For those of us who have pets, it’s infuriating when a person comes in and questions whether or not we’re taking care of them.
There are, of course, situations where neglect is a legitimate concern. But when it’s obvious that a pet is being pampered, the criticism is offensive, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor Jforn2345 was uncomfortable when she kept running into a mother and son on her walks, and they started getting a little too friendly with her cat.
But when the mother started suggesting they could provide the cat a better home, the Original Poster (OP) knew something had to change.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for refusing to let an 11-year-old boy pet my cat?”
The OP recently started seeing a mom and son during her walks.
“I (21 female) have a new 5 month old cat. She’s super sweet and was raised in a college so she’s also very social.”
“Because of this, I usually let people pet her and play with her when we’re out on walks.”
“Recently, a mom and her son who’s around 10-11-ish have been taking walks around campus the same time I do. It’s an open campus and it’s usually fun to see families here during breaks.”
“Anyway the mom asked if her son could pet my cat, so I said yes.”
Their first interaction with the OP’s cat was troubling.
“It’s all going good but she takes the kitten out of my hands without asking to give it to her son, which was a bit annoying.”
“The kid’s gentle with my kitten so I’m okay with it.”
“But the mom’s saying kind of weird things like, ‘This cat loves you,’ and ‘Poor cat having to live in a dorm,’ stuff like that to her son.”
“Like Ma’am, this cat has a three-tier pink castle, unlimited pets, and homemade cat toys; don’t you worry about her.”
The mother crossed a boundary during the next meeting.
“About a week later, I see the two again on a walk and they ask to pet the cat. I say yes but make it clear I’m holding her this time.”
“The woman then tells me her son has never bonded this much with a kitten (um, he’s met her twice).”
“She then offers to buy my kitten because it deserves more space and to be an outdoor cat… apparently?”
“I was kind of offended because I love my cat and think I give her a great life, I’m always on time with vet appointments, and I am a very responsible pet owner.”
The OP kept her distance the next time.
“This is where I think I may be the AH. The next time I saw them walking, when the mom asked if her son could pet the cat, I said no and walked off.”
“The kid looked pretty upset and he didn’t do anything wrong.”
“I felt bad but I was really uncomfortable.”
Also to provide the “cat tax,” the OP shared an image, captioned:
“Here’s my cat tax, and on the pink castle!”
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 mother was wildly inappropriate.
“I’m sure you’ll probably stick out in the mom and kid’s memory as ‘that one lady who wouldn’t let us pet the cat,’ but unfortunately they probably won’t remember the circumstances that led up to this decision.”
“With any luck, Mom and Kid will both realize that Mom’s judgmental tone and back-handed insults were behind this situation, but it’s probably more likely that Mom won’t recognize her inappropriate behavior as being a factor.”
“The Kid was probably bummed out, but he’ll get over it. Maybe it’ll be a learning experience for him, retroactively thinking about his mom’s behavior as an example of what NOT to do.”
“As a (fur-baby) parent, it’s important to trust your instincts, this lady made you feel uncomfortable, and you don’t owe her anything.” – PsychologicalScale57
“NTA. That mother is weird. You were uncomfortable and you set a boundary. She assumed your cat wasn’t happy because you live in a dorm and implied TWICE that you should give your pet to them. That’s bordering on creepy.” – InformalGarlic2285
“NTA. The mother was rude and creepy. Also yeah, it sucks for the kid, but you’re not punishing him, you’re just protecting your cat.” – VariationWorking6821
“Think about the chain of responsibility here. The mom overstepped your boundaries. The mom encouraged her son to feel entitlement to a bond with an animal that is NOT HIS PET. The mom made an inconsiderate request of you.”
“You watched over your cat to make sure they were comfortable and politely answered a question. You then refused privileges to someone who violated your boundaries.”
“When you stop looking at just the last part (You say no, so boy is sad), it very quickly becomes apparent that his mother is the one who made him upset by creating this situation.” – DazzlingAssistant342
Others were concerned this would eventually escalate to stealing the cat.
“NTA. Mom was way out of line, and yes, sometimes the kid is going to suffer the consequences of her behavior.”
“Nothing against the kid, it isn’t his fault his mom is rude and would probably steal your cat if given the chance.” – SnooGiraffes3591
“NTA. She’s creepy and would probably try to steal your cat. Cats must be protected at all costs.” – MrsLydKnuckles
“NTA. People who offer money for a family member are really just one step away from pet-napping.”
“I’d keep my eyes on that b***h. I’ve seen too many people lose their cats and dogs after incidents like this.” – MazerTag
“NTA. Yes, the kid did nothing wrong, and the kid is not in any way responsible for his mother’s behavior.”
“That said, she (the mom) was exhibiting strange behavior that made you (and would have made me) uncomfortable.”
“How do you know it wasn’t escalating to her trying to steal your cat? You don’t.”
“You don’t know what her intentions were, but she’s to blame for not conducting herself better. She got her child’s feelings hurt being a weirdo.” – Samanthas_Stitching
A few also advised the OP to change her walking routine.
“NTA. I’d steer clear of those two, and make sure your kitty can’t get out. That mom definitely wants to take your cat.” – smol_snek551
“NTA, that woman is very odd, and I would stop walking around there if possible, because I get creepy vibes from the comments she made.” – brynnea
“If it’s an open campus, this woman is either assuming you live in a dorm or she’s literally followed you home to see if you did.”
“Be wary of her anywhere near your building and change you walk time to avoid her.”
“NTA. She was being a creep.” – Sweettooth_dragon
While the subReddit could understand why the OP felt bad for the son, they otherwise thought she did the right thing for herself and for her cat.
The mother and son could have liked her cat and wanted to pet her each time they encountered each other without ever making it weird or inappropriate.
As some suggested, it might be in the OP’s favor to change the time that she walked with her cat from now on to avoid any more unwanted encounters with this particular family.