself than many adults do.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan lives in North Chicago, where she works as a poet, freelance writer, and editor. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University, and her BA in English from Indiana University South Bend. Her poems have appeared in Rogue Agent, Whale Road Review, the James Franco Review, Thank You for Swallowing, and elsewhere; and her essays and book reviews have appeared with Memoir Mixtapes, The Rumpus, BookPage, and Motherly, among others. When she's not reading and writing, she's in her garden or spending time with her family. For more, visit www.mckenzielynntozan.com.